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There aren't so many times where I have so few words in writing! Usually I can write things that I can never seem to articulate in conversation. But here we are again, and it occurs to me just now that just writing to fill the huge white space out here is cathartic, really. Anyway, off to the bones of the crux of the matter I go. Hi ho. Okay, I'm settled now so it's time. Let me describe.
Aikido is so sweet, sometimes. But so hard too, sometimes. Unforgiving in how little of your mask of acheivement and comfort it lets you keep. 'Blood, sweat and tears' isn't always so much of an understatement! Aikido can be difficult, and all-consuming, demanding, and painful, heartbreaking at times. But I like it that way. I like that I don't get it, I like the fact it hurts sometimes, I like the fact you can't hide if you start asking questions - heck, I even like seeing bruises on my skin. When I was learning to roll those first 6 months I lived with shoulders almost perpetually semi-dislocated, bruised from the edge of my neck almost halfway down my back. I would tense up from the fear of rolling, and the doing of it would then turn into a garden of pain worthy of the fear I had. But, see, I loved it even when I didn't. To do what you want to do so deep in your gut even though it hurts, even though it's hard, even though you can't see far enough around the corner to know if life will ever be easy again. And so for me aikido is often a hard mistress, but how I just love her for it...
When I remember an aikido technique, I remember the feeling of it, and the pattern of the drumbeat of the movement. I hear and feel more than I see. Like tunnel vision that doesn't need the vision part except as an accessory.
When I watch an aikido technique, mostly I don't even remember to figure out how to do it, I just try to see how and why it works, and how each person's body and being is reflected in the result. That sounds good, except I'm not past the stage where I need to see and figure out what to put where for how long.
There's a grading coming up in July sometime, I don't know exactly when, and I can't even fake playing at having the standard perception enough to train with a visitor. I'll watch ikkyo and move in to do it and freeze, mesmerised by the cause-and-effect way that if I twist this way or push this way then the other person changes. ...More