Little House In Ise


Pop Test
December 18, 2007, 16:31
Filed under: Aikido, Expat | Tags: , , , , , , ,

OK, I’ve known that this was coming for a while. I’ve known for a week that it would be tonight, so, it’s not really a “pop test” in the normal sense. Unlike the PSA in Seattle, I don’t have keys to the dojo here. I can’t go in and practice whenever I feel a need. I don’t have a list of buddies willing to drop what they are doing just for some extra training. What I have is a test, my nidan shinsa (弐段審査), tonight …

Sensei said the test would be twenty minutes of jiyuuwaza randori (自由技乱取り) — with me as uke. He has a wicked sense of humor but for the last year he has been insisting that skill at ukemi is the determining factor for progress up any of the stylistic ladders of Aikido. When visiting other dojo or attending seminars he has repeatedly told me to watch their ukemi. I can’t just laugh, my whole exam may really be taking ukemi for someone else! Brutal! On the other hand, 20 minutes of me performing jiyuuwaza is enough to give me butterflies as well.

If jiyuuwaza is called and I enter a mental coda in which, no matter what attack is thrown, I fall into the same technique over and over, I’ll go with it. I will vary the tempo to the extent that I can and occasionally pause where “normal” execution may call for continuity of motion. Such a pause doesn’t necessarily mean a break in the flow. Nage may pause as uke’s body catches up in the middle of some techniques or, during another techinique, uke may be allowed a moment to dream of regaining balance before their hopes are dashed. So, I hope to make these pauses my reprieve from mental congestion that causes codas … A few deep breaths ought to help too.

Jiyuuwaza… OK. I can do that.

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