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Okay, this is something that I thought of tonight, and I wanted to post on it to see if anyone else ever gets this feeling. Let me start off by saying that I love the sword, and I always have. I am lucky that the art that I think fits me is one of those that still uses it. I guess this makes me a "pretend samurai," but I don't really care. The thing that messes me up to think about is how much I've become attached to my weapons. Tonight in class we did some jo waza that was like shihonage, and jo tori that was like kotegaeshi, and then a patrol kata. For the jo work, I was using someone else's jo. I never thought this would bug me, but it did a bit. It bugs me that it bugged me, too. I've never been anything but practical and rational, but what I was feeling was more emotional than what I'm used to. Not to say that I cried, or even that I thought much of it at the time, but I felt something and that's more than normal. Actually, at the time I really didn't think about it at all, but I noticed afterwards that I felt different with their weapon. Anyway, I have many theories about why this was, but I'm not sure if any of them make real sense. I think that the way I treat my weapons could be described more as a sort of reverence, or even that they are objects of worship (in a non-religious way... if that's possible.) All that sanding, rubbing of oil and time spent using them has made them not only familiar, but has formed a sort of link with me. Anyway, that being
This is the first of my actual after-practice posts. Anyway, today was an interesting day to start with. There were only 4 of us on the mat, which is usually the start of a great story about all the fun things we did. My instructor likes to experiment, and I like to experiment with him; these days are wonderful for that. Today our test was simple: in between working on a couple of techniques normally, he designated an attack (tsuki) and had us do whatever technique we wanted to out of it. Not too big of a deal, maybe. I was attacking first -in our Dojo the Kohai attacks first- and I was having massive difficulty following the technique. I would attack, try and figure out the technique (and by extension the ukemi for it) and then something weird would happen. I was completely unable to feel anything other than my own confusion. There was no... connection... and I was really surprised. We switched after 4 techniques, and I did my own 4 with no problem from Uke on taking the proper ukemi. This got me thinking about the concept of connection, and why I couldn't seem to make it. I know that it was my fault with the ukemi, because no-one else was having a problem with it. You see, when we train it's generally in a manner that we both know what technique and what ukemi to use, which can give you a false sense of blending. It's not true blending, though, in my case. It's more a matter of two people going through the same motions, and matching appropriate speed. This
Here we go. Caution, I am very longwinded if you've never seen one of my posts. I am starting this journal in an attempt to track my progression in Aikido. Let me start by letting everyone know who I am, as ultimately other people will read this. I am a 24 year old theatre manager, who is going to college for... well, I don't really know yet. I am also married, no kids, and my wife has a Masters degree in social work (she runs a pre-independant living program for juvenile girl delinquents.) I started Aikido about 6 months ago, maybe a bit longer, and really feel quite new at it. I am in a relatively small Dojo, about 10-15 people per practice on a week-night and about 5-10 on a saturday morning early class. My instructor is great, even thought he's rated a first Dan, he is lightyears beyond anyone in class. There are a decent mix of gradings in class, with the two highest members getting closer to black belt and everyone else in between somewhere. We are associated with the ASU, and our style is pretty physical, but not devoid of the spiritual element. Anyway, I'm just still in that honeymoon period in my Aikido, where everything feels so fresh and incredible and eye-opening. I hope that doesn't end, but somehow I think it must. I should also mention that I think Aikido has made me more spiritually aware, as I used to consider myself quite the atheist, but now I think it has more to do with how one defines "God." At any rate, I'll post something interesting one