Sunset Cliffs Aikido Dojo – Day Three

Day 3: In which “first time” comes up a lot!

Sunday.  I wake up a couple hours earlier than I wanted through a combination of forty-one year old sore being amplified by the previous days training and drinking.  I am NOT hung over. Kay taught me this a long time ago, and Tim reminded me that, if you drink lots of water with your alcohol you can stave off being very ill.  I am not very ill. But what I am is not quite right either.  I am glad to be up the couple of hours early as I need the time to group.  Tim and I have breakfast at Shades and then head back to the dojo.

I am informed that at 10am there will be a 30 minute meditation session followed by a 30 minute yoga class.  Up to this point and time I have never sat quietly still for this period of time.  I have also never attended a group yoga class. Yay me for my sheltered geek life.

I would like to tell you that my first meditation was a resounding success……..

First Meditation

Timothy told me that the key was to just focus on my breathing. What I was not warned about was the “foot sleep”.  About 10 minutes into the meditation my feet were pins and needles. I tried flexing them and moving my toes, but the joints would pop loudly. I did not want my popcorn noise making feet to mess up others meditation so I just settled for a slight “bounce”.  I am guessing 20 minutes into the meditation I was wondering why my feet were not moving.  I glance down (I know, not meditating) and see that my feet are vibrating!!

At some point I hear three bells. Their peels announcing my potential impending humiliation. I get one knee off the mat, the other foot planted to stand up.  Stuck. Stuck, stuck, stuck.  Everyone is walking to the edge of the mat to put their blankets and  seating down in preparation for 30 minutes of yoga. I am not sure how but I heave my back leg up and am now standing. Like a newborn calf, I immediately start moving so as not to get stuck again and somehow make it to the edge of the mat.

The cushion that has so capably kept my posterior comfortable goes on the pile. Sensei Tim is standing there looking at me.  He motions me toward the mat. I cannot move.  I can see my feet.  Other than the vision of them I have no other sensation. Tim is now trying to contain his mirth.  He fails.  At the same time he is laughing he is telling me that I have to get back on that mat for yoga.  “Hurry Jay! The class is about to start!!” All I can do is whisper back to him over and over “I cannot move my feet, I cannot move my feet!” It is all I can do to keep my balance. I feel like if I move my feet I will just topple over.

A few moments later and my feet start to tingle. Then a swarm of angry hornets take up residence at the end of my ankles.  This is the cue for my muscles to indicate that if I liked I could move.   I use my hands to grab the fabric of my gi pants and lift my left leg.  I put it down and proceed to reproduce that motion with my right leg. After a few of these I can actually move them by themselves. As I walk it feels like the mat is electrified. Each time I put a foot down a cattle prod is applied with much mallace.

Then we did yoga.  Let’s just say that I do not have the energy and patience to cover that lesson. I can say that Sempai Ben was very compassionate to my plight by providing additional cushions during key positions.


First seven suburi.  I was provided a correction on my thrusts by Sensei Bernice on my thrust: lock bokken inline with my right arm, right arm on top, left elbow synched into my side, bokken straight out in front.

Learned Kumitach #2. Awesome.  (Clean this up!!)

– (Uke)Raise bokken slowly over head. (Nage) Follows.
– (Uke)Step in and strike to knee. (Nage)Step back and block. (Nage) Lift sword back to center, to allow.
– (Uke) Step in and thrust (second part of 7th suburi). (Nage) Step back and counter.
– (Uke) Attack (first part of 7th suburi). (Nage) Step back and block.  Then take center. (Uke) Takes bokken to side.
– (Uke) Final thrust. (Nage) Counter.

Sunset Cliffs Aikido Dojo – Day Four

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