Training was quite exciting for some reason, perhaps it was the vibe and all. JWS had us doing a lot of reversals today – a bit of a throwback to what he was doing last week. Again, much of what he teaches is not form based – technique is secondary to that of the body-mind connection that according to him, NSS, and O’Sensei is critical to Aikido itself.
And I’ve been told, to martial arts as a whole.
That said reversals are always fun. The students are not told to intentionally ruin our partners technique – that is pointless according to JWS. Tension from one partner is only going to create tension in the other. Then it becomes strength vs. strength. Now strength vs. strength maybe is great for us young folks, but the principles of Aikido are contrary (for the uninitiated). Given the situation of a short person vs. a person 140 lbs heavier and bigger; the short person can’t win with purely strength – that’s not happening.
This was shown when I was paired up with a shorter uke – the girl who I had trouble with a few weeks where I accidentally hit her in the face and we could stop laughing at each other for minutes. Anyway since she’s new – and only 5’2″ – she used a lot of strength. Now granted she has very good power and form for a new person but she often resorted to strength. This was apparent when I was just using good ukemi with her where it seemed I’d just fall for her when it was obvious when she was pressing very hard on my hand (or arm, whatever) and I was just taking the fall for her.
I can honestly say I can be an asshole to people who use muscle. Whether I’m correct or not that’s a different story, but since my antics for resisting people have gotten me in hot water before, I keep an eye out for myself reacting this way to people who are for all intended purposes using muscle. Whether they are new or just being assholes – well that just depends.
Fighting assholes by being an asshole – it only works in making things worse. Regardless, this uke of mine is a good person to working with, since she’s 18 and only 5’2″.
Got to uke a bit with Sensei in front of the class a few times. Occasions like these are always exhilarating and a joy to be part of because I’m up there testing myself. Sure it’s an honor because you are being shown off to the crowd, but when you’re in the spotlight its added energy to you as an individual. I try to block out the faces of the people watching me; it can throw me off my game – so instead I just look at Sensei the whole time because really, it’s just me and him up there. I’m sure actors can relate here when I say that when you’re in the moment of being (a character in a scene) all that’s flowing through you is just that scene.
It’s the Zen zone so to speak. Anyway, that’s it for that training, till the next and last one of this series.