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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 52 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: 216
Comments: 359
Views: 327,075

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In General Back from Camp Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #206 New 04-15-2014 02:13 PM
Back from the 3rd annual O Sensei Revisited camp in Occidental, CA. It's an intense, intimate camp in a beautiful setting. The focus is on teaching/learning O Sensei's developmental process through experiential work - both technique and other exercises. It's a lot of training packed into 3 days!

A little achy here and there from lots of training (and sleeping on a weird mattress), but mostly rested and awake after a couple of good nights' sleep. It was great to see so many friends, hang out with my dojomate/roommate, Karen, and Sensei, and to meet a bunch of new folks. Pushed a few limits, learned a few new things, and was reminded of many more learnings that had faded. Lots to think about, embody, and incorporate into daily training. More inspired than ever about training for my upcoming (someday) shodan (first black belt) exam "later this year," and recommitting to studying (reading, reviewing notes, watching videos, and consciously learning), and to writing (both my blog and my next book), even in the midst of house renovation chaos.

Already looking forward to going again next year - I hear it's scheduled for the end of April. Check with City Aikido (Robert Nadeau Shihan's dojo) in San Francisco for details.
Views: 217


In General Back from Camp Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #205 New 04-15-2014 02:12 PM
Back from the 3rd annual O Sensei Revisited camp in Occidental, CA. It's an intense, intimate camp in a beautiful setting. The focus is on teaching/learning O Sensei's developmental process through experiential work - both technique and other exercises. It's a lot of training packed into 3 days!

A little achy here and there from lots of training (and sleeping on a weird mattress), but mostly rested and awake after a couple of good nights' sleep. It was great to see so many friends, hang out with my dojomate/roommate, Karen, and Sensei, and to meet a bunch of new folks. Pushed a few limits, learned a few new things, and was reminded of many more learnings that had faded. Lots to think about, embody, and incorporate into daily training. More inspired than ever about training for my upcoming (someday) shodan (first black belt) exam "later this year," and recommitting to studying (reading, reviewing notes, watching videos, and consciously learning), and to writing (both my blog and my next book), even in the midst of house renovation chaos.

Already looking forward to going again next year - I hear it's scheduled for the end of April. Check with City Aikido (Robert Nadeau Shihan's dojo) in San Francisco for details.
Views: 193


In General Ukemi Notes from Camp Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #204 New 04-15-2014 02:11 PM
A couple of memorable thoughts about ukemi from the 3rd annual O Sensei Revisited camp last weekend (11-13 April, 2014):

"Uke's job is to feel."
~ Robert Nadeau Shihan

"If you're not falling, you should be attacking."
~ Richard Moon Sensei
Views: 212


In General Contemplating What Stops People Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #203 New 01-05-2014 10:42 PM
Sensei is offering a new program at the dojo where I train (Aikido of San Diego) called Aikido 101. It's a 5-week series of ten 90-minute classes, and the first session starts next week. I'm looking forward to playing with some brand new people just starting out. What a great opportunity to revisit the fundamentals with a fresh listening, not to mention the chance to work on improving my ukemi!

The course will provide a well thought-out curriculum of principles and techniques so participants get a broad overview that's designed to introduce the basics. If it's all they ever do, they'll at least have a good beginner's understanding of what Aikido is, and some fundamental skills. If they decide to continue, they'll have a good foundation to build on.

A friend of mine asked me this morning "Looking for new experiences to enrich my life... Aikido 101 looks intriguing. Any input you'd like to share??" I was struck by her openness and curiosity. She's understandably cautious, since she has some physical issues she's concerned about, but she asked. She wondered. She allowed for the possibility that there might be value in it, and that she might be able to do it. Whatever she chooses, I appreciate and admire that about her.

Since I started training I've regularly invited friends to visit the dojo or participate in introductory programs we've offered. I've heard two kinds of responses from almost all of the people who decline - either they think they wouldn't be capable of d ...More Read More
Views: 555


In General Moving Into 2014 Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #202 New 01-04-2014 01:00 AM
2013 was a year of beginnings. Changing directions and laying foundations. It has been an exciting time. I started a lot of things, but I got stopped a lot, too.

I switched to working (very) part time for my employer, and launched my own publishing company. I wrote and published my first book. I meant to get a lot further with the next book I have planned, but writing got delayed by a few projects coming in from the day job, and then I lost momentum.

I started to put in a large vegetable garden area with raised beds. That was going well until two local cats chose to unexpectedly grace me with their litters of kittens within days of each other. For a few months entirely too much of my time (and money) was taken up with caring for them and trying to find them homes. Besides, I could not get the tractor out of the garage because we had one litter trapped in there while we tried to socialize them. By the time that adventure was over the ground was dry and hard, and hot summer weather had arrived. I accomplished nothing further on the garden, and it has been overtaken by weeds.

In the late summer I aggravated an existing problem with my left knee. Getting it back in good working order required minor surgery and a couple of months' rest and rehab at the end of the year. So there were several weeks of discomfort, icing, physical therapy, and of course sitting out and watching classes.

It's easy to look back on the past year and feel like I didn't really get much done — ...More Read More
Views: 327


In General Holiday Madness Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #201 New 12-26-2013 01:06 AM
Thank goodness that's over. I was barely inconvenienced or annoyed by The Holidays. I enjoyed a nice, low-key visit with family, and that was it. But man, the things I saw some of my friends going through. Living up to family expectations, suffering from loneliness, going mad trying to decorate and cook… Feeling bad about not sending cards, for heaven's sake. And some of these friends are sick or healing from injuries, dealing with fresh grief, or just Not Wanting To Bother… All of this against a background of endlessly cheery music and TV shows and signs and greetings telling us how lovely it's all supposed to be. Feh.

So now we can put it behind us for another year.

Time for the New Year. *whew* For me the end of the year is a time for reflection. Did I do what I meant to do in the past year? Was it time well-spent? Am I moving in the right direction? I'll be doing a lot of thinking about those questions over the next week.

One thing I've gotten somewhat better at in recent years, due in combination to age, experience, and my Aikido practice, is noticing where my actions are out of alignment with my intentions. Sometimes I'm able to correct, sometimes not. It's said in budo - the martial arts - "true victory is self victory." I take this to mean making conscious, non-habitual decisions - moving forward with intention. it's not easy. I have a lot of work to do in this area.

It's a subject worth examining in all areas, at any time. I just got to thinking about it ...More Read More
Views: 297


In General Solstice Haiku for Mark Harrington Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #200 New 12-26-2013 01:06 AM
I was recently chatting with my one of my Aikido buddies on the other side of the country, Mark Harrington. We've been checking in from time to time as we both progress through our respective ranks in different organizations. Mark is a bit ahead of me. Anyway, we got to talking about holiday gift giving (or not). If I recall correctly, I promised him a solstice haiku. So here it is, on the first day of Winter. Enjoy.

"Hey! How's it going?"
We call across the distance.
Friends on the same path.
Views: 497


In General 'Tis the Season to be Disingenuous Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #199 New 11-29-2013 12:32 PM
There are no snowy lanes where I live. Icicles don't dangle sparkling from steep rooflines. No red cardinals perch in evergreens. Holly doesn't grow here.

Pines and firs are trucked a thousand miles away to act as Christmas trees. Cranberry sauce is a cylindrical gel. Snow on windowpanes comes from spray cans.

Electric stars adorn hilltops. Plastic wise men, young families, and farm animals gaze eternally at plastic mangers. Joy.

Here we are again at that wonderful time of the year, The Holidays. Several weeks of non-stop bullshit and pretense.

Chestnuts roasting, Jack Frost nipping, roaring fires - all figments of some imaginary frozen land back east. Kids don't play in piles of fallen leaves because our trees (none of which are native) don't lose their leaves. Sleigh bells don't ring-a-aling because there are no sleighs. None of it is real for me. The stuff of children's picture books. Fiction.

I've lived my whole life in the San Diego area. It's warm and sunny today. Things are starting to green up after last week's rain. Sometimes the Santa Ana winds bring dry air from the desert, it gets blazing hot. We've had huge wildfires as late as New Year's Day. Sandcastles, perhaps. Snowmen? Not so much.

Most of the season's festivities come from someone else's distant memories. They celebrate a time and place that holds no relevance for me. I don't worship any deities. I don't eat turkey, ham, and prime rib, nor stuffing, rolls, and pie. I've never hung my sock ...More Read More
Views: 696


In General Announcement: New Dojo Website Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #198 New 11-04-2013 12:38 PM
A little announcement/brag!

For over a year I've been working (off and on) on a new website for the dojo where I train, Aikido of San Diego. I did all the photography, design, and development - hand-coded in HTML/CSS. It's the biggest web project I've taken on, and the most important (to me). We have a tradition of giving something to the dojo or making some lasting improvement to the facility when we test at dan ranks. This is my (early) shodan gift:

http://www.AikidoSD.com

This site is responsive (works on desktops, tablets, and phones), and includes more content, all new photos, and more videos than our previous site (which was pretty darned good already). We even have Member Spotlight features, where you can read about how people got started, and what Aikido means to them.

For the techies out there, I started with the Zurb Foundation framework, and then did all the layout and design through HTML and CSS. (It's not a CMS or templated site). It's highly optimized for SEO, so people can find us easily.

There is a lot of information on the site. We will be refining and expanding over time, too. Our dojo handbook is available only as a PDF now (from the Membership and Resources pages). We will be creating an HTML version of the manual too, for easier online reading. We will also be adding pages to address specific concerns or demographics, too, so that people searching for that information can discover us more readily. We'll be continuously improving and k ...More Read More
Views: 640


In Spiritual Facing Forward, Walking Straight Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #197 New 10-01-2013 03:35 PM
I went into the office for a few hours yesterday - something I hadn't done yet this whole year, as I work off site now. It was a crisp, sunny fall afternoon, and was excited about seeing my friends there. A quick visit, checking out a new tool I'd be using on the cool project I'm working on, catching up with a few colleagues, and then I'd be heading to the dojo to assist in the kids' class and train in the two evening classes. The makings of a pretty awesome day.

I parked in the usual garage, on the 5th level, and headed for the stairs down to the street. When I saw them I was struck by something I hadn't thought about in years. I stopped and stood there so long, just looking, that the security guard came over to see if everything was OK.

It's funny the things that you forget.



When I first started training I could not climb these stairs, not up or down. My knees couldn't take it. Every day I had to detour and take the elevator. I could do a few steps. But whole flights of stairs, no. The pain behind my kneecaps just wouldn't let me. It's been so long ago, so much has changed, I'd forgotten it completely.

There was so much wrong, back then. I had the knee pain, of course, and shoulder problems that had required surgery and ongoing PT. Plantar fasciaitis meant I had to wear heavy hiking shoes with orthotics, and even with them I couldn't walk far. Every morning I woke ...More Read More
Views: 682



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