Bottling it

Towards the end of yesterdays (Sunday) class at Aikido, Sensei Brian asked me if I would like to have a go at a keiko (free practice)[1]. I haven’t done this since before my hip problems, around 5 years ago. I would have really liked to have had a go, especially as I have (mostly) committed myself to taking my 1st Kyu (brown belt) grading in March, and I really need the practice. But I was so hot and tired I decided against it; I was worn out (it was hot) and a bit wobbly[2], and I knew I would have been well off my top form (such as it is), which would have done my confidence no good at all.

After just over a year of (mostly) regular training, I feel like I’m finally getting back to the skill level I had when took my 2nd Kyu (blue belt) grading over 5 years ago. To fail miserably at a keiko because I’m tired would be a step backwards, just when I’m starting to get a bit of flow going with my techniques. On top of that, there is also the fact that it is much easier to injure an uke when I’m tired and a bit dizzy.

Fingers crossed that I get the opportunity to practice keiko soon. Once the Dan gradings are out the way in a few weeks, I’ve really got to knuckle down and start learning the techniques and katas that I need to know for my brown belt.

1. I’ve just realised that the form of training the Phoenix Aikido Club calls a keiko is actually a randori, according to most of the online sources I’ve looked at. Whatever the correct term, I’m referring to a free attack, where the uke(s) can use any strike or hold, and the tori has to respond with an appropriate technique.

2. I suffer from a common condition called Orthostatic Hypotension:

A temporary lowering of blood pressure (hypotension) due usually to suddenly standing up (orthostatic).

I’m in good health generally, but a combination of my height (6’5″) and slightly lower than normal blood pressure make me susceptible to dizziness when I get hot, tired or hungry (all of which cause my blood pressure to drop even further).

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