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Three hours a week is hardly enough, be it Aikido or Object-Oriented Software Development.
When I decide to take a class, I choose one that will not only keep my interest, but stimulate my mind too. I know I've found a good class when I actively pursue knowledge outside of the given curriculum. I know I've found a great class when I push myself to my limits just to uncover a few gems hidden between the lines. Aikido qualifies as a great class.
In my first class, I was awkward at best. Everything seemed so foreign to me and I found myself losing track of everything. I performed the techniques correctly about twice out of the several minutes I was given. I knew what to do, I could see it in my mind, but applying the technique was a completely different story. But instead of blowing them off and waiting for the next lesson, I studied them intensely in my room. First the footwork, then moving from my hips, moving with my center, extending ki, the arm motions. I disassembled everything, just like I would a computer program. Everything can be taken apart as a separate entity and studied, but together, they became much more than a sum of their individual capacities. I could start to see the ties between them, what made them work.
During my second class, we didn't work on those same techniques, but new ones I had obviously never seen before. But this time, everything flowed together much more smoothly. Instead of just repeating the movements, I carried them out with intention. There were a few mistakes, of course, but I was able to grasp the concepts of the technique as uke, which I was unable to do by myself.
Even though I was drained and sore by the end of class, I was ready to go again. I felt alive and aware, a feeling I have only rarely achieved. And damn it felt good.