Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Natural pecking order

INTi dojo Mon 24/5/2010 class. Natural pecking order

Max's absence of two months from practice didn't make any difference to the members. I noticed that during bowing in at the start of the class when modest Max tried to sit on the extreme left side of the row the guys shooed and ushered him to go sit on to the right side.

By protocol senior students get to sit on the right side and the juniors on the left. The guys still acknowledge 3rd kyu Max as their sempai even though I didn't intervene as I am not so particular about protocol. Then as if on cue 5th kyu WTJ who had rejoined the class after a year's break quietly sat on the left side of the row and nobody shooed him away. This shows that after training together and bonding for some time your mates will acknowledge,accept and respect you for who you are even though you may have dropped out from the training for quite a while.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

31-count Aiki Jo kata presentation

Rehearsal before demo
Rehearsal before demo
Entering the arena
Aiki Jo demo in progress
Saturday 15/5/10 National Youth Day Rakan Muda Wajadiri public demonstration of the Aiki Jo at Putrajaya

Together with INTi students we joined Low Sensei's group in the presentation of Aikido's 31 count Aiki jo kata to the public. Altogether there were 21 participants from the various dojos in the group.

The event organisers allocated only a total of 5 minute for Aikido presentation. Out of the allocated 5 minutes, 1 minute was utilised for the Aiki Jo stick work while the remaining 4 minutes were utilised for the separate bokken (sword), tanto (dagger) and empty hand presentations. Although we had 1 minute for the Aiki Jo, in reality less the time taken for bowing in and bowing out of the arena we had at the most about 30 seconds to perform the stick work.

Although the presentation took only 1 minute of time the behind-the-scene preparatory and training for INTi/Semenyih group took about one week. One week before the event from Mon to Fri after work I had to rush to INTi and Semenyih to give a crash course on the 31-count Aiki Jo kata to the students because I had never taught them this Jo kata before.

Even on the day of the demo despite the intensive training I wasn't sure if my group of students could pull together with students from other dojos to put up a credible show. Knowing all the steps and movements is one aspect but in a mass drill you must be able to work harmoniously together with others as a team. Fortunately after doing a few combined rehearsals before the show all the participants from the different dojos managed to click together as a team.