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Thursday night in class I felt out of sorts: awkward and self-conscious…half a bubble off. After class I felt anxious. While chatting about class with Ron I felt unworthy of being a teacher ever again. I tend to lean to extremes especially when I am tired.
Saturday morning I was supposed to be the first teacher. I told Ron he should just teach the whole class. He called me out saying that it was my turn to start and I needed to do it.
And I did. I started class with a drill I called "Halt". I demonstrated a complicated kokyu nage from a yokemen attack and challenged us all to say "halt" every time we had a thought. Then we were to voice the thought and start again.
As we trained together (there were ten of us on the mat) I heard many "halts" and much communication and some chuckles as ukes and nages worked together to let go of thought and just train.
I noticed again that when I let go and just be… Aikido happens. My ideas are creative, challenging and interesting. The group benefits from a teacher's lack of self-consciousness. Self-centered fear inhibits creativity and spontaneity.
An aikido class is a like a merrily wrapped holiday present. As we pay close attention the experience reveals itself to us bit by bit.