More practice in Hangzhou!

15 09 2010

Last weekend I was back in Hangzhou for another session with the people of the local Aikido club. This time we planned for a more demanding schedule, a good challenge for both the people there and.. myself! Given my lack of practice, I was quite curious to see if I did manage!

As usual I prepared a training schedule and what I really did of that was maybe 20%. Preparing the schedule was already a mental training, and not only mental, trying the steps, alone in my apartment.

Great response from the Hangzhou people. On Saturday there were 16 people on the mats, besides me: long time no teaching to so many people, and especially never done for a double 1.5+ hours session! A few less people on Sunday, but for good reasons 😉

It was really something, at a personal level as well! A good combination of very beginner (for one guy it was the first time!), middle level and graded people. Usual challenge to present training material to have all interest, present, not bored, not shocked and leave them also a little confused.

Aikido in Hangzhou

As you can see from the picture I was quite tired! Great Saturday!!

Sunday practice had a few less people, especially because the results of devastion provoked by … yang mei drink made by Michael for me.. 🙂 After my visit in June in fact I had tried and really liked this drink based on yang mei (杨梅) fruit, so Michael made a huge jar using quite strong bai jiu, 白酒 (literally white wine, but it is a 45-60% spirit).. and took it over to the restaurant (it is ok in China to most places ot bring some extra, as long you consume stuff there too!). And I was not the only one enjoying it! A few enjoyed more and heavier than me! 🙂 Ukemi still ok for me Sunday, after a great shower and lots of juice!!!

This time I worked on ukemi and kokyunage applications, especially for beginners, but some more advanced throws for the less beginners. A short bokken exercise, typical of Christian Tissier sensei sessions, followed then by shomenuchi practice, from the Endo sensei view of the attack and the avoidance, keeping a quite mind.

On Sunday I focused a bit more on Endo sensei contact exercises, the very basic movements that for me had represented a revelation in my own Aikido view. And easy stuff that still let me move a lot as uke. Then I worked a bit on basic kokyu techniques done in the common basic way and,  for comparison, in the mentioned before “rabbit hands” way.. lifting the hands from the wrist close to the chest, not forward open and stretch fingers.. yeah, you know, rabbit (兔兔, tùtù)!

The main goal for my visits is showing to these new friends something different from the kind of Aikido they are used to practice. Of course, I work also on basic techniques, especially for the beginners and for my way of teaching (basics basics basics!). I know it is always difficult to try to perform something new, and I try to be very patient, but I also push them to try and not just perform the technique they always perform at their own normal classes. This is the most important reason to partecipate to a seminar or a different class, for me at least.

They seem to like this second weekend as well, and I hope we will have more chances to practice together. Great chances for me, together with my weekends in Shanghai, for doing what I love and still cannot do in Hefei.. Hoping my condition does not go too bad before Endo sensei seminars in Shanghai and Vienna! 🙂




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