Lauren In Tokyo

Monday, August 11, 2014

Aikido Burnaby Week 4: Julian joins the class

The Saturday Burnaby Yoshinkai class is primarily an adults-only class, so Julian was a bit nervous when he joined us yesterday. We entered the dojo and he introduced himself to Mustard-sensei. Then he chitchatted with sensei for a couple minutes before going into the changing room. There were two guys changing, Jim and Marcus, and we introduced ourselves and began changing into our dogis.

Mustard-sensei burst into the changing room and immediately set the tone for the day with Julian. "Julian, Ando-sensei to watashi to docchi no hou ga kakkou ii desu ka?" (Who is better looking, Ando-sensei or me?) Julian was a little shocked. He said "I don't know" and Mustard-sensei looked at him and then smirked. "Tsukaenai mon da ne. Dakara kodomo kirai." (Completely useless! That's why I hate kids.)

Julian and I bowed in and we met with Judy who was mopping the floor. I introduced Julian and he took over mopping. He did a good job, and got some kudos from the instructors.

We then performed kihon dosa renzoku, a continuous performance of the basic movements which is useful for warming up and putting yourself into the right frame of mind for practice. I don't think they practice kihon dosa renzoku in Burnaby, but I am sure Mustard-sensei knows it, having been an instructor at the Yoshinkan Honbu Dojo. Julian knows the movements and sequence better than I. I stumbled several times while he was fluidly moving between movements.

Class began and perhaps because new students were joining the class Mustard-sensei went through the, now well practiced, introductory instruction. Julian especially liked his Tofu-Butt spiel. When sensei came over to him and asked him to check the consistency of sensei's butt, Julian looked at me and I told him to see if it was hard or tofu-like. He punched his butt and said 'HARD'. Sensei announced "That's right! Maybe you aren't such a useless parasite." Julian laughed again.

Towards the end of class, we were shown the one-handed nikajo wrist lock. I had seen this in videos before, but never been taught it. Starting from a katate-mochi position, shite quickly circles his hand around so that his hand lays on top of uke's wrist. From there, shite just lowers his weight and uke drops or lets go of shite's wrist. The firmer the grip uke has on shite, the harder it is for him to let go. When Julian does this to me, I have no ability to let go. I think it is a combination of my grip and his small wrists. From the nikajo position, I have no strength communicated from my forearm to my fingers to let go, it's as if I'm glued to his arm. He actually ended up throwing me while I was talking to the Judy about it.

On the way home, he was so happy and laughing about all the jokes Mustard-sensei told in class. He must have said Tofu-Butt a hundred times in the car ride home.

We'll be back next week, and we'll stay overnight in Canada so we should be able to take Mustard-sensei out for dinner to say thanks for all he's done for us this summer.

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