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Robert Gardner
09-10-2007, 05:14 AM
Just thought I would post and say Hi!

Names Bob, I live in Middlesbrough, and am a member of the U.K.A.U. I train under Sensei Darren Hobson, and once I sort my bus pass :P Sensei Tony Hudspith.

Been interested in Aikido for a long time, but due to mental health difficulties never had the confidence to do it. Well, I started a fortnight ago, and I'm enjoying it immensely, even if I can't backwards roll without help :P

Its quite comedy actually. The whole reason I got into Martial Arts is because two of my Uncles (actually Cousins, but my family is confusingly large, and they're considerably older than me, hence Uncle) used to let me watch martial arts DVDs when I was a kid when they were baby sitting me. LOADS of Steven Seagal films.

So yeah. I decide, with me going through something of a life change around, that if I'm truelly interested in doing a Martial Art now would be the time to do it. So I started researching different Martial Arts, what people had to say about them, there histories, philosophies etc. After some deliberation I decided Aikido was for me, from a spiritual and philosophical point of view it was a good match (something that is quite important to me in the choice of a martial art, far more so than 'effectiveness'). So I decided to look into training in my area. I found out about the UKAU and DAN. I emailed Sensei John Emmerson, he passed me some details of the Sensei in my area. One of these was Sensei Hobson. So I emailed Sensei Hobson, we talked via email a bit, talked via phone abit. He alleyed(sp?) my fears that my level of fitness and health would overly impact my training, and I decided to go to a class (to watch and meet some of the students and Sensei first, see how it was taught, whether I would work in that group if you know what I mean). So anyway, I'm waiting patiently outside the Dojo (because I got there VERY early), and my Uncle walks in, Gi, Hakama, arm full of paper work.

"Hello Robert, what are you doing here."
"Heya Darr....."
*we both laugh our arses off as we realise we've been talking on phone and corresponding for a week and didn't put two and two together*

See those two Uncles I mentioned. That would be Sensei Hobson and his brother, we didn't realise because we don't share a surname, its our mothers that are related.

Apparently Aikido is in the blood :D

Karen Wolek
09-10-2007, 06:48 AM
That's so funny! Welcome to aikido and Aikiweb, Robert!

09-10-2007, 08:34 AM
Hi Robert,

Thanks for the story and introduction. Welcome to AikiWeb.

-- Jun

Robert Gardner
09-10-2007, 09:22 AM
Thanks for the replies.

Can I just say, Aikido is very deceptive. All those Shodan make it look so easy, look like they aren't even breaking a sweat, well let me tell you, an hour and half to two hour session in the Dojo and I'm dripping (more so when I'm doing techniques or Ukemi as appose to learning to roll).

Its a damned fine workout and far more interesting than going to the gym I'll tell you that for nothing (one of my reasons for doing it now is that it will compliment the life style changes I'm making to improve my health, I'm very over weight, weighing 22 stone, I don't look as over weight as I am being 6'4 but still)

Hopefully, once I lose a bit more weight (lost about 2-3 stone in about 2 months) my Gi will actually fit a bit better (at the moment I get ot show off my manly hairy chest because its a little too small for my chest - and yes it is a size 7).

Lan Powers
09-10-2007, 01:27 PM
Well good for you .....enjoy your training. The physical spect alone will help you get fitter, feel better, and find pleasure in learning.
Not to mention the mental benefits.

Robert Gardner
09-10-2007, 01:37 PM
Again, something thats actually very important to me. I'm considering making a journal of sorts in regards to that.

See, for the last 15 years I've battled depression, I probably will all my life, there have been bad times, there have been.....less bad times, but to use an Aikido idea, you blend with it, and you move on. Part of what lifted me from my last severe bout (disabling for about 2 and a half years) was among other things (better diet, removing some toxic relationships, bit of therapy) regular exercise. However, I find the gym to be a thoroughly soul crushing experience. I'm just going through motions, I'm not learning anything, and seeing as learning is my greatest pleasure in life (hence going to university finally, after putting it off for 7 years) I figured now would be the time to indulge my desire to learn a Martial Art. The choice is which really wasn't taken lightly.

Anyway, yes, the mental benefits. I was considering making a diary of my moods, and overall mental health, I'm of the firm belief that Aikido will be (and to a small extent is already) good for my Mental Health.

I'm already making a diary of sorts for my weight for Sensei Hudspith (which way round should his name be written? I've seen both) because he's curious as to the effect that the training will have on it.

I'm rambling :D

Anyway, thanks for the post.

Angela Dunn
09-11-2007, 08:43 AM
Hyia Bob welcome to the forumns *Waves.* Can not remember if I introduced myself in class or not but if Not I am Ange, fellow begainner (well white belt...still a begainer though, often to be found going, "What are they doing?" and "how are they doing that!?" Just look out for the girl with funny hair , glasses getting told to remove hand from hip and that will be me. )

Far as I know names should be wrote Sensei *second name!* at least thats how I have always seen it wrote on D.A.N leaflets and the like.

Are you going to be there on Wed, if so I shall see you then!

Robert Gardner
09-11-2007, 09:18 AM
I think we have been introduced. Curly hair?

I'm the really tall guy with the glasses and goatee.

Angela Dunn
09-11-2007, 09:35 AM
yes curly hair, short reddish brown, I believe Darren did introduce is now I think about it.

Robert Gardner
09-11-2007, 09:39 AM
I think he did aye.

robert weatherall
09-11-2007, 09:53 AM
Hello Robert.
Welcome to the DAN family. I think you'll find were all a prety friendly bunch. Look forward to training with you at one of Tony's classes.

David Warden
09-12-2007, 05:28 AM
Hi Rob Gardner,
interesting posts, I hope we can match your hopes and expectations. What we certainly will try to give you is all the support you need. See you tonight.

Hi Rob Weatherall,
good to see you are still around. Was asking Tony about you last week since we are missing your happy smiling face (ouch), so good luck with the recovery and say hi to Nicola.

Robert Gardner
09-12-2007, 05:36 AM
See you tonight.

...and thanks for hte reply.

I didn't realise there were so many locals on here :D

One minor problem, I seem to have damaged my left knee. I'm wearing one of the Neoprene support socks to give me some support, I should be fine providing I rest up before class. I may not be able to kneel, but I'll give it a try, not sure, haven't really pushed it too much yet.

Doctor is suggesting an X-Ray and possibly an MRI if nothing shows on X-Ray.


I'm still coming, even if its only to keep in the routine, help put out the mats etc.

robert weatherall
09-12-2007, 06:34 AM
Robert: You'll be surprised what people with injured left knees can do. You'll be fine.

Dave: Going to pop by dojo on Thursday and resume training next week.

Elaine Adams
02-08-2008, 04:03 PM
Aaargh, Robert, they were so tough on me I left the country! Seriously though, you couldn't have found a better dojo... unless you found the one at Stanley with Sensei Emmerson! Tony is such an excellent teacher, got me break falling when I was afraid to even roll. I so miss my DAN family!!