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Go Back   AikiWeb Aikido Forums > AikiWeb AikiBlogs > My Path

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My Path Blog Tools Rating: Rate This Blog
Creation Date: 06-08-2009 01:55 PM
Linda Eskin
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My path to and through Aikido. Observations on Aikido, horses, & life, by a 51 y/o 1st kyu.

This same blog (with photos and a few additional trivial posts, but without comments) can be found at www.grabmywrist.com.

I train with Dave Goldberg Sensei, at Aikido of San Diego.
Blog Info
Status: Public
Entries: 212
Comments: 359
Views: 318,270

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In General Time Flies Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #212 New Yesterday 11:49 AM
If you ever want to make a year fly by, here's how to do it.

First, anticipate that you will likely be testing for shodan at some point this year.

Next, sign up for a study course to be certified as a Group Fitness Instructor (GFI). Plan to be done with it by summer. Ready to rock in your new career. Along with your writing you can help people be healthier and happier. Buy a notebook, highlighters, and pens. Put everything in a big tote bag so you can study anywhere, even at the park. Dive into the material. For a week.

Now, decide that this is the right time to remodel the house. Drop writing studying like hot potatoes for 6 months and instead focus on choosing flooring, rearranging furniture, and picking paint colors.

Meet with Sensei, along with a friend who will also be testing, and schedule your shodan exam for December 13th. Many months away. Plenty of time to train and prepare.

Refinish the kitchen cabinets. Landscape the driveway entrance. Collaborate with the contractor. Throw a big party when it's all done.

Whew!

Check the calendar and note that if you don't schedule your pre-paid GFI certification exam in the next 2 days you will have to pay again to schedule it later. Schedule the certification exam for Friday, October 24th - as far out as you dare without being too close to your ranking exam. Dive into the material again.

Discover that you don't know anything that's going to be on your shodan exam. You've seen and done it all before, of c ...More Read More
Views: 22


In General Listen: Aikido, Empathy, and Neurodiversity Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #210 New 07-12-2014 10:43 PM
I have a podcast to recommend to you. I've listened to it a few times before, and just listened to it again, twice, while doing some gardening at sunset out in the front yard.

The interview provides an excellent, clear, accessible, and thought-provoking introduction to Aikido. If you are not yet familiar with Aikido you'll learn a bit of its history, and how it's distinct from other martial arts. Even if you've trained for years, there's probably something new here to consider about your practice.

The podcast is just over an hour long. At about 16 minutes Walker Sensei makes a very interesting point about the practice of Aikido, in contrast to non-contact practices like (most) yoga and meditation. He also discusses his work in neurodiversity and autism rights activism.

Interview #323
"Aikido, Empathy, and Neurodiversity"
with Sensei Nick Walker, M.A.


The source is Shrink Rap Radio, with interviewer Dr. David Van Nuys, Ph.D. (AKA "Dr. Dave.") He is Emeritus Professor of Psychology at Sonoma State University.

According to the brief bio on the site (from 2012), "Nick Walker received his M.A. in Somatic Psychology from California Institute of Integral Studies, where he now teaches in the undergraduate Interdisciplinary Studies program. He holds the rank of 6th Dan (6th degree black belt) in aikido, and has taught the art of aikido to adults, teens, and children for over 30 years. He is founder and senior instructor of the Aikido Shusekai dojo in Berkeley, Calif ...More Read More
Views: 121


In General My Sister Would Have Turned 50 Today Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #209 New 06-09-2014 04:53 PM
My sister would have turned 50 today. Alcoholism and drug addiction killed her 8 years ago, after a decades-long struggle to reclaim her life.

As a little kid she desperately wanted to be liked, to fit in. She'd come home from her early grades of elementary school crying that she had no friends.

For a while she found belonging in softball. Our family all went to her games to support her. At some point she failed to make the team, which was devastating for her.

Around the same time, at about age 14, as far as I know her history, a friend shared a stolen bottle of wine with her behind the local movie theater. I don't think she ever stopped drinking after that, except for one time, when she was pregnant with her son. She stayed clean and sober during her whole pregnancy. Aside from then, from 14 to 42 were hard years, and everything was a struggle.

She could be nice, fun, and caring. As adults we got along well, and talked often. I didn't trust her; she wasn't trustworthy, but I did like her.

As a teenager she stole, both from me and from businesses. She lied about anything and everything. She ditched school regularly, and snuck off to surf with her cool friends. It was a huge crisis for her when she didn't have the "in" jeans (Salt Of The Earth, in red) one year. She was dragged home, drunk, by the police. Once she and a friend ground up and snorted aspirin (to look like coke) at the beach so they could look cool in front of boys they liked. She would do anythin ...More Read More
Views: 413


In General Photos from Camp Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #207 New 04-16-2014 11:04 AM
Here are some photos from last weekend's Osensei Revisited camp. Each one is captioned (if you click through the photos you can see the captions). Enjoy.

http://www.grabmywrist.com/post/8290...visited-iii-in
Views: 251


In General Back from Camp Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #206 New 04-15-2014 02:13 PM
Back from the 3rd annual O Sensei Revisited camp in Occidental, CA. It's an intense, intimate camp in a beautiful setting. The focus is on teaching/learning O Sensei's developmental process through experiential work - both technique and other exercises. It's a lot of training packed into 3 days!

A little achy here and there from lots of training (and sleeping on a weird mattress), but mostly rested and awake after a couple of good nights' sleep. It was great to see so many friends, hang out with my dojomate/roommate, Karen, and Sensei, and to meet a bunch of new folks. Pushed a few limits, learned a few new things, and was reminded of many more learnings that had faded. Lots to think about, embody, and incorporate into daily training. More inspired than ever about training for my upcoming (someday) shodan (first black belt) exam "later this year," and recommitting to studying (reading, reviewing notes, watching videos, and consciously learning), and to writing (both my blog and my next book), even in the midst of house renovation chaos.

Already looking forward to going again next year - I hear it's scheduled for the end of April. Check with City Aikido (Robert Nadeau Shihan's dojo) in San Francisco for details.
Views: 196


In General Back from Camp Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #205 New 04-15-2014 02:12 PM
Back from the 3rd annual O Sensei Revisited camp in Occidental, CA. It's an intense, intimate camp in a beautiful setting. The focus is on teaching/learning O Sensei's developmental process through experiential work - both technique and other exercises. It's a lot of training packed into 3 days!

A little achy here and there from lots of training (and sleeping on a weird mattress), but mostly rested and awake after a couple of good nights' sleep. It was great to see so many friends, hang out with my dojomate/roommate, Karen, and Sensei, and to meet a bunch of new folks. Pushed a few limits, learned a few new things, and was reminded of many more learnings that had faded. Lots to think about, embody, and incorporate into daily training. More inspired than ever about training for my upcoming (someday) shodan (first black belt) exam "later this year," and recommitting to studying (reading, reviewing notes, watching videos, and consciously learning), and to writing (both my blog and my next book), even in the midst of house renovation chaos.

Already looking forward to going again next year - I hear it's scheduled for the end of April. Check with City Aikido (Robert Nadeau Shihan's dojo) in San Francisco for details.
Views: 180


In General Ukemi Notes from Camp Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #204 New 04-15-2014 02:11 PM
A couple of memorable thoughts about ukemi from the 3rd annual O Sensei Revisited camp last weekend (11-13 April, 2014):

"Uke's job is to feel."
~ Robert Nadeau Shihan

"If you're not falling, you should be attacking."
~ Richard Moon Sensei
Views: 189


In General Contemplating What Stops People Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #203 New 01-05-2014 10:42 PM
Sensei is offering a new program at the dojo where I train (Aikido of San Diego) called Aikido 101. It's a 5-week series of ten 90-minute classes, and the first session starts next week. I'm looking forward to playing with some brand new people just starting out. What a great opportunity to revisit the fundamentals with a fresh listening, not to mention the chance to work on improving my ukemi!

The course will provide a well thought-out curriculum of principles and techniques so participants get a broad overview that's designed to introduce the basics. If it's all they ever do, they'll at least have a good beginner's understanding of what Aikido is, and some fundamental skills. If they decide to continue, they'll have a good foundation to build on.

A friend of mine asked me this morning "Looking for new experiences to enrich my life... Aikido 101 looks intriguing. Any input you'd like to share??" I was struck by her openness and curiosity. She's understandably cautious, since she has some physical issues she's concerned about, but she asked. She wondered. She allowed for the possibility that there might be value in it, and that she might be able to do it. Whatever she chooses, I appreciate and admire that about her.

Since I started training I've regularly invited friends to visit the dojo or participate in introductory programs we've offered. I've heard two kinds of responses from almost all of the people who decline - either they think they wouldn't be capable of d ...More Read More
Views: 523


In General Moving Into 2014 Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #202 New 01-04-2014 01:00 AM
2013 was a year of beginnings. Changing directions and laying foundations. It has been an exciting time. I started a lot of things, but I got stopped a lot, too.

I switched to working (very) part time for my employer, and launched my own publishing company. I wrote and published my first book. I meant to get a lot further with the next book I have planned, but writing got delayed by a few projects coming in from the day job, and then I lost momentum.

I started to put in a large vegetable garden area with raised beds. That was going well until two local cats chose to unexpectedly grace me with their litters of kittens within days of each other. For a few months entirely too much of my time (and money) was taken up with caring for them and trying to find them homes. Besides, I could not get the tractor out of the garage because we had one litter trapped in there while we tried to socialize them. By the time that adventure was over the ground was dry and hard, and hot summer weather had arrived. I accomplished nothing further on the garden, and it has been overtaken by weeds.

In the late summer I aggravated an existing problem with my left knee. Getting it back in good working order required minor surgery and a couple of months' rest and rehab at the end of the year. So there were several weeks of discomfort, icing, physical therapy, and of course sitting out and watching classes.

It's easy to look back on the past year and feel like I didn't really get much done — ...More Read More
Views: 295


In General Holiday Madness Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #201 New 12-26-2013 01:06 AM
Thank goodness that's over. I was barely inconvenienced or annoyed by The Holidays. I enjoyed a nice, low-key visit with family, and that was it. But man, the things I saw some of my friends going through. Living up to family expectations, suffering from loneliness, going mad trying to decorate and cook… Feeling bad about not sending cards, for heaven's sake. And some of these friends are sick or healing from injuries, dealing with fresh grief, or just Not Wanting To Bother… All of this against a background of endlessly cheery music and TV shows and signs and greetings telling us how lovely it's all supposed to be. Feh.

So now we can put it behind us for another year.

Time for the New Year. *whew* For me the end of the year is a time for reflection. Did I do what I meant to do in the past year? Was it time well-spent? Am I moving in the right direction? I'll be doing a lot of thinking about those questions over the next week.

One thing I've gotten somewhat better at in recent years, due in combination to age, experience, and my Aikido practice, is noticing where my actions are out of alignment with my intentions. Sometimes I'm able to correct, sometimes not. It's said in budo - the martial arts - "true victory is self victory." I take this to mean making conscious, non-habitual decisions - moving forward with intention. it's not easy. I have a lot of work to do in this area.

It's a subject worth examining in all areas, at any time. I just got to thinking about it ...More Read More
Views: 281



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