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My Path Blog Tools Rating: Rate This Blog
Creation Date: 06-08-2009 01:55 PM
Linda Eskin
My path to and through Aikido. Observations on Aikido, fitness, happiness, horses, & life, by a 53 y/o sho-dan.

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: 242
Comments: 367
Views: 862,582


In General Roll Model: Lloyd McClellan, Sho-Dan Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #109 New 12-08-2010 01:33 AM
We had a sho-dan promotion at our dojo recently, a 73 year-old gentleman named Lloyd McClellan.

Lloyd's story is his to tell, but I'll share my own experience of Lloyd.

When I started training, at 46, I read a few things by George Leonard Sensei. Leonard Sensei had also started Aikido at 46, I believe, and had written an essay titled "On Getting a Black Belt at Age Fifty-Two." He went on to become a 5th dan. I found these bits of information very heartening. 46 was not "too late."

From my newbie perspective Lloyd has been training "forever." He is older, he is senior to me, and he is competent, kind, generous, a good teacher, and he's strong as an ox. Those things are great, and worthy of admiration, but didn't surprise me that someone who'd been training forever would have those qualities.

Lloyd is also a just plain cool guy. He wears a cowboy hat and a cowboy mustache, and he drives a pickup. It would surprise me if there weren't some cattle at some point that back up that hat.

He knows his limits on the mat - he doesn't roll a lot, doesn't sit in seiza - but he doesn't let them stop him. I've seen him frustrated, tired, and in pain, but I've never seen him discouraged.

But the most impressive thing about Lloyd didn't really strike me until his sho-dan demo came up. Lloyd started training when he was 65. I don't know if it ever crossed his mind to ask himself "what am I thinking, starting a martial art at my age?" If it did, he didn't let it stop him.

I want to be like Lloyd when I grow up.
Views: 2274 | Comments: 4

RSS Feed 4 Responses to "Roll Model: Lloyd McClellan, Sho-Dan"
#4 01-09-2011 12:24 AM
Linda Eskin Says:
That's great to hear, Niall. :-)
#3 12-20-2010 03:06 AM
chris wright Says:
Lloyd sounds a great role model for us all, i hope i'm still around and training at 73.
#2 12-11-2010 02:27 PM
Linda Eskin Says:
That's awesome. :-) I agree about the readiness... While I sometimes think "dang, I wish I'd discovered Aikido years ago," the truth is I wouldn't have been ready. I'm here now. Nothing to do but stick with it.
#1 12-11-2010 03:32 AM
niall Says:
Is that a forward roll model, Linda? My first aikido teacher started aikido when he was 53. He died in his eighties with seventh dan. He had the best and truest aikido I have ever seen. Aikido appears in your life when you are ready for it.

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