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Young Grasshopper Blog Tools Rating: Rate This Blog
Creation Date: 01-28-2011 02:49 PM
A blog written from the point of view of a martial arts beginner, which I am. You can find the full blog at http://yghmartialarts.blogspot.com. Here on AikiWeb, I'll post only those entries which are relevant to aikido.
Blog Info
Status: Public
Entries: 28
Comments: 78
Views: 127,409

In General In the Mood Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #4 New 02-01-2011 06:36 PM
"Mood?" Halleck's voice betrayed his outrage even through the shield's filtering. "What has mood to do with it? You fight when the necessity arises--no matter what mood! Mood's a thing for cattle or making love or playing [music]. It's not for fighting."
- Frank Herbert, Dune

The good news is that a snowstorm has closed school tomorrow, so I get a day off work. The bad news is that the same snowstorm has closed the dojo tonight, so I am missing an aikido class.

I like classes in the dojo or dojang. Of course, I like them because of the environment, the cooperation, and the qualitiy instruction, but there's more to it than that. On the mat, I have someone telling me what to do. I don't have to decide that I want to keep working on my shihonage or my front foot roundhouse; I just do it because I'm told to. It's quite liberating, in it's own way.

Tonight, though, I have no such luxury. I have no dojo to train in, no instructors to guide me, no training partners to assure me that my mistakes are no big deal. The only way I'm going to get any training in tonight is on my own. And that won't be easy.

There is no room in my apartment to work out with my aikido weapons or perform taekwondo kicks, and the weather in Milwaukee has not been conducive to outdoor training since September. That means that I'm going to have to trudge through calf-deep snow in my workout clothes to the apartment complex's little gym, where dodging treadmills and weight machines will become a part of every poomse and suburi. I'm not really looking forward to it.

But I will go. It won't be out of a sense of honor, or because of some imagined obligation to my teachers, or even, really, for the workout. I'll go because I stubbornly insist on calling myself a martial artist, and I need to keep my conscience clear in doing so.

I should explain. We all sing along with our favorite songs on the radio, but that doesn't give us the right to call ourselves musicians. If I sang only when the urge struck me, I'd merely be a person who sometimes likes to sing. What makes me a musician is the time spent on music when there is no urge: when I'd rather spend Wednesday night at home, but I still show up to rehearse with the choir; or when it's 1 A.M., I'm tired, and the crowd at the bar is down to a few drunk regulars, but I still tune up my guitar for another set.

According to the same thinking, unless I train at the times I don't feel like training, I'm not a martial artist at all.

So I'll be out in the blizzard tonight, on my way to cut, stab, punch, and kick at empty air with wet ankles and chapped lips. I'd a appreciate a ride, but if you just want to drive by and roll your eyes or shake your head, that's fine, too. I won't be offended.
Views: 1994 | Comments: 4

RSS Feed 4 Responses to "In the Mood"
#4 02-04-2011 06:40 PM
OwlMatt Says:
Thanks for all the comments. Apparently, the people on AikiWeb have a lot to say about training in less-than-ideal situations. I'll have to write about that in the future; I intended the subject of this one to be about training when I don't feel like training.
#3 02-03-2011 01:01 PM
Daisy Luu Says:
Yes, I know what you mean about the dichotomy between teaching and learning. I think the former is much more difficult to pull off than the latter. I'll have to admit, I like training with those above me in rank because I like just giving myself up to absorbing what I am being taught without the responsibility of being the one doing the teaching.
#2 02-03-2011 09:37 AM
Diana Frese Says:
"OwlMatt" I like your blog. I will continue to check it out. This comment isn't about training, it's about encouraging others. Some of the people commenting on mine help out with movies or songs, so here is one for you based on Carina's comment. "Whistle a happy tune," (Whenever I'm afraid) which ends "I fool myself instead" While at the gym, someone might find out about Aikido from you.....
#1 02-02-2011 04:45 AM
guest1234567 Says:
Once I got in a highwayjam for 2 hours, so I missed my aikido class, there was not much to do, I called an aikido friend who was kind of depressive and tried to encourage him and as I did so I encouraged myself also, just change something negative in something positive. In your case your apartment with no place to train and outside the weather not good, so maybe you could watch some aikido videos or read anything bout it, not the same, but the best alternative

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