Hello and thank you for visiting AikiWeb, the
world's most active online Aikido community! This site is home to
over 16,000 aikido practitioners from around the world and covers a
wide range of aikido topics including techniques, philosophy, history,
humor, beginner issues, the marketplace, and more.
If you wish to join in the discussions or use the other advanced
features available, you will need to register first. Registration is
absolutely free and takes only a few minutes to complete so sign up today!
I strive to attend class on my regular days (Tues, Weds, Thurs & Sat) as often as possible. Well, this past weekend, I was pulled away due to the nature of my job. While I was away, my teacher decided to drop a bomb. To some, this "bomb" may be more like a celebratory thing… like fireworks, but to me, this "bomb" might as well have annihilated the entire dojo. He announced that four people will be testing for fourth kyu on December 9th. I guess I really shouldn't be that surprised. He has said tests were coming for the past six months, but now that the date is set, the finality of it all has me taken aback
As I sit and look over the fourth kyu techniques, some I feel quite comfortable with, yet there are others I can't recall at all. No matter how much I imagine someone grabbing me, I can't for the life of me recall how to do them. Some of them require a variation (like jodan), which also leaves me with more questions. I mean, I know one is low, one is middle and one is high, but some of the finer details are lost to me at the moment. On top of it all, I only have less then two weeks to remedy this situation.
I think this test will be slightly different then my last one (techniques aside). I know I will be hit with anxiety when I step on the mat, but failure is not on the list this time. Or at least… failure won't be on my mind until he is about to tell us if we pass or fail. With this test, the actual quality of the test is what is weighing on my mind.
Well, if that is the case, then this video of me is enough to easily write a five paragraph essay, if not more on what NOT to do. When I first watched this video of me at the weapons seminar I attended a couple of months ago (which feels like eons ago by the way), I was excited that I happened to be captured in this clip and was put in this month's edition of Biran (Birankai newsletter). Since my first viewing, my elation has disappeared and instead, a bitter taste is left in my mouth. I compare it to sitting down and thinking you are about to eat a perfectly ripe banana, but after you take a big bite, you realize that the bitter taste left in your mouth is because you have a mouthful of peel instead.
Despite myself, I continue to shove the banana peel in my mouth and endure the bitterness with each time I hit the "replay" button on the video. With each viewing, I am reminded just how inadequate my technique is and I seem to find something else wrong every time I watch it. I find my thoughts going from happiness to "Ugh… why did they have to put ME in the clip! Out of three days of filming, you chose THIS!?!?!" In this clip, I am mostly surrounded by yudansha who are gliding across the mats like swans on a placid lake and their bokken's are cutting through the air with the gracefulness of a sakura blossom that has leapt from the branches and is descending towards its final resting place. Then, you realize that something is pulling your attention away from all this