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Aikido this morning was tought by Kimberly Sensei. We had a potluck dinner at the dojo last night, and Richard Sensei was there, but did not make it to practice this morning. Last Sunday, when I went to watch the Kyu tests, Richard was sitting on the bench and was not dressed in his gi or participating with the rest of the class. I hope he is doing alright. I always enjoy practice when Kimberly Sensei is teaching, though. She always explains the reason for what we are doing, and how doing things improperly can lead to openings. We had three new people sign up for class today too! Although one came dressed in a gi (white belt), so he may have practiced somewhere else before. I didn't have much time to talk to him during practice, and he was gone before I had finished changing after class.
I always enjoy training on Saturday mornings, because after my intro class, I usually stick around and watch the proceedings during the general class. I usually manage to walk away with some new insight into Aikido after watching the general class practice. Today's thought, however, actually came to me while practicing in the intro class. With the numerous new students, Sensei spent most of here time working one on one with them while the rest of us practiced in pairs. Usually once or twice during practice, Sensei will step in while I'm practicing and spend a quick minute or two trying to help me understand what I might be doing wrong and suggest a more efficient way of performing a technique. Although, Sensei did eventually give me a couple of suggestions, I remember thinking about half way through the class that she may not have the time for personal pointers today due to the influx of new students. It was at that moment that it really sunk in that the practice techniques we were performing with our partners were to allow us the time to perform the techniques for ourselves and at a pace comfortable enough for us to notice how they "felt". In this way, we were to ascertain on our own, the proper way to perform the technique and what did and did not work when performing the maneuver. I guess I've always know this, but never really thought about it too deeply before, as if I was doing something horribly wrong, Sensei would always step in and give me a few pointers. I appreciate the added words of advice that are given, but now I have also come to enjoy the "exploration" side of aikido and hopefully, I can learn to apply this exploration knowledge to technique. I just need to remember to slow down and truely learn from each and every opportunity I have to train.
Looking at my calendar today, brought to my attention that this coming Wednesday will be the last day of my introduction series to Aikido. After that time, I will become a true member of the dojo and will be allowed to attend the general classes