A handful of us got together last night for a "secret practice." It was one of the world's worst-kept secrets because we told everybody last week that we'd meet at the gym and, if it was open, practice. If it was closed, go to the bar. Either way, go to the bar.
Well, guess what? It was open! So, I, Wakabayashi-san, Ellison-san and Brian-san practiced hard for an hour and then went to EMU's pretty much official second dojo, The Tower Inn for a couple of pops. (Joe Ponchart strained his back shoveling snow and couldn't make it - get better, Joe!) Great practice, great conversation afterwards. One topic: will modern China ever experience a political revolution and how would it compare to revolutions in France, Russia and the United States? Other topics: marriage and children, suriashi and balance, and bogu (Brian got three versions of "the bogu hump talk," all at once!).
It also marked one of the last times we'll be seeing Ellison for a while, as the chap is getting married and moving to South Bend. Don't cross him off your list yet, though, as he will be appearing at various get-togethers at EMU, Battle Creek, Detroit and who-knows-where. I don't know if you know this, but John and I have an ongoing rivalry. It seems when one of us beats the other for an evening's or morning's ippon shobu, that lasts about a week before the other wins the honor back. Over time we have come to jokingly imagine that we are trading back and forth a private trophy that we call "the dirty cup" or "the spitoon of destiny" or "the ash tray of victory" and whatnot. Well, I have to confess that Ellison and I had it out for the last time in 2007 and he currently holds the Grail of Debauchery. Guard it well, John! It's a great honor - but a heavy responsibility. And meanwhile I'll be training like Mr. T in Rocky III to get it back.
Anywho, have a great holiday everybody. Stay active, practicing if you can or hitting the track, the weights, callisthenics, etc. Let's come back soaring in Ought-Eight.