A dark car turned onto Condo Lane and moved toward the cul de sac where I was parked, in front of the Seika Ryu Kenpo dojo where we train Aikido. I looked and thought I saw Julian at the wheel and was happy. He would be bringing a key for me to get into the dojo, an arrangement we'd made last night by phone.
The car turned around and parked behind me. As I got out onto the street I saw that it was Bryan instead, back from his year in Iwama. His "Ibaraki Bryan" blog had become very popular, and it provided us with a window on daily life training with Hitohiro Sensei that many of us found fascinating. But now Bryan's back in California, as it turned out, just in time to say good-bye to Tatoian Sensei on his way to the East.
Shortly after, Eric's truck pulled up on the far side of the street, and there were three of us, enough to create a good workout. Eric walked up and handed me a key. Craig had given it to him, I suppose when the two were teaching the kids' class at Two Rock Dojo in Petaluma last night.
We were in. I disabled the alarm, we turned on the lights (the place is cavernous), and got dressed.
Julian did show up with a key, looking a little surprised to see us already in the dojo.
Ever since Hitohiro Sensei was here in October I've been trying to make Tai No Henko look like a shomen sword strike. We practiced both and then did rounds of various techniques from a shoulder grab, kata dori. At one point Eric wriggled loose from Bryan's pin at the end of kata dori men uchi kote gaishi, and I remarked that it would probably turn out differently next time. Then I realized that it was my turn to take the ukemi next. Bad timing. My shoulder got planted like a redwood tree and I was tapping almost as soon as I hit the mat.
As the hour wound down I was wishing for a couple of Advils; my body still is adjusting to being back in training, and the mat at Seika Ryu isn't the softest one around. But soon enough we were doing suwari kokyu-ho.
Later, during a side trip to Costco, I made sure to load up on bottles of Glucosamine and Ibuprofin. I think they'll come in handy.
technorati tag aikido