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Just for Saturday afternoon I was the Kai Shin Kai's woman in Moscow (the British Aikido Federation to you and me.)
It's funny what different people think of as brave. Going to somewhere unfamiliar to try out Aikido was easy; being thrown on my head was nothing compared to the ten minute break when I stood, surrounded by people chatting, frozen to the spot wanting to talk but not quite able...! It's easy to be bolshy online, it's one of the main reasons I write full stop. When real 3d people are involved I freeze up like the arctic.
Templegate is a great Dojo. The tatami cover two thirds of a floor of what is essentially an office block. The main area is filled with plants and has huge windows all down one wall. Loads of natural light. They even have Uchi Deshi (if that's how you spell it), people who live in the dojo. That would be something...
I wonder how many people have or take up the opportunity to train with a different association. It was a great afternoon. Everyone made me feel really welcome especially Phil from the Weston outpost! (He reminded me of Roland Rivron and that can only be a good thing ) And FuManChu Sorry sir I forgot your real name but thanks for showing me round!
One guy I partnered (with eyelashes that went on forever) seemed unwilling to attack... I don't know whether it was because he was relatively new to it or because he was unwilling to attack girls! I should have grabbed Daren to partner if he'd been available, he would have dumped me soundly on my behind I imagine! . I know Sensei Narey advised one guy I worked with not to hit new girls round the face in case they freaked and never came back. He should have been there when FuManChu smacked me soundly on the nose!
There were a couple of times when I had to sit on the little know-it-all in the back of my head going "you don't do it like that you do it like this!!" *insert picture of angry gnome hopping from foot to foot* but once I'd silenced it there was some interesting new techniques.
The "dedication rather than grading" based way of earning your Hakama is a great way of doing things. I could never wear one unless I was a Dan grade but that's just how my Aikido was born and raised. Thankfully Iaido will give me the oportunity to get used to wearing a Hakama so I won't have to learn it all again when I get to a Dan grade (when...arf arf! said with such certainty ). I wouldn't mind having a debate about Kokyu Nage sometime aswell... I was glad not to have to breakfall over anything or anyone. If there's one bit of our lesson guaranteed to knock any confidence out of me at home it's that.
I could witter on and on and on. It was a great afternoon. I'm soooo glad I went. If I'm ever in Weston I might have to take Phil up on his offer to visit their club. Never again will I let fear maek me miss an oportunity. Even so I regret not talking to Leonard like Daren told me to. The man seemed to be a bit of an institution at Templegate and it would have been interesting to get his view on things. Ah well, one thing at a time...
Thank you Daren!
Now, can I remember anything to take with me to Devizes to night!??!? I've already been asked if April '07 will be OK for my 1st Kyu...