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My Path Blog Tools Rating: Rate This Blog
Creation Date: 06-08-2009 02:55 PM
Linda Eskin
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My path to and through Aikido. Observations on Aikido, horses, & life, by a 52 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: 227
Comments: 367
Views: 353,038

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In Teaching Humor & Humiliation Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #102 New 10-23-2010 01:56 AM
I have long suspected that that is an Instructors' Course at Aikido Summer Camps or Association Meetings where teachers learn techniques for making us laugh at ourselves (and cringe a little), to improve our technique and awareness, or jar us out of habitual patterns of thinking.

Every Aikido teacher I've encountered - Sensei, the yudansha at our dojo, and visiting teachers alike - to the best of my recollection, has used pointed humor and sometimes pretty stern shaming in their teaching. Mostly it's really funny, and often includes some very good physical comedy. And it drives the point home like a nail gun.

"This is what some of you look like. I'm exaggerating, but only a little."

I have to laugh, and at the same time *facepalm* I see that once again I have let my arm trail behind my center in a tenkan, or completely forgotten to hold Uke's shoulder down when setting up the pin for sankyo. D'oh!

One whap upside the head I received in a recent one-on-one session on suwariwaza was "They call it 'knee walking' not 'duck walking'." The teacher, whose natural, flowing, centered shikko is an inspiration, then proceeded to show me exactly what my "duck walking" looked liked. Oh no... It was both mortifying and very funny.

A teacher could very "politely and respectfully" explain the rationale, physics, and anatomy behind their instructions, and demonstrate again the "preferred" way we should be working toward, blah, blah, blah... But that's explaining, not training ...More Read More
Views: 1242 | Comments: 6


In Teaching Learning to Be a Better Uke Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #90 New 04-01-2010 01:07 AM
One of the yudansha who teaches at our dojo, Cyril, uses a variety of people as Uke when he demonstrates techniques. It makes classes that much more intense, because you never know when or if you'll be called up, so you'd best pay sharp attention.

Learning to be a good uke is really important to me, for a lot of reasons. A lot of the most valuable learning in Aikido comes from ukemi. Like learning to move with and into the energy and situation, rather than fighting against it, for instance, not as a way of giving up, but to keep one's center and regain balance. Being a good uke isn't just falling, it includes providing committed attacks so one's partner can practice effectively. Ukemi seems to be where I find growth and discovery happening, more than in practicing techniques as Nage.

So I'm grateful every time I'm called up to help demonstrate a technique. Even when (and it seems to be the case more often than not) I screw it up in some spectacular way, and have to be shown what was wanted. Although he is incredibly gracious about it, I hate being incompetent. Crawling under a rock has sounded like a good plan on a few occasions.

I learned early on, however, that abject humiliation, even in front of the whole class, will not kill me. The only thing to do is shake it off, note the correction, focus, and do better the next time.

Actually, I'm grateful for the correction, and for the fact that even after I screw something up pretty thoroughly, I'm called up again ...More Read More
Views: 1545 | Comments: 2



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