Little House In Ise


First Blood
February 13, 2008, 18:49
Filed under: Aikido, Expat, Japan | Tags: , , ,

I was working with one of the morning class regulars on Tuesday. All through practice we nudged the energy level up bit by bit until we were both going at it pretty hard. I had a slight age advantage which he took to mean that he could throw me as hard as he wanted. I didn’t mind — it was fun and we were both pretty spent by the time Doshu called for kokyudosa (呼吸動作). As sempai, my partner was nage first. I grabbed on and he moved fast, popping my shoulders in the air then tossing me. Sadly, he stuck his head into my orbit and I kneed him in the eye as I went over. OUCH!

After recovering his glasses and repairing them, we left the mat to attend to the bleeding eye. Facial cuts tend to look nasty and this was no exception. We got him taped and re-joined the end of class for the final bow. We apologized profusely to each other and I cleaned the blood off the mat. He left the dojo more quickly than normal. So, I was concerned.

This morning, I arrived and checked on my partner of the day before. He laughed and showed me the cut while telling me not to be concerned. He then introduced me to a young big guy and suggested that we be be partners that day. “Oh shit … this is payback” was my first thought. I smiled and accepted. The big guy was powerful and very controlled througout. He insisted that I “go first” meaning that he was treating me as sempai which was ridiculous but, what can you do? During jiyu-waza (自由技) the big-guy threw me with a wicked fast koshi nage which was a total surprise. I showed him my appreciation by imitating as best I could (not as fast nor as smoothly). Later I showed him a very direct irimi-nage variation that he liked. Again, it was fun.

It turns out that the older fellow had talked me up at his own dojo and recommended me to this guy before class. Hearing that made all the worries about giving offense as well as injury go away. It’s budo, sometimes there is blood. In this case, it was good blood.

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