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My Path Blog Tools Rating: Rate This Blog
Creation Date: 06-08-2009 01:55 PM
Linda Eskin
Offline
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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: 211
Comments: 359
Views: 317,353

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In Horses Vale, Eeyore. Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #211 New 07-18-2014 02:16 AM
Tuesday

Just the thought of checking the oil in the truck feels like I'm plotting the murder of a dear old friend.

And I am.

I rarely use the truck anymore, since I gave up horses. I need to make sure it's safe to start it. The truck and trailer are in the way. At least he won't have to go in the trailer. He hates trailers. I think most donkeys hate trailers.

Yesterday I called the neighbors, the ones with the grandkids and the pool, to be sure they would not be around. Bible camp this week? Convenient.

My chatty neighbor is full of kind advice. "You're doing the right thing. With our old horse… I wish we had… It's always hard. We'll pray for you at camp."

Tears.

And then the vet's office. I had to schedule around other commitments. "Thursday? 9 a.m.? OK then. We'll arrange everything. We're so sorry." Simple.

I hang up and cry some more.

Convenient and simple, but terrible and hard.

For years he's had a hitch in his get-along. Arthritis. He'd stand up in the morning and cuss under his breath for minute, then shake it off and get on with his day. Just a bit of a limp in the right hind. Happy for ear rubs, excited about treats, glad for company.

We all have our aches and pains, right? I do, and I'm not ready to give up. He didn't look ready, either.

More and more often, though, he rests lying down in the shade. His favorite place recently is under a pecan tree up the hill, where he has a view of the yard and the house, and the ground is slo ...More Read More
Views: 76


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: 100


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: 406


In Weapons Ideas for Seminar Organizers: Weapons Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #208 New 04-17-2014 06:36 PM
Having been to a good few seminars where weapons (wooden sticks, that is) were part of the training, I have some thoughts to share.

First, if you're organizing a seminar, for heaven's sake please be clear about whether participants should bring sticks or not. I have been left wondering many times, and either had to bring them just in case, or leave them home and hope they wouldn't be needed. I've been wrong both ways.

Please give abundant notice. I've been part of a large group flying to a seminar where we were all scrambling two days before the event to buy and/or build airline-appropriate carrying tubes. Given that we were trying to get other things handled before traveling it would have been a lot easier to have dealt with the stick-transportation problem weeks ahead of time instead of at the last minute.

And after all that, we didn't use them anyway. *headdesk*

Not everyone has their own weapons. Sometimes there are loaners available, sometimes not, and often not enough to go around. The first seminar I went to was actually a retreat, and was to be fairly weapons-centric. I rush-ordered an inexpensive set of weapons (and basically had to refinish them on arrival - the night before the event) to be sure I would be able to fully participate in the weekend's training.

It's great to have extras for participants to borrow. It's a pretty iffy prospect for the participants, though. Maybe they'll get one, maybe not. It seems there are always a few folks pantomimin ...More Read More
Views: 297


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: 245


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: 193


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: 177


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: 188


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: 520


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: 293



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