03-12-2010, 10:00 AM
3/12/10 f [2s, 10v] I I can’t figure out attendance. I started class with 1 staff person and 2 vets and ended up with 2 & 10! Two vets who have shown really strong interest [1 who started at the dojo wed.] didn’t come, but came up to me after to say they would be at class next Wednesday. I guess it is a symptom of the fact they have a lot of other things going on here, and Aikido is still seen by the staff as a recreational activity. Which it is, but there is, or can be, a lot of “therapeutic” value as well. I think some of the staff see the legitimacy of this. Anyhow, I’m just going to continue to start the class, and work with who ever turns up.
After warm-ups I talked about using deep breathing; full diaphragm/chest expansion and just letting the breath float out of the mouth as slowly as possible, as a way to deal with everyday situations of anxiety, stress, anger, etc. I explained how I used it to help temper my “assertive” driving and talked about times I have used it to control my own, often explosive anger.
We worked from cross stance [gyaku homni] started with a basic irimi and progressed from that to two standing pins. I was able to use variations we have not used yet, which is good, especially for the staff, who have been taking the class from the beginning.
NOTE; It seems, if I structure it properly, almost any technique can be used to get my main points across, i.e. breathing/relaxing to center, maintaining center of gravity/balance, focusing on one's own movement. If people leave gaining only this, I will be doing something really constructive.
(Original blog post may be found here (http://ptsd-veterans.blogspot.com/2010/03/attendance-keep-on-keeping-on.html).)