up, down, all around.

One of the many funny things about San Francisco is that large parts of it are landfill, parts of the Bay that were filled in to enlarge the city. As a result, when they build new stuff in those parts of the city, they often recover old boats and shipwrecks.

Grrrrrrrr. Screw the asshole misogynist right-wing nutjobs who run this country. And the citizens who support them. And especially the clueless women who for reasons passing understanding want to hand control of their bodies over to a bunch of men. By way of the government, no less. WTF?

Back to training tonight, with my back feeling as good as I can expect (I need another visit to the chiropractor for my hips). One thing I hadn't expected, though I started to feel it Thursday and Friday nights, is that with the new belt (brown instead of blue) I train differently: more relaxed, more confident in experimenting, more flowing, and willing to make bigger movements. With the test, and then flinging Kelly around afterward, which was relaxed and effortless, aikido feels easier, or at least, when techniques don't go right, I'm having an easier time moving myself and doing a different technique. Friends assure me that a black belt carries an even greater change, which I've seen much more clearly in others than the brown-belt shift.

Everyone keeps saying we brown belts at this stage are "dangerous"--that we've discovered a certain amount of power, but we haven't learned fine control of it yet. I haven't seen much of that in myself so far, except that I did almost take out an oblivious white belt today. Right before class he was behind me and pulled on my belt, taking me with it; that didn't feel like a safe situation to me, so I raised my elbow to face level (elbows are hard and pointy with very few nerves) and swiveled, and since the white belt was oblivious and not thinking martially, he didn't get out of the way, and I stopped a few inches short of elbowing him in the nose, lucky for both of us.