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My cousin committed suicide. I have yet to hear the details, don't know if I want to, that he did it is sad enough.
Billy was a national motorcycle racing champion and survived an accident in which he was speared from right pelvis through his trunk, up to his left collar bone and out his chest. He lost portions of a couple organs. It didn't stop him though. You never would've guessed that such a thing happened. In his life he kept going as if it never happened.
The person I am thinking the most about is his mom though. It's got to be hard. I want to go now and give my condolences, but I just got the news via answering machine and it's 11PM.
Funny, when I first typed the sentence "Billy was a national..." I typed 'David' who was a very close friend who killed himself wen I was in highschool. I don't understand it. I know out of context that suicide is the most selfish act a person can commit. Being so self involved that they are blind to their importance to others. I can't think like that right now. I just want to be sad.
I've got to teach a class tomorrow. I'm not feeling very genki, nor aiki. I wish I had a little more time to just sit and be for a while.
Another student has, at various times, engaged me in a conversation about ego and rank. He says that we shouldn't consider either important.
I find it interesting because I have observed his interaction with the very new students and noticed that he tends to bark at them if they make a mistake. He never gives eye contact or recignizes them in a 'human' manner, he often attempts to correct my technique, to which I smile and nod, even though it isn't the instruction given by sensei, and he has even said that sensei is wrong at times.
I find that when I watch his movements it seems that he yanks stiffly through technique, which I find ironic because it to me reflects his personality type even in his conversational style. I have found that he will say something extreme and require an answer.
What is most challenging to me is that I respond to him in ways that I don't often do with others.
When he says 'sensei was wrong...' I find myself saying back 'By definition, sensei is never wrong...' Which isn't really true, and I don't think sensei would even agree to that. But I find that he makes these assertions about areas which he totally is uninformed enough to make a judgement, and he does it in front of the new students.
When he says 'there should be no ego...' I smile and nod, but I want to ask him if he's really prepared to embrace that. Could he take feedback from another student, even one who is dohai (equi-ranked), let alone a sempai? Over and over I have seen
A while back, years ago,when ...I think I was a gokyu..maybe yonkyu...I was training with a young man, very young. He was training for the first time and was attempting to do shomenuchi ikyo omote waza. While performing the technique, he was preoccupied with inflicting pain, unless he saw me wince, or recoil, he would keep trying to torque my elbow. This was no problem for me on my left side, it never hurt. My right elbow however had been dislocated multiple times as a child, so it had a lot more extension than most, and was more vulnerable.
So when he pinned me, he would push down on the elbow and pull up on the wrist as hard as he could. Twice I pulled back and rolled away. "Please don't torque the pin like that, it isn't necessary. Really, you can pin without inflicting pain."
He just looked really confused, said, 'okay' and did the technique the same way. At that point one of the sempai, a nidan came over and bowed to him to train. The kid looked a little intimidated, but was determined to succeed in performing what he thought was the right way to do the technique.
This nidan, as uke, just slowed his efforts, and softly glided to the ground. Then they switched, and he performed the technique gently, without strength, the kid resisted but it was to no avail. Then sensei called out 'Katate dori nikyo' and they went again, sempai performing softly, slowly, and gently. By this time the kid had worked up a sweat, and was out of breath. Now it was the youngster's tur
Have you ever had one of those training experiences when your nage sends you in one direction, then quickly redirects, then you're down, then up and you're thinking 'Okay, throw me already.'?
Well this has been my week at school. Academic records somehow lost at the registrar's office, volunteers flaking on committments, beurocrats blindsiding, and high-maintenance students not realizing that they can't change a set schedule because they want to party that night instead.
My one repreive, my one escape, better than sake, better than ice cream, is the chance to train. So it's not as often as I want, but the group I train with is tempered with a great variety of attitudes, and physical personalities. This week I got to work with a beginner who was familiar enough with his body and conscious enough to pick up direction, that we could improvise a little. Very little, but still it was fun. At another point I watched an 'aha' moment when a student made their own correction on their own forward roll and you could see the 'Hey, I did it' on their big smiley face.
Very cool stuff.
So I think I do use Aikido as escapism, in answer to the question on a recent thread, but I think pulling myself out of the apathetic, sometimes antipathetic world allows me to take a break, readdress my worldly challenges, and step back into the same world with a slightly more aiki attitude. I'm not perfect, but I strive to implement blending even through a multitude of turbulants.
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.