I attended an aikido seminar yesterday where we practiced with a group of foreigners. We did a technique (something like ushiro kubishime throw?) where we had to quickly lift the uke onto the back using the hips (I can’t explain it very well) and then throw him forward.  

My partner was a big guy whom I think weighed more than twice as much as I do.  Normally, the people I practice with are only slightly bigger than I am, so that was something new to me. It also didn’t help that I was very distracted and did not have enough presence of mind to get any of the techniques right.  With the right technique and body mechanics, anyone my size could probably lift anyone his size.  But I messed up and kept using my back.  After the first class I decided to just watch the next one (which I half-regret doing because they performed a lot of cool new variations of painful-looking nikkyo).

Anyway, I went and got a swedish massage for the first time and it was the best!  I don’t know why I never got one before.  It’s helped my shoulder relax, although not completely.  I feel so, so much better.  My upper back and right shoulder have been killing me for the past week.  My muscles were so tense that I was told that my back was as hard as a piece of wood.  I think they’ve been put under too much strain.  I often carry a heavy bag and stay long hours on the computer (and probably don’t stretch enough before class).  I will be going back soon to remove the tension on all of my muscles.