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Since my last 'bloggy' post a great deal has happened. I went to Nottingham directly after the last post proper and learned how to do things back of house a lot more effficiently.
Sensei Ken Robson welcomed me into his Dojo and home for a whole inspirational week that has given me momentum by which I feel I am still being carried.
Basically as a teacher I am very confident, as a student I am also confident, in both cases more because I am not afraid of failing. As a Manager however, failure simply is not an option. The fate of the Shudokan Dojo depends on my ability to manage and grow the school.
The week I spent in Nottingham really gave me the tools to do that effectively. In fact just by the internal changes I made on returning the school started to grow exceptionally fast.
It occurred to me that, not having staff like Nottingham Dojo, i would have to emulate the systems of management some other way. Most obviously as an example the team in Nottingham have a daily brief, or meeting in the morning where they rate how they're feeling and the order of business for that day. So I simply emulated that ritual but on my own, or by skype with other Dojo owners/managers.
It's still hard sometimes to motivate oneself.
I am constantly at odds with my own pathological lethargy and a little bit of 'lonely soldier' feeling which can become quite daunting.
The other counter productive emotion I struggle with is the old school martial artist unwilling to tout our
When you begin training, the role of Uke is purely functional and deliberately contrived. It has simple and pragmatic meaning. You push so that Sh'te may practice from a push. You continue to push because this must be followed to fruition in order to really learn the principles of dealing with a push.
For me personally the role of Uke is much more than that and I would like to explain a little of how this often overshadowed part of Aikido training is having a huge affect on my entire life.
Writings on Uke are not so prolific as that of the role of Tori, or Sh(i)te. I think this is because understanding of it is difficult to explain, especially in western culture. In its pure form it can seem sub-servant to an onlooker. Which is unattractive even amongst martial artists. Especially when martial arts (including ourselves) boast the growth of your self esteem and confidence as a pinnacle selling point.
The cultivation of a correct internal state as uke is vital for your long term education in Aikido. It is the key to becoming powerful, controlled and fast. It is the secret to learning true honesty and sensitivity in a moral, tactile, kinesthetic, combat effective, and spiritual sense.
I get upset sometimes when people assume certain things of me. Students at our Dojo sometimes think I am not afraid of falling because I find it easy. Others think that I'm not afraid to give myself because I am tough and hard to hurt. None of this actually holds any truth. I am often