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Rayleen Dehmke
02-21-2010, 10:23 PM
Hello everyone!
I am new to Aikido and have no previous martial arts experience. I am so out of my comfort zone and that's a good thing. I am fascinated with the Art. Right now as a beginner I have never felt more awkward in all my life!! My mind draws a blank when all eyes are on me like the other night when we all took turns in front of the class practicing throws :) Whew!! I look forward to progressing and mastering my 'self ', if that makes sense.

Oyasumi nasai.

Janet Rosen
02-21-2010, 10:56 PM
Dear Rayleen - welcome to aikido and to aikiweb. It's been 14 yrs since I started my aikido journey, like you with no m.a. background, but I still remember so well what it was like to have everything so alien - the muscles of my body trying to figure out what I was asking them to do! - yet it never for a moment occurred to me to quit. I spent a good couple of years feeling (as I put it then) "like a happy idiot!"

02-21-2010, 11:06 PM
Hi Rayleen,

Welcome to AikiWeb and to aikido.

-- Jun

Rayleen Dehmke
02-21-2010, 11:11 PM
Thank you Janet and Jun. Janet, you said it " like a happy idiot", that's how I feel.

ilia rudnitskiy
02-22-2010, 02:25 AM

Linda Eskin
02-22-2010, 11:37 AM
Welcome, Rayleen! Looking forward to hearing of your adventures.

At it since last May, and still plenty of happiness and idiocy going on. ;)

Rayleen Dehmke
02-22-2010, 12:52 PM
Thank you Linda. I am looking forward to posting my progress and maybe honing my writing skills to boot. I'm so glad I came across this site :) It's also encouraging to hear from others who have started this later in life. It's never too late to learn.

Anita Dacanay
02-22-2010, 02:06 PM
"Happy idiot" - that is so perfect!

Hi Rayleen! I'm a forty-something Mom who has been practicing Aikido for just over a year. I started taking classes with my son, and then faced a dilemma when he decided to quit. Should I quit too?

I decided that I didn't want to quit. I remembered that when I was little, my Mom had bridge club and her bowling league - why couldn't I have Aikido? At this point I'm pretty hooked - definitely a happy idiot on the mat.

Interestingly, I think that practicing Aikido has helped me to be a better Mom. Just this weekend Sensei remarked that looking after kids is like randoori - I tend to agree!

Rayleen Dehmke
02-22-2010, 10:44 PM
That's wonderful Anita!
I think Aikido makes us better, period.

Anita Dacanay
02-23-2010, 04:52 AM
Indeed. As far as self-improvement is concerned, I have never done anything in my life that has been more beneficial. I think this is because it works on every level of my being simultaneously. Also because Aikido forces me to confront the things that are hard for me.

Rayleen Dehmke
02-23-2010, 06:18 AM
I know what you mean Anita :)

Conrad Gus
03-03-2010, 02:47 PM
Hi Rayleen,

I just replied to your other thread (books for beginners) and then afterward I noticed that you are with Masa Kokoro Dojo in Calgary.

So cool! You are lucky to be with such an awesome teacher and great people. I was lucky enough to be asked by Ben Lim Sensei to come to classes and be uke for him when he first started the dojo and I feel a special bond to your club.

I live in Victoria now, but I'll see you at the Calgary Aikikai 30th Anniversary Seminar (http://calgaryaikikai.com/) this summer. Not to be missed!


Rayleen Dehmke
03-03-2010, 03:56 PM
Hi Conrad,

That's so cool. I feel very lucky to have Ben Lim as my teacher, he's very encouraging and patient. I got started late into this session and then had to miss some more time when I got sick. I've only been doing it about a month. Right now I am dropping in pretty regularly, I plan to register for the next session.

I look forward to the 30th Anniversary seminar, it's going to be big! See you there :D

03-03-2010, 05:20 PM
Welcome! I hope your aikido journey is a pleasant one. I started a year ago and it was my second time being a beginner in a martial art. My journey thus far has been a mix of frustration, pure joy and a bit of humility has been thrown in as well. Keep at it and rest assured that you are not alone in the way that you feel!

Gorgeous George
03-03-2010, 06:26 PM
My journey thus far has been a mix of frustration, pure joy and a bit of humility has been thrown in as well.

The same for me, i think: towards the end of last year, i was feeling quite frustrated - feeling like i wasn't getting it (because i wasn't, actually) - and after thinking things were a certain way, i realised that they weren't, so i was forced to re-evaluate, and in the past few months, with a new attitude - being full of humility - i have made pretty big strides, and things are coming together (i think).
The positive feelings completely outweigh the negative ones (which i am having less and less of).

Rayleen Dehmke
03-03-2010, 06:54 PM
Hi Gorgeous George and ninjaqutie,
Good to hear from you. I know what you mean feeling the frustration, joy, and humility. It's great isn't it? I mean that in all seriousness, there's no room for ego in the practice of Aikido. It's part of our growth, I welcome it. Now I could be way off base, that's my opinion.

03-04-2010, 11:45 AM
Humility is something that is continually tested and learned in my opinion. After 8 years of training in my former style, I went from being a big fish in a little pond in my old dojo to a little fish in a vast ocean in aikido. It always strikes me funny when I realize just how little humility I have. :) Funny how things happen when you immerse yourself in something new and give 100% or more. I have a feeling I wouldn't be getting as much out of class if I went in there without an "empty cup". I still drag some of my old styles habits into the class, but I am getting better. Eight years of practice puts a lot of things into muscle memory. I have had to learn to change my ukemi a lot and I am still working on making my breakfalls more aiki like and less jujitsu/judo like. Practice, practice, practice.... oh yeah... and patience (which I lack!)

Rayleen Dehmke
03-04-2010, 09:41 PM
Patience? What's that? :p