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Status: Tired and in the mood for a ramble.
A couple of weeks ago I brought an old friend of mine to the dojo to see if what he would think of it. I have a couple of friends that have been showing interest in coming and seeing where and what I train, but this one was the only one that actually did omething about it
I had warned him that it could be quite hard at first and he was up to the challenge.
It started out fine with us doing warmups, tenkans and rolls and my friend did what he could to keep up. He had problems with it of course, and one of the nidans was kind enough to act as an assistant trainer for him. Halfway into the warmup my friend began complaining about a cramp in his foot and sat the rest of the warmup out.
When we started doing techniques he did a few but then complained about the cramp agian and sat out for most of the class. I managed to lure him in for a technique or two, but he spent most of the time watching instead.
I am sorry that it turned out this way because I really don't believe that it was a cramp that kept him off the mat. Through the entire class he looked bewildered and frustrated that he couldn't do the techniques right. The sempai, myself and the others all did our best to convince him that he did fine for a first timer and that the beginners class was more difficult than usually because we were preparing for graduation but it didn't seem to work
I am almost certain that he felt ashamed that he couldn't keep up and sat out because of that.
He sticks to his story of course, and I haven't tried to pursue it further but I feel really bad that his first aikido lesson should turn out this way, but I don't know what I should do. I don't think he will give it another try.
On a happier note I passed my 10 kyu kyokushin karate graduation I had been training for. I love the feeling you get when passing, it really motivates you to press on. I hate to say it, but seeing your belt changing colour adds to that motivation. I like and respect the aikido tradition of training with the white belt until shodan, but I am afraid to admit that I think it would motivate me more if I could see the progress.
Sometimes I wonder if I am too young or immature for aikido... Karate is so much easier, mostly because of the fixed curriculum and graduation dates. It seems much more attainable than training a whole lot of things at once.
Incidently I had the opportunity to graduate in Aikido almost at the same time, but I declined for various reasons. No. 1: I had just started after a long break and I didn't feel like I could reach the next rank (6 kyu, we use the 10 kuy system) and reason no 2, the most important one: I didn't want to waltz in after a long break and expect to graduate. Even if I did graduate, that would have been a horrible example to show the newer students.
Oh well, we'll see how it turns out. I'll go to class tomorrow. Thank you for reading this long ramble.