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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: 833,534

In General Back to the (bigger, badder) Basics Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #265 New 02-09-2011 02:25 PM
I'm convinced that no matter how busy your life gets, or how far from ideal your situation may be, you should make the time to look around and take stock of just how fortunate you are. Now is definitely one of those times for me.

Sure, you could say that we don't have a "permanent" dojo space of our own right now. That the student numbers are low. Meh! The fact is, between the church hall and the university, we've got a pretty good thing going. For one, I have the opportunity to practice six days a week, if you count the Sunday afternoon I teach (which is in many ways, an even more intense learning experience, as I've blogged about before). Sure, having back-to-back classes on Friday night (going straight from regular practice at the main dojo class to being demo uke and participant in the beginners' one) can be brutal. Boy, do I look forward to a nice, hot soak in the tub at the end of my week.

But participating in the two "extra classes" with the beginners at the university is definitely paying off as far as Kihon waza is concerned; we can lecture about a good foundation in the basics until the Mudansha come home but you can never spend too much time building more of it for yourself. There are still more minute details I'm learning about the basic exercises that I hadn't been taught before. Which is why I'm glad we're spending more time these days not just on good ol' Tae Sabaki, but in particular on dynamic, moving Tae Sabaki, instead of the kind that starts static. What a difference! And what a seemingly frustrating challenge for most of us. We are definitely creatures of habit. It's high time to break out of the bad ones.

So, taking stock:

I'm blessed to have been given the time and the physical ability to practice classical Aikido in the first place, to be able to move with a certain degree of grace and coordination and yes, to even find pleasure in doing high breakfalls. I'm determined to enjoy this journey and to adapt and teach what I know so that as many others as possible might enjoy it as well. I'm thankful that I have a spouse who is not a resentful "Aikido-widower", who fully supports my dedication to training and doesn't begrudge me the time I spend on the mats and that he's right there with me, too.

I'm blessed to have a gifted and articulate teacher, from whom I am constantly discovering more and more about this fascinating art. I think it's really easy for long-time students to take for granted how much their progress is impacted by the level of guidance they're willing to accept; sure, our Sensei went for years without a direct teacher to guide him and had to make a lot of mistakes to find out a lot of things on his own. But as hard-won and valuable as the knowledge ultimately was, given the choice between it and a skilled mentor correcting him day to day, he would have chosen the latter.

I'm thankful that we have a place to practice that we can afford and really good mats. I'm thankful that we have a core of students to practice with who I like to think of as friends -- people I can trust. I'm thankful that for a first-time teaching experience, I've struck gold and have three main students who are polite, attentive and eager to learn and do their best.

It's with all this in mind that I want to approach my training and teaching by doing the absolute best that I can for as long as I can, for you never know what life will bring.
Views: 2433 | Comments: 1

RSS Feed 1 Responses to "Back to the (bigger, badder) Basics"
#1 02-09-2011 03:42 PM
guest1234567 Says:
Hi Jamie, Thank you very much for sharing your positive thoughts. It is good to be grateful for all the things we have, we should remember that every day. All the best

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