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How many times have I started a journal with the intention of making regular entries? More than I can count. I have stacks of journals-- gifts from friends and family-- countless legal pads I buy three for a dollar at the drug store. I've never filled one. On average there are ten to twenty blank pages left in the back.
I also never have never kept a running narrative of my life. My books are always filled with brief notes, brain storms, doodles, arguments, angry frustrated rants -- mostly telling myself to get off my a** and do something besides doodle.
The closest I have ever come to actually keeping a regular journal is one that I have been keeping for about two years now. I call it The Self-Rebellion. This is the first public journal I have ever attempted.
I know, by this time you are wondering what this has to do with Aikido, because, after all, this is an Aikido site. Well, it just so happens that my exploration of Self-Rebellion preluded my study (almost obsessive) of Aikido by six months.
Currently, on the 24th of January, 2005, I am a 4th Kyu student at the AAA affilliated dojo of Jikishinkan in Brooklyn, NY. I did have some prior expereince with the martial arts, I studied Tai Chi in Boston for about two years during college. During grad school in Chicago, I tried a bit of Ninjitsu (hmmm.)-- not realizing that AAA's headquarters was only a few minutes away. It wasn't until I moved to New York that I discoved Aikido, and from the moment I watched my first class, I was hooked.
I began reading as much as I could about the art, and became very interested in the philosophy and spiritual foundations of the art-- in particular the idea that victory is victory over the self. It was this similarity to my own experience of Self-Rebellion that has compelled me
The following is a copy of an article I wrote for our Dojo Newsletter. It is important to take into account the fact that the article is now about a year old. I have not read it since I submitted it. It should, however give a reasonable impression of my state of mind at the beginning of my aikido training and an explanation of Aikido and it's relation to The Self-Rebellion.