Little House In Ise

Kangeiko   寒稽古
February 3, 2009, 14:09
Filed under: Aikido, Expat, Japan | Tags: , , , ,

Wednesday is the final day of kangeiko (寒稽古) midwinter training. The goal is to attend some class every day for ten days. It doesn’t sound too difficult but life does sometimes gang up on the most innocent of plans. I ended work at one company and started work at a new one during kangeiko. There have been many late nights of farewell parties and packing. Along with, or perhaps due to, all that I have been emotionally drained. It has been a challenge for me to get my lazy butt out of bed even for normal classes and I have had to recite my mantra, “Just fucking do it” far more often than normal.

So far, the highlights of kangeiko have been training with Ninomiya sensei (二宮先生) who was described by one of my favorite instructors as a “Super 7th dan”. I’m not sure what makes him “super” as compared to the 7th dan who called him that. My lack of insight is similar to my lack of insight into the cleanliness of the upper surfaces of airplane wings in flight — they are a bit too far above me to judge. Anyway, Ninomiya sensei was mostly gentle and willing to give me pointers throughout.

That day was also fun because Doshu broke his normal pattern and threw out all sorts of wild (for him) techniques. The theme of the day mune tsuki (胸突き:chest punch) which is not one that he normally emphasizes. He then seemed to go out of his way to present head-scratcher techniques that made even gray-in-the-belt oldsters puzzled. He was smiling the whole time and looked to be having a genuinely fun time baffling everyone.

Another highlight was training under Kanazawa Shihan (金沢師範). I rarely can fit his class into my schedule but I paid extra for Sunday training this month and was able to make his morning class. Sensei explained a couple of details that put my head in a good place for Aikido. It helped that my uke was really well connected but all throughout class it felt as though I was doing real Aiki. The kinonagare (気の流れ: Flowing Ki) techniques swooped and swirled so and felt wonderful.

One more day of midwinter training to go but I will stick out the week and wait for Saturday to sleep. I hope that most of the visitors go back to their regular training schedules so, maybe, the mat will be a bit less crowded and we can really throw down!

Happy rolling!

PS Shout out to Gil from CA who stopped by to this week and many thanks to Mizuto-san for not breaking my arm!


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