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Ever heard Ikkyo described to you as the 30 Year Technique? This is true.
It seems I never do it the same way twice. And thankfully, I learn a great deal each time I attempt it. Talk about "scared" though. When someone told me "This is called the 30 year technique because it takes that long to master it," um.... come again? eep!
Looking back now, it seems so simple. Yet at the same time, we'll be in class working on some advanced technique and I'll suddenly realize, "Didn't you show us that at 7th kyu?" It's amazing what time will do to your perception.
Last week, we had been working on some ikkyo and irimi nage techniques when sensei did one technique that was so fluid and flowing, I was just utterly amazed at how graceful and easy he makes it. Next second, I find myself bursting outloud laughing when I realize how similar this was to a 7th kyu tech. we had done!
Which reminds me of another pondering thought I had:
"You have to learn something 100 times over before you ever Know it."
Yes, yes... this was a feeble attempt at being "deep" and "insightful." Cut me some slack, I'm on to something here! But seriously, think about it. How many times did you "get" how to do a technique like Ikkyo, only to realize something else later on and it makes think you've figured it all out! Only then to realize something else down the road?
I do. Every day.
7th Kyu was good. I used to think that a white belt was embarassing and degrading. "I know more than you think I do! Kids need the white belt, not me!" Huh! Now that I have a brown belt, I think I'd much rather be in my old white one again. When I attended a seminar in Corpus Christi with 8th Dan, H. Kato Shihan, I was never so glad to be wearing a white belt. White belt means no expectations! You could be in aikido, or any martial art for days, months or years... but a white belt is there to learn, despite everything.
My training partner was an 8th dan in karate. (Sensei, what was his name? Faller? Fauler? Unfortunatly, his name didn't stick.) Now, you think I'm a big guy at 6'2"? Huh! This 8th dan is a BIG MAN! His very presence makes you recoil... that is until you get to know him. Turns out he's a teddy bear like me! A teddy bear that can kill you, but a teddy bear nonetheless. AND... guess who was wearing a white belt? Sensei Bear. He is not of dan rank when it comes to aikido. But this man is very humbled by Kato Sensei and very respectful of him as well. And when Shihan is on the mat, he wears a white belt. He's there to learn.
Okay, I've babbled on enough. I'll come back again tomorrow I hope.