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How does Aikido rate as stress relief? I'd say it rates pretty high.
In a normal week I go to Aikido two nights, Kung Fu (now) one night and Climbing and Iaido one night each. That's 5 nights out of 7doing some mad sport or other. they are stress relief for different reasons.
Iaido, for me anyway, requires complete concentration. It's not that I don't concentrate in the others ... but Iaido is so nit picky and precise I really have to be concentrating or I just stand there, one arm in the air, not having a clue which foot goes where next. This provides one form of stress relief, the mental sort.
Kung Fu, with it's partly mental "Ching mai what now?" and partly physical, "we have to do how many sit-ups?"
Aikido, my beloved confusing mix of free flowing movements and utter confusion...
Climbing is the only one that is entirely physical. It's entirely instinctual, I don't have a level I have to be at for any particular grading, there are no hoops I have to jump through and I only learn moves in that someone might shout advice and I try a different way of moving. The simplicity of it is glorious.
Stress relief is what I could really do with right now.. but I can't get to my classes. I have no heating, the academics are wanting 35 books ordered in the Christmas rush for a course that starts in January, I haven't written my chartership nor any christmas cards, I still have a bunch of presents to buy and I have a mortgage meeting (can you smell the fear?) for a flat that I put in an offer for. THEY WEREN'T MEANT TO ACCEPT IT!!
What I really need right now is Kung Fu. I want to smack the hell out of a couple of pads but I don't have the time to go...