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I teach Aikido at a small dojo in Winnipeg, Canada. Been doing so for many years now. This blog is just a collection of ruminations on teaching, descriptions of the events of daily practice, and the occasional funny story.
So, Jeremy, along with Jamie, is my senior-most student. He's a professional trombone player for the Winnipeg Air Command Band (which is part of the military). He does a fair amount of jazz playing, too. Jeremy is a tall fellow (about 6'3"), but not a big one (he's just under 200lbs.). He's in his early thirties, and nearing his black belt rank, which means he's eager to fling and fly in practice.
I think Jeremy is something of a perfectionist, which probably stands him in good stead as a musician. As a martial artist, however, his perfectionism seems to make him relatively easily frustrated. Mind you, he used to get frustrated at the drop of hat when he started with me; he's considerably milder now. These days, when he gets upset, his face flushes red, his brow furrows and he purses his lips tightly (which you really notice on a guy who plays the trombone for a living), but there isn't the muttered cursing and angry slapping of his thighs like there once was.
Jeremy's coming along very well as an aikidoka. He'll make a very competent black belt. When he uses his length well, his technique feels like he might throw you right out of the dojo!
The one unfortunate thing about his having to train at my dojo is that everyone he's working with is shorter. Jeremy already unconsciously shrinks himself in his movements, and when he's practicing with someone like Jamie, who is only a little over five feet tall, he sometimes has to condense himself so much that, as I watch him, I find myself thinking about imploding stars and quantum singularities.
If Jim and Gary are salt to the dojo, Jeremy is pepper. He works very hard and in doing so imparts energy to the whole dojo. Students like Jeremy are vital to keeping a healthy vigor and edge to training. I'm very glad he's with us.