Thursday Night at the Dojo 12/28

Aikidokas: Michelle

I spent the evening working with Michelle on backfalls, ukemi, the walk and releases.

Aftermath: none of note

Wednesday Night at the Dojo 12/27

Aikidokas: Leonardo, Michelle

I spent the evening working with Leonardo and Michelle (a new student) on backfalls, ukemi, the walk and releases.

Aftermath: none of note

Tuesday Night at the Dojo 12/26

Aikidokas: Leonardo

I spent the evening working with Leonardo (a new student) on backfalls, ukemi, the walk and releases.

Aftermath: none of note


Sankyu. Sankyu, very much.

Aikidokas: Tim, Randy, Fred, Marty, Keith, and Oliver.

Ukemi: Not bad.

The Walk: We probably wouldn't have done the walk tonight if some of us hadn't needed a refresher.

The rest of the evening was spent working with Oliver getting ready for my demonstration. We went through releases twice and through the techniques once. Sensei Raymond recommended we take a breather before going through techniques a second time. We never got back on the mat for the second practice.

The first practice run went ok except for forgetting which technique I was supposed to do on left side Gedan-ate. I got to the first off-balance and froze. I'm starting to develop a routine when running through a consecutive set of techniques.

I recite, internally, the technique number (I really ought to start reciting technique name instead), which side we're performing the technique and which foot the tsugi ashi starts with. I then take a breath and am ready to proceed.

The Demonstration:

The walk went ok.

The releases stunk. My pivots were horrible.


Shomen-ate: went well.

Aigamae-ate: went well.

Gyakugamea-ate: went well.

Gedan-ate: It didn't rock, but it did go well. :)

Ushiro-ate: I did not manage to get the hook with the working hand very well.

Oshi-taoshi: went ok.

Ude-gaeshi: went ok on the right side. Was a complete and unmitigated footwork disaster on the left side. I took about 73 small steps after the pivot when it should have just been one.

Ude-hineri : went ok.

Hiki-taoshi: went ok. Spent some time making certain of the hand positions. I think I ended up with them being correct. At least on the right side. I have no memory of the left side.

Waki-gatame : went well. I don't think I raised my arms out of center. I think I controlled the elbow with the non-working hand. This is a technique that I am well-suited to with my height, so I hope I'm getting it right.

After much discussion, the review board (6 black belts) gave me the brown belt. Actually, it's more of a latte belt. Sensei did not have a brown belt in my size in the dojo, so he made do with a latte belt just one size too small. I'll still be wearing my green belt on the mat since it fits, but the certificate of Sankyu is in my hot little hands.

We then adjourned to off-mat discussions and consumption of the beer I brought. Sensei was surprised as beer is apparently only a "requirement" for dan-grade promotions. I didn't want to be caught unprepared.

And the beer was good. Pilsner Urquell. My local liquor store didn't have any, so I had to go to the local grocery store to get some. That just seems wrong somehow.

Must go collapse now.


Tuesday Night at the Dojo 12/19

Aikidokas: Stanley, and Oliver.

Ukemi: Not bad.

The Walk: nothing unusual.

Releases: Worked with Oliver and Stanley.

Techniques: Worked with Oliver and Stanley. I wanted to work on 5 and 9. Oliver had some comments on 7. Then I did two run throughs of all 10. Sensei Raymond had some comments after the first one. Demonstration is still scheduled for today!

Ushiro-ate: I wanted to work on the "hook". I think it improved. I had some problems adjusting to Stanley on this one.

Ude-gaeshi: Oliver saw that my footwork was not quite right on this one. I need to step through with the working foot after the pivot. I managed this quickly and Oliver was impressed with the difference it made.

Hiki-taoshi: Worked on hand position before the hip switch.

Comments after the demonstration that Sensei Raymond watched:

Hiki-taoshi: I got it right on one side, not the other.

Waki-gatame: Operate at your shoulder level, no higher.

Aftermath: Mentally out of it. At one point during releases I had about a 1 minute brain flatline. I couldn't figure out what I was supposed to do on the next release. I hope that doesn't happen tonight.

Got to remember to bring beer for joseki. I think two 6 packs of Pilsner Urquell is what I'll try to pick up.


Monday Night at the Dojo 12/18

Aikidokas: Randy, Martin, Oliver, Sheila, and Kim.

Ukemi: Not bad. Didn't do the tumbleweed rolls. Took some big falls and landed not-so-hot on one rightside. Made my calf muscle tense up somehow. Stretched it out and experienced no aftereffects.

The Walk: nothing unusual.

Releases: Worked with Oliver.

Techniques: Worked with Oliver. Did 3 sets of 1-10 with Sensei Raymond watching and critiquing. I may be testing for Sankyu on Wednesday! :0

Gedan-ate: Propel uke off-balance with the off-hand above your head, not just above your shoulder. Return to neutral posture before moving away from uke.

Ushiro-ate: I'm getting the entry well, I think. I'm not "hooking" uke with the acting hand on his should. That need to improve.

Oshi-taoshi and Ude-gaeshi: Make certain uke's hand is in a vertical line with his elbow before you push the elbow through his ear.

Ude-hineri: Small steps. Get out of uke's way in a hurry so he doesn't fall onto your shin.

Hiki-taoshi: Small steps. Hand position before the throw. Make certain your off hand is able to handle uke's friends if necessary. Don't have it trapped by the acting hand.

Waki-gatame: Operate at your shoulder level, no higher.

Aftermath: I was beat. Mentally and physically tired. Going back tonight for more run-throughs with Oliver.


Thursday Night at the Dojo 12/14

Aikidokas: Stanley.

Releases: That's what Stanley wanted to work on and I was happy to oblige. It'd been a couple of months since he'd spent much time at the dojo and we knocked a little rust off. We got some input from Sensei Raymond on #7 and he pointed on some things that need tweaking on my releases.

Stanley did a number 6 release that resulted in a throw. Shocked the heck out of both of us. We couldn't figure out how it happened, but it did. I'm guessing that he was moving a lot more quickly than I was and it added extra oomph to me moving backwards. My feet couldn't keep up with my upper body, so I just took the fall.

We also had some discussion on figuring out, on the fly, transfers from one technique to another. Practice, practice, practice was the main recommendation. The terminal technique that Sensei was able to achieve an amazing, to me, number of times was Ushiro-ate. It was a mind blowing discussion.

Aftermath: None of note.


Shop talk

Troublesome vehicles over the past month or so.

Taurus SHO ("Blizzard"): Four new tires, new a/c control panel, new fan motor.

F-150 ("Mat Burns"): New clutch, new clutch slave cylinder, new flywheel.

At least they're paid for. The repairs are cheaper than having to buy a new car. But, at over 100K miles each, I don't know how much longer they'll last.

We've asked our local shop if there's a limit to the number of times we're allowed to visit them in a month. :)

Wednesday Night at the Dojo 12/13

Aikidokas: Tim, Fred, Marty, Keith, Oliver, and Joey.

Ukemi: Tim had some corrections to the footwork for the regular forward rolls. I was leaving my trailing foot behind. I need to bring it up near the leading foot to simulate a near-trip.

The Walk: I managed to count, do the walk, and kind of listen to Sensei Raymond talk on the phone. It was tough, but someone's got to do it.

Releases: Worked with Oliver. Went ok.


Worked with Oliver.

Shomen-ate: went well.

Aigamae-ate: went well.

Gyakugamea-ate: went well.

Gedan-ate: It didn't rock, but it did go well. :)

Ushiro-ate: first attempt was a little off. Went well after that.

Oshi-taoshi: push through the ear, don't row uke's arm. Remember to do the foot switch after the first off-balance.

Ude-gaeshi: went ok.

Ude-hineri : went ok. I think I'm still getting a big step on the first off-balance. Staying closer to uke generates a better reaction on the eye-flash.

Hiki-taoshi: I think this one went well. I'm doing better on floating the foot waiting for uke to pull me in. Also, my spacing seems to be better.

Waki-gatame : went well. I think I hit it on both sides, first try.

Spent some time working on 1-10 as Oliver's uke. We got up to 6. We spent a lot of time trying to get his off-balances correct. I asked Keith to throw me with #6 to try to figure out what's going on. We made some progress, but still need to make some more. Marty also tried #6 with me and was far more aggressive than I'm used to.

Aftermath: No new pains from this session. John came through surgery well (that's what Sensei Raymond was discussing during the walk). Fred is a longtime student who's been off for a while. I don't know if he'll be back consistently or not.

In-laws come in today. I might try to "sneak out" to the dojo to work with Oliver on my demonstration.


Monday Night at the Dojo 12/11

Aikidokas: Randy, Martin, Stanley, and Kim.

Ukemi: Not bad. Didn't do the tumbleweed rolls, but everything else went well. Kim took her first big falls and did great!

The Walk: nothing unusual.

Releases: Worked with Martin. It'd been a while since he been in our dojo for a regular session, so we refreshed his memory.

Techniques: Worked with Martin on my 1-5 and his 1-5. He's spent time with a JAA dojo, so the approach he's used to is different from ours.

We spent a fair amount of time working on Ushiro-ate for both of us.

Aftermath: None of any note. Radiator on the car may have died. At least a hose sprang a vicious leak. So it'll be going in to the shop. We got the truck out of the shop just before heading to the dojo.


Saturday at the Dojo 12/9

Aikidokas: Tim, Keith, Greg, and Oliver.

I got there a little later than I should so warm-up was a strange mish-mash. I also spent a good bit of time on the phone with a prospective student, so that cut in even more.

Ukemi: Just slaps. Didn't have time for rolls. :(

The Walk: joined in the middle.

Releases: Worked with Greg.


Worked with Keith, 1-10.

Shomen-ate: ok.

Gyakugamea-ate: ok.

Gedan-ate: better than Thursday.

Ushiro-ate: we spent some time on this, exploring how to get your hand out of uke's way and maintain it in center. The key is the step off-line. You maintain your hand in your center, but you've got a minor fall off-line that gets the hand out of the way. That seems to make a huge amount of difference.

Oshi-taoshi: ok.

Ude-hineri : ok

Waki-gatame : don't let hands rise out of center.

Worked with Greg on 1-10 and then on as many of his as we could get through.

We spent some time transferring the information Keith and I had worked on for Ushiro-ate over to Greg. I hope it helped.

Aftermath: We folded up the mat to clear some floor space for the party. Went home and made pralines and pecan pies for the party.


More logos

More versions of the ATAA logo are available at my flickr account


Logo rev 2

Borders added. Spacing adjusted.

Thursday Night at the Dojo 12/7

Aikidokas: Oliver and Joey.

Ukemi: A little work on the new rotator roll. Improving, little by little.

The Walk: Counted for the group. Once in Japanese and once in Czech. Got some of the numbers wrong for a while in Czech and then corrected them when my brain corrected the verbal rhythm

Releases: Worked with Joey. He's now worked on 1-5. Good improvement.


Worked with Oliver

Shomen-ate: First off-balance was better.

Gyakugamea-ate: went ok.

Gedan-ate: Not as good as last night, my continuation of intent of eye flash was faulty.

Ushiro-ate: what a bloody disaster. I need to continue through and not try to continue up. Pivot around mid-humerus.

Oshi-taoshi: push through the ear, don't row uke's arm.

Ude-hineri : went ok. Need to apply pressure to uke's elbow to encourage the fall. I had too much distance between myself and uke after the pivot.

Waki-gatame : went well. On left side I raised my arms out of center and it was not nearly as smooth as it should be.

Aftermath: No new pains from this session. Sensei Raymond was mildly surprised to hear that Oliver and I were working toward my demonstration. He'd heard nothing. *puzzlement*


ATAA logo

First attempt at a logo. I've got some slight mods in work, mainly borders around the outer circle and the inner circle.

Wednesday Night at the Dojo 12/6

Aikidokas: Tim, Keith, Oliver, and Joey.

Ukemi: A little work on the new rotator roll. Rolled once over the wrong arm and, while ugly, it did not hurt. Spent a lot of time mentally prepping before each roll and, after the wrong arm one, they went really well. Didn't do many, but the initial mental freakout has subsided, so the count should increase. Still holding out on the tumbleweed rolls as the ankle is not happy.

The Walk: what a disaster. The first rev through was a mess. Keith and I got lost on, I think, the third stone. My excuse is I was counting the rhythm, listening to Sensei Raymond in the background introducing a new student to judo and trying to remember all of the stones. I'm good at doing two things at once, but throwing in the third item sent things all higgledy-piggledy.

Releases: Worked with Keith. We then did a little exercise of attacking tori and tori has to counter with a release and turn it into a technique. I did a lot of pre-thought before being attacked each time, but it ended up being ok.


Worked with Oliver, who has agreed to be my uke for my demonstration. Thanks, Oliver!

We spent some time adjusting our separation for three-step approach. We're pretty close. Sensei Tim wants us a little closer than our tendency in order to get a far more fluid technique. I think we got the distance right a couple of times and it worked well.

Shomen-ate: went well, but need to reduce the first off-balance to a flicker of an off-balance. I was doing too much.

Gyakugamea-ate: must remember to continue to slide with uke and be at his shoulder level after he hits the ground. Being near his legs is a *bad thing*.

Gedan-ate: I was really pleased with this. Don't know what Sensei thought, but I thought it rocked.

Ushiro-ate: went ok. It felt a little strange, but gake happened.

Oshi-taoshi: push through the ear, don't row uke's arm.

Ude-hineri : went ok. Need to apply pressure to uke's elbow to encourage the fall. I also think I'm letting up on uke's arm, not extending as I make the eye flash.

Waki-gatame : went well. On left side I raised my arms out of center and it was not nearly as smooth as it should be.

Aftermath: No new pains from this session. Ankle is mildly displeased with the world. Party on Saturday. WooHoo! Need to get my proposed logo for ATAA up here for folks to look at. I have some tweaks to make to improve its look when embroidered as a patch.


Monday Night at the Dojo 12/4

Aikidokas: Randy, and Keith.

Ukemi: A number of big falls tonight. I think the main problem, that results in garuma-ish endings, is I look towards tori's center when taking the fall. If I look to my center I'd bet I correct the issue.

The Walk: Not tonight.

Releases: Not tonight.

Techniques: Since it was just Keith and me, we worked on my 1-10 to start prepping for my demonstration.

Shomen-ate ::: ok

Aigamae-ate ::: ok

Gyakugamea-ate ::: ok

Gedan-ate ::: ok

Ushiro-ate ::: need more intent when meeting uke

Oshi-taoshi ::: as usual my first attempt for the night the first off-balance was lacking. Footwork needed tweaking.

Ude-gaeshi ::: Footwork needed tweaking to enable the pivot required

Ude-hineri ::: more flowery. Extend uke's arm above his head and not to his side after the takedown

Hiki-taoshi ::: allow uke to pull me through. Continue pushing throughout. Get hand position, but don't force uke to bend his elbow

Waki-gatame ::: maintain shoulder level

Aftermath: None of any note. Ankle is still bruised/swollen. Might be next Monday before I try the evil rolls again.


Random haiku

Surfing the 'net, I was inspired to try haiku.

Charge in to attack
Tori sees, moves my center
Gracefully, I fall

Rotten tomatoes welcome.

Wednesday Night at the Dojo 11/29

Aikidokas: Tim, John, Keith, Oliver, and Joey.

Ukemi: A little work on a new roll: rotator. At least thats what I'll call it. Stand facing a near wall, go up on your toes and rotate on them so that you're now facing the opposite wall. Now you just take a nice forward roll. I did one decent one on the right side, a bomb on the left, and then a not so great one on the right. Practice, practice, practice. Gonna have to work on these, they're not intuitive.

The Walk: as usual. Facing into a circle this time. Then, at Sensei Raymond's suggestion we did another round of the Walk, left side only. That wasn't too bad until we got to the parts that, after doing only half of that movement, had us facing 180 deg from starting position. That was weird.

Big falls went ok. The one that everyone liked, technically, is the one that was least comfortable to me.

Releases: Worked with John. Some tweaking on 7th release


Worked with John on 6-10, right side only.

Sensei Raymond had some improvements on Oshi-taoshi for me: move like a scared rabbit when you have the final upright kazushi on uke.

Ude-gaeshi was ok, need to look out for uke's minions while exerting control over uke.

My first attempt on Ude-hineri for a night seems to result in me not getting the first off-balance.

Waki-gatame needs to have uke's elbow going through the space between his shoulder and his ear for folks my size and smaller. I attempted to get more off-line for John after being uke for Keith on this technique in the past. Apparently, the height relation between John and I is within the nominal working range.

Did a test run of Kote-hineri and it went ok. I can't remember the entry this morning. That's the main difference between it and Oshi-taoshi.

Spent the rest of the evening on Kote-gaeshi. My main problem, as far as I'm concerned, is the entry footwork. The off foot needs to circle behind the anchor foot and then extend down the line of uke's momentum. Short-changing that motion eliminates any chance at kazushi. I did manage to throw John on it once and came close, by his admission, several times.

Watched Keith work with John on Kote-gaeshi. I was concentrating on his footwork and it appears he has some of the same issues.

Aftermath: No new pains from this session. Ankle is still bruised and swollen.

Dojo looks properly festive for the season.

There's a possibility we may try to be a stop on a Japanese Sensei's potential U.S. tour. That would be fabulous if the stars align for it to happen. More on this I will not say.


Monday Night at the Dojo 11/27

No aikido.

Instead, we spent the evening getting the dojo ready for the Christmas season. Garland, lights, decorations ad whatnot all spread about the joint.

Some of the stuff is hanging in John's way and, since he's blind, he'll be running into it and possibly making rude comments about it. ;)

It looked pretty good when I left and that was with most folks still working on it.

Aftermath: Ankle is still sore and bruised. It actually hurts to tie the laces of my normal shoes on that foot as the tongue presses down on the bruise. I must have really whacked it good.


Saturday at the Dojo 11/25

Aikidokas: Tim, Keith, Robert, Oliver and Joey.

Ukemi: Ankle is still not happy, so no cross-legged ukemi. Other than that, ok

The Walk: as usual.

Releases: Worked with Oliver. He's working at making his attacks more obvious and I'm still late. Sheesh.


Worked with Oliver. I ran through 6-10. Got lots of tweaks on #9 for the eye flash. Got some tweaks on the wrist lock for #7. Overall went pretty well.

Uked for Oliver on #6. Spent some time allowing him to get used to someone of my height.

Uked for Keith on #6 in an extra-curricular session. It's really not a technique likely to be used on an uke of substantially greater height.

Aftermath: Bruised and swollen ankle. V. pretty bruise.


A&M won

We beat t.u.! 'nuff said.

Close game. I lost a bet on the outcome, and boy am I glad I did. No BCS for tu.


Turkey day

At my mom's. My sister and her family, with the niece's fiance. Kim's parents and Keith and Sheila from the dojo, as well.

Cornish hens, spinach casserole, sweet potatoes, dressing, etc. Pumpkin, pecan and fudge pecan pies.

My fudge pecan pie was a little runny. I don't know if it needed to cook more or if the extra butter I added made that much of a difference.


Wednesday Night at the Dojo 11/22

Aikidokas: Tim, John, Raj, Keith, Oliver, Sheila and Joey. 4 Dan grade, 4 Kyu grade.

Ukemi: A little work on the new rolls. Messed up one of them somehow and have a nice 4"x4" bruise on my left ankle to show for it. I was doing a cross-legged roll to the left and my ankles slammed into each other as I was going over. Ouch.

The Walk: as usual.

Releases: Worked with John.


Worked with John on 6-10. Worked with Oliver on Shihonage. His knees were a little off, so I said throwing me from vertical was ok instead of ending up in the wrist control posture.

Aftermath: Bruised and swollen ankle.


Monday Night at the Dojo 11/20

Attendees: Raymond, Randy, John, Keith, Robert (yay!), Sheila, and Kim.

Ukemi: Worked on adding more varieties to my repertoire. Still haven't added what I call the pivot rolls. Need to do that soon. No big falls tonight. I just need to find some open mat time and just work on rolls. Rest a bit after I ding a shoulder and do some more.

The Walk: as usual. Got called on by John to do the counting. He called out "Zrubek". I responded with: "There are two of us. Which one?"

Releases: Worked with John. We got through his releases and he wanted to go on to whatever was next. I had to remind him that I hadn't had a chance to practice mine yet. :D

Randy asked Raymond to come out and teach a little hand randori. So, we spent an hour working through some rules for randori: never more than two consecutive steps along the same line, if you're caught try a release motion, and a couple more I've forgotten.

I worked with Randy all evening, feeling pretty incompetent. My brain wasn't all there.

Aftermath: Kim and I stayed a little bit to apply some Killz to the sheetrock repair she did on Saturday.

Also, a couple of months back I didn't just tweak Keith's shoulder, I cranked, wrenched or destroyed it. I'm not sure what I did to it, but he's not happy with the description of tweak, so I will overstate the case here.

We also turned the heat on for the first time this winter in the dojo. It was down to freezing overnight and the added warmth was welcome.

Aftermath: Took naproxen sodium as a precaution.


Saturday at the Dojo 11/18

No aikido, but the semi-occasional dojo cleanup.

It started around 9 am. I wasn't able to get there at that time as I was babysitting to roofers at home. Kim was able to get there and managed to complete some sheetrock repairs that needed to be done after some plumbing issues were resolved.

Mat repairs were abundant. Lots of nick and cuts in the top of the mat that needed to be sealed so that they don't turn into rips and tears.

Washing, scrubbing, tidying, organizing.

I spent a good portion of the day reaching toward the 20'-ish ceiling trying to sweep away the spider webs. I also climbed on the roof of the bathroom to sweep and clean up there.

We called it a day around 5pm. The dojo looks better than it has in years, according to Sensei. And it's a little more insulated.


Wednesday Night at the Dojo 11/15

Aikidokas: Tim, Keith, Oliver, Sheila and Joey.

Ukemi: No real issues. A little more work on the new rolls. Big falls went fine.

The Walk: as usual. Did a partial run-through with Joey and Sheila to give Joey more reps.

Releases: Worked with Keith. I was using a lot of power this evening. Maybe a holdover from last night's volleyball?


Worked with Keith on 6-10 and then 1-5. Hiki-taoshi needs to have a little better entry. Gedan-ate as well. Did some tweaking on Ushiro-ate. Avoided mucking up his shoulder on Ude-gaeshi.

Aftermath: Nothing major. Took pictures of sheetrock work to do at this weekend's dojo cleanup.


Volleyball season done.

Well, we lost 2 out of 3 against the number one team this week. They even brought in a player from past seasons who is a big hitter. They only had 5 players though.

I did ok. Took a spike right in the left eye. Left my arms too far apart on a block. I had a couple of nice blocks, a couple of nice spikes.

Next season doesn't start until February. I might fill the time until then with aikido. Just have to see what happens.


Monday Night at the Dojo 11/13

Attendees: Randy, Keith, Oliver, Sheila, and Kim.

Ukemi: Worked on adding more varieties to my repertoire. Minor ping on one shoulder that had no lasting effect.

I'm still looking for ukemi bipolar meds.

The Walk: as usual.

Releases: Worked with Oliver. As usual I had a tough time figuring out when he's moving.

Techniques: Ran through 1-10 with Oliver.

Aigamae-ate: A little late on hip switch.

Gedan-ate: Stay controlled. Don't rush.

Oshi-taoshi: No grabbing. Push.

After working on techniques we did some "chicken-in-the-middle." At least, that's what I call it. Tori stands in the center of the mat and everyone else on the mat gets to randomly choose to be uke. Only one uke at a time, but a second uke can start an attack as soon as the first uke has broken ma'ai.

The goal of uke is to tap tori on the head. The goal of tori is to not let uke tap him on the head and to disrupt as many attacks as possible by redirecting uke or executing a technique on uke.

Aftermath: Took naproxen sodium as a precaution.


Houston Open Judo Tournament

Occurred this past weekend.

I'd been in training for scorekeeping, so I was scheduled to help. I was also scheduled to move mats from Pasadena up to Conroe so that the players would have something kind of soft to fall onto.

I managed to get out of work early Friday by working later on Tuesday. I got to my dojo around noon and waited for the guy whose trailer I'd be using to show up. I think it showed up around 1. Hooked up the trailer and took off to Pasadena. Sensei Raymond and Oliver ran some errands on the way to Pasadena, so I got there early and waited for folks to arrive so we could get into the dojo and start loading.

Loading didn't take too long and then it was time to hit the road with a well-weighted truck and trailer. My truck didn't particularly like the extra weight, but it managed to pull it. If I got the speed up to 60 mph, the whole combination got a little unsteady. Travelling at 55mph was good though. The amount of room I needed for braking was a little scary though. Fools would cut in front of me and start braking. There were a couple of close calls on the way up. Oliver rode up with me. He was mostly just baggage. :) He caught up on some sleep.

The directions I'd written down for the convention center were a little sketchy, so we had fun driving around Conroe, eventually finding the spot. We dropped off the trailer. Oliver then joined Sensei for the drive to College Station to pick up more mats for use in the tournament.

I went over to the hotel and stated helping with registration. Kim joined me shortly thereafter. We were up until around 11 working registration. We set our wake-up call for 4:30 am so we could help set up mats and set up registration at the convention center.

After that, the tournament began. I chose the less exciting of the two mats to work. I worked the juniors and masters. The seniors had a lot more cheering and near-injuries.

My mat did have one guy pass out from a choke hold, one near pass out and one who had too bloody of a nose to continue.

I think the matches wrapped up around 5pm. My truck was loaded and on the road by 6. I made to Champion Judo around 7pm. We unloaded most of the mats there and then went to Buck's (Sensei for Champion Judo) to unload the rest. Made it to Clear Lake Aikido to drop off the trailer around 8 and then back home by 8:30.

In bed by 9. Up Sunday morning at 9, back to bed at noon. Up again at 3 and then back to bed at 7.

I think I may be caught up on sleep for this weekend and the previous weekend at WFC.


Wednesday Night at the Dojo 11/8

Attendees: Tim, John, Keith, Oliver, Sheila and Joey.

Ukemi: No real issues. Need to expand my repertoire of rolls by a couple. Wish I'd known earlier.

The Walk: as usual.

Releases: Worked with Keith and his brand spankin' new black belt. I need to use less muscle.


Worked with Keith and Oliver on 6, 8 and 10. Did some work at 1-step distance at Tim's suggestion.

Aftermath: General annoyance. Wasn't sure I'd be in a good mental state for the evening. It wasn't as bad as I was afraid it might be.


WFC 2006

I left for Austin Wednesday afternoon.

I planned my route so I could stop by Berdoll's pecan stand on the way up and pick up a supply of pecans for Christmas. I got there shortly before they closed and picked up 10 pounds of pecans: 5 lbs. halves, 5 lbs. pieces.

Arrived in Austin in time to check into the hotel and talk to my roommate for the weekend: John Picacio. We then went to Iron Cactus with guests and committee members for dinner. Ok Mexican food, but not great.

After that we assembled the Art Show panels. We didn't hang any art as it was too late and we weren't able to completely assemble the show. We had to allow passage for the Dealers to move their stuff and that required them to move through the art show space.

Thursday morning up bright and early for breakfast in the hotel and then to the art show. We did some hanging in the moorning and helped the artist's hang their art as well. I got to say hi to Gary Gianni, Charles Vess, Gregory Manchess, John Jude Palencar, Mark Rogers, David Deen, Thomas Bishop, Vincent Villafranca and a bunch of others.

Thursday afternoon I was making copies of some paperwork in Con Ops. I see one of the staff chatting with a lady who is clearly upset at the quality of the art show.

She states that she talked to someone associated with the con earlier in the year when she mas making a decision whether to attend WFC or NASFic(?). she had asked which art show was the better fantasy art show. The unknown person responded that WFC was far and away the better one for her interests.

The irate fan had arrived at the hotel, checked in, checked in to the convention and gone straight to the Art Show (her husband and not yet checked into the hotel for some reason). She was displeased with the preponderence of black and white items and with the large number of horror pieces. We attempted to tell her to give the show time as it had not been completely set up yet, but she was steadfast in her opinion.

She demanded her money back. She had planned her vacation for the express purpose of seeing a fabulous fantasy art show at WFC. Since she wasn't going to be able to do that, she wanted some compensation for her trouble. Unfortunately, policy beyond our control forbade us from giving a refund.

As far as I know she, and her husband, left to go home that afternoon and were not seen at the con again.

Art show stuff kept me busy for quite some time and I ended up going to Amy's ice cream for dinner at around 10 pm. Mexican Vanilla with strawberries as mix'ns. Gooooood.

I think I managed to stay up until around 2 am, somehow.

Friday morning had me at the art show around 9 to get it up and running with Kimm. the day passed in a blur of folks stopping by and handling bidding and whatnot. We closed up a little after 6 and I ran off for a solo dinner at Threadgill's. Shortly after I arrived, a bunch of dealerfolk took a big table nearby for dinner. I got out of there in short order and made it back in time for the mass autographing and reopening the art show for the artist's reception.

I managed to get most of the signatures I was after, but a couple did escape me. With the large number of authors and artists in attendance, it's not surprising.

The reception ended around 11 pm. I wondered the halls for a while (trying to avoid my hotel room because next door to it was the DelRey party) and stumbled across Sharon Shinn, Renee Babcock, and Gary Gianni in conversation. I joined them for another hour of fun chat. Ask Sharon about scurvy, swaying and sharonshinn. I dare you.

Up again too early on Saturday for breakfast where John and I were joined by Greg Manchess and Irene Gallo. Good company and good food. Who could ask for more?

The day went by in a blur of art show stuff. We had enough volunteers that I was able to get around the con and take pictures for the first time in a long time. However bidding did end today, so we had to handle the last minute stuff that that created. Some folks were flying out the next so they had to pay for and pick up their art. It didn't take too long. I was out of there by around 7, I think.

Dinner was a quick dash across the street to TGIFriday's. I had to get back and take pictures during the awards banquet.

The awards ceremony was great. Brad Denton had a fabulous intro. You really should have been there.

Sunday up again too early on Saturday for breakfast where John and I were joined by Greg Manchess and Irene Gallo. Good company and good food. Who could ask for more? Well we got more. Irene picked up the tab!

Final day of the con. Handle all transactions for people picking up art. Art show tear down. Dinner at County Line Bar-B-Q. Early to bed.

Monday morning up again early so I can get on the road by 9. Home around noon. Asleep by 1.

A fun con!

Pictures at: http://www.itmm.com/Conventions/WFC2006/

Volleyball. Sigh.

Well, we lost all 3 this week. :(

That said, we played decently, just not well enough to win.

It annoys me when teams bring in guys from other teams to fill out their roster for an evening. Ringers, as it were. We still probably would have lost if they hadn't had the ringers playing, but it's annoying.

Solidly in last place.


Monday Night at the Dojo 10/30

Attendees: Randy, Raj, Marty, Keith, Sheila, Kim and James (a returning beginning student).

Ukemi: More tweaks again this evening. Everyone seems to think I collapse as my legs reach their highest point. Nothing hurts, but I need to keep tweaking.

Took some big falls this evening, getting a very minor ping on one shoulder that had no lasting effect.

I'm still looking for ukemi bipolar meds.

The Walk: as usual.

Releases: Worked with Keith. Tweaks to 3rd, 7th and 8th. I was dipping my shoulder on some and not extending uke softly on others.

Techniques: Worked with Keith.

Gyakugamea-ate: Rmember to push at the elbow and allow uke to walk into the eye flash.

Oshi-taoshi: Small off-balances. In order words: small steps. Move _slightly_ off-line. Hands in center.

Ude-hineri: Tweak uke's attacking arm by tensioning it right after the pivot. It really improves the reaction to the eye flash.

Waki-gatame: This is a "something's gone wrong" technique. Uke is within ma'ai so you're not going to be able intercept uke's attack at the wrist. You have to deal with mid-forearm or elbow.

Aftermath: Nothing of note.

I'm going to be out of town when Keith demonstrates for his Shodan this weekend, so good luck to him!


Wednesday Night at the Dojo 10/25

I joined Sensei Raymond again at a Champion Judo in Pasa-get down-dena for another training session on scoring/keeping time for a judo tournament.

Sensei spent most of the evening in a meeting for the tournament, but two guys from Champion Judo helped out. they did the timing while I did the scoring. The timing was not really necesary as almost all of the matches ended with "Ippon" before the time limit.

Another dojo brought some of their players in to get some experience, so it was a fun night watching a wide variety of folks throw each other around. A couple of guys I'm looking forward to watching at the tournament.


Volleyball, again

Well, we didn't lose all 3 this week. We had two matches. Six games. We lost all six. :(

That said, we played decently, just not well enough to win.

To top it all off I tweaked two muscles and jammed 3 fingers on a block. Becuase of the slight swelling, I'm not able to wear my wedding ring.

Just a winner all around.


Monday Night at the Dojo 10/23

Attendees: Randy, Keith and Kim.

Ukemi: Kim was there to take some of the eyes off of me. I'm not certain I'm doing much different, but Sensei Randy and Sensei Raymond had fewer tweaks for me this evening. Keep legs extended. Try to reduce twisting.

Took some big falls this evening with no issues.

Anyone got any bipolar meds for my ukemi?

The Walk: as usual.

Releases: Worked with Randy. He has a more dynamic style for working releases and it seems easier to get the timing right.

Techniques: Worked with Keith. I offered to uke, but I ended up tori for most of the evening. We worked on Ude-hineri, Shomen-ate and Aigamae-ate. I wanted to work on getting my hand threatening the elbow when taking down uke on Ude-hineri. Worked on the pivot after the initial off-balance, trying not to settle my weight on my back foot. Don't give up ground when you make the pivot.

Shomen-ate: Don't give up ground when you make the pivot. *Push* with your hands on the initial off-balance. Allow uke to almost recover before gake.

Aigamae-ate: Initial off-balance should have you in a weak strong position. Almost neutral position. This allows the pivot that is the essence of the technique to come much more easily.

Aftermath: Knees a little achy.


Wednesday Night at the Dojo 10/18

Attendees: John, Rob, and Keith.

Ukemi: I wasn't hurting myself, but apparently my ukemi stinks. All three guys on the mat and Sensei Raymond were working on improving my ukemi. Apparent problems: twisting during the roll, forcing my legs over instead of letting them flow, hands to close to feet where they meet the mat.

Ukemi seems to be the roadblock for my next demonstration. sigh.

The Walk: as usual.

Releases: Worked with Rob. Took the time to work on adjusting my balance a little bit forward of what I'm used to. Still a little bit late from time to time.


Worked with Rob on 1-10. Was a little grabby on some techniques and that, of course, caused any off-balances to disappear. the techniques that were most troubled by that were: Oshi-taoshi, Ude-hineri (left side), and Hiki-taoshi (left side)

Aftermath: Annoyance at ukemi. Slightly stiff, but no joint making obnoxious complaints.


Rain ramifications

Leaks. In the roof.

They weren't too bad considering the amount of rain we got. They still need to be fixed. And, since the roof is about 17 years old, that likely means a completely new roof.

Ouch. After some extensive car repair and Vlad's surgery.

I hear the bank account screaming : Uncle!


We took Vlad to the vet Monday afternoon, driving through an absolutely torrential downpour to get there. Unfortunately, the vet was not able to spot anything while there using either ultrasound or x-ray.

She wanted to keep him overnight.

Kim had told me, in no uncertain terms, that Vlad was not to stay overnight. Rock. Hard place. Annoy the heck outta Kim or help Vlad? Vlad won. He stayed overnight.

Turns out he had bladder stones and surgery was required. Turns out he had 15 stones in his bladder. Ouch!

I picked him up before volleyball yesterday and brought him home. He was not terribly happy and not moving well last night.

This morning he ate fairly well, so we were able to give him his pain medication and his antibiotics. He also wanted to get his outdoor time, but the vet tld us not to let him out for the next week or so.

I hope to come home to a happier cat this afternoon.


in volleyball against "Way Out"!

We won 2 out of 3 games. We lost the first one. We won the third one 16-14, I think. We played a 6-2 rotation and it went ok.

We're still in last place, but a playoff spot is achievable.


Monday Not at the Dojo 10/16

Too much rain. 12 inches over two days.

Sensei sent out a note and told everyone to stay home at home.


To add to the bummer, one of our cats was peeing blood. Vet appointment time.


Wednesday Night at the Dojo 10/11

Attendees: Randy, John, Keith, and Oliver.

Ukemi: Not bad. Need to take big falls again soon.

The Walk: as usual.

Releases: Worked with John. Worked on getting centered properly. It's tough taking some extra time before each release since John is essentially blind. Need to slow down some too. And need to move on time.


Worked with John on the 14 two-handed grab techniques.

Worked with John on Bhakwas. Eeek was I rusty on it.

Worked with John on shihonage. A fun technique for when you screw up Shomen-ate. Not bad for a first time.

Aftermath: Sweat, sweat and more sweat.


Volleyball disappointment

We lost all three again. Damn.


Monday Night at the Dojo 10/9

Attendees: Rob, and Keith.

Ukemi: Not bad. Haven't taken big falls recently.

The Walk: as usual.

Releases: Worked with Keith and Rob. All evening. That's all we did. Tweak after tweak after tweak.

My timing is off. I need to be more centered. I think my weight tends to be more on my back foot.

Concentrate on getting off-line, the rest can take care of itself.

Aftermath: Nothing of note.


Geocaching ramble

The library hosted a geocaching ramble on Saturday. What's a ramble? Well, we decided it was an opportunity to get geocachers to meet at the library as an event and to then go find the 4 caches we'd hidden around the city.

We had a handout with the coordinates of the four caches printed on it. Also on the sheet were 4 questions that had to be answered if you wanted to get additional prizes. Each of the caches started out with a supply of goodies as well.

It turned out to be a far better attended event than we expected. We were expecting around 20 folks and from our calculations 48 people attended. The supplies in the caches were not sufficient to keep up with the number of cachers. When we went to collect the caches, they were all pretty much empty.

This event turned out to be the best attended event that the library has sponsored. We may do it again next year.


Friday Night at the Dojo 10/6

Attendees: Randy, John, Raj, Keith, Oliver, Sheila and Kim

Kim and I zipped off to the dojo in case we could squeeze some space for some work on the mat.

We did manage to grab some space. Keith and Oliver were working Shodan stuff and Raj and John were working together. Kim, Sheila and I did the walk and worked on releases.

We got through all 8 with Sheila as tori. We made it through 5 with Kim as tori beforee had to get off the mat and let the iaido folks on.


Thursday Night at the Dojo 10/5

Attendees: Mainly judo folks. No other aikidokas showed up until late, when Keith and Oliver arrived, so I was on the sidelines watching.

I brought the camera along in case this occurred. I managed to get some good pictures of K and O while they were working on Keith's Shodan stuff.

One really good one of Oliver taking a big fall, but the lighting was iffy. I need to see if I can tweak it on the computer and make it look good. I got some other good ones in black and white that I'll probably post to my flickr account.


Wednesday Night at the Dojo 10/4

I joined Sensei Raymond again at a Champion Judo in Pasa-get down-dena for another training session on scoring/keeping time for a judo tournament.

A number of the adults were suffering from some sort of gut bug, so they didn't not want to have a mock tournament. We just officiated for the juniors.

And Buck wants to be able to spend more time working on techniques before the tournamentso we're not going to have mock tournaments for the next couple of weeks.

That means I get to go to aikido on Wednesdays. Cool.


Another volleyball loss

And the hits just keep on coming.

"Fandango" trashed us, as expected. First game was a disaster. I think we won 5 points. Second game was better and third game was ok.

We're now in last place. At least we're not alone in last. We play the other last place team this week, so it's got playoff implications. :D


Sensei Williams doing foot sweeps

Sensei Williams doing foot sweeps with our youngest judoka

A review of Salt Lick BBQ

A review of Salt Lick BBQ in Dripping Springs. 3MB around 3 minutes long

The trip back from the Salt Lick, back in August

The trip back to Austin from the Salt Lick BBQ in Dripping Springs. 15MB around 9 minutes long

Dinner at Joe's

Kim's parents were in town this weekend and, as usual, one of our meals was at Joe's Bar-B-Q in Alvin. I don't know why, but we hadn't eaten there in quite some time. Good stuff. I had the stuffed baked potato. So far I've had 3 meals off of it and will have one more tomorrow.

At the restaurant I ate a good portion of the thing. I had to save room for the blackberry cobbler that was available. Blackberry cobbler and Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla ice cream. Fantastic!

Monday Night at the Dojo 10/2

Attendees: Randy, Rob, Keith, Stanley and Kim.

Ukemi: Not bad. Didn't get around to big falls.

The Walk: as usual.

Releases: Worked with Rob. He's almost my height, and the tallest person I've worked with, so there were some adjustments on the off-balances for both of us. It'd been a while since he'd done any aikido so adding my height to the mix was an added challenge

Techniques: Worked with Rob. Tori'd for 6-10. They went well overall. I'm taking too big of a step on the entries to a number of techniques.

Had to do some adjustment for waki-gatame as Rob is too tall for my elbow to go straight over his shoulder as I normally do. I have to get off-line and get his posture broken down enough so that my elbow can slip over his upper arm and then my elbow can slide up to his shoulder to control it. The rest of the technique follows from there easily.

Uke'd for Rob on Ude-hineri and Waki-gatame. Sensei Raymond gave us the approach to use for the technique against taller opponents.

Uke'd for Oliver (he showed up late to work with Keith on his Shodan demonstration) on Waki-gatame. Luckily the aforementioned tips had already been dispensed.

It was pointed out to me that my big toe is "flinching" as uke approaches. This is a big problem on the one-step entry for techniques as it makes me late. It causes my weight to rock back. Then I have to rock forward before I can fall into the right spot. I have to try to remember to correct this.

Aftermath: The bruises are sooo nice to look at.


Saturday at the Dojo 9/30

Attendees: Tim, Greg, Oliver and Kim.

Normal class.

Ukemi: Felt off enough that I didn't take any big falls. Just didn't feel like risking it.

I spent the day working with Greg: releases and techniques. I don't remember much of my work as tori, but I spent a lot of time ukeing for Ushiro-ate. So much so that I developed bruises on both arms. The cause was my gi bunching up and twisting on my upper arm when Greg made contact on the initial off-balance. It felt like we worked on the technique for about 30 minutes.

Aftermath: Two nice bruises. One on each arm just above the biceps.


Thursday Night at the Dojo 9/28

Attendees: Mainly judo folks. No other aikidokas showed up until late, when Keith arrived, so I was on the sidelines watching

Actually, I'd brought my new camera along to try it out on some action shots. I spent a good portion of the evening taking pictures. I hope to get a couple online and posted soon.

Did the walk and uke'd for Keith a little once the judo folks cleared the mat.


Wednesday Night at the Dojo 9/27

I joined Sensei Raymond again at a Champion Judo in Pasa-get down-dena for another training session on scoring/keeping time for a judo tournament.

The folks a Champion went to a tournament in San Antonio this past weekend. They placed third in Jr. team and had one of their ladies take first place in Seniors.

Planning on aikido tonight.

New volleyball season

A new season starting off as the old season left off. With a loss.

We won game out of three. The middle one, if I remember correctly. I think the team we played ("Way Out") moved up from the recreational league, but I'm not certain.

Next week we play "Fandango", usually the best team in the league. They've play two matches already and are 2-4, so they have the same winning percentage as we do at 1-2.

There are only 5 teams in the league this time and we play each team twice, except for "Fandango". The playoffs are around the 21st of November. Top 4 teams make the playoffs, so I hope we're one of those four.


Monday Night at the Dojo 9/25

Attendees: John, Keith, and Kim.

Ukemi: Left side a little off. Took a couple of big throws from John. Did some more left sdie simple rolls. Disastrous. Stopped quickly.

The Walk: as usual.

Releases: Worked with Keith.

Techniques: Worked with Keith. Uke'd for 1-10 for him and then he uke'd 1-10 for me. I tweaked Keith's shoulder on Ude-hineri. I hope it recovers quickly.

Aftermath: Nothing of note. I collapsed my arm on the late left side and thought it might invite repercussions, but nothing so far. I'm probably going to do judo official training on Wednesday and then aikido on Thursday.

Saturday at the Dojo 9/23

Attendees: Mike, Tim, Randy, Jeff, Greg, Oliver and Kim.

A review of the 14 double hand grabs.

I spent the day working with Jeff and it went well. 3.5 hours of double grab throws. We didn't do any of the big throws, just got to the off-balances for them.


Wednesday Night at the Dojo 9/20

I joined Sensei Raymond at a local judo dojo to learn how to score/keep time for a judo tournament. Sensei is one of the organizers for November's Houston Open and he needs as many volunteers as he can get. My knees need a little more rest so I wasn't going to be going to aikido in any event.

It was interesting learning the scoring, penalties, etc. I need more work on this, so I might be doing it on a regular basis depending on my body's need for rest. I could join Sensei and help out at a tournament in San Antonio on Saturday, but I'm going to be at the dojo for a review of the double-hand grabs that Mike covered a week and ahalf ago.


1st cool front

I hereby declare that we've been blessed with our first cool front of the fall, and right on schedule. Temps got down to the upper 50's last night and we could have slept with the windows open. We didn't though, since the dogs would have barked all night long as they would be listening to all of the wildlife wandering around the yard.

It'll warm up a bit this weekend. Then, in about 2 or 3 weeks (October 8 timeframe), we should be getting consistently cooler weather with the odd spike into higher temps.

Just about fall!


Gaming night

Managed to get to a night of D&D this past weekend. Survey said it was my turn to DM for the first time in a year and a half.

The party is rattling around in the remnants of the Fire Giants stronghold from the "Against the Giants" module. The use of the web spell was nicley done and effective on their part. One stairway down to the second level is not a good design for a complex.

Battle is in progress.

Monday Night at the Dojo 9/19

Attendees: Randy, Stanley and Kim.

Ukemi: Not bad. Iffy on the left side. Sensei Raymond noted me jumping on leftside big throws. Doesn't hurt, but I do need to correct it.

The Walk: as usual.

Releases: Worked with Stanley. Pace seemed ok. Needed to tweak 6 and 8.

Techniques: Worked with Stanley on 1-10 with me as tori and then attemtped to get through 1-17 with him as tori.

As Tori:

1, 2 and 3 went ok. Had to try Gedan-ate a couple of times for improper hand positioning. Ushiro-ate I gave up the sidewalk. Oshi-taoshi: Sensei Raymond said he could have used my face for a Halloween mask. Too much effort. I must become bored with all of this for it to work well. Ude-gaeshi: losing control of uke's hand on the pivot. Ude-hineri: worked well. Hiki-taoshi: not controlling uke's shoulder well before the throw, spacing is good, however. Waki-gatame: worked well, getting to be a favorite technique.

As uke:

Over-committed, or something similar, on Gedan-ate. Again.
Spiked my knee on Oshi-taoshi.
Spiked the other knee on Kote-hineri
It was getting late, so I begged off bigger throws for safety's sake. The rest of the techniques went well.

Aftermath: Two achey knees. Naproxen sodium on the schedule for the next couple of days. Might wait until Saturday to go back to the dojo.


Saturday at the Dojo 9/16

Attendees: Tim, Keith, Greg, Oliver and Kim.

Ukemi: One funky kote-gaeshi fall. No pain, but it looked funky to the watchers.

The Walk: ok.

Releases: With Greg. His deceptively long arms are tough to adjust to.

Techniques: With Greg. Ran through 1-7 as tori. Went pretty well. Keith was the overseer and tried to withhold comments until the end, but just couldn't do it. :) Then worked as uke for Greg. We spent a lot of time on Shomen-ate.

Did a partner swap and I ended up working with Kim. She was working on #2 agamae-ate. Tried some alternative approaches to help her with the timing and I think it helped. We'll see how she does tonight.

Aftermath: My knees are a little sore. Not certain if it's aikido or life in general.

tag :


Wednesday Night at the Dojo 9/13

Attendees: Tim, John, Keith, Stanley, and Oliver.

Ukemi: Not bad. Threw John and was thrown by John on big falls. No worries.

The Walk: as usual.

Releases: Worked with Stanley. Rushed tonight. It's always something :).

Techniques: Worked with Stanley on the first couple of two-handed grab techniques from Saturday.

Then, John had us do dry runs of demos. So I had to do 1-10 both sides and Stanley had to do 1-17 both sides. That meant I had to fall for 1-17 on both sides. Good practice for me. Also, had to do the techniques 3-step, instead of my usual 1-step.

As Tori:

No hip switch on one side of Aigamae-ate.
Failed to get a good throw on Gedan-ate on right side, first time.
Real trouble on one side of Ushiro-ate, had to try it a couple of times.
Messed up with hand position on entry to Ude-hineri on the first side, fixed it on left side.

As uke:

Over-committed, or something similar, on Gedan-ate.
Failed to remember uke's response on Ude-gaeshi
Did ok on the falls for Kote-gaeshi
Left side fall for either Mae-otoshi or Hiki-otoshi was rough because I collapsed my arm.

Aftermath: Sweat, sweat and more sweat. A beer at home to make certain I was relaxed. John said we'll remember this temperature in the dojo fondly when winter rolls around. He'll be wearing his double-weave gi and standing under the heater to warm up.


Monday Night at the Dojo 9/11

Attendees: Randy, Keith, Stanley and Sheila.

Ukemi: Started working on throwing folks their warm-up kote gaeshi falls. Took some more myself with no problems.

The Walk: ok.

Releases: With Keith. My pivots are late on a number of releases.

Techniques: With Keith. Worked on 6-10. It went pretty well. Need to work on pivots for ude-gaeshi. I'm using to much arm and not enough center after uke pushes out of Oshi-taoshi. Worked a little on taking falls for Hiki-otoshi so that Stanley will have more ukes for the technique.

I then spent the rest working with Sheila on Gyakugamea-ate. Asked Sensei Raymond for some tips and he suggested a method for her to be able to apply the technique to someone my size. I'm about a foot and a half taller than she is.

The steps to handle susquatch:
1. fall along the line of your feet in the direction of your back foot
2. hook strong wrist over uke's attacking hand and get weak hand on uke's elbow
3. pivot on your back foot, off-line, to allow uke to go past you
4. continue to pivot in the same direction until uke's eyes are at a height compatible for the eye flash.
5. this can result in uke having very little time to prepare for his fall as he might be about 6" off the ground. :D

We spent about 45 minutes on this and she was doing quite well.

Aftermath: none, really, although a couple of the falls from Gyakugamea-ate were a little quick and I did not fall properly. My knees are really off, I don't know why.

tag :

Saturday at the Dojo 9/9

Attendees: Mike, Tim, Randy, John, Keith, Robert, and Greg.

This was seminar on two-handed wrist grabs and 14 ways to throw uke.

1. double push to the chest
2. shomen ate
3. tenchi nage
4. both hands push to the side
5. ushiro ate
6. spinning arm bar
7. one hand waki gatame
8. two hand waki gatame
9. kote gaeshi
10. shiho nage
11. mae otoshi
12. sumi otoshi
13. drop to back corner
14. o garuma

I spent the day working with John and it was great. 4 hours of double grab throws. I think I liked the kote gaeshi and the drop to back corner throws the most. I was able to take the falls for the kote gaeshi with no real problems. I had trouble on my last o garuma fall. I was paying attention to what John was doing for the throw and forgot to duck my chin. Neck got a little wonky.

However, there were no lasting effects. Ibuprofen taken as a precaution.


Camo Ammo Cans

Here are the camouflaged ammo cantainers I painted a while back. I took them up to the library and placed them in the middle of the floor. Kim almost tripped over them because they blended into the carpet.

Wednesday Night at the Dojo 9/6

Attendees: Tim, John, Keith, Stanley, Oliver and Stacia.

Ukemi: Not bad. No big falls in warm up this time.

The Walk: as usual.

Releases: Worked with John. I'm taking too big of a step off-line and am too tense.

Techniques: Worked with John on 6, 8, and 9. I'm taking too big of a step to move off-line. I'm also rushing (duh! I'm always in a hurry) parts of some techniques. Worked with Stanley on 6-10 with a 3 step approach. Need to take the off-blance with small steps and off at 45 degrees. Need to control uke's shoulder on #9.

Aftermath: Nothing of note.

Volleyball season ends

Ah, maybe next season. And the next season starts the end of this month.

The last match we played, we won. Unfortunately, the team we played (Green Eggs & Slam) had to forfeit the first game because they didn't have enough folks to field a team. They ended up with only 3 players, so the match was quite unfair. One of the players was playing competitive volleyball for the first time as a last minute sub.

We played decently all season, but not quite well enough to win.


Are you ready for some football?

We went to the Aggie football game on Saturday, thanks to some friends of the family who have season tickets.

We left the house around 1:45 to make certain the traffic didn't keep us from getting to the game on time. We arrived in College Station around 3:45, giving us plenty of time to watch march-in, hunt for shirts, etc. and grab something to eat.

Kim was amazed at the increase in "event" status the games show. They've closed the street on campus in front of the MSC that used to be used for march-in and turned it into a midway of sorts. Radio stations are out there, a bunch of food vendors, moonwalks, etc.

We zipped into the "C" to look for a shirt for me. The crowds were pretty bad, but not unnavigable. We had no luck finding a shirt, though.

We then went out to the Rudder Fountain area where the Yell Leaders were hosting a BBQ cook-off. We got our plates and had ourselves some bbq. The sausage stayed with me for *hours*. The brisket wasn't bad.

Off to the game.

We won. Not impressively, even if the score was 35-3. Our defense had holes through which a better team would have launched invasions. We proved incapable of blasting big holes in the Citadel's defense. Both the offensive and defensive lines look a little light for Big 12 play.

It was a fun afternoon. Much better than if we'd lost.

Saturday at the Dojo 9/2

Attendees: Tim, Keith, Robert, Greg, Oliver and Kim.

Ukemi: Took a big fall on both sides, no problems.

The Walk: as usual

Releases: worked with Greg, tweaking each other's execution.

Techniques: worked with Greg. We went through the first 10 in a row, except for #9. We waited for fall zones to be clear for the roll-outs required so skipped to 10 and then back to 9. Initial kazushi (off-balance) proved to be the key to doing most techniques.

Aftermath: None, really.

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Thurday Night at the Dojo 8/31

Attendees: Oliver and Kim. Sensei Raymond was on the other part of the mat working with Judo folks. So, I was running aikido. It is educational to try to instruct. I hope I'm not screwing folks up to much.

Ukemi: Not bad. One slightly off roll on the right side. Probably collapsed the arm.

The Walk: as usual.

Releases: Worked with Oliver. Oliver and Kim worked together after that with me watching.

Techniques: Exampled Shomen-ate with Oliver for Kim to watch. She and Oliver then spent most of the rest of the evening working on her Shomen-ate. She made great improvements from the start of the evening until when we stopped. I then uked for Oliver on 1, 2 and 5 to get him some more practice.

Aftermath: Nothing of note.

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Wednesday Night at the Dojo 8/30

Attendees: Tim, Keith, and Sheila.

Ukemi: Not bad. Took some big falls in warm up this time. It was nice to get that practice in. Keith was throwing me on those and he had to adjust to my height. He had to take two steps to my one in order to be able to extend my arm enough to get the throw. We spent a fair amount of time on ukemi.

The Walk: as usual.

Releases: Worked with Tim. He adjusted my angle into the releases. Wants me to just barely bypass uke, not fall at a 45 deg angle to their path.

Techniques: Not sure where the time went, but I didn't work on any techniques.

Aftermath: Nothing of note.

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I am a measure of area

During ukemi practice on Monday, comments were made on how much of the mat I use to fall. At 6'5", I use quite a bit. Discussion ensued and it was determined that a mat needs to be long enough for me to do 3 forward rolls and wide enough to do 2 forward rolls. That square footage, whatever it is, was designated a zrubek.

A mat needs to be 1 zrubek in area plus 1/2 a zrubek in area surrounding the main mat for a "splash zone".


Monday Night at the Dojo 8/28

Attendees: Randy, John, Keith, Stacia, and Sheila.

Ukemi: Need to extend my legs on the rolls to slow me down some.

The Walk: ok.

Releases: With Keith. I'm late on a number of releases.

Techniques: With Keith. I worked on my Hiki-taoshi. Working on the footwork. We worked on his Kote-gaeshi. Up to the final throw, most of the time. I did end up taking two big falls right-sided and maybe one on the left. One of the ones on the right side was good. The other one was a little bone-jarring. I remember hearing my jaw slam shut. Apparently, I tried to extend out of the hold instead of turning in to it, causing a bit of a twist in the roll.

Watched a preliminary assessment of Stacia's and Sheila's progress. They're getting close to their hours for green belt. They did pretty well. Better with Keith as uke than with each other as uke.

Aftermath: Not too bad considering the falls. Took ibuprofen as a cautionary measure.

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Ammo cans

It's interesting how much I enjoy painting ammo cans to be used as caches in geocaching.

I picked up a bunch of ammo cans on Friday. 6 of them, I think. 3 small, 2 slightly larger and 1 fairly big one. I painted them Saturday morning and Sunday evening.

1. Spray them all flat black to cover up the bright yellow lettering
2. Grab some leaves, pine needles, etc. for use in painting
3. Use the khaki, forest green, and dark brown spray paints to paint shadows of the leaves onto the cans
4. Spray paint the geocaching information onto the can so folks know its a geocache.

I think I'll try to post some pictures of them up here at some point.

Fun stuff. Creative use of natural materials.


A friend of the family called up over the weekend and offered up some football tickets. This friend is an Old Ag and has decent tickets. Kim took the call and offered to pay the cost of the tickets, but she was told "No". Apparently, the friend wants to chat and catch up on family happenings so he's treating us to the game. And including a parking pass with the tickets. Coool!

So, we'll be at the Aggies' first game of the season. Thankfully, it's a 6 p.m. start. 2 p.m. starts at this time of year are uuuuuuuuuugly hot.

The downside to a 6 p.m. start is that it ends around 10 p.m. We then have to drive 2 1/2 hours home (probably longer, since it'll be football traffic). We'll get home no earlier than 1 a.m.

Gig 'em Aggies!

Saturday at the Dojo 8/26

Attendees: Mike, Carla, Tim, Randy, Robert, Kim, and Jeff and Dan from Killeen. Mike was down to do a seminar on Ni Kata and we had the day free, so we decided to attend.

Ukemi: No warm-up ukemi

The Walk: Not done

We worked through all of the techniques, but I've forgotten most of what we covered. I know I've forgotten the stuff we did early in the day. We worked on getting out of: two-handed grabs from behind, one hand and collar grab from behind, knife strikes from in front and a bunch of others. Around 17 techniques in all, I think.

Kim did remarkably well. Took some back falls and threw me as well.

Aftermath: None, really.

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Thursday Night at the Dojo 8/24

Attendees: Keith, Oliver and Kim. Keith and Oliver worked together, so I worked with Kim.

Ukemi: Me trying to figure out what other folks are doing wrong with ukemi is a scary thought.

The Walk: Ran through it a couple of times.

Releases: Spent the entire evening on them. I think we made some progress, but I really don't feel comfortable teaching new folks. Tweaking I can, sort of, do. Figuring out what to correct first for new folks is tough.

We tired out early because we hadn't had dinner before we got to the mat.

Aftermath: Overall ache, probably from the shomen-ates on Wednesday.

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Ju Nana Hon Kata

Posting this for my future reference.

Atemi waza (striking techniques):

1. Shomen-ate ::: straight frontal head strike
2. Aigamae-ate ::: regular facing posture strike
3. Gyakugamea-ate ::: reverse posture strike
4. Gedan-ate ::: low strike
5. Ushiro-ate ::: behind (from the rear) strike

Hiji waza (elbow techniques):

6. Oshi-taoshi ::: knock or push down
7. Ude-gaeshi ::: arm turn
8. Hiki-taoshi ::: pull and push down
9. Ude-hineri ::: arm twist
10. Waki-gatame ::: side of the chest arm lock

Tekubi waza (wrist techniques):

11. Kote-hineri ::: wrist twist
12. Kote-gaeshi ::: wrist turn
13. Tenkai-kote-hineri ::: circular (spinning) wrist twist
14. Shiho-nage ::: four corner (all directions) throw

Uke waza (floating techniques):

15. Mae-otoshi ::: forward drop
16. Sumi-otoshi ::: rear corner drop
17. Hiki-otoshi ::: pull and drop

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Wednesday Night at the Dojo 8/23

Attendees: Tim, Keith, Stanley, Oliver and Sheila.

Ukemi: Not bad. Got a fair amount of time to work on it.

Did a first pass at knee-walking. Talk about the knees complaining. Wow. A nice amount of burn from the knee joints. Left big toe wasn't terribly happy either.

Releases: Worked with Keith. Spent some time on 5-8, working on timing, pacing and getting under my arm.

Techniques: Worked with Keith on Ude-hineri, trying to get the footwork corrected. Improvement, but still more to go. Then uke'd for Keith on Shomen-ate. Spent 20-30 minutes on it. We bowed out to end class and I continued to uke for Oliver, Stanley and Keith on Shomen-ate and Aigamae-ate.

Aftermath: Not much after class. Felt a little like I'd been run over by a freight train when I got up this morning. Back muscle seems to be getting better. Sternum, where I get stuck for Shomen-ate by shorter folks is a little achey.

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Volleyball, again

This week we won 0 out of 3 against "Passing Out", the second place team. Once again, we had a different cast of players. We played decently.

The games were close. Well, the first one wasn't. We had a chance to win the other two, though.

We're in next-to-last place. Mathematically, we are eliminated from playoff contention. We're off next week and then we have one more match.

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Monday Night at the Dojo 8/22

Attendees: Randy, Keith, Stanley, Oliver, and Sheila.

Ukemi: No problems noted.

The Walk: ok.

Releases: With Stanley. Not much of note, for once.

Techniques: With Keith/Stanley/Oliver. Round-robin type. Worked on #5 and #8. Uke'd for other ones that Randy assigned to tori.

We did a couple of interesting group exercises.

1) Tori stand in the middle of the mat, eyes closed. One of the rest of us comes up to him, grabs either the shoulder, the collar or the wrist. Tori's task is to make a shomen-ate strike, very gently, on uke without opening his eyes. I didn't do very well.

2) Tori stand in the middle of the mat, eyes closed. One of the rest of us comes up to his back with evil intent. Tori's job is to get out of the way of uke just in time to avoid the attack. Almost everyone was able to avoid my attacks. Whether because I came upon them with VERY evil intent, or my weight caused the mat to sink under them more, I don't know.

Aftermath: Still protecting to sore on the left hand. Also a sore muscle in the middle of my back, left side (spinalis dorsi?).

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Thursday Night at the Dojo 8/17

Attendees: Keith, Oliver, Sheila and Kim. Keith was running the newly rejuvenated Judo program, so I was running aikido.

Ukemi: Me trying to figure out what other folks are doing wrong with ukemi is a scary thought.

The Walk: Ran through it a couple of times.

Releases: Kim and Sheila worked together. Oliver eventually came over from the Judo side of the mat and worked with Kim on releases while I worked with Sheila.

Techniques: Oliver worked with Kim while I worked with Sheila. We worked on 1, 2 and 5. The height difference is big enough that I did not think I would be a efficient teaching partner for Sheila on 3 and 4. I don't know if Oliver went beyond Shomen-ate with Kim or not.

Aftermath: One muscle in the back is aching, probably from working the convention last weekend. Left foot is slowly getting better.

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A Hawkish Encounter

As Kim and I were getting ready to leave the house last night, Kim
spotted one of our local Red-shoulder hawks sitting on our chain link
fence. I rushed to a window in time to see the hawk fly from his perch
to land at the edge of our garden about 15 feet from us.

He looked around in the g/a/r/d/e/n/ weed patch for a minute or so and
then flew off. It appeared he was unsuccessful in his hunt for food.

It sure was neat seeing the eyes of a hawk pop up between random gaps in the weeds. I had no time to get the camera, unfortunately.

I think it was probably a youngster from this year's crop as his head
feathers were not a uniform as an adult's usually are.

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Wednesday Night at the Dojo 8/16

Attendees: Tim, John, Keith, Stanley, Oliver, Stacia and Sheila.

Ukemi: Not bad. Comments from Stanley about twisting.

Releases: Worked with Stanley.

Techniques: Round robin with Keith and Stanley on 6-9. Not pleased that I haven't corrected the footwork for 8 and 9.

Aftermath: Muscle in the left middle back is giving me a little grief. Perhaps from the big fall on Monday? Bandaged up the left hand to protect the injury caused by pegboards at Armadillocon.

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Volleyball slump

This week we won 0 out of 3 against "Cogito Ergo Boom", a team that had one only 3 games prior to our match. Once again, we had a different cast of players. We played decently. We won 8 straight points on my serve in the second game.

The games were close, but we should have won them all. We're having Robert set all of the time and I think that's a problem. In our co-ed league, the ladies have to hit it once if we hit it more than once before we send it over. Having a guy set it means there's a 50/50 chance of him being able to set to a guy. If a lady is setting, there's a 100% chance that she can set it to a guy.

We're in next-to-last place. Mathematically, I think would could possibly make the playoffs if we win the rest of our games.

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States visited

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Countries visited

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US, Canada, Mexico, Germany, Austria, Hungary, Czech Republic, Poland and Australia

Monday Night at the Dojo 8/14 Big fall

Attendees: Randy, John, Keith, Oliver, Sheila and Stacia.

Ukemi: Pretty good considering I'd been thinking about Art Show all weekend.

The Walk: ok.

Releases: With John. Did some more tweaking, as usual.

Techniques: With John. Did some work on #11 ( new one for me ) Kote Hineri. It's the same as Oshi Taoshi, only different. :) The main difference is the addition of a wrist bend of uke's hand. Also did some work on Oshi Taoshi as a result.

I uke'd for Keith on some of his stuff, mainly Kote Gaeshi. This is usually a big fall , but since I haven't done big falls Keith was going to have me do roll-outs instead. We worked a lot on him getting me off-balance. Lots of tweaking going on. Then he got it just right. And forgot to let me roll out. So I took my first big fall. A nice, solid, relatively pain-free big fall. We stopped at that point in case it happened again.

Aftermath: Skin burn on my left hand from moving pegboard over the weekend caused a few issues during the session. I hope it's healed to the pain-free stage by Wednesday.

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Armadillocon Day 5

Going home.

First task of the day was to get packed up. It looked like I had all of the Art Show and all of my own stuff in my hotel room. And I did.

I need to get all of the packages of mail-in art to the various shippers before getting on the road to Houston. I had to visit USPS, UPS and FedEx to complete that task. It actually did not take that long to accomplish. Maybe an hour or so.

I was on the road home by 11 am and made it home a little before 2 pm. I grabbed the heat-sensitive items out of the truck and then collapsed into bed for a couple of hours of shut-eye.

I needed to be ready for aikido later that evening.

We totaled about $3400 in total sales in the Art Show for the weekend. That's down a little bit from past years, but the convention had reduced attendance because we're hosting WFC later this year and a number of folks could not hit both conventions. Also, our Artist GOH had to cancel at the last minute so we lost the sales we would have made from her art.

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Armadillocon Day 4

Checkout and Tear down.

Sunday morning was when everyone came to pay for and pick up their purchases. A busy couple of hours dealing with the public.

We started tearing down the show at around 2, after all of the artists had picked up their unsold works and Laura had packed up the stuff for the mailin artists.

We managed to get the steel and pegboard taken down, packed up and stowed away in the storage unit by 5:15. That enabled us to get back to the hotel in time to caravan to the County Line for a BBQ dinner. Good stuff.

Got back to the hotel and it was time to reconcile the books. They balanced on the first try!

To celebrate, I went up to the dead dog party and had a few beers. I got to talk some more with Julie Czerneda and kibbitzed a little with Willie Siros before turning into a pumpkin.

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Armadillocon Day 3

More time at the Art Show.

Also during the day was the Charity Auction. Laura D. was willing to be my proxy for the auction since one of us had to stay in the Art Show. I wanted the three books that Julie Czerneda had donated for the auction. "Survival", "Migration" and "Regeneration". The copy of "Regeneration" included two alternate endings. I gave her what seemed like appropriate budgets for the books. I won the first two in the series, but did not win the third. I did win a "Tuckerization" in an Elizabeth Moon novel, though. Laura dashed out during the auction and grabbed me when said item came up for auction. She satyed in the show while I went in and won the bidding.

When the auction was over, the bidder who won the third book came up to me and offered to sell it to me for $40 more than he paid. If I'd been quick on my feet I'd've agreed to the offer, if he donated the extra to the charity. Instead I just declined.

Shortly thereafter we closed the Art Show in order to prep for the Art Auction. We actually had one this year and had 10 items in it. The last minute bidding before the auction was quite lively. The bidding in the auction was lively as well. Once piece started at $15 and made it up to $66 before it was sold.

Some checkout of items occurred after the auction, but traffic died down and I was able to close the show at 9:30 instead of staying open until 10:00.

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Armadillocon Day 2

Time to turn steel and pegboard into an Art Show.

I got into the Art Show around 9:30am and started working on laying out the art and arranging it on the peg board. Grant Kruger (Fan Guest of Honor) was kind enough to help me in this task. I was done, mostly, by the time I was due to open the show. Laura Domitz helped with final tweaking and layout of 3-D art and with displaying a piece rightside up that I'd hung upside down.

Shut down the show at 6 for some dinner at Fuddrucker's and opened it back up at 8. I re-opened so that folks could come in while the liquor was flowing during "Meet the Pros" and bid on the art.

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Armadillocon Day 1

Day 1: pre-con

Up at 5am for final packing and departure. Out of the house a little after 6am. I make it to the turnoff that leads to Taylor and finally decide that the kolaches in Taylor are worth the 34 mile detour. When I get there they still have poppyseed kolaches available. w00t!

Back on the road again into Austin. Whip out the GPS and spot a geocache I want to find. Spend the next 1.5 hours or so searching for caches. I find most of the ones I look for, but not all of them.

Next stop: Aikido of Austin at 5501 N. Lamar. I sat and watched their mid-day practice. They are quite a bit different from my dojo. They have a mat about double, or more, of the size of ours but it looks a lot less pleasant to fall on. They all practice the same technique at the same time. One tori and everyone else ukes for said tori. No warm-up ukemi. Nice folks.

Next: drive down to Driftwood to have lunch at Salt Lick BBQ. Mainly for their legendary beef ribs. It took me a while to find them and it ended up not being worth the effort. The brisket was dry and they only offer beef ribs on Sundays. Bummer. The potato salad was good. The BBQ sauce was ok, honey-based instead of tomato-based. I video-taped the drive back to Austin and hope to get it uploaded soon.

Back to the convention hotel, check in and go chill in the lobby. Chatting with Julia, Renee and Elizabeth for a spell. Julie Czerneda came walking in and I was introduced to her. Such a sweet lady. Shortly thereafter we headed off to Los Portales for dinner, then back to the hotel to assemble the Art Show. We finished that around 11 pm and I collapsed into bed shortly thereafter.

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Art Show struggles

I'm running the Art Show at Armadillocon this coming weekend.

Unfortunately, the Artist Guest of Honor is having health issues and will not be able to attend. I don't think she's had an opportunity to send in her art, either. I've also set aside space for an artist who has reserved space for the past three years but not sent in her art during that time span. I don't expect she'll send in her art this year, either.

That'll be 9 panels of empty space that I have to fill if it all works out as I expect it to.


At least the art that is in the show will be good.

Volleyball humiliation

This week we won 0 out of 3 against "Way Out", the team that was in last place. Once again, we had a different cast of players. It is my opinion that it takes 3 weeks of playing with the same group to play up to your potential. We haven't had the same cast for 2 consecutive weeks.

The games were close, but we should have won them all.

There's the chance we may not be in last place when the standings are updated.

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Monday Night at the Dojo 8/7

Attendees: Randy, Keith, and Stanley.

Ukemi: Not bad. Some adjustments to hand position. I need to come out sometime and just do ukemi.

The Walk: Once with eyes open, once with eyes closed.

Releases: With Randy. He thought I was doing well. I really prefer the free form approach to releases that he and I have been doing. Makes my mind quickly figure out which release is next.

Techniques: We had a round robin for techniques. One of Robert, Keith or I would be Tori and the other 2. We did this for 1-3. We did a little work with an elbow throw and then moved on to "Uke Surprise". This is what I'm calling the scenario where tori is told the technique to attempt but uke does not know what is coming.

What was I told to try? Oshi Taoshi #6, Hiki Taoshi #8, Waki Gatame #10, Gyakugamea-ate #3, Ushiro-ate #5.

I did the eye flash wrong on #8 and I failed horribly on my first Oshi Taoshi. Other than that, I think I did fairly well.

Aftermath: None. Hoping to watch another dojo's practice when I go to Austin this weekend.

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Spider Bite(s)?

At least that's what I think I've got. I'm not certain what type,
though, cause I never felt it and it doesn't hurt. There are two little
puncture spots maybe less than 1/8" apart.

I've been watching it because there is some bruising about 1" diameter
around the spot.

Another guy who takes aikido with me got spider bit on Monday and his
bite rapidly expanded and changed colors. He went to either a doctor or
the emergency room where they gave him some sort of pill that seemed to
have an immediate beneficial effect, perhaps steroids.

My theory is we both got bitten by a brown recluse, but it will likely
remain a mystery.


Thursday Night at the Dojo 8/3

Attendees: Oliver and a friend thinking about joining us. Eek! I was Sempai and led most of the evening. Sensei Ray did chime in a little bit. I took Wednesday off to rest the right shoulder.

Ukemi: Did a little, collapsing the arm according to Sensei.

My task was to introduce Oliver's friend (I'll call her OF since I didn't catch/remember her name) to aikido. We did the usual backfall warm-up, but skipped forward rolls.

The Walk: Ran through it a couple of times, having OF just follow the foot movements.

Releases: Oliver and I worked with OF on 1, 2, 3 and 5. She did pretty well for her first night.

Techniques: Oliver and I worked with OF on Shmoen-ate. Again, she did well.

Aftermath: Right shoulder a little twinged still. A very light evening. I hope OF decides to join our merry little band of aikidokas. Another person to be thrown by is all good.

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This week we won 0 out of 3 against the Fandango, the team that usually wins the league. I was warmed up, due to aikido, and a little tired, but not as tired as last week.

We played well, just not well enough to win.

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Tuesday Night at the Dojo 8/1

Attendees: Ray, Keith, and Robert.

Ukemi: Showed up early and spent some time working on it. Pinged my right shoulder on pop-up rolls. Supposedly I'm twisting and tending to collapse. Sigh.

The Walk: No walk.

Releases: No releases.

Techniques: Worked with everyone on #8 Hiki Taoshi and #9 Ude Hineri. With Sensei Raymond out on the mat for the first time in a long time (His doctor has cleared him to get on the mat in an official capacity), we discovered a tweak in Hiki Taoshi that makes uke fall a lot quicker (1 step as opposed to 3 or 4).

The change:

We've been doing the technique as a 3 part technique: Off-balance, turn, eye-flash/step back/pressure down.

Raymond suggested the following for a 4 step technique: off-balance, turn, eye flash/pull back appropriate foot, apply pressure to elbow/pressure down.

The adjustment of the foot that corresponds to the eye-flashing hand is an amazingly effective change. It gets that knee out of uke's way and forces uke to rebound a little bit more intensely from the eye-flash. That makes the off-balance achieved when the hand hits the elbow and the opposite foot drops back devastating. Tori makes that step and uke drops. It was that drastic of a change in result.

Since Ude Hineri has the same entry, the change works just as well for it.

Aftermath: Had to leave early to get to a volleyball match. Right shoulder slightly pinged. I don't know if I'll go to the dojo tonight (Wednesday) or give it a night off.

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Monday Night at the Dojo 7/31

Attendees: Randy, John, Keith, Robert and Stacia.

Ukemi: Pretty sweet. My first 3 right side rolls were attempts to pop up and they worked. I tweaked my right shoulder blade doing it, so it wasn't perfect. But it happened. Tried doing some cross-legged rolls and was not nearly as successful. Got some suggestions from John.

The Walk: ok.

Releases: With Randy. With a 3 step approach I was working well. Maybe I'll try that with Oliver. We did some variations on the releases, working on my off-balances, whiel they other folks were finishing up their releases.

Techniques: We had a 3 or 4 person round robin for techniques. One of Robert, Keith or I would be Tori and the other 2 and sometimes Randy would uke.

Oshi Taoshi, technique #6
Ude Gaeshi, technique #7
Ude Hineri, technique #8
Hiki Taoshi, technique #9 (I have this listed as #8 in an earlier post. Oops.)
Waki Gatame, technique #10

All of these at three-step distance. Went fairly well. My #8 and #9, since they're so closely related, need a lot of work. I'm letting uke back on balance after the entry and using muscle to generate the fall.

I uke'd for Mae-Otoshi to give them a tall person to deal with and it was a bit of a struggle for both Keith and Robert. Sensei came in to give them tips.

Aftermath: Slight twinge on the shoulder, nothing major.

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Saturday at the Dojo 7/29

Attendees: Tim, Randy, John, Keith, Martin, Robert, Oliver and Jeff and Gail from Killeen.

Jeff and Gail run a dojo in Killeen. They are joining the ATAA to be able to get some higher level instruction. Jeff is a newly minted Shodan and Sensei for the dojo in the Killeen/Fort Hood area.

He and Gail are going to come down one weekend a month and two folks from our dojo will go up there one weekend a month.

So we had a big turnout to make certain Jeff had a number of folks to work with.

Ukemi: Not bad. Nothing of note that I can remember.

Walk: Three times through.

Releases: Worked with Oliver. Better than Thursday.

Techniques: Worked with Keith on 6-10. Then worked with Oliver on my 6-10 (minus #9 as I did not want to be causing the rollout of a white belt, even if his ukemi is better than mine). Then uke'd for Oliver on 1-5.

Sensei'd called out for pizza, so we broke, in a ragged fashion, for lunch and then got back on the mat.

I did more uke for Oliver. Just before we shut down the session around 2pm, I uke'd some for Keith on one of his big 10. As usual, my height requires adjustment of the usual off-balances.

Aftermath: Not much

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Thursday Night at the Dojo 7/27

Attendees: Raj, John, Robert, Stasha, Oliver and Kim. Another big night.

Ukemi: Did ok.

The Walk: ok.

Releases: Worked with Oliver. I got frustrated all out of scale with my releases tonight. Some minor physical ailments were a contributing factor in my bad attitude. Almost a complete mental meltdown, though. Sigh.

Techniques: Worked with Oliver. Got through the first five as uke and tori. Much better mental attitude for the techniques for some reason.

Aftermath: Annoyed at myself. Substantially.

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This week we won 0 out of 3 against the Slamjammers, a team that's been around as long as we have. I was warmed up, due to aikido, but a little tired.

We lost the third game 17-15. The others were not as close. My serving was not great.

I was dead sore afterwards from the aikido and volleyball. Ibuprofen was taken to try to alleviate some of the soreness.

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Tuesday Night at the Dojo 7/25

Attendees: John, Keith, Robert, Stasha, and Sheila. Another good crowd on an off night.

Ukemi: Showed up early and spent some time working on it. After bow in, I did some more. Robert had me do some "lead-out" falls. They actually went ok.

The Walk: ok. Had to do the counting on one of our repetitions.

Releases: Round robin with Robert and Keith.

Techniques: Worked with John on #8 Hiki Taoshi, #9 Ude Hineri, #10 Waki Gatame. They went ok.

Aftermath: Had to leave early to get to a volleyball match.

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Monday Night at the Dojo 7/24

Attendees: Randy and Robert.

Ukemi: Was ok.

The Walk: ok.

Worked on releases, some Ni Kata and some Junana Hon Kata.

Oshi Taoshi, technique #6
Ude Gaeshi, technique #7
Hiki Taoshi, technique #8

All of these at three-step distance. Lots of brain freezes du eto the additional steps in the appsoach. Did okay until the very end. I was uke for Robert and took a fall on my right knee, also getting a mat burn on the toes of my right foot in the process. We have a fair amount of give to our mat, but it still had an impact.

Aftermath: A fair amount of pain in the knee. Two ibuprofen and an ice pack before bed.

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Reliant Dog Show

We spent a little time at the show today wandering around, shopping and watching the Herding Group conformation judging. "Harry Potter", the Cardigan Corgi did not place in the top 4.

We also attempted to get an ILP for Jack, so that he could compete in AKC agility trials, but they, essentially, laughed us out of the building.

Still. A fun afternoon. We got to see some good looking dogs.

Jack seemed to have fun and folks wanted to pet him. He didn't enjoy it when we took him into the flyball area: too much barking. He also had fun running on the cement floor; he had very little traction. At one point Kim had walked him away from me and then told him to go get me. He charged across the floor and, about 15 feet away from me he stopped running and just slid the rest of the way to me. He was very conscious of all of the members our troupe. He was constantly trying to make certain we were all still with him. there were so many legs and paws at his eye level that he was worried he'd misplace one of us.

It only cost us the $8 parking fee to get into Reliant Park. It was late enough in the day that they weren't charging to get into the show.

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