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By the way, I see that people have been viewing this journal a little. I just wanted to say that comments are welcomed. I wasn't sure, reading other people's journals what the ettiquette was, but I'm happy to hear the thoughts of others.
It even surprises me a bit that anyone would be interested in reading this.
My girlfriend lives in Troy, NY, so I occasionally find myself at the Aikikai dojo in Latham, Capital District Aikikai. They have a very nice dojo, and I've always felt quite welcomed there. It's also nice to feel the Aikikai style every so often. Anyway, on Tuesday there were no yudansha. I showed up a little late, and a guy with kyu rank named Rob was instructing the class. I haven't been there often enough to know everyone or for everyone to know me, and Rob and I hadn't met before. Still, he saw my hakama and came over and asked if I was yudansha and then asked if I was visiting the dojo. He seemed a little conflicted and a little embarassed, and then finally said, "well, I'm instructing right now." I said, "that's perfectly acceptable to me," smiled and got dressed and joined the class on the mat. At about 6:55, Rob came over to me and told me that he had to leave at 7:00 and he asked me if I wanted to teach the last half hour. Actually, he didn't ask me. He said, "maybe someone else can teach the last half hour ..." and so I volunteered.
It was interesting. I felt very off center as I started to teach. Actually, ever since making the transition from Seidokan to ASU, I've found teaching to be a confusing experience. I feel like I have one foot still back in the old world, and the other in the new world. I respect both traditions, and I wish I could show that respect by teaching my classes firmly in one tradition or in the other, possibly choosing to br
Last night I had dinner with my dance instructor, Daniel, and our friend, Deborah. Daniel and Deborah meet on Wednesdays at Starbucks when Daniel and I are between dance classes and Deborah is on her way from work to Yoga. The evening was very lovely, but after dinner they offered to make up for the fact that I'd had to miss my Aikido class in order to attend, and that I'd teach some Aikido. Actually before that, Daniel showed us a 3-minute Feldenkrais exercise he developed. It wasn't my first time doing it (an exercise the develops the connection of the head through the spine and into the legs), but I'm always amazed at how much straighter I stand after doing it.
I taught them two simple things. I taught them a simple kosa-dori ikyo, basically inviting uke in without moving the feet. Then I taught them a lovely little demonstration that I'd learned from Eli Landau. The 'attack' is katate-dori, and we start static. Nage just steps off line (changing hanmi) and then lays his hand on uke's shoulder. It's very easy, that way to achieve an unbalancing. It was a lovely little 'party trick' type of technique and Deborah's apartment was set up with a soft couch on one side of where we practicing and a bed on the other side, so it was a soft landing either way and both of them had fun falling and playing with how easy it was to let someone else fall.
I find, generally, that finding a way to bring friends into Aikido really helps me feel connected to them.
The hardest thing for me right now seems to be scheduling. I want to go to Aikido at least 3 times a week and perhaps 4. That includes once a week of teaching. I also want to dance and I want to work out at least twice (perhaps thrice) a week. I wish I could add, also, a pilates class or a yoga class or a tai chi workout, but I think it's better, for now, to focus on Aikido, dance, and exercise.
This week will work right: I was at Aikido Thursday, Friday and Saturday. I worked out on Sunday and Tuesday and I will work out again tomorrow, Sunday. Dance is Wednesdays. I hope next week will be much the same.