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gearing up for class in about 2 hours now, been aching to take some nice hard ukemi all weekend, work keeps getting in the way, back to basics during the warm-ups, my "rolls" have looked more like a cinder block falling down a flight of stairs than anything circular lately, allowing myself to take breakfalls a bit too often it seems, I guess it's just more impressive when I get thrown high, being 6feet5 and over 400lbs, hey I carry it well, ok stop laughing now, when is soembody gonna invwnt/patent Aiki-Robics? Billy Blanks can't be the only one thinking along these lines, what I meant by "one of THOSE guys" is that I currently practice NGA or Nihon Goshin Aikido, I discovered Aikido when invited to the Sho-Dan Test of one of my closest college friends. I soon went out and found the closest dojo to me which was Aikido of Staten Island, a USAF school run by Ralph Wemberly Sensei. I made it through almost 2 yeras of training and my Go-Kyu test there before work required me to move, but nonetheless I was hooked. I soon found myself practicing at Woodstock Aikido and enjoyed a soldi 6 months of almost daily practice their with Harvey Konigsberg Shihan and many of his very talented Sempai. Once again work, and an angry girlfriend, got in the way of training and I ended up moving. This brought me to Aikido of Portland Maine, where I spent another 6 months on the mat with many fine Sempai of Kanai Shihan of the New England Aikikai, I soon found my way back to NYC and Aikido of Staten Island, when a job opportunity presented itself. I trained happily there for another year and a half. Then the fun part of my journey began, 9-11 happened(I was an eyewitness) job stability went out the window for me again and I found myself on a 2 year "Aikido Layoff" with a unyielding work schedule in a new city, Philadelphia. I visited 2 of the USAF schools there but could never manage to get back out onto the mat. I tired of the City of Brotherly Love and soon found my self back in the Catskill Mt. area of NY. As it turned out my close friend whose Sho-Dan test had inspired me to start, was now ready to open his own dojo in the very region I had moved to. Good fortune had smiled on my ugly butt again. I have been there regularly since the opening of Aikido School of Self-Defense-Monticello NY a little over a year ago and don;'t have any plans on relocating in the near future. Did I mention that it's NGA? I have started over, Ah "Beginner's Mind", and have recently been honored to be promoted to San-Kyu, by Sensei Heath Macaluso. I have made the adjustment to this different but equally valid style of Aikido but have not forgotten where i started. Who was it that said " life's the journey, not a destination"? Ok enough rambling for now, time to head for the mat.