Little House In Ise

Aikido in New Mexico — Unintentional Altitude Training
November 8, 2007, 17:04
Filed under: Aikido | Tags: , , , ,

I finally got away from my co-workers long enough for a little training with the nice folks at the Aikido Institute of New Mexico. The dojocho is Vásquez Shihan of the Birankai International and the reason I chose this dojo. The techniques he demonstrated were far enough out of my comfort zone that I spent most of my time trying to figure out what was going on and why. Marvelous!

All of the instructors from the dojo were present, though, I only had the pleasure of training with Teshiba sensei and Nielsen sensei. They were very forgiving and helpful in negotiating local etiquette. Nielsen sensei diagnosed a problem that started troubling me from the moment that I started moving…

I was huffing and puffing after two gentle little warm-up rolls. By the time I was actually doing real ukemi I was out of breath. At first I chalked it up to excitement. I had been looking forward to a chance to roll around in a new dojo. Nielsen sensei immediately let me know that my problem was elevation and maybe dehydration. I’ve been training at sea level in Ise but Albuquerque is 1600 meters above that and very dry. There wasn’t enough air here for me to move with my normal oomph. To respond to the problem, I sloooowed down until I caught a rhythm that allowed me to give tolerably energetic attacks and roll out.  My big take away is that being aware of the environment is a lot more than just looking around for possible attackers or falling bodies!

Many thanks to Vásquez sensei, the instructors and students of the Aikido Institute of New Mexico.


2 Comments so far
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I thought your experience w/high altitude in Albuquerque, w/o knowing, was interesting. If you had ever cooked a meal at that altitude you may have been more aware of its effects. In any case, I enjoyed your dojo experience, vicariously, and I thank you for that. I am interested in reading more about your Aikido experiences than I am about your non-stop drinking episodes w/the “guys”; otherwise, very enjoyable.

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