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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: 734,582

In General Looking Back Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #87 New 01-05-2004 10:46 PM
[Please bear with me while I ramble on incoherently for a bit. I often like to think that it helps with where you're going to look back and remember where you've been...]

I'm not normally one to get particularly sentimental over such things, but rather pensive instead. This month brings a couple of "anniversaries" to mind: one that marks my first complete year of Aikido training (as well as when I first started with this current dojo), and one that marks the month I last stopped (back in January of 2000). Both significant to me. Both had to happen. I think looking back helps put things into perspective.

I was going through some of my old writings from four years ago, trying piece together memories of the person who I was when I first started Aikido. You never really remember all of the details. It's the feelings that stand out the most.

I remember falling in love with Aikido, with the graceful, dance-like movements, and particularly with the philosophy behind it. I had just switched my undergrad major over to Philosophy, and everything just seemed to finally cohere with the path I was taking. I remember being the only female student (nothing new there, considering I still am, only in a different place). I remember eventually becoming the only student. But I didn't care that I was alone, I was just really eager to learn.

My first teacher was very enigmatic, very formal, and very serious. He never smiled on the mats, and neither did his senior student, who would occasionally come by to help him teach. Initially, I remember appropriating this and being all serious on the mats when I first started with my current dojo. I think that I wanted to show that I was serious and disciplined, but it ended up having a different result. My new Sensei, struggling to find a good way to describe my expression, could only come up with, "not quite dour". A couple of Sempais commented that one day if I ever became a teacher, I would scare students just with my demeanor. Suffice it to say, I gave up on the stonefaced look. These days, you'll find me laughing on the mat more often than not. I think that over time, the folks at my home dojo have got some inkling that I'm serious and disciplined enough as it is by my actions alone, without the need to see me turn into a veritable statue in seiza. So I tend to save the old expression for seminars or travelling to other dojos --- I figure it's okay to freak those folks out.

[Thanks for sticking it out through my little digression! I may add more later as I remember things.]
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