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Neil Mick's Blog Blog Tools Rating: Rate This Blog
Creation Date: 03-18-2005 01:12 PM
Neil Mick
Some thoughts before my Sandan test, and notes on preparation
Blog Info
Status: Public
Entries: 15
Comments: 6
Views: 68,773

In General TRAINING ACROSS BORDERS: Dance, Dance, Dance Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #14 New 05-01-2005 05:03 PM
Party Like It's a UN Buffer-Zone

Take a hundred or so Aikido students, give them about two three or four days to train together, add a few feasts and throw in about a dozen or so different nations, cultures, and music, and you're bound to end up with an unforgettable bash, by Saturday night.

Add several other martial arts to the mix (with a little limbo* in the center of the room), with members from one dance mingling and joining another, and you get some idea of the wild spirit that bounced around the room, that night.

"This may be the first time that this kind of dancing has ever occurred," observed Don. Yeah, that IS a tall order, but consider it: there was aikido, chi qung, capoeira, several Mediterranean line-dances, limbo, and a few other dances I have never seen...all occurring at the same time, and sometimes flowing from one to the other. I started in with capoeira with the amazingly acrobatic and talented Tesfaye (to the the sound of...was it Ethiopian, Jordanian, or Iraqi music? I had no way to tell, but I THINK it was mostly Ethiopian. Someone write me and tell me which), and soon I had about 4 people jump up and requested immediate lessons. Every time I tell this story to my capoeira-instructor friend, he busts a gut, laughing (clearly, he's jealous ).


The Aiki-Follies were great. As is often the case, they went from the sublime to the ridiculous. Tesfaye, the student from Ethiopia, amazed us with his acrobatic skill, and led us in a few line-dances of his own nationality. Mark, whose booming voice acted as our TAB PA-system, was perfect as an MC. Ala'a gave us a combination air-Iaido demo, while he joked about the dubious wisdom of staring down opponents he'd already slain.

At the height of it, I realized that the variety-show was going so well, that we all needed a little counterbalancing. People were having too much fun, after all. We needed a little misery thrown into the mix, or we were all going to die of happiness and glee. And so, in a spirit of emergency preparedness, I got up and told them all that they needed to suffer a little, and so I fulfilled that need by singing the theme-song to "Rocky Horror Picture Show (with audience partici-pation, of course)." By the second verse, a quick-thinking Aikidoist leapt onstage and beheaded me with a clean swipe of his air-katana, before I could finish the verse. Thud! I went into immediate convulsions and died a messy, virtual death onstage.

He later came up and apologized. "No, no," I said. "You were doing a public service." "Yeah," he said. "I couldn't stand to listen to the whole song, all the way through.

With a grin: "Now, if you had done the "Time Warp...!"

The dances also took the character of the music and the venue. The Thursday-night Turkish revelry* was a little more traditional, with a few Mediterranean-style line-dances and horah's so familiar to me from the Greek wedding-parties I attended in my youth. They tended to build in flavor, variety and spirit, until by Saturday we were, in my humble opinion: "off the hook."

Oh, Lord, how we suffered! Can't you see the misery written all over our faces?? Mercy, mercy, aggh!
Views: 2114 | Comments: 1

RSS Feed 1 Responses to "TRAINING ACROSS BORDERS: Dance, Dance, Dance"
#1 05-08-2005 02:44 AM
AikidoJordan Says:
That was one AIKI Party... It was ingenuity inteh making.. Imust admit that some attempts at entertaining was harmful to the ears (Sorry Neil.. ) Now when the Scotsman (Jim) Preached the importance of Granny by not pushing them off a bus... Let me say i was glad his Kilt covered his Jeans pants... It was Ethiopean Music you did the Capoeira Dance to .. and I wish i did not attempt it .. when icame back to Amman my sdtudents confessed to me how ridiculous I looked (stating not to quite my day job.. No Capoeira moonlighting)... it was all good fun.. And until now I can't seem to get back to IAIDO training without cracking up... (ONe of the Senseis at Cyprus sent me an E-mail that he woke up one day to do Some Sword Cuts at Dawn and ended up laughing away with the rooster)... ANd Donald's intimidating Verbal Quarrel with Tesfaye truly echoed on... (when Jamie Zimron Sensei came to Jordan we both had a thing or two to say about that dance).. Being Impulsive was so safe and there was no fear of imbarrasment .. total freedom.. THis was AIKIDO at work .. I assure you that with out AIKIDO in the Middle non of us Arabs would have had the intention to mingle .. I wonder if any other activity common to both parties would have had the same effect.. What truly was nice is that some of the Arabs r4ecited Poetry in Arabic (it was loosely translated of coarse) but it did not matter just going on stage was sharring enough and beautiful enough .. there were no expectations not gradings.. interesting just as in AIKIDO .. There is no Competition. Aiki TAB stirred up emotions and brought up potholes I personally was happy not to have .. Imean My Attitude towards my Counterparts (israel) was simple and direct... I hate them .. (though my hate does come with intention to hurt but rather with the intention that they should pay for the hurt they bestow upon my family and countrymen) ... meeting with some Israelis on a personal level made me see them as other than Israel... (But they are Israel at the end of the day) Their houses and their advancement and their Livelyhoods, before being paid for by their own sweat, was paid for by My blood as a palestinian... This is a fact (which is why I cannot feel ashamed nor discouraged to mention) The building blocks of their Segregation wall is paid for by the houses torn down and trees that are ripped out of the ground.. Trees.. olive trees... This tree means so much to all Palestinians And when Israel rips out a 500 year Olive tree it rips out teh heart of 6 Generations that have carried on through diversity to care for this tree.. They Destroy Palestinain Pride, They up-root pride from people.. IF you torture someone Physically he/she can get over it but if you destroy his Home you have you have affected his whole family and clan.. You have taekn everything from him.. you have put a stake through his Soul... How can think of peace With AIKIDOISTS when there is a Stake in my Soul... Sorry for such a grim picture.. but "reality Bites"... So now we accept teh esixtance of Israel and are willing to Co-exist ... How come no one can see that teh State of Isreal is not working to co-exist.. They want to Co-exist.. they also want to Keep the settlements that Are illegal.. they want to continue building settlements.. they want to protect all those illegal settlement s and they want to build a wall that makes a 12 year old student's 15 minute walk to school; become a gruesome hour's Drive thorugh Multi Checkpoints.. I ask myself how do I Balance the Joy Of Harmony in Cyprus with the Gruesome reality of my original hate... What also hurts.. is the fact that the world has to send emmissonaries and force a non reaction towards the rape of ones rights.. It seems as though one has a Constitutional right to fend for land against aggressors UNLESS that land is Palestinean .. then the fight becomes the big T (terrorism) and Mr. Bush intervenes... I don't want killing nor do i Approve of it.. But can you show one person that Thought William Wallace in BraveHeart or what is his Name in (Patriot) were terrorists? Such Wicked Mirror we have in our homes today.. Where teh only truth it reflects is the truth we like to see.. Through AIKI I may find Peace and in Peace I may Lose my Home.. Alaa Hijazi Organiser of next Year's TAB Seminar

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