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Having responded to a thread on something similar, I tought I'd jot down my thoughts on this subject.
Touch had been a challenge for me as much of the touch I experienced growing up was of the violent sort.
When I was about 22, a friend had made a passing obsrevation about another friend saying "He closes his eyes when he hugs people." and I noticed that I didn't. Not only that, but I tried to and found it very difficult. I'm actually huggy, but I have a difficult time feeling comfortable closing my eyes.
Since Aikido started out in the martial context, it was easy to engage. Like it was easier for me to wrestle with someone than to dance with them. That sort-of play struggle was easier. After a while, it became clearer that there was potential for more connection. I guess it was when I reached the point in which I could train with a fair amount of energy (strength/speed) with someone and improvise, and then suddenly there was this spontaneous choreography, and it felt like dancing . Afterward, we'd cool down with kokyu dosa, and it felt really cool.
So I never wanted to have sex with my training partner, but I enjoyed the connective-play.
I see others and have trained with them, and I sometimes get the idea that they are trying to get as far away from their body as possible and I want to ask them why, but it isn't my place, nor is it my path. Still, I wonder.
I also wonder why some people require that all subscribe to the idea that if a woman enjoys co
Having been so used to struggle I didn't know how to respond to those who 'cooperated' with me as ukes. I thought to myself 'Hey, you made that too easy!' not considering that I didn't even have rank yet. There was an uchideshi there who grabbed my wrist tightly for katate dori tankan and I thought 'Okay, now we're talking.' and I struggled to blend (huh, funny turn of phrase 'struggle to blend'). Sensei asked me 'You did another martial art before, right?' 'Yes, sensei. Karate.' 'Yes, I can see it.'
I felt unfinished by the end of class. I didn't feel comfortable enough to ask anyone if they would train after class, so I watched others. Watching them go sealed it for me. 'This is so cool.' I thought to myself. I'm going to master this art.
I immediately found as many books as I could about aikido. Among them was the book of interviews called Women in Aikido. I read them diligently. I found magazines, one of them with an interview with my sensei; I studied it.
If my body couldn't pick this art up as fast as I could learn Karate, then I'd have to try to make it up another way.
Okay so I am unsure of the purpose of this journal option. But I'm going to begin writing.
My connection to Aikido is far different than when I first started. At first I wanted to defend myself and do cool stuff. I felt like the techniques in Aikido fell into the 'cool stuff' category.
I guess I should explain my want to defend myself. As a youngster, I had to defend myself often. Sometimes it was other kids, but most often it was my brother. He towered over me and bloodied my nose on many occasions. I also lived in not so great places where watching your back was imparative.
This kind of exposure to violence manifested itself in how I moved, and how I thought. I stiffened to touch and prefered rough-housing to dance. I would always place myself in defensible space, and assess anyone who approached me. 'How could I defend myself, how could I escape?' I still do this today out of habit, but much less so.
I excelled in Karate, I just took to it very quickly. I think it was because I was so tuned to confrontation and defense. I got my belts much faster than those who had signed up around the same time. I never started fights, but I must admit I escalated them greatly. It felt safe for me to establish a reputation of being a good fighter.
After graduating highschool and going on to college, I was exposed to a wider variety of people. I didn't feel quite as unsafe, but I wouldn't let my guard down, no way.