Welcome to AikiWeb Aikido Information
AikiWeb: The Source for Aikido Information
AikiWeb's principal purpose is to serve the Internet community as a repository and dissemination point for aikido information.

Sections
home
aikido articles
columns

Discussions
forums
aikiblogs

Databases
dojo search
seminars
image gallery
supplies
links directory

Reviews
book reviews
video reviews
dvd reviews
equip. reviews

News
submit
archive

Miscellaneous
newsletter
rss feeds
polls
about

Follow us on



Home > AikiWeb Aikido
Go Back   AikiWeb Aikido Forums > AikiWeb AikiBlogs > My Path

Hello and thank you for visiting AikiWeb, the world's most active online Aikido community! This site is home to over 22,000 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!

My Path Blog Tools Rating: Rate This Blog
Creation Date: 06-08-2009 01:55 PM
Linda Eskin
Offline
rss2
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: 211
Comments: 359
Views: 317,766

Search

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: 807 | 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: 731


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: 1432 | 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: 880 | 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: 1114 | 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: 1036 | Comments: 2


In General Aiki Retreat Road Trip Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #125 New 06-10-2011 10:06 AM
On Saturday morning I head off on my big Aikido adventure of the year, a road trip to the week-long Aiki Retreat at Menlo College in the Bay Area. This is my first live-in, out-of-town Aikido seminar, and I'm really excited to be going! Summer camp! Woohooo!

The instructors are Robert Nadeau Shihan, Frank Doran Shihan, and Hiroshi Ikeda Shihan, and Mary Heiny Sensei. I've been in seminars with each of them twice before, except for just one seminar with Mary Heiny Sensei. I'm looking forward to exploring their teaching in more depth.

I've been keeping my to-do and packing lists in an earlier blog post. Everything is done except for vacuuming the car, putting on the new wiper blades, and printing a sheet of contact info in case my phone falls into a water trough or something.

I'll be taking two days to drive up, and two days back, visiting horsey friends along the way in Fresno, Livermore, and San Juan Bautista. Here's a map of my route, if you're into that sort of thing.

I plan to post a lot of photos, observations, insights, and other random blabbering at www.GrabMyWrist.com, from my iPhone, so my blog (only there, not here) will be rather busy and random for a while. Expect typos and incomplete thoughts! I'll be on the road June 11-19. I won't be checking email while I'm away, so use Facebook (I'm easy to find) or text messages (619 368-4333) if you want to say hi.

Hope to see you there!
Linda
Views: 934 | Comments: 5


In Spiritual Resistance Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #124 New 05-28-2011 02:38 PM
A friend recently gave me a book she thought I might enjoy, and I really have. It's the sort of book that whatever you open it up to, there's something relevant to whatever's going on. It's poetic without being sappy, and inspiring without being preachy. Calming. Sensible.

Just yesterday day a friend on Facebook mentioned that it must have been really sad for me to give up riding. My reply began "Surprisingly not all that sad. Trying to remain committed to something I was really no longer committed to was difficult. Finally seeing things clearly was a relief. …" And just hours later I randomly picked up the book, and opened it to this, which is also relevant to Aikido technique, and Aikido in everything:

Resistance

Everyone will tell you
"Change is hard,"
Transformation is the greatest
Challenge
On your spiritual journey.
But it's not true.
Change is not hard.
Resistance to change is
Hard.
If you let go
Surrender into the
Fear
Willingly
Open your fists and
Release
All you are clutching
And simply be still as the
Winds of transformation
Blow through you
Then everything in you that is
Not free
Will be carried away with the
Leaves and dust and debris
Lifted into the air and
Gone
And all that will remain
Is
Peace.
See?
Transformation is
Easy
If you stop trying so hard to change
And
Like a strong breath clearing a
Palmful of ashes
Just let the
Wind
Free you.

by Nicole Grace,
from her book:
Bodhisattva - How To Be Free
Teachi
...More Read More
Views: 826 | Comments: 3


In General Who will we have become? Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #123 New 05-24-2011 08:03 PM
Sick with an ordinary cold
Nothing to do but wait it out
And feel sorry for myself
For missing class

Instead I settle in with videos
Random classes decades ago
Years before even my teacher
First heard of Aikido

Awkward, white-belted beginners
Fresh-faced, eager, nameless ukes
Who have these people become?
Teachers? Writers? Leaders?

Do I know them?
Are they the ones showing the way now?
Do I go to their seminars?
Read their books?

I think of our time, my fellow students,
Even the awkward, nameless ones
Who will we have become
When people look back on us?
Views: 810 | Comments: 3


In General Year Three - Another Beginning Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #122 New 05-05-2011 09:03 AM
Today marks the beginning of my third year in Aikido.

When I first started training, I meant to become a better horseperson. I have, but part of the process has been to discover that I don't want to have a horse of my own, and so he is off with a friend, looking for his new person.

At first I thought I would not bother with weapons. I've never been into swords and ninja and samurai. I was just going to stick with the open-hand stuff. Instead I discovered that I love weapons work.

When I first called Sensei to ask about training, I explained how I could only be at the dojo one night a week. Now I train four or five days a week, plus workshops and seminars.

At first I disregarded the "woo-woo" stuff I'd heard about. Now I see that the emotional, energetic, spiritual, and embodiment aspects are where the real fun is. Well, there, and flinging each other around the dojo.

This year is a new adventure. I see a few familiar things on the horizon, a couple of seminars, and testing for 3rd kyu in July, but mostly I'm walking the path in wonder, open to discovering whatever lies ahead.
Views: 946 | Comments: 3



Sorted By:       Per Page:  



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:46 AM.



vBulletin Copyright © 2000-2014 Jelsoft Enterprises Limited
----------
Copyright 1997-2014 AikiWeb and its Authors, All Rights Reserved.
----------
For questions and comments about this website:
Send E-mail
plainlaid-picaresque outchasing-protistan explicantia-altarage seaford-stellionate