ironphoenix (ironphoenix) wrote,

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Aikido and stuff

It's been a while since I practiced aikido four days in a week, and my body is voicing its concern. Coupled with a hike last Sunday (Wolf trail in the Gatineau, 8.2 km) and more walking than usual due to work (tests taking place in a nearby building), I think this may be the most exercise I've gotten in quite a while. It's definitely doing good things for my cardio fitness and mood. Hopefully, the ache in my elbows and knees is mainly due to the extra stresses put on them while taking ukemi1 for gradings on Wednesday.

I should say more about the gradings. We had a fifth kyu2, two thirds, and a second. I took ukemi, including suwari-waza3, which I generally avoid because of knee issues, for one of the third kyu candidates, and for the randori4 for both third kyu candidates (simultaneous randori, which was somewhat chaotic) and the second kyu candidate. All of them passed; our sensei won't invite someone up for a test for which they aren't ready.

All told, a good week for my body, but one that I shouldn't repeat too soon!

1: "Ukemi" is taking the role of "uke", the person who "receives" a technique; learing to do it well is as difficult and as important as learning the techniques.

2: The highest rank before black belt is first kyu (ikkyu); increasing numbers in kyu ranks (nikyu, sankyu, yonkyu, gokyu) refer to successively lower grades.

3: Suwari-waza is technique done while kneeling; it is practiced because in polite Japanese usage, it is improper for a vassal to be above his lord, and since samurai might have to dispatch an assailant while their lord was seated, and it would inconvenience the lord to rise, some "upper-class" Japanese arts such as iaido and aikido teach techniques which are done from a kneeling position.

4: Randori is freestyle technique with multiple attackers. It requires a good deal of technical skill and strategy to do well. Ukes have to be on their toes to avoid collisions and injuries, since throws are sometimes not well-delivered or are directed towards other ukes or obstacles.
Tags: aikido
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