Saturday, December 28, 2013

2013 - A year in the life

Lately I've been reflecting on this past year (2013) and projecting some plans...

In 2013 I planned to attend/teach one event per month (including my ABGs here).  I ended up doing 10 instead of 12.  Not bad...

  • I started out with a trip to Corpus Christi for a get-away with Eric, Matl, Waddell, Nick, and some other excellent folks.  We ought to do another of those this next year sometime...
  • I had the privilege of teaching a benefit seminar in Jackson MS to raise money to send Police trainers to Thailand to show people there how to extract children out of the sex trade.
  • I got to attend a most excellent Isshin/Aiki camp at Hazlehurst.  Can't wait for the next one of these.
  • I did one seminar at Union University (on kuzushi) but I wasn't able to attend the Fall shindig because of illness.
  • I got to teach Koryu Dai Go at Windsong In OKC - what a great group of people!
  • We did two Aiki Buddies Gatherings here in Magnolia - at the first one we worked on groundwork and goshin jutsu and we had two excellent Shodan demos - Jason in judo and Todd in aikido.  At the one in the Fall we worked on koshiki kihon and aikijo  - the second one was very well attended.
  • In November I got to return to Richmond VA to teach a couple of classes on koshinage and Junokata.
  • I made a flying trip to Starkville to work with James Reuster (who I haven't seen in about 15 years).  He taught a profound class on releases that has and will continue to impact my aikido.
  • I also got to attend one judo tournament with Mike.
Here at Magnolia, we had several areas of emphasis in our studies...
  • Aikijo and modular knife
  • Ukemi as the most important, most practical self-defense skill
  • Koryu dai go - more proactive, direct initiative "go and get em'" type aikido
  • Tomiki's aiki taiso
  • The extensive gray area between Kodokan judo and Tomiki aikido - we've been playing more with starting judo throws from releases and ending aikido throws in ukigatame (for instance).
  • I've been watching a lot of Yoshinoro Kono - particularly his footwork, his aikijo,  and his students Koshiki no kata.
  • I've also been watching a lot of Tokio Hirano and his students - particularly his wave-like entries into uchikomi and his Nanatsu no kata.  This man is inspiring.

There have been many ups and downs.  I've been plagued with elbow and shoulder pain problems for about 8 months.  It's getting better but it really put a damper on my jo work at Windsong this past summer.  I wasn't the only one with shoulder problems - Kel fell over a bush or something and broke his rotator cuff and had to have surgery so that put a major damper on our working together.  I'm looking forward to having him back with us this coming year.  On the positive side, I moved my oldest son, Whit, from kids classes to adult classes and it's been a blast having him as a regular partner.

In the coming year - 2014...

  • I would like to attend 1 event per month, with the exception of January (new baby girl is due).  I'm especially looking forward to the Windsong Summer event - sounds like it'll be a hum dinger.
  • Mike will attend 1-2 more tournaments this spring.
  • I'd like to devote Saturday 9-noon classes for 2014 to embu-mode kata practice with emphasis on Koshiki, Nanatsu, Nage, Katame, Ju, and Nikata.  Hmm.  sounds like 6 katas 2 months each.
  • We will continue our emphasis on aikijo and knife.

Want to discuss this blog post?

Patrick Parker

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