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Went to two classes today. Both of them were much more traditional in format. Not with the silence, you have to steal the moves idea, but a demonstration of a technique, and the practice of that technique for the entire class. This was new to me, but very good, I don't think I would have done as well with this in the beginning. Two weeks of being able to work on some techniques in every class helped me acclimatize nicely to the concepts in the Dojo. The timing was right for me, like that magic that has been every instant that I have been in Aikido so far, perfection of the moment is amazing.
We did heaven and earth throws Morote Dori Tenchi Nage . We worked on Tai No Henko. We worked on Koku Dosa. For the first time I think I get part of the idea behind Tai No Henko not all of it mind you but part of it. If I connect to the Nage I don't have to guess at which way to go, I feel it. The Morote Dori Tenchi Nage seems so far beyond my grasp, I can't Uke for it very well even. I sand wondering where everyone's feet are supposed to be, while my Nage patiently looks at me. And AGAIN states; "You have to move for this to work". My fear? of my own feet occasionally nailing me to the spot. The idea that I have come to like these people around me; "I don't want to look a complete idiot" occasionally filling my head. Yet I know better, this is about being a beginner, about being in the moment. Think about looking the idiot and you guarantee it. Be in the moment, and no matter how long you stand there staring at everyone's feet, it is somehow ok. Ukemi why is it that back rolls seem a natural to me, but the front rolls seem somehow inconceivable. I always feel like a fish on the beach doing them. The more that I work on them, the less they seem to go right.
All these little Aikido lessons that are pervading my life. Not pushing. Learning by being off balance. Learning by being the uke. ( Who would have thought that the person being thrown is learning too? ) Learning that life in a way is strange conflicts, which between others and ourselves, between ourselves and ourselves, we participate gracefully, gently or not. More even than the physical training, which I am coming to love, is the mental training, what little of it I can take into my personal life. There is a center of calm I did not know that I had. A lake of which only the surface is rippled with my passions, dreams and desires, the depths of which I have never seenů. The frustration of getting excited about seeing into the depth, only to have this excitement ripple the pond and obscure the depths I so want to see.