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I think too much. I don't think about anything in particular, but I think too much. This is extremely apparent when I'm trying to learn a new technique in class. I watch (or try to watch) as sensei demonstrates a new technique but it is quickly forgotten because I focus on the beginning and end of the technique.
I have heard numerous sayings that the journey is so much more interesting than the destination. This is also true for practicing a new technique I think (there I go again…thinking). I focus on the beginning so much (uke grabs my left wrist with his right hand), that I freeze up right after uke starts. It is possible that if I don't freeze at the very beginning, I freeze somewhere in the middle when I ‘realize' what I am doing.
I only start to ‘flow' when I think (…lots of thinking) about the other person. I picture our centers moving around the center of the technique. Then it starts to work or rather I start to work. This can be frustrating at first though. I usually project my frustration and anger onto uke; saying that they are resisting too much or that they aren't good at ukemi (‘Aikido works. Your aikido does not. There is a difference').
There is a book written about this ‘flow' experience (actually titled Flow: The Psychology of the Optimal Experience) that analyzes what it takes to get into that smooth state of being. One of the elements needed to experience ‘flow' is a loss of the feeling of self-consciousness. This is exactly what is needed when
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, w