View Full Version : Article: Hanging Up My Dogi by "The Mirror"
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04-26-2006, 11:30 AM
Discuss the article, "Hanging Up My Dogi" by "The Mirror" here.
Article URL: http://www.aikiweb.com/columns/themirror/2006_04.html
When I heard that you were, as you put it, hanging up your dogi for good and deciding to stop training in aikido, my thoughts were bittersweet.
I felt sad you were leaving aikido. But at the same time, I felt warmth for my getting to know you both on and off the mat over the years. Now, I feel grateful for the energy that you've put into helping with "The Mirror" as well as in various works of aikido-related art and research that you have created, not to mention your thoughts, introspection, questions, experiences, and wisdom on aikido that you have shared in various places. And, I feel happy that I have a friend who is moving on in her life according to her needs.
Janet, thank you for everything that you have done for aikido. I'm looking forward to the next time I can get together with you, one of these days...
04-26-2006, 01:03 PM
In my almost two years in aikido and in Aikiweb, I have always found your post insightful and educational. I am sorry to hear that you are stopping your aikido training. I would probably do the same if I were in your shoes. I was wondering if you ever tried kiatsu to press your joints and improve flexibility and blood circulation. Here at our association, we have folks closing the age of 60 (may be even beyond) who are still active. I don't know if they have any conditions similar to yours.
I'm sure you will be missed at your dojo.
04-26-2006, 01:10 PM
Janet has ben an integral part of the aikido experience for me ever since I first found Aikiweb in my second week in training. And from the moment I heard her voice at the screening of Richard Moon's DVD in San Francisco, Janet has also become one of my best friends.I will miss dojo-slutting with her, but will retain the wonderful experience of Rosen Technique Irimi Driving (TM) ,tea & webdesign, and the occasional punwar...
And I think you should keep on writing aikido, even if your body doesn't want to Do it anymore...
04-26-2006, 01:41 PM
There are times when I'm away for various reasons and it's absolutely heart-wrenching-- as if a piece of me was being torn away.
I'm very sorry that you're going through it.
Hi Janet -
Will we still get to see you, though, or is it for good? What will the aloe do without your kind attention???
I am glad to know that you do other things that you love; for selfish reasons I am so sorry to see you go.
04-26-2006, 03:18 PM
For me, the piece was heart-wrenching. Janet, I am so grateful for the little bit of you I got to experience, the thought of there never being "a more to come" is pretty much knocking me for a loop now. I know it's weird, barely knowing each other, but I have learned so much from you, really owe so much to you. I hope we can one day meet, keep exchanging ideas, sharing ideas, etc., but if not, if hanging up your gi means that I will be left with the tiny bit of you that I received, never more to come, then let me say here that I am indebted to you in more ways that you will probably ever know - as are my students and anyone that is touched by you through me. In all humility, and with the utmost respect, thank you Janet for being you. The little you of you that I know is ingrained in my being now, I cannot ever forget you and I am better for it. From my heart, thank you.
04-26-2006, 03:39 PM
I wish you the best in your new adventures. I know you won't forget the lessons learned from budo practice. I'm sure you'll take that knowledge and understanding into these new experiences.
Keep in touch when you have time.
04-26-2006, 03:41 PM
Onegaishimasu. Wow. What a sad story! I recently read an essay about meditation being for "old people who can't do anything anymore." Sigh. No one wants something like that to be true. I read your research about knee problems in dojos. There are still things you can do. Aikido is indeed something to study in other ways besides physically. I, for one, hope that your 'research' does not cease. In gassho
04-26-2006, 04:18 PM
I read the draft of Janet's article and I didn't know what to say then either. :( I have my dojo sempai and then there are the internet sempai and Janet's been one on aikido-l ever since I started with aikido, even though we've never actually met on a mat!
04-26-2006, 04:36 PM
We bowed in greeting.
We bow again in parting.
I have looked for your name when reading post and have enjoyed your perspective.
It sounds like you have made a good decision.
Anything I can do for you, please feel free to contact me.
04-26-2006, 04:36 PM
If the dojo is dangerous to you now, then avoiding it is how you continue to do self defense. This much is logical. Good for you for having the wisdom to take your aikido to the next level. If I could, I would confer your next rank.
The world is your mat.
Wherever you go and whatever you do, we know we'll always be on the same tatami.
Thanks for making our lives richer.
04-26-2006, 10:01 PM
Never met you, but I will miss you....
04-26-2006, 11:30 PM
I totally understand why.
But in my idealistic opinion (just an opinion nonetheless) you could still practice Aikido, maybe not in a physically rigorous way.
Maybe you could explore the Ki Society (ki-no-kenkyukai) and their shin-shin-to-itsu-do ('do' not 'aikido'). You could continue practicing aikido but perhaps not so much from the martial aspects of it.
Just a thought...
6th Kyu For Life
04-27-2006, 01:36 AM
Congratulations! You let go!
04-27-2006, 06:08 PM
I didn't realize the column had been published--see what happens when I take a day off the computer? :-)--and sit, stunned, overwhelmed by everyone's kind words.
I will not be 'on the mat' but plan to be..how can it be put?--'of the mat"? perhaps doing weapons training if my hands and arms are up to it; certainly being a part of the life both of my irl and my online dojos. and even if I never smile and say 'grab my wrist' I certainly still welcome the opportunity to meet any of you in real life for some biruwaza (or tea) if our travels allow our paths to cross.
04-27-2006, 06:39 PM
smiling hugely. :)
04-30-2006, 05:50 PM
I wish you all the best. I really enjoyed your columns. Perhaps one day you may return to the mat.
05-01-2006, 03:27 AM
Janet, I understand your feelings, but wish that I didn't understand quite so well.
Hopefully, you will be able to take the best and most lasting parts of Aikido with you off the mat. In those times when I have been unable to train because of physical injury, I have tried to do that, and have been much the better for it.
You may leave Aikido, but Aikido doesn't have to leave you. Peace. :)
05-01-2006, 07:23 PM
I was wondering what sort of tribute we at the Mirror should do for you, but I see your readers are doing it here. Reading these words makes me proud of all you've done for the aikido community.
Thanks for sharing your strong voice, your good judgment, your wisdom, and your kindness. You've been the heart of our group and the glue that's kept us together, meeting deadlines and doing what we needed to do. I'm sorry we've never shared a mat, but I'm glad we're friends. Take good care.
05-01-2006, 07:52 PM
O sensei never stopped his practice, event when he nad a cancer. 3 months after surgery that cut off his leg, Sugano sensei was back on the tatami. Nakamura sensei (judo instructor of my wife) had surgery to implant artificial knee, 4 days later he was back on tatami. I know many other such examples.
So think twice before you hang something up.
05-01-2006, 11:29 PM
Will miss your posts immensely. Take care and I hope one day you'll actually be able to recover enough to get back on the mat. And if not, well, when one door closes in life, another opens...
06-16-2006, 02:53 PM
just a little update, and a travel advisory too!
1. update: i'm taking tai chi once a wk plus getting into the dojo where I will not do actual training w/ a partner but using the bokken will play with whatever it is the instructor is working on.
2. i'll be in van nuys the first weekend of august for a sewing related seminar. won't be in a position to travel/visit dojos, but if anybody down there might be free for a cuppa coffee, a beer or a meal, ping me a message!
12-21-2007, 12:35 PM
Janet, I'm one of those 40 year old non athletic A-1 klutzes as sensei put it when I first started training a year ago.
I'm sad to hear you must stop your training but understand as injuries and an arthritic knee from injuries keep me more often off the mat then on these days.
I also fell in love with the art of peace and am going through a rough time fearing how limited my aikido will be if I'm physically able to continue.
I've gotten a lot of the year I did train. My first few months were spent 5-7 days a week at the dojo until the injuries started keeping me away.
Sensei says I should come to class anyway and watch which is difficult as well since I like to participate of course.
I'm hoping I c( and maybe you ) can find less physically demanding pursuits which arrive at the same spiritual goal.
Perhaps the Ki society IS the answer. My fear is hindering finding a solution although I'm sure it's there somewhere.
I would say though you are fortunate to have had ten years of experience although I truly feel for your situation.
12-21-2007, 03:02 PM
Thank you, James.
Watching training during periods of healing/rehab is a very valuable form of practice.
I have spent several months this yr learning some basics weapons kata of Suio Ryu Iai Kenpo. Regretably, as I"m relocating, I have stopped that (although I continue to do my best to keep practicing them to the best of my ability). I expect to do some iaido and maybe some very "light" aikido in my new home.
I'm still doing some writing, usually thoughts about the links between visual and martial arts, at http://zanshinart.blogspot.com
happy holidays, all.
12-21-2007, 03:07 PM
Don't quite know how I missed this the first time around. Best wishes to you, and here's hoping you have a full and enjoyable life, whether aikido is a big part of it or not. Thanks for all the years of posts, and I hope we get to meet sometime.
Ron (live well)
PS I had a hard time not crying when I read that article. I hope I have as much strength and sense if I should ever have to make the same decision. I really wish you the best.
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