Early morning sun sparkled on snowfields still capping the mountains above Lake Tahoe, while I struggled to get ready for 9 am class. The morning had been divided into two classes. The first, taught by Hoa Newens Sensei was to cover the first half, roughly, of the 31 kumi jo partner practice; while the second class would be devoted to the second half of the 31 kumi jo, taught by Kim Peuser Sensei.
Barry and I met an Aikidoka from Oklahoma at Rosie's Cafe for breakfast, and then we left Tahoe City headed around the lake for the Rideout School, which is our training venue.
All of our bodies have had one and a half full days of Aikido in them, and everyone was moving slow. Ibuprofen was prominently displayed along with other apothecary delights on a table labeled by Aviv as, "the banquet."
I was very curious about how the 31 kumi jo was going to show up today, since Hitohiro Soke has made some recent small changes in the form, and because different Senseis teach it differently. I'd found Hoa Sensei's recent DVD very informative, and I was looking forward his class.
Hoa Sensei set us to doing the segments, first stop/start, and then awase. He explained that stop/start training was good for checking body position, hanmi, and spacing, while awase practice was good for timing. We practiced only segments with Hoa Sensei, moving in turn through moves 1 - 3, 4 - 6, 9 - 12, 13 - 17, and 13 - 22. Hoa Sensei showed two alternate sequences for 4 - 6 and for 13 - 17, and one of them was the old henka in which the attacker thrusts at the mid section while uke tachi steps to the left and delivers the winning yokomen strike to end the segment. The other henka we practiced was the more familiar one in which the attacker swings his jo up to parry the defender's yokomen strike at 15. This move is much the same as the end moves of kumi jo #1.
During the next class Kim Peuser continued us on our way through the segments, showing 21 - 27, and 27 - 31. He took special care to point out that after a parry with the jo it is important to bring the jo back on line with your partner's center, a detail that is often lost in practice.
Finally Kim Sensei began pulling all the segments together, showing the transition moves between 2 and 4, 10 and 12, 16 - 17, 21 and 22, and 26 and 28. For the change at move three he demonstrated Saito Sensei's traditional move, not the new move Hitohiro Saito Soke had shown in Reno last October. Near the end he asked, "are you all ready to do 1 through 31?" It appeared that we were and the last five or so minutes of class were devoted to the whole form in awase. In the photo Joan Wada sets a parry at move 27.
At lunchtime Barry and I drove back into Tahoe City, I dropped Barry off at a wireless hotspot, and then had a really good turkey wrap at a place on the strip called, Java Juice. I thought about going back for the afternoon sessions, looked at the beautiful blue lake, snow covered moujntains all around, sail boats tacking on the slight breeze, all bathed in brilliant sunshine. I thought about how Pat Yarrow had left for a walk along the lake though she had planned to get back for the afternoon classes. I decided that I needed coffee so I, too, headed for the lake, but without the resolve to return for afternoon class.
technorati tag aikido