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Overall, this has been a great month! The weather has been great for aikido practice (our dojo has neither heat, nor A/C). Our practice is continuing to evolve as our instructor spends more and more time with other instructors from the AAA, especially Matsuda sensei.
In some ways, change can be frustrating. We're working on changes to our sword strikes, and the adjustment has been a little difficult. I haven't found it to be a major, or impossible, change, but the recovery from my shoulder injury has slowed down my weapons practice. So, the change is taking longer to feel comfortable.
My shoulder is doing very well. Practice is mostly pain free. I'm left with some residual soreness, but it's usually not a really big deal. Last night I had a number of "ah ha!" moments in practice. I felt good about being able to recognize a problem and fairly rapidly fix it. I think, for the time being at least, I'm past a stage where I had high expectations for myself and would get upset when I'd make a mistake. Perhaps my injury and recovery have helped me keep some things in perspective.
One of the guys who is junior to me called me "atemi sama" last night. He says it means "Lord atemi." I like that! I just can't let it go to my head.
On a personal note: April 13th was my second wedding anniversary. Robin has been exceptionally supportive of my aikido training, so I feel blessed. We're going to West Viriginia for an instructors seminar at the end of May. I'll train, and she'll hang out and enjoy the amenities of staying in a hotel. I hope she'll also get a chance to bum around downtown Charleston, WV.
I took last week off from aikido study so I could study for the GRE. It's like the SAT, but for getting into graduate school. I'm glad I did! I got a perfect score on the verbal section and a 550 (out of 800) on the math section. I needed a score of 1,100 to get into the grad school program of my choice, so I'm good to go.
Lastly, I just heard about an exciting seminar in July. I'll post more when things are confirmed. It'll be at Itten dojo, not far from where I live, so I'm pretty sure I'm going to go.