Hello and thank you for visiting AikiWeb, the
world's most active online Aikido community! This site is home to
over 22,000 aikido practitioners from around the world and covers a
wide range of aikido topics including techniques, philosophy, history,
humor, beginner issues, the marketplace, and more.
If you wish to join in the discussions or use the other advanced
features available, you will need to register first. Registration is
absolutely free and takes only a few minutes to complete so sign up today!
This week was even more hectic than last week. I did manage to attend class on Tuesday and Thursday, but after my big test on something unrelated to Aikido, I was too exhausted to get on the mat on Friday. I was using the basics class in a completely different way. When we are working from Kihon starts now, I am very conscious of each move that I make and try to make sure that they are much much slower, and much more precise. Sensie talked for a while about this the week before, and drove home the point, the reason that we do it slow is so that you can get it cemented into your muscle memory, in a way that is close to perfect then when you must do it fast, as in a martial situation, (more on a discussion on that later), it will be there and be good.
We worked on Shiho Nage on Tuesday, and Kote Gaeishi on Thursday. On Thursday I worked with two unranked newbies in the Dojo, (One being M). It was a lot of work, and I was definitely more of a teacher than a Uke. This was right after I had made the conscious decision not to teach anyone anything about Aikido, I didn't feel worthy, and thought that even the little things that I was pointing out rarely at that, were getting annoying to me, and therefore would be annoying to my partners. So I said, unless I am going to get hurt, I am not going to say anything just train. The very next class Sensei stands by and smiles at me as I teach, occasionally saying things like "Are you going to correct her on that stance?" I think that it was more work teaching the two Newbies, than it was working with my Sempies! After quite a while sensei came over, tapped me on the shoulder, and sent me off to play with the Youdansha on the other side of the room. He had a big smile on his face when he did it, so I imagine that I must have been doing something good! Or at least something funny! :-)
When you are teaching others or even when you are involved in the demonstration, you are much more focused on what you are doing. I have to be careful to make sure when I am the crash test dummy that I am paying enough attention to my partner enough. It is strange, I am just beginning to connect with my partner in a better way, but only if we are going slowly. I want to work on making my sphere of awareness larger, but have no idea how to do it. I am going to talk to sensei about it today, and see what wonderful input he has for me.
Getting back on my normal schedule definitely makes the world an easier place. For someone that used to absolutely hate schedules, and thought that life should be just as spontaneous as possible this really surprises me. Maybe I am getting old? Maturing? Found a rhythm that actually fits me for the first time in my life? All of the above.
Lately I can feel more and more of the ways in which the inner practice of Aikido is effecting me. Sometimes the changes are so drastic that they scare me. I like them, I can feel my world changing for the better, myself relaxing into my life more, learning more about me, flowing with the world and events that I take place in. From the outside it must appear that I have become much more passive, and non connected, but from the inside I am more connected to the events and people. I just wait patiently for openings in which I can gently act. Flowing with events, even when I don't like the direction that they are going in is something new too. Flowing with things instead of fighting them the instant that they start. Only adding in when there is an opening. This is hard to explain the feeling of being me is changing a lot. It isn't always easy to let the changes happen, changes of this magnitude leave me a bit lost at times as to who I am in some ways. The contrast to how it felt to be me a while ago are great, I like the new Guy's life better, but still sometimes feel some fear in the very act of the changes on this path that make the differences that I enjoy…. If anyone else followed this paragraph let me know…. :-)