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Go Back   AikiWeb Aikido Forums > AikiWeb AikiBlogs > Seeking Zanshin: Blood, Sweat, Tears & Aikikai

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Seeking Zanshin: Blood, Sweat, Tears & Aikikai Blog Tools Rating: Rate This Blog
Creation Date: 02-24-2005 10:53 PM
One small gal + a dojo full of big guys = tons o' fun
Blog Info
Status: Public
Entries: 270 (Private: 12)
Comments: 195
Views: 834,755

In Miscellaneous A Long Preamble Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #256 New 03-08-2010 03:14 PM
First of all, I want to take a moment to thank the many people whose efforts have been so integral to my training over the past seven years. You know who you are - some of you have moved on to other things, for others maybe "life got in the way" or you simply had to move out of the city - whatever the case, know that even in the brief time you were a member of the dojo, practice with you and your ongoing support have helped me reach this milestone in my training.

A big thanks to Jun at AikiWeb for giving me the opportunity to blog about and share my experiences in this art since 2003 back when I was a brand-spanking-new, unranked beginner and to those who have joined in and followed my adventures since that time - I've loved being part of your community.

Of particular note are the dedicated core students of Open Sky Aikikai (formerly the North Winnipeg Aikikai):

- Jeremy Duggleby (long-time training partner since before Ikkyu who I am certain has sacrificed his own training by almost exclusively practicing with me - a foot shorter and almost 100 lbs smaller than himself - which has ultimately helped me grow stronger, undoubtedly at his own expense)

- Jim Slivinski (whose well-timed words of wisdom gleaned from possibly two decades now of training in the art have helped me keep things in perspective and whose rootedness I envy and which has proved a wonderful training challenge to learn from)

- Garry Hayes (whose good humour and down-to-earth focus on martial effectiveness have helped me keep my attitude light and my practice real; I've always admired his ongoing introspection about training and his openness to new conditioning methods)

- Lisa Martens (as the only other female who has stuck around in the dojo, she's been indispensible in helping me work out the kinks in the form of techniques that have long been the bane of my aiki-existence due to the challenges they've presented someone of my size; I could never have gone far with Koshinage and Aiki Otoshi without her)

- Jarod Chay (whose martial spirit and enthusiasm for hard training I've always appreciated)

I also want to mention two very special former club members - my original sempai - who in a way could be considered co-founders of the dojo: Jeff Thomas and John Ellison, known best for their legendary ukemi and intense martial attitude, who never hesitated to tell everyone to "suck it up". They supported my training and martial development with almost as much gusto as they inspired in us a strong sense of team spirit and a great respect for the art both inside and outside of the club - I've always valued both and hope to continue the tradition from their example.

Last but definitely not least, I want to voice my deepest thanks to my Sensei (now husband) Jonathan Hay - without whose sacrifices and persistence, both for the art (and for this club), there would be no Open Sky Aikikai to call a second home and many of us would never have had the opportunity to learn from such a skilled practitioner of aikido and gifted, articulate teacher. If it weren't for his patience with a certain strong-willed 25-year-old little gal (who, I might add, initially misjudged him horrendously and) who he was "afraid that Jeff would break" in "a dojo full of sweaty guys"- if it weren't for his determination to independently strive for excellence in Aikido in spite of what other people might think of him, I might never have come this far and I sure as hell would never have done half as well as I did on my Shodan test.

I look forward to sharing the next stage in my Aikido journey with you all. Arigato gozaimasu.
Views: 2326 | Comments: 4

RSS Feed 4 Responses to "A Long Preamble"
#4 03-09-2010 04:22 PM
ninjaqutie Says:
I take it you passed! Congrats!
#3 03-09-2010 11:10 AM
Heh, I ordered one two days ago, so it's still on its way Sadly no bujin though
#2 03-09-2010 08:19 AM
jducusin Says:
Thanks, Ilia! Right back at you! Have you tried on your hakama yet?
#1 03-08-2010 06:05 PM
congratulations once again!

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