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The circle- it has no beginning and no end. It just continues to be what it is- a repeating pattern. This is only the second dojo I have trained at, but I am all too familiar with what is happening. Periodically, a dojo will receive an influx of new people. My dojo is no different and we have recently acquired five new people over the last week and one other person said they were interested, but has yet to return.
Each time this influx of students appears, I hope that we will retain at least one. Sadly, the majority of the time I am let down. In fact, in the little over two years I have been training, there are only three new people who are newer then I (and two don't train regularly). Some of the people who leave discover that their grandiose idea of what aikido (or martial arts) is, was shattered. Some discover that aikido isn't quite what they want in a martial art. Others quit because they aren't picking up the moves and progressing through the ranks as quickly as they would like. Yet others, have the best of intentions and seem to like aikido, but don't find it on the top of their priority list. They have a job, a family, or decide to train for a marathon, play sports in school, travel abroad or leave for college.
Although I may be sad to see them leave, I can't help but be thankful for their brief moment in the dojo. Without even knowing or trying, they have impacted my training in a remar
I decided to take a leap. This year is MY year. It is MY shot. I have been hoping and looking forward to this since last year. What is it I'm speaking of? Only the Birankai version of aikido heaven, also known as Summer Camp!!!
This year, it is in Portland, which is less then five hours away from my front door. No plane ticket necessary. An added bonus, considering it hasn't been anywhere near here in a long time. Of course, I have the foot issue going on, but I have more or less accepted that to be a daily part of my life for the time being.
The only problem is that my bank account is lacking funds for the trip. Sure, I had the funds. I've had the funds several times throughout the past year. Each time, something came up and I had to dig into my stash of hidden away acorns. I needed new tires, my brother, who lives on the opposite side of the country, got married (YAY!) and then… I clunked down some cash for an in stock iaito that just seemed meant for me.
So now my little carved out space in my tree trunk, where the acorns were once stashed, is now home to nothing but darkness… and cobwebs. Now what? Well, I decided to ask about a scholarship, but turns out that wouldn't work either. They offered to front the entire amount and I could repay them over the next few months, which seemed like a great idea, until I figured out that I don't even afford that. Now what? Well, I told them that I just couldn't afford to go. ….