Wednesday Night at the Dojo 3/28

Aikidokas: Tim.

Ukemi: Took some big falls in the more dynamic routine (i.e., throw a punch at tori, tori reacts and throws either sumi or kote). They were successful, but I need to think about spreading legs apart before the landing. I was able to walk after last night's, but that might not always be the case.

The Walk: per usual.

Name no Waza (sp?) (way of the wave, bhakwas) was the task for the evening. Take all 8 releases (plus the alternate approaches for 2 and 4) and turn them into a series of techniques that uke works his way out of until the terminal technique.

Terminal techniques: Kote-gaeshi, Hiki-taoshi and Sumi-otoshi

One path is: 6,7,8,9
Another one is: 15,14,8,9

Let's see what I can remember of the paths

Release 1: t6, t7, t8, t9
Release 2: r5, t6, t7, t8, t9
Release 2b: t15, t14, t8, t9
Release 3: t10, t1, t12 (?)
Release 4: r7, ........
Release 5: ............

Hmmm. Not remembering much beyond that.

Did some discussion of the transition from t7 to t8, how uke causes 8 to occur after 7 has been forced out of.

Aftermath: None of note.


Volleyball 2-1

Tonight it was 6 on 6. A full complement for us. The first in a long time, and we did ok.

All of the games were close. First game: 21-19 our favor. Second game: 21-23 their favor. Third game: 15-11(?) our favor. Something like that. We're now in 5th place in the league.

We played decently. I don't think we managed a lot of kills. I know I didn't have many. I also didn't have any times where I played the ball over on one hit, unless I was digging a spike.

I got called for reaching over the net once, at least. I could have sworn I went straight up.

Next week, a 9 o'clock game. I hate them. Blecch.


Monday Night at the Dojo 3/26

Aikidokas: Randy, Kim, and Rich. Rich has just moved into the area and is checking us out. He's got approximately 10 years of aikido experience in different styles. This is his first exposure to Tomiki-ryu.

Ukemi: Not bad. I threw Kim on some warm-up big throws.

The Walk: We did one with all of us, then Kim and I did a rep on our own. I had her count and she did well. The first time is very mind-altering.

Releases: Worked with Kim. The height difference threw me. We both had issues

Techniques: with Kim.

Ran through the first 5 with Kim and then did some work on her #6. Getting the footwork is the difficult part of this one when you're moving upo from the first 5.

We then did some work on Waki-gatame. she made a bit of progress that will show up when she next works with someone who's not a freak of nature.

Aftermath: None of note. Generally sore, probably from sitting and driving all weekend.


At the movies

The Spy Who Loved Me: 3

A Bond film I hadn't seen. It's hard to imagine, since my wife is a bit of a Bond nut. Actually, her mother is, but Kim is by osmosis.

The major flaw I saw was that Bond and his Russian counterpart show up at the villain's hideout together and the villain does not think that USA and USSR might be working together.

Still, an interesting movie. Probably the first appearance of a personal water craft in a movie. Not very interesting car gadgets.

Another meme

1. Can you cook?
2. What was your dream growing up?
3. What talent do you wish you had?
4. Favorite place?
5. Favorite vegetable?
6. What was the last book you read?
7. What zodiac sign are you?
8. Any Tattoos and/or Piercings?
9. Worst Habit?
10. Do we know each other outside of Livejournal?
11. What is your favorite sport?
12. Do you have a Negative or Optimistic attitude?
13. What would you do if you were stuck in an elevator with me?
14. Worst thing to ever happen to you?
15. Tell me one weird fact about you.
16. Do you have any pets?
17. Do you know how to do the Macarena?
18. What time is it where you are now?
19. Do you think clowns are cute or scary?
20. If you could change one thing about how you look, what would it be?
21. Would you be my partner in crime or my conscience?
22. What color eyes do you have?
23. Ever been arrested?
24. Bottle or Draft?
25. If you won $10,000 dollars today, what would you do with it?
26. What kind of bubble gum do you prefer to chew?
27. What's your favorite bar to hang at?
28. Do you believe in ghosts?
29. Favorite thing to do in your spare time?
30. Do you swear a lot?
31. Biggest pet peeve?
32. In one word, how would you describe yourself?
33. In one word, how would you describe me?
34. Will you repost this so I can fill it out and do the same for you?

There and back again

I'm back after a weekend of travelling around Central Texas.

I left from work around 11am on Thursday, headed to San Antonio. Took the beltway and made good time, making it to SA by around 2:15. I was early enough that there was no significant line at the will-call window and picked up my tickets for the NCAA Sweet 16 in short order.

The big deal accomplished, it was time for lunch across the freeway in the touristy section of town. Fuddrucker's. Not bad, but it gave me indigestion later on.

Still lots of time before the game, so I hung out in the parking lot watching the world go by.

Time passes and the doors to the arena open up. I climb stairs. And more stairs. I end up about 10 rows from the top of the arena, stuck up against the wall.

The game. We played well, but not well enough to overcome officiating that I feel was biased against us. Still, we had it in our power to win in the last seconds and failed.

I stuck around for the first half of the second game (OSU/Tennessee). The shooting at the beginning was amazing. I think the teams hit their first 9 3-point shots, combined. I was certain Tennessee would go cold at some point, and they did just before I left for Flatonia.

The drive to Flatonia was uneventful. I lost radio reception of the game with about 12 minutes to go, so I didn't find out who won until Friday.

The Carefree Inn in Flatonia was a little overpriced at $50/night. It "felt" cheap. Weird chairs for the sitting table and the fact that it was a motel with open fields nearby were probably factors. As were the lack of kleenex and just two pillows on the bed.

Off early Friday to go to College Station. I wanted to take my time, avoid the main thoroughfares and take pictures of wildflowers. The sky was overcast, and would be all weekend, so the light was not great for picture taking. Even so, I found some opportunities and should have some up soon.

I stopped for breakfast in La Grange at Frank's on the square. A nice little cafe.

I arrived in CS and got my badge for the convention. Checking the schedule, I saw that it was going to be a very light weekend for panels I wanted to see. The Author and Artist guests of honor had both cancelled, so the schedule was in flux, constantly as well as being light.

I met up with Chuck and Willie of Adventures in Crime and Space and sat behind their tables for most of the weekend. I went to Jose's for dinner on Friday with a bunch of folks and Los Nortenos by myself on Saturday.

I grabbed a number of pictures during the con and hope to post those soon.

Sunday, I was up and away early. The schedule held nothing of interest for me and I wanted to get home. I arrived around 10am to an empty house (except for the animals). When Kim returned a couple of hours later, it turned out I'd missed her and her parents by mere minutes as they left to go to Vargo's for lunch.

The rest of Sunday was spent bumming. I should have finished some of the tasks I have to do, but that will apparently occur this week some time.


Sweet 16, baby!

Off to San Antonio in just a bit to watch the Ags whoop up on Memphis in the NCAA tournament.

Then to College Station for Aggiecon.

Wednesday Night at the Dojo 3/21

Aikidokas: Tim.

Ukemi: ok. Worked on tumbleweeds. They sucked. Took some big falls. They were good. Took the fall for Hiki-otoshi without knowing it was coming. Landed nicely. w00t!

The Walk: per usual.

Releases: with Tim. Hand was slow getting to its proper position.


Tenkai-kote-hineri : Wait for uke's step.

Shiho-nage : First off-balance. Must get first off-balance.

Aftermath: Sore, sore, sore from Monday night. Legs are complaining about falling and getting up about 60 times in 30 minutes. Silly legs. We took it easy because of them.

We had a visitor checking us out as a place to train. He wasn't interested in our belt tests, so I don't know if we'll see him again.


Volleyball 1-2, again

Tonight it was 5 on 6. Our opponents had a full complement, some of them had played on our team in the past.

All of the games were close. I know the second game was 21-19 in our favor. I can't remember the other scores.

We were playing fairly well. I was getting some sets that I could work with. I'll guess I had 8-10 kills. I was able to see the blocks and hit around most of them. Mostly cross court hits, just a few down the line when they covered the angles. Most of my kills landed inside the 10 foot line, so I was very pleased.

My passing was cyclical: a few bad passes, then a few good ones. I only played the ball over on one hit once, I think.

We may not have helped our record any, but I had a fun time playing. It's almost always more fun to win, though. Maybe next week.

Light traffic coming home, Taco Bell en route. Start packing for the weekend trip. Whee!


Monday Night at the Dojo 3/19

Aikidokas: Randy, John, Greg, and Kim. Midway through a visitor, Michael S. (black belt of some degree) joined us.

Ukemi: Not bad. Greg and I did some work on big falls with each other.

The Walk: threats were made to make Kim count for the first time, but I got to count instead. Tried to concentrate on widening my posture just a bit, dragging the big toe of the working foot and snapping my hips under me.

Releases: Worked with Greg.

Techniques: with Greg and Michael.

Shiho-nage: I uked for Greg on this for a while.

John and Michael broke in to our practice. John took Greg off and Michael grabbed me.

Michael and I did techniques and randori for the rest of the evening. Michael 's style was much softer than what we usually practice in our dojo. He comes from the same lineage we do (Tomiki-ryu), I believe, but his style is much different and very interesting.

We would each get a left side and a right side attack and then switch tori/uke.

Most of the time I was working on shihonage, just to get the practice. I also found some Oshi-taoshi, Shomen-ate, Aigamae-ate, Gyakugamea-ate, Ushiro-ate, Waki-gatame, Tenkai-kote-hineri and Kote-gaeshi.

I flubbed up on several techniques and attempted to stop. Michael said that failure is just the beginning, keep working until you find something. It's something I need to continue to work on.

The Tenkai-kote-hineri that I achieved, Michael turned into a big fall. I was stunned. I had his arm positioned on my chest and, suddenly, he was flying through the air. I had to react quickly and give him some support as he landed. I think I did ok, but I definitely did not end up with control at the end. My feet were stumbling around.

I got one good Kote-gaeshi, apparently. Sensei Raymond, from the sidelines, said it was a "Kote-gaeshi from hell". He said I blasted Michael (I think in a good way) and that he'd never seen me do one like that. I was mildly chuffed.

Randori was interesting as well. He has a different approach to that. Whoever has their hands on top (or on bottom, I can't remember) is the "active" party. Our usual approach is that it is joint action, with both parties looking to find off-balances and techniques. From the brief time I worked with Michael , it appears his style has more of an assigned uke/tori roles. In ours, the roles seem to fluctuate with each step.

It was definitely an enlightening evening and I was a puddle of sweat at the end.

Thank you, Michael , if you happen to find this post.

Aftermath: I received my brown belt just before the end of class. I got to do a little bit of randori with Michael as an "official" brown belt before we bowed out for the evening.


Saturday Morning at the Dojo 3/17

Aikidokas: Tim.

Ukemi: Not bad. Did some faster work on big falls, in addition to the normal warm-up falls. In essence, you throw a punch at tori and he throws you with either sumiotoshi or kote-gaeshi with no advance warning. I did fairly well. I think it may have done some spinal adjustment as I felt a little off in the back a while later.

I've been told I need to start working on the ukemi for Hiki-otoshi.

The Walk: as usual. I need to get a slightly wider base, create a circle with the moving foot and snap my hips into place.

Releases: Worked with Tim. He did some unusual response to my release to see how I reacted. After a couple of tries, I was doing okay.

Techniques: worked with Tim. I think the most interesting thing we worked on was responses to stopped techniques. If a technique does not work (uke responds differently than you expect), another off-balance and technique will appear. Man is a bipedal creature and, as such, is moving from one off-balanced state to another. Tori's task is to find the off-balance.

Aftermath: None of note other than the "off" feeling in the back.

The screws seem to be holding the sheetrock in place. the plumber has been called out to check for a continuing/new leak.

Friday Night at the Dojo 3/16

I dropped by the dojo to see if anything was happening during the advanced class (generally black belts and above). John and Raja were working on Ni and Yan katas, so I did some filming.

I hope to put it up soon, but this coming week looks busy with a trip to College Station on the weekend.


Cool listing in Uncyclopedia

Here it is

Volleyball 1-2

Tonight it was 4 on 4. Neither team had a full complement.

First game was close: 19-21. Second game was a blowout: 10-21. Third game we won going away: 15-10.

We weren't dinking as well as the other team was and we were having some trouble serving. I only got 3 or 4 good spikes and I was just middlin competent elsewise.

Traffic coming home was a bit of a bear. I guess 7pm is too early for NASA traffic to have cleared out.


Kim's a Yonkyu

My darling wife Kim demonstrated for her green belt (Yonkyu) in aikido last night. I think she did a fabulous job. She didn't find out until about halfway through the night's practice session that she would be testing for it. She was able to keep her wits about her and earn her green belt!

I wish I'd known in advance. I would have taped it for her. :(

Monday Night at the Dojo 3/12

Aikidokas: Randy, John, Stanley, Robert and Kim.

Ukemi: Not bad. A little garuma on the big falls.

The Walk: nothing unusual, except I forgot some numbers while doing the counting for the group.

Releases: Worked with Robert. He's just a little taller than my wife, so numbers 5 and 7 were kneel-down releases.

Techniques: with Robert.

Kote-hineri: Sensei Raymond was on the sidelines tonight and provided some modifications to the arm bar for this one. The off-hand is used to keep the elbow from bending, not as additional pressure on the arm. The on-hand executes the arm bar.

Kote-gaeshi: It went well. Took me a couple of tries to complete the throw on each side, but get them I did.

Tenkai-kote-hineri: Push. Push. Even if uke is dramatically smaller.

Shiho-nage: Again, Sensei Raymond offered suggestions. Try this with only one hand work at any given time. Switch hands when required, but try it with one hand. It's a much light technique that way. And it is!

At this point, practice stopped so Kim could demonstrate for her Yonkyu. I think she did a fabulous job. There were some issues during the demonstration but, to my eye, most were caused by uke.

Aftermath: None. Our securing of the sheetrock is holding, but water does seem to be coming from above.


At the movies

Mr. and Mrs. Smith: 3

A fun "espionage" flick. I'd seen the last ten minutes or so somewhere else. Maybe a hotel?

Definitely suspend your disbelief here. Brad chasing Angelina on foot while she's in a car? She hits him once and he goes down. He catches up with her again. Is she intentionally taking the longest route possible to get out of the subdivision?

After a hit, she ends up wearing black leather thigh-high boots to a neighborhood cocktail party to go with her beige dress and Brad doesn't even seem to notice?

I thought it interesting that B&A's clothes when interacting with their neighbors were all neutral colors.

Why did I like this more than X-Men? Maybe I had lower expectations for this film?

At the movies

X-Men: The Last Stand: 2

The only really interesting bit was the bit at the end with Magneto. My first thought after that scene was: "Will Rogue get her power back?"

Did they ever use Kelsey Grammer's mutant name?

I wanted to like it, but was disappointed in it in the end.

Saturday at the Dojo 3/10

Aikidokas: Tim and Kim.

Ukemi: Not bad.

The Walk: as usual, but only once. We got into a demonstration of some self-defense applications for Kim.

Releases: Worked with Kim. My hand did not stay in center very well.

Techniques: worked on the first five with Kim.

She enjoyed the opportunity to throw her husband willy-nilly about the mat.

The main issue we worked on was keeping the unbendable arm with someone of my mass attacking her. It seemed she was moving to a spot that I did not want to go and, to get to that spot, she ended up bending her arm.

She's definitely improving.

Aftermath: Bruised left ankle from poor ukemi on a gedan-ate.

We did some more sheetrock work on the ceiling. Put a couple more screws to see if that will stabilize the sheetrock panel before we attempt to redo the patch yet again.


One Night at the Dojo

A typical night at our dojo.

Wednesday Night at the Dojo 3/7

Aikidokas: Tim.

Carla was chewing the fat with Sensei Ray. If everyone had been on the mat it would have been a Hachidan, a Shichidan and a Rokudan beating up on a Sankyu. Still, I had my hands full with the Rokudan :)

Ukemi: ok. Took some big falls. Worked on popping up on some. At John's suggestion, I'm trying to "project" my arm out for ukemi to make it easier to pop up. Not sure if it's working, but it's worth trying.

The Walk: one regular and one with a silent count.

Releases: with Tim. Hand was getting out of center today for some reason.


Kote-hineri : First off-balance. Must get first off-balance.

Tenkai-kote-hineri : First off-balance. Must get first off-balance.

Shiho-nage : First off-balance. Must get first off-balance. Anyone sensing a pattern here? Anyone? Anyone?

Hand randori: Had a number of educational moments this evening. Push out and under when held in a kote grip. Or, you can pull in and react with a shomen strike. I'm sure there were others, but they've looked through the sieve I call a brain.

Aftermath: None of note.


Monday Night at the Dojo 3/5

Aikidokas: Randy, John, and Kim.

Ukemi: Not bad.

The Walk: nothing unusual.

Releases: Worked with John.

Techniques: with John.

Kote-gaeshi: New uke, new issues. I'm early on the commitment for gake. My foot lands before John's did a high proportion of the time. I think this difference is due to his size, when compared to Oliver. I did manage to throw him a couple of times with several near misses. It's coming along well.

Shiho-nage: It must be Shiho-nage. Not Sanho-nage, or Niho-nage. All four off-balances must be achieved.

We worked on the butterfly entry some. Had a little mental moment of clarity on the butterfly thing: the hands work together as quickly as they can. The off-hand does not try to go flying over the attacking hand, but joins the working hand as quickly as possible.

Tenkai-kote-hineri: Small movements. Let uke whirl about you.

Hand Randori: Worked with Randy for a few minutes. Had a brief moment of mental panic when he got me in the same hold that John did a few weeks back that caused the shoulder injury. I think I recognized it quickly enough that I was able to shutdown the fight-or-flight reaction before I did too much damage to the shoulder again. There is a little tingling in the fingers this morning, but nothing serious.

Aftermath: Nothing major. Our sheetrock repair in the dojo failed again. I'm not certain if it is because of a minor continuing leak or movement of the sheetrock panels because of traffic overhead.


More cleanup

Saturday continued the excavation of the garage in preparation for construction.

Lumber was the main objective for the day. I may not have a huge amount of the stuff as woodworkers go, but I have enough that moving it is a pain. Lots of aromatic cedar.

We started dismantling the piles in the garage, sending the stuff to one of three destinations: garbage, front yard free pile, or the bed of the truck. A bunch of the stuff was scrap, kept around to make jigs, push sticks or other small doodads and was definitely not worth moving. It would be trouble to keep together in the storage unit and I'll just be creating more when I start up the shop again.

A bunch of the stuff had been home to roaches, etc. and really did not need to be used by anyone, so into the trash it went.

A good portion of the stuff did get moved to the unit. MDF, plywood, cedar, oak, maple and some other stuff the species of which I've forgotten.

Stuff left in the garage at the moment: bikes, lawn equipment, lathe, stained glass workbench, stained glass supplies, and hand tools. Some of that will remain. Some of that we'd like to move, but might not be able to.

Saturday at the Dojo 3/3

Aikidokas: Tim and Oliver.

Ukemi: Not bad.

The Walk: as usual.

Releases: Worked with Oliver.

Techniques: actually just one technique: Kote-gaeshi.

We spent about an hour and a half on Kote-gaeshi.

We started out feeling the off-balances and progressed to roll-outs and then big falls from a warm-up approach. Then we worked from the actual kata type attack.

I spent most of the time as uke, to give Oliver time to get familiar with the technique. He made great strides and I had a good time with the various roll-outs, big falls, etc. that were a part of the day.

Aftermath: The back was a little sore.


Wednesday Night at the Dojo 2/28

Aikidokas: Tim, and Oliver.

Ukemi: ok. Took some big falls. Worked on popping up on some. Must try not to dive on the big falls, it causes a landing on the upper back as opposed to the entire body.

We were expecting Joey to show up, so we skipped the walk and releases and went straight to techniques. This would give Oliver and I some time to work together on our Nikkyu techniques. Joey did not show up, unfortunately.


Kote-hineri : I'm sure there were tweaks for this one, but I can't remember them at the moment

Kote-gaeshi : Worked at one-step distance. Must cause uke to lean backwards as I'm rotating around with the second off-balance. Must throw down the line uke wants to fall. Must wait for uke.

I need to remember how Stanley got me to fall on this one. We were working on an approach that would have me take a safety fall, instead of the big fall, with Oliver. There's got to be an adjustment I'm not thinking of.

Tenkai-kote-hineri : Small steps. Must take small steps

Shiho-nage : At third off-balance, tori must be in neutral position. the allows proper footwork for the takedown and control.

Aftermath: About an hour and a half working on four techniques. Phew.