A Night at the Dojo

Attendees: Sensei Randy, and Greg.

Ukemi (forward rolls): worked on the left side with the crash pad. Still need lots of work. Did a few on the rights side. Greg said the ones on the right looked really good.

The Walk: Went okay. Did horribly when Sensei positioned me so I couldn't see anyone.

Releases: 1 through 8 with Greg.

Since this was Greg's last night in town (he stuck around longer than expected), it was a more free-form night than usual. We worked on stuff that was more from the Ueshiba schools than normal.

I'm not certain what they are called, but the first one was a brush-off technique for someone grabbing your lapel: grab the wrist from above with the opposite hand, lower it, raise it up while stepping in to the attacking armpit, pull the attacking hand out with the hand that's got it grasped, use the other arm to go over the non-attacking shoulder and force that shoulder down while pivoting on the grasping foot. Then let the uke up by releasing the attacking hand and pivot in the opposite direction, causing the grasping arm to come across uke's chest and create a fall.

Tough description for that one.

The second one was a two wrist grap counter. Step off-line while pulling one arm out and away from center while raising the other out and above while pivoting further in the direction you've stepped off-line. A very quick technique. Fun.

Aftermath: Told to work more on the Walk at home. Got cheat sheets for the Walk and the 8 releases. Now I just need time to review them. Also got more pictures to put up on the website. Also considering attending the ATAA seminar on a weekend in late May at our dojo. At least, I think it's ATAA.

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Got up too early on Saturday morning to pick up a friend and drive to a plant sale. Previous experience, however, told us to suffer early to avoid suffering later. Being prompt allowed us to get the plants we wanted: blueberry bushes, specific tomato and pepper plants. And we got to chat with other intrepid plant buyers and congratualte ourselves on being smart.

After dropping friend off at her residence, I stopped by the dojo and watched the Saturday morning workout, already in progress.

Afterwards, stopped by the local animal shelter because aforementioned friend said they had a Blue Heeler available for adoption and I'm currently on a Blue Heeler kick. We don't need another animal, but I had to stop by and check. Luckily, the pup had already been adopted.

Sunday saw me in the garden and yard planting acquired plants.

Then, Joe's Bar-B-Que! Sweet!

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A Night at the Dojo

Attendees: Sensei Randy, Sensei Tim, John, Greg, and Igor.

Forward rolls: worked on the left side with the crash pad. Still need lots of work.

The Walk: Went okay. Getting better at remembering the late "stones".

Releases: 1 through 8 with John.

Gyakugamea-ate: John worked with me on this, as he's the nearest my height of the usual attendees. Got some praise from Sensei Randy.

Gedan-ate: John worked with me on this. Thank goodness. Learning this one with someone like Greg, who's 6 - 8" shorter than I am would be a strain on my back. Getting my shoulder under the armpit of the Uke and stepping *behind* Uke are the most important steps. I did not complete this with a throw of John, I don't think. This technique is one that I really enjoy watching Greg employ. His posture impresses me.

Repercussions: Shoulder's a little iffy, but that's pretty much normal. This was probably the last time Greg will be at a workout I attend. He's moving to Minnesota (or Michigan?) because the Navy screwed him around after he sprained his ankle.

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A Night at the Dojo

Attendees: Sensei Randy, Stan, Greg, and Igor.

Forward rolls: worked on the left side with the crash pad. Still need lots of work.

The Walk: Went okay. Getting better at remembering the late "stones".

Releases: 1 through 8 with Igor.

Shomen-ate: A few passes with Igor.

Aigamae-ate: A few passes with Igor.

Knife randoori: Worked with Greg. It was interesting stuff. He got me into an elbow lock that I wasn't expecting to be put into.

Repercussions: Told a joke about "not able to have your kayak and heat it, too." Got some groans.

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Intro to geocaching

Kim convinced me to help her give a presentation at the library on geocaching. She did almost all of the work preparing the presentation and I did the talking.

We had about 25 people show up. Kids and adults equally represented. Some locally famous cachers showed up (ParkerPlus and muleandpooh) to chime in from time to time when I strayed from the script.

The audience asked a couple of questions and, generally, seemed to like what I had to say. After the speech, I took a couple of the youngsters out and had them find the two caches I'd hidden in the library's empty lot. They did pretty well.

I don't know if we've got any new cachers because of the presentation, but I wouldn't bet against it.

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Remembered forever

I was doing a vanity search yesterday on google and found something quite depressing. There are more sites out there listing the book I edited than there are sites that have me referenced for some other oddity.

Normally, this wouldn't matter at all. However, the fool who did the final assembly of the book (not me) put my last name in the book misspelled! My name will be around for a while, but it will be misspelled forever.


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A Night at the Dojo

Attendees: Sensei Tim, Stan, Greg, Igor and John (a partially blind black belt)

Forward rolls: worked on the right side. Seemed to be doing well. I didn't work on the left side as there was no room for the crash pad. The other folks were doing bigger warm-up throws and rolls.

The Walk: Stupidly went to the back. I need to stay in the middle so I can see someone at all times.

Releases: 1 through 8 with Igor, John was watching and instructing. John provided some mnemonics to help with remembering them.

Shomen-ate: A few passes. I've got to keep "unbendable arm".

Aigamae-ate: A few passes. "Unbendable arm" is the problem here, as well.

Gyakugamae-ate: Shadowed through this one. Hand to bridge of nose seems a little risky.

Repercussions: No real problems, even though my falls were more percussive than I'd like. Worked up a bit of a sweat.

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A Night at the Dojo

Attendees: Sensei Randy, Stan and Greg. Greg and Stan worked on getting ready for their belt tests this Friday. I worked with Sensei all night.

Forward rolls: worked both sides, right more than left. Got a couple of good ones on the right. Got chastised by Sensei for not bringing out the crash pad more often for the left.

The Walk: I joined Greg and Stan in this while they did this part of the belt test prep. Tough because they were behind me on some steps and I, stupidly, did not position myself near the mirror. Worked with Sensei on foot positioning and figuring out some of the stones.

Releases: 1 through 8 with Sensei as uke. Did ok. Need to work on foot positioning on the pivots.

Shomen-ate: No work.

Aigamae Ate: No work.

Sensei showed me some Ueshiba-style techniques. We're generally a Tomiki-style dojo.

Repercussions: A slight ache of the left shoulder.

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A Night at the Dojo

Attendees: Sensei Tim, and Greg. Very light attendance, almost a private lesson.

Forward rolls: worked mainly on the left side. Brought out the crash pad for me to work from vertical. Worked on letting gravity tell my hands where to land.

The Walk: I was placed in front of the mirror so I could see Sensei Tim. It helped, with so few students, to be able to see his movements. He stands in back so he can see where we goof up.

Releases: 1 through 8. Greg went through all 8 with me as uke and then I went through them. I think it would work better one at a time. My height gave Greg some complications to work through.

Shomen-ate: Worked left and right side. Need more work.

Aigamae Ate: Second technique. Spent a lot of time working on raising and lowering my arm. :)

Repercussions: A slight headache from falling improperly as uke.

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First match of the new season. In fact first two matches of the new season. A double-header: first game at 8, second at 9. I hate these late games. I get home around 10:15 and have to be awake at 5:30.

Anyway. First match was against a new-to-the-league team. Pretty good team, but we did beat them all three.

Second match was against a team I've been playing against in some form for 5 to 6 years. They've got a player, Larry, who's good a placing dinks and hits well. We managed to do well and beat them 2 out of 3. We normally lose to them, because of Larry.

As a result of the double-header and our performance, we're in first place in the league. That may not last too long, but we should make it to the playoffs.

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A Night at the Dojo

Attendees: Sensei Randy, Greg, and Stan

Forward rolls: worked only on the right side. I wanted to give the left shoulder a rest as it ached all weekend. Felt some improvement.

The Walk: Stan forgot where he was and since he was in front of us, Greg and I got confused.

Releases: 1 through 8. Trying to remember which number is which motion is going to take a while. Shadowed through these before working Greg. I at least made it through them.

Shomen-ate: Worked left and right side. Need more work.

Repercussions: None. I didn't screw up too bad, apparently.

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Spring plant sale

I woke up too-dang-early and went with a friend to the local Master Gardener's plant sale. We'd gone a couple of years ago and pick up some plants and, since the date was open for both of us, we returned for more.

We stood in line for about 1.5 hours, waiting for the sale to begin. Arriving early paid off, as there were massive numbers of people behind us and only limited numbers of plants.

My acquisitions: blood orange, bunching grapes (2 plants), and 3 boysenberry bushes. Actually, they're sticks at the moment.

They're planted, but they need to be mulched so they don't dry out too quickly.

I hope they start producing in a couple of years.

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A Night at the Dojo

Attendees: Sensei Tim, Greg, Keith, and Stan

Forward rolls: felt pretty good. I still jump on 25% of the attempts and my top leg is still crooked on the fall, but I'm learning that I need to lean out over the front leg. Extending that leg forward instead of up vertically to reduce the jump effect.

The Walk: 7th "stone" (my term) on the walk is the first one I can't remember. Asked a couple of times during the evening to have it refreshed in my mind. I think I can remember it for at-home practice.

Releases: 1, 2, 3 and 4. Worked with Greg on this for most of the evening. He was a great help. My nagging problem: pivots. I touch down multiple times with the trailing (non-pivoting) foot. This causes problems in a number of areas.

Shomen-ate: Worked left and right side. Finally got one good one on the left side. Spent a large portion of time just stepping through the left side motions. Worked on the off-hand motion to grab the striking hand and then letting the strong hand swing to uke's face. I'm pulling back the strong hand so I don't hit uke's face as I swing it around to be able to strike uke's chin. Strong hand needs to stay "unbendable arm". Uke's face will get out of the way by reflex, allowing me to complete the technique more easily.

Repercussions: Very sore neck this morning. Probably from forward rolls. I didn't feel anything during the session.