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A blog written from the point of view of a martial arts beginner, which I am. You can find the full blog at http://yghmartialarts.blogspot.com. Here on AikiWeb, I'll post only those entries which are relevant to aikido.
Do nothing which is of no use.
- Miyamoto Musashi, A Book of Five Rings
An injury has kept me out of aikido for the better part of the last three months. My recent return to the mat came with a boxing wrap on my left wrist and no small amount of trepidation about that wrist's future. I am a guitar player, after all.
In the meantime, as I feared, my source of free taekwondo has dried up, at least for a while. Aikido and I are left alone with each other, and I confess to some discomfort with that idea that has kept me anxiously thoughtful during my hiatus.
I have written extensively (here, here, here, and here) on the question of whether or not aikido is--or can be--everything I want it to be in my life without something else on the side. It's a question I've struggled with during my absence from the dojo, and one I wanted answered beyond all doubt before I returned and exposed my wrist to any possibility of re-injury.
What I concluded after three months of deliberation is that I come to the dojo looking for three things: (1) a martial art, (2) exercise, and (3) a tool for discovering and changing myself.
I won't stress much over the third item on the list, since I think any activity that serves as an object for mindfulness and perseverance can become the kind of tool mentioned therein. But there is some aikido, I think, that doesn't fill those first two criteria.
There is a breed of aikido that functions more like yoga or tai chi: a meditative dance that bu