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Hi my name is Patrick Miller and I have been practicing Aikido for several years now (on and off). Now I graduated and settled and ready to fully pursue my training. I started training 6 years ago (wow it doesn't seem that long ago) when a friend of mine told me about this martial art he was studying while at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He said there was also a dojo near our neighborhood back home that offers Aikido class.
So when we met back up on our summer break, we started attending class at the dojo near our houses. It was a more 'aggressive' for of Aikido that drew lines in parallel with self-defense and combat training. Needless to say, I was hooked. I immediately searched online for dojos back up at my school in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. By God's good grace, there was one; the only one at that!
So I started training through the community programs hosted by my university. I signed up for Basic Aikido taught by Mark Campbell-Olszewski Sensei. I was quickly welcome in the class of less than 6. It was wonderful. I started to get a sense of the 'bigger picture' of Aikido while training there.
Unfortunately, being a full time student, my Aikido training was inversely proportional to my studying and I was usually very busy. That didn't stop me from training, but rather it created large gaps in training.
After graduating, I moved back with my parents and I trained at Chicago Aikikai for a couple months, when again I ran into training gaps. Now, with my dojo at a new location, I am more than ready to start training again
In the meantime, however, I ran into some health issues. I was diagnosed with celiac sprue, which means that I am allergic to wheat-protein, gluten. This also comes with several symptoms including anemia and depression. This is a strange condition, since there isn't a 'cure' that can be administered per se, but rather it requires a conscious effort to be mindful of everything you put into your body, lest you suffer the consequences.
In all honestly, however, I 'enjoy' this. I'm what you would call a bad horse who needs to be whipped in order to remember anything. Now I am forced to be mindful in something that I would simply take for granted, eating. I need to plan meals and be aware of everything I eat on the run.
This directly translates to my training. It is being mindful of the 'big picture,' not just the technique or the wrist that will be grabbed. This has made me mindful of several things now and has given a wonderful step towards training more fully.
I hope to share my journey through training on this website in an effort to make myself more aware of my actions and the value of continued education.