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I teach Aikido at a small dojo in Winnipeg, Canada. Been doing so for many years now. This blog is just a collection of ruminations on teaching, descriptions of the events of daily practice, and the occasional funny story.
No, this ain't about Bruce Lee. Its about my senior female student, Jamie. First time I spoke to Jamie it was over the phone. She was inquiring about practice and I told her it was just a bunch of sweaty guys with whom she'd be training. Didn't phase her one bit. Without missing a beat she said, "So when can I start?" Its been sorta' like that with Jamie ever since.
Jamie's on the small side, but is absolutely determined not to let that be a disadvantage. Like Jeremy, she's a perfectionist and gets frustrated fairly easily. Its been a concern to me to see that her drive for excellence sometimes makes her very unhappy, but if she trains right I'm sure balance will come to her in this area, too. Lately, I've felt her moving with a solidity and strength that one would not expect from someone her size. Its very gratifying as a teacher to see this happening.
Jamie's usually wearing her hair in a ponytail during practice, which she uses to whip her attackers in the face. She says this happens purely by accident. Uh huh, riiiight. Imagine our concern when she shows up with her hair in two ponytails! (I'll have to say something if she starts tying little bits of stone or glass to the ends of them...)
Jamie really enjoys randori. If she gets the new video clips ready sometime soon (ahem, cough, cough) you can see her do her thing. During demos we get quite a reaction from the crowd when this little filipino woman starts planting people into the mat. She turns into this bouncing, spinning blur tossing people right and left and whipping them in the face with a black tail of hair. Quite something to watch, I can tell you.
Jamie's got this annoying habit of being organized and detailed about everything and wanting clearer explanations than I might initially give her. Its rather perturbing to have her say, "I didn't understand that at all" or, "Didn't you just say to do it another way?" Yeesh, do I have to explain everything?! Apparently, yes.
I am very glad to have Jamie in the dojo. She's a first-rate senior student and looks really sexy in a gi. (Don't get your knickers in a twist about that last comment -- I can talk that way about my wife, if I like.)