This post originally appeared on my AikiWeb blog…
Had to get up one hour earlier today because first keiko on Fridays is the ken class with ippan students. Very difficult to wake up in the dark. I think I hit the snooze button 5 or 6 times, and ended up rushing to class. At 10 minutes to 6:30 by my watch, Nick was still folding laundry. I was waiting for him because I thought he had the key to the dojo, but as the minutes ticked by, I started to worry that someone else was opening up that morning, so I left him and smashed it down to the dojo. Luckily, I made it on time. And Nick arrived late with the key.
Keiko session 1 was ken training with the ippan class. Not much to report here, pretty unexceptional ken class. It was about twice as large as normal, so very difficult to move around without hitting someone. I think that is why we switched to jo in the middle.
Keiko session 2 was mostly work on shakko ho movement: repetitions and partner exercises. Also some tai no henko.
Lunch was extremely difficult to recover from again today. I started to get chilled in my wet dogi.
Keiko session 3 was more hiriki no yosei and introducing shumatsu dosa. Many repetitions. Then in the last few minutes of class, Payet-sensei took over from Crampton-sensei and we started doing exercises. Just when class should have been ending and Crampton-sensei was expected to ask us to line up and fix our dog is, instead he said, “okay, push-up position.” What? I thought. Then we ran through a series of exercises directed by Payet-sensei from the back of the room. Class ran over. By less than 10 minutes, but enough to put a little fear in you.
Following the closing shinkoku, I think everyone seemed relieved including the instructors. Crampton-sensei sort of sighed and said, “See everyone next week” and Payet-sensei advised, “train well, rest well,” which is much better advice than “work hard, play hard.”
The weather in Kyoto is starting to change drastically. It was cold enough for a sweater this morning, but by afternoon, I saw Japanese people fanning themselves, and I sweating in a t-shirt and light cotton sweater. This does not bode well for summer…
A graduate of last year’s senshusei course at hombu dojo came up to Kyoto to visit today. He trained at evening ippan classes, unfortunately I had to teach a private English lesson so couldn’t attend. I did go out to the izakaya afterward, however. He was a nice enough guy, but his attitude toward aikido was quite different from what I’ve found at Mugenjuku. Perhaps somewhat cynical. It made me glad I was training under Payet and Crampton, who, I think, have serious but positive attitudes towards aikido.