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Go Back   AikiWeb Aikido Forums > AikiWeb AikiBlogs > My Path

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My Path Blog Tools Rating: Rate This Blog
Creation Date: 06-08-2009 01:55 PM
Linda Eskin
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My path to and through Aikido. Observations on Aikido, horses, & life, by a 51 y/o 1st kyu.

This same blog (with photos and a few additional trivial posts, but without comments) can be found at www.grabmywrist.com.

I train with Dave Goldberg Sensei, at Aikido of San Diego.
Blog Info
Status: Public
Entries: 208
Comments: 358
Views: 295,608

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Entries for the Month of July 2011

In Training A Gateway Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #131 New 07-22-2011 02:59 PM
Sensei has announced that there will be an uchi-deshi program at our dojo, beginning in mid-summer. You can contact him for details (via the Aikido of San Diego website) if you are interested in participating.

It looks to me like a rare and valuable opportunity to train intensively, deepen one's understanding of Aikido, learn to teach, test one's own limits, and discover new possibilities, all under the guidance of a truly gifted teacher.

It also looks to me like a right of passage. Forging, like seeing combat, for a future military officer. A gateway. How one moves from casual student to serious practitioner.

Right now I'm not in a place to walk through that gateway. I don't know if I ever will be. I hope, maybe, somehow, someday... There's a little fear and frustration about that. What if I'm not able? What if it's not there? A sense of loss. And there's reminding myself that upset from thwarted intention just points to a commitment.

It's OK, though. There are cracks to peek through, high places where one can see over, and a lot of space to explore on this side of the wall. For now.
Views: 770 | Comments: 2


In Techniques Practicing "Low Falls" Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #130 New 07-20-2011 12:44 PM
High falls, hard falls, break falls...

Just the names conjure up tension. I have fun practicing them, and am improving (softer/safer). But I also end up with some interesting bruises and sore spots now and then, from doing them in a slappy, braced, breath-holding, brute-force-ish kind of way.

We go about learning to do them in a relaxed, easy way, but at some point between the working up to them and the doing them my brain flips from "swoosh" to "wham!"

A few days ago when one of our instructors said we were going to work on high falls (Yay!) a fellow student jokingly suggested that we should "work on low falls instead."

Huh... I think I like that idea!

The point isn't to get lots of air, it's to land comfortably, with as little impact as possible. Keep (or get) your head low to the mat. Reach over and touch the mat as you rotate into rolling down softly. No "wham!"

Thinking of them as "low falls" takes a little of the edge off, and is a handy reminder that the idea is to get low, not high.

I think I'll call them low falls from now on.
Views: 707


In Testing My 3rd Kyu Exam - Video Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #129 New 07-10-2011 08:00 PM
As usual, here's my exam video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tin-jzgLmWI&hd=1
This link goes to the HD version - probably best watched full-screen. If you have a slower connection, change to one of the lower-res versions.

Feedback (which I know will be constructive, on AikiWeb!) is welcome. I'm pretty happy with how I did, but of course can see lots of things to work on for next time.

I figure now that I have 4 exam videos, they deserve their own playlist. So here it is, starting at 6th kyu (in case you have nothing better to do). LOL http://www.youtube.com/pla​ylist?list=PL0F5D81895C5E5​A30

My 6th kyu exam has around 9,500 views so far. Every month or two I get a nice comment from someone who's been encouraged in some way by my exam videos (usually a new student who is freaking out about taking their first test, as I was). One of my favorite comments came in a few hours ago, and just made my day:

"You're amazing, Linda-sama. I started train Aikido last week, but before - I had lot of doubts: if I am too old, people are bad, everything will be bad. I'm waiting about two years for my first train. But i taste it, and became addicted of this art. Thank you, for recording. Good luck! (sorry about my english)"

Sweet.
Views: 1386 | Comments: 2


In Testing 3rd Kyu Test Prep - The Real Story Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #128 New 07-09-2011 01:09 AM
A few days ago I posted a note to myself on preparing for my upcoming 3rd kyu exam. My test is tomorrow morning. Here's how things have really gone:
  • Do laundry and cut your nails two or three days ahead. [check]
  • Go to class on Friday night.
  • Stay after to work out a few questions on some techniques.
  • Pick out a jo and bokken to use, and put them where you can find them on the rack.
  • Decide to burn off some nervous energy and get settled by cleaning a little.
  • Put on music.
  • Sweep the mat, vacuum, wipe down some stuff, clean up cobwebs.
  • Take out the trash and recycling.
  • Check out the jo, and discover a rough spot. Find another one you like better.
  • Decide it's important to remove the years-old "Made in Japan" sticker from the jo.
  • Find the Goo Gone. Remove the sticker goo and create a little clean spot.
  • Decide to clean the whole jo with a damp rag and a little soap.
  • Notice that it's not a slick as it should be. Find weapons repair kit in dojo bag.
  • Oil jo. Run through the first 10 jo suburi just to be sure it still works OK.
  • Close up and go home.
  • Get confused about the start of yon no suburi while driving.
  • Feed cats and donkeys.
  • Review your Giant Spreadsheet of Technique Notes.
  • Try a slow-mo in-motion technique on husband to be sure of how it goes.
  • Set up the coffee maker for morning.
  • Notice that it's late.
  • Decide to wash hair in the morning instead.
  • Write a blog post.
  • Go to bed.
Still working on that whole masakatsu agasu thing...
Views: 825 | Comments: 4


In General Freeing Ourselves from "I Can't..." Entry Tools Rating: 5 Stars!
  #127 New 07-07-2011 02:25 PM
Recently a teacher wrote a frustrated blog post about their students not training enough to really improve, not participating in seminars with visiting instructors, and not supporting the dojo community.

The context was Aikido, but it could have been music, horsemanship, or anything else. I see the same thing happen all over.

We mostly live in the same world. We have jobs, families, and other things going on in our lives. But if we want to get good at something, anything, we have to put in the hours. And if we want our teachers, schools, and arts to be around for us, and for others, they need our active participation and support.

What does that look like to me? Join, and pay your dues, even during times you can't train for a while. Pitch in and help with projects and events. Invite your friends. Promote your art publicly. When teachers are generous enough with their time to write books or produce videos, buy them. Show up and train, and support each other.

Something I've noticed about people's participation (or the relative lack thereof), is a common way of thinking and speaking about priorities. "I can't…" "I would, but…" "I have to…" It's disempowering. It robs us of the opportunity to engage fully (at whatever level is appropriate). When we're honest with ourselves about where we are, and what's true for us, we have some power in the situation. When we whine about our circumstances we become victims to the choices we've made, and powerless to change.

One ...More Read More
Views: 1027 | Comments: 5


In Testing 3rd Kyu Test Prep - Notes to Self Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #126 New 07-03-2011 06:06 PM
Test Date: Saturday, 9 July, 2011,
Test Time: Immediately following a 9 a.m. class

Dear Self,

You will have a happier day, and a more successful test, if you follow these instructions:
  • Do laundry and cut your nails two or three days ahead.
  • Go to class on Friday night, then go home.
  • Set out gi, clothes for going to lunch, weapons, Gatorade, banana, & a protein bar.
  • Review your Giant Spreadsheet of Technique Notes.
  • Sit quietly and visualize doing your entire test beautifully. Twice.
  • Go to bed by 10:00. Set two alarms. Put the iPad down. Sleep.
  • Get up at 6:00. As in Out Of Bed. Feet on the floor! Make coffee.
  • Eat a big 3-egg and cheese breakfast before doing anything else.
  • Put the iPad down.
  • Feed critters, shower, get dressed, and leave for the dojo.
  • Listen to "Powerful Energy" playlist in the car. Visualize the whole test.
  • Eat a banana and a protein bar.
  • OK, OK, yes, you may check in on Facebook. Sheesh.
  • Be on the mat by 8 a.m.
  • Warm up. Stretch. Breathe. Explore the space. Your space. Relax.
  • Drink a Gatorade, and refill your water bottle.
  • No matter what happens on the way, or in class, focus, breathe.
  • Remember your posture, your freedom, your happiness, connection, and the ground.
  • Remember that you are well prepared for this.

Bow in with gratitude and joy.
Your Self
Views: 993 | Comments: 2




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