Midway through Aviv Goldsmith Sensei's evening class Friday night, kicking off the 2005 Memorial Day Gashhuku, I heard Goldsmith Sensei say, "now we're going to do "Line no Henko."
He set eight people in a vertical line each in opposite hanmi, and then an uke would run through the line, grabbing wrists on alternate sides while each person in the line did ki no nagare Tai no Henko. It seemed plausible, so I joined a line and we went through it a few times. I fumbled once or twice, once when Pat Yarrow Sensei reached out to grab and I had the wrong arm extended, but soon we got into a rhythm.
It's just this goofy kind of thing that you've never seen before that make Gashukku's fun.
Later in the Friday night class we practiced a variety of techniques from ushiro ryote tori, diving one way to do Ikkyo through Yonkyo and the other way for named techniques like shiho nage. I'd never gone the other way, pivoting outside uke's extended front foot, but it seemed to work just fine if you first turned your foot outward to open the hips.
Later Friday night the Swedes had a party at their rented house. They'd baked bread and prepared lots of Swedish dishes, none of which I could pronounce. The food was excellent, and it was enjoyed by many members of Bay Marin Aikido, Traditional Aikido of Sonoma, and a few people from Aikido Institutes of Oakland and Davis.
Lars Andersson Sensei told me how he'd been introduced at Davis by Dojo Cho Hoa Newens Sensei. Newens Sensei brought Andersson Sensei out onto the mat and said, "Lars Sensei is 40 years old but he has been training Aikido for 60 years." This, I thought, was some kind special kung fu to be able to pull off. The picture shows Michael (another Swede) telling the story of how Lars Sensei had packed 60 years of Aikido training into 40 years of life.
I have become convinced that the Swedes are just about the best people on the planet.
technorati tag aikido