Day 3 – first week hump day

This post originally appeared on my AikiWeb blog…

I wanted to post yesterday and call it “Day 2 – hardest day yet,” which I thought was kind of a funny title, but I didn’t get around to it.

Day 2 was hard, though. Unlike the first day, when I was rested and focused, the second day started with aches and pains and just promised more. I knew that’s what I signed up for, though. Yesterday was more physical training in Session 1, practice on seiza in Session 2, and then starting tai no henko ichi in Session 3.

If you don’t know Yoshinkan style, you can look up kihon dosa to learn about tai no henko.

Last night, for some reason, I had horrible sleep. I got to bed late, then woke up several times in the night, and had a nightmare. I dreamt something surreal and thought in the dream, “This isn’t a dream, I’m hallucinating!! How do I stop?! Arrgh!!” then woke up. So it was very hard to get out of bed this morning, what with more aches and pains and the foggy brain on top of it.

Training today was extremely difficult for me. A lot more work on proper form for getting into and out of seiza. It was extremely hard on the knees and also on the mind, as it is frustrating to not be able to do something so simple as stand up correctly. At the end of the day, more tai no henko ichi and introduction to tai no henko ni. Unlike ichi, which I can’t do well but feel I understand, I don’t understand ni at all. I am never balanced or grounded and whenever I am told my position is correct, I seem to be in a stance I can’t move out of because all my weight is over the front foot. Sigh.

Two more days of training, and then two sweet, sweet recovery days.

Payet-sensei has been eating lunch with us each day so far. I am intimidated, but fellow student Izzy asks plenty of questions I am too embarrassed to ask, about how long sensei lived as an uchi-deshi at hombu, what it was like, etc. Payet-sensei gives very straightforward answers. It’s very interesting to chat with him.

What’s shaping up as the two hardest parts of the day are (1) starting again after the lunch break, when you’ve cooled down and let your mind wander, and (2) dojo soji. For the life of me, I cannot run across the mat pushing a zokin rag. Very annoying!

Well, to bed: hopefully for a full 8 hour sleep tonight.