Friday + Saturday, August 31 + September 1 Training

Motoichi Yanase Sensei, 6th Dan (L) and Motomichi Anno Sensei, 8th Dan Shihan (R)
Copyright 2007

This will be the last of my regular training posts. It’s a been a trip chronicling my training days in the month of August. As mentioned in my first post – I had enough money to pay for one month of tuition, thereby making the case for my increased number of posts.

However, all good times come to an end, and for now it seems thats the case. I’m began my teaching apprenticeship just this past week and I can already foresee a hard and tedious process in the four months trying to not to get in trouble earning my teaching certificate. There will be days and nights where I will be coming back from the school preparing for the next days lessons – hereby taking out all other activities. Writing and Aikido-ing included.

That said, I hope that all of you have enjoyed my training log for the month of August. I can honestly say that I’ve fine tuned my writing style a little bit since I was writing nearly everyday. I’ve also gotten the hang of just being able to get down my thoughts – coherent or not – in words whereas before it was a little more jumbled.

I’m sorry for those of you who were looking forward to hearing me on a regular basis. I am too, but with school, work, and just generally being financially poor means that I have little choice in the matter. Perhaps my life after this point will be good training in of itself. So yes, don’t expect much of training posts or any posts at all. I’ll try to sneak in some trainings during each month, say about 3 or 4 times/month finances permitting.

I won’t be a slouch though; I will be returning to my weekly bootcamp with the Meetup group and will focus instead on weight training and cardio. When in doubt, go for a 5 mile run!


With that said, my last true training for the month was yesterday. JWS was in a rather jovial mood so things went off on a good note. The class started off normal with some techniques, then things went into story mode. You see, when JWS was training in Japan he studied under 4 major teachers; two of them show in the picture here. Yesterday he spoke about Yanase Sensei. From what I’ve been hearing Yanase Sensei was apparently a beast of a teacher.

You can somewhat tell by the photo how tall he is; apparently not that much – about 5’2″ (162 cm). But trying to move him was like “pushing against a stone column” (JWS’s words, not mine). So during training JWS went into full on “Yanase Sensei mode”.

His techniques and presence turned into something like that of a mini stone giant. JWS himself is only slightly shorter than me but his presence was something…different. For the irimi-nage his touch on the shoulder, usually minimal, toke on that of a vice grip!

After some time of that, JWS turned the class into a full session of different shiho-nages. The one that we did was the one that Hikitsuchi Sensei (another one of his teachers in Japan) often did. Call it “Hikitsuchi style”, whatever. The point is that the shihonage that we practiced wasn’t the typical one where it would come down from the top. Instead what Hikitsuchi Sensei would do was to literally have you, the uke, quite literally fly around  him and instead of going down, he would have you shoot straight forward, parallel to the ground. The uke would eventually do a back roll. JWS would state that this move was originally meant to throw someone very, very far away “like out a window”.

I laughed when he said that. Kind of reminded me of the crazy days back at the Shaolin Kung Fu where my Sifu (who was a bit of hack by the way) would often comment whenever he personally trained the kids classes on the “absurdity” of “flying out windows” during forms.

Anyway I digress. It was very interesting taking that kind of ukemi; you’re literally turning around like a top just trying to keep up with the energy. And if you simply allow the energy to guide you, it is extremely easy to go mental on the turns and therefore something bad could happen.

…Like your arm feeling it’ll rip itself from your body.

Yes, there were a couple moments like that during the training. But after all was said and done, the new experience was a great send off on the last day of my first full month of training in a while! When the class was over, I had some jiyu-waza (free style one-on-one) with a black belt almost an hour. Again, great way to end it. Saturday’s training was the Stevie, Frankie, and Harry show since Sensei was an honored guest at a Jujitsu retreat near Watsonville.


2 thoughts on “Friday + Saturday, August 31 + September 1 Training

  1. There are a lot of things you can practice on your own. Also, don’t overlook getting together with classmates for informal training. I’ve done a lot of breakfalls in back yards.

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