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Now that we've gotten to the good stuff where do I go now?
Despite X years of training, Aikido does not, cannot, make you (one?) something you're (one's?) not. Part of the reason I took it up was because of my natural tendancy to undermine myself at every step, in just about everything I do outside of the climbing wall. The trouble is I am so used to doing that now, that it (it being the miraculous transformation from easily angered, insecure person with pronounced doormat tendancies and the organisational capacity of a lamp post, to invicible sword goddess (don't ask - ed.)) is not happening like I thought it would.
I still have a whole heap of issues with confidence (especially my tendancy to follow blindly/take what I'm given rather than adapting or fighting for something better ) but I will try and take the positive feeling about my grading into other ares of my life!!
If I'm honest I guess I'm in a rather quickly developed post grading slump. Not about my aikido, I'm enjoying the freedom to make things up and try things out, but in everything else.
hmm... Tea! I need a nice cup of tea and a sit down me thinks! That and a hug. Mainly because I can't drink after the Cider I could really do with.
Any advice for the next stage? Is there a next stage? If this was a hollywood film the next new student I tripped over at the Dojo would change my life. I'll get back to you on that one!
That's how long it's taken me to get my black belt!!
I've had at least 4 jobs that I can remember... Have moved house 3 times... become a chartered librarian, passed the Open University's Engineering 101 and even survived my first snowboarding holiday (two weeks before the grading).
Crikey! I was trying to remember what I did with my evenings before I started Aikido. The fact is, I didn't have any! I went straight from University to Aikido lessons.
"Ali's been on a sabattical" said my instructor to a visiting Sensei.
That's one way of putting it! I got my brown belt and went from twice/three times a week with the occasional weekend course to once a fortnight or even once a month in places.
Well, now I'm back at the coal face and I have missed it soooo much! I have made my first wobbly steps towards Shodan. and Dear GOD I have a lot of work to do especially if I#m going to make it by April...
Some of my fellow brown belts who I trained with, weekend just gone, are superb. I say some... I mean all of them.
OK it's not a direct quote, it's more of an implication but even so... I think Sensei was somewhat unnerved by the 2nd kyu's inability to remember Kaitenage from Jodan. Oops! and by 2nd Kyu, I mean myself and two others had no idea, the fourth "just about" got it right and the fifth wasn't actually there.
I don't think it's going quite the way L hoped. Of the five of us who are all hoping to go for the 1st kyu grading in April, the two women involved have been pretty constant but the guys have all been off for quite long periods with work or family or both.
For the main part I'm just concentrating on not letting L panic me, a feat I can manage quite well on my own if I don't get a grip! So far, despite strong self-criticism, I'm quite pleased with my progress but I will have to study the new additions to the syllabus in detail. The two major ones are Koshinagi and Munedori. I'm not even sure which attacks we have to be able to handle into Koshinage.
I can't ask to study something in particular though if I don't know which things we'll actually be doing for the grading... I got the syllabus a fortnight ago and promptly lost it.
Once I have all the syllabus (syllabi?) together it should be easier to go through and see where my weak points are... Shiko is definately still a little wobbly and is at the head of my list of "things I can practice outside class" because I don't need a partner (or a big squashy mat to land on).
Nights like last night don't happen very often. Maybe that's what makes them sweeter.
The Aikido was just 'there'. My centre was low, my feet moved under me instead of remaining stuck to the ground until I'm at the point of tipping over and best of all, being told I was good didn't cripple me!
Sensei R showed me a technique that I've not really tried before and I nailed it.
Please don't wake me up!!
I could do with a few days like that at work. I have about 15 library tours to do on Monday. I sometimes wonder what the staff here do... organisation certainly isn't on the list!
I might not be a leader by nature but learning the Tango has shown me I'm not a natural follower either...
One thing I think it will show me, is how to keep my centre even whilst I'm twisted up like a sweet wrapper... and walking backwards in heels. Beat the daylights out of me and I'm fine, teach me to dance and I pull a stomach muscle. *wince* Maybe Buffy was right, maybe you can kick someone's arse whilst wearing high heels and skin tight clothing... but not right now. I still can't quite decide whether I love the Tango or I just want to throw my partner over my head. I'll stick with it for as long as it improves my balance and not just my pain threshold.
Aikido on Monday was a great session. Lots of weapons work which always makes me grin and hop around like an over excited puppy. Partnering Karate God and Mr Tomiki was particularly good. Mr Tomiki and I were throwing each other around like nobodies business. And... AND I was demo Uke, hurrah! Didn't even land on my head.
The path towards 1st Kyu is slow but steady... L's Ukemi course has done the world of good for my Koshinage landings, as has being thrown about by the lads. I can't think of anything deeper than that to report at the moment. I'm enjoying the journey and that's the important thing... it says here.
There seems to be a constant butting of heads, on this site and I'm sure else where, over what 'style' of Aikido people study.
I have very little knowledge of different styles of Aikido. When someone writes Aikikai or Iwama I have no idea what they really mean. I have some vague notion of Tomiki Aikido due to a fellow class member studying it in a former life and an equally vague notion that Yoshinkan sounds quite scarey but other than that its a bit of a mystery. I'm greatful to Templegate for giving me a brief but enlightening introduction to other ways of 'doing things'. Attending one of their courses felt rather like a licence to adapt my aikido to me rather than adapting my square peg to one associations round grading system. I'm not exactly planning any kind of revolution; in a "Strictly Ballroom"-style performing the forbidden steps fashion. But it's good to see proof of life outside our box, lovely though our box is..
Anyway, I digress.
I always see the training of Aikido as being similar to the story telling traditions of many societies. The 'bare bones' of the story remain the same but the embellishments are unique, not only to each teller but to every listener. Rumplestiltskin will always be Rumplestiltskin whatever language it's translated into. The adaptations are almost by accident. Yes O Sensei (as I understand it but again it's only recently that I've learnt much outside my Dojo's 'Do') had a mid-life career change as it were, deciding tha
I attended my first ever Tango lesson last night (it was actually a milonga session but as I've never done any Tango before it was all new). It was divine, and surprisingly uncreepy; I think that's the advantage of a fairly small class.
Having spent more time than is really sensible trying to obtain my partners balance, disrupt their centre with mine and then plant them on the floor (in a peaceful and at-one-with-the-universe fashion), all that lovely Aikido stuff that is so vital and yet so hard to master, I fancied a change of pace.
I fancied an activity that involved some music and plenty of time NOT defending myself. Tango being what it is though (a potentially Hot & Steamy Latin American dance) I'll probably spend more time defending my honour during a class than I ever have during Martial Arts training.
I think I've chosen to go about it the right way, mind.... Learn to throw a guy on his arse, then take up close and personal dancing with a partner, it gives a girl a certain sense of power.
Monday's Aikido session was a mixed bag. I got thumped randomly for missing my place in the Ukemi line up by the person who, being too close to the person in front, caused me to miss my turn in the line, but there we go! **meditates furiously....Psychic Egg, Psychic Egg, Psychic Egg** **then thinks sod it and sticks tongue out at person who thumped her**
I trained with Rw our "we shall, we shall not be moved" black belt with the only
Ah yes, thank you Sifu for your sage advice...regarding my Aikido instructors implicit request that I shelve Thursday Kung Fu in favour of an extra hours Aikido as preparation for my upcoming 1st kyu grading.
I wonder who would win if I set up a match? Aikido ...obviously.
Wednesday was another good session. My breakfalls are improving already. I decided the best thing for negative comments (from myself!) is just to bite my tongue and so far it seems be working.
Dave has promised to teach me the psychic egg (the Barefoot Doctor, can't help but love him!) in order to help me find my centre. I think that is my primary weakness.
there are details that I need to learn on techniques but it's my balance and posture that are undermining progress