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This is a reply to Tara Marsh's blog post, but was WAY over the max length for a reply. Please see her post at http://www.aikiweb.com/blogs/trademark8806s-blog-17256/odd-question-3520/, and please post replies to her there.
It's nice to see another new blogger here. I just started mine few days ago. My apologies for the very long reply. I hope some of it is useful.
We all learn at different speeds, and in different ways. We are supposed to be doing our best, but beyond that there's no set amount of progress that can be expected of anyone. People who have studied Aikido for many years still feel that they haven't mastered many things. You're very new at Aikido (as am I - I started in May). Keep looking for the best ways to learn and retain information and techniques, but don't be too hard on yourself.
Have you talked to Sensei, and explained how you learn best? It can be frustrating for a teacher to try everything they can think of to "reach" a student, and still see the student struggling. It may look like you aren't giving it your best, to someone who doesn't understand the way you need to learn things.
I hear the name of one technique in class, and try to remember it, but when I hear the name of the next technique, the first one escapes me. I find it very hard to learn words and facts just by listening. If I don't take notes in classes, I won't be able to recall much of it at all. It's like having to organize the information enough to write it down
My first post was a bit of background. This one is a quick summary of my first few weeks of studying Aikido. The wide-angle view, for now. I'll elaborate on many of these details in future posts.
First, you will recall I was sidelined by a shoulder injury. I landed smack on the top of my right shoulder in my 5th class. I sat out classes for a few weeks, coming to watch and take notes. I've even brought a few friends who have been thinking of studying Aikido. Observing is a very valuable, if frustrating, experience. I highly recommend the watching and taking notes part, but you might prefer to do it without getting injured first.
My orthopedic doc thought I was healing well, and told me at the 3 week point to take it easy - no falling or rolling for several more weeks - but I could go back to class. Joy!
I took it easy, both in class (twice), and everywhere else, but it seemed to not be improving as much as I'd hope, and in fact things I could do OK last week were now more painful. I sat out probably 50% of Tuesday's class, and even at that I probably overdid it.
So off to physical therapy. Physical therapists are miracle workers, and I've worked with this one before. He's good, and I trust him. I figured I'd get some coaching on exercises I could do at home to help strengthen the right things, and avoid injuring the wrong things. Instead he found that the injury was worse than first thought. So now it's ultrasound, TENS unit type work, supervised light exer
I am reposting my introduction (from the Forums) here, with a few edits, just to have everything in one place. In the next post I will bring things up to date.
After that this will be a more normal blog, with semi-regular training notes, random observations, and thoughts on Aikido, and applying it to horsemanship, riding, and everything else.
Please join me as I walk this path.
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Greetings, and thank you for reading my introduction.
Some basic basics: I'm a 46 y/o woman in the San Diego area. Horseperson for fun. User experience analyst for a living. 30 lbs overweight. Sturdy and strong, but out of shape. Did a little Tang Soo Do in high school (through the 1st test). Loved it, but went off to college and left it behind.
I recently came to Aikido via a book by Mark Rashid, a gifted horse trainer and author. I had been aware of Aikido before, but his book "Horsemanship Through Life" is what prompted me to begin studying it. I was originally hoping to improve my balance, fitness, awareness, relaxation, and breathing, all of which apply nicely to working with and riding horses.
The universe has been making me work very hard to get started in Aikido! After I decided to check into studying it I hurt my hand. Weeks later got cleared to do stuff. Checked out a dojo, was very impressed, and promptly cought the Worst Cold Ever. 3 weeks later, on May 5th, 2009, feeling good but still unable to speak above a hoarse whisper, I started classes.