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I'm definitely missing aikido and wishing I'd brought my dogi while on vacation. I thought I wouldn't really have the chance to train but as it turned out I did have the time to pay a visit to a nearby dojo to watch a class and it was a good class. I learned a lot just by watching and would have learned even more had I troubled myself to lug my dogi and got permission to train!
I'm increasingly struck by how much people's personalities are extended onto the mat. It's the quiet ones that in the end impress me the most as they go about their aikido with an ease that belies their skill.
I'm also struck by the people who don't bother to blend or fit in, or who simply lack the subtlety to tell that it is the sheer effortlessness of the movement that really marks skill. It's the correlation between their real life personalities and their ability or inability on the mat that I find the most striking.
I had always separated mental skill from physical skill ie some people may not be good at things physically and so may be quite different off the mat. One could for instance be an adroit lawyer or skilled mathematician but be physically clumsy and so I had initially assumed the two would be separate. But it is to my surprise that while physical talent is separate, the personalities often extend. The people who are subtle off the mat in other fields and areas of their lives "get" the whole subtlety of aikido considerably faster than those who barge their way through life and their practice of the art therefore differs in essence and this is reflected consequently in their ability to practice the physical form.
With people who have natural physical talent, this point is reached much sooner, but it is still evident in people who have a lower level of natural skill though that takes slightly longer to emerge. Either that or i notice it only la
We've had a sudden influx of 5 new girls. One who joined a short while ago and then another four came along last week. One is an old student who's already 2nd kyu and she brought 2 friends and the last walked in on her own.
Nice to see all these new faces and they're not faring too badly on the mat. Think there are a couple of new boys too but as I don't have as much contact with them I don't really keep track.
The fine white cloud of dust has deterred a few but all the die hards are still showing up and sticking it out. We've also got better at coping with it and now mopping the mats before hand has taken on a heightened importance.
Our dojo has turned into a construction site. So our mat space has shrunk and become dusty with a fine white powderly dust from all the renovation work that's going on. They've cancelled Friday classes but otherwise we're more or less soldiering on. However I think it'll get worse before it gets better over this month and there's a grading on 1 March so all those grading will have to put up with the dust and lack of air circulating since they've papered over the windows so we can't open them. I'm not entirely sure what improvements they're making but well, since it's only for a month, we'll live.
Today was a great class particularly the second class. I had one of the really good women partner me and she was forcing me to make my sankyos more effective by grabbing me harder than usual and supplying me with some very effective but helpful resistance.
My first class was somewhat marred by my having a little tiff with an ugly Singaporean parent just beforehand. He got my goat this time not just for his teenage daughter's behaviour but for saying that one of the senior aikido instructors was "unfit to teach" in the dojo. And he repeated that three times. And expected me to agree with him. Needless to say I wasn't about to do that so I pointed out that if he really thought that, he'd remove his daughter from the dojo.
I already told the mother off on another occasion when she said her daughter was entitled to attend class but not have to lay mats because they paid "adult fees what"....ah, what people think money can buy and what it really can't.
I really must be getting old...this whole younger generation is entirely spoiled thing is a clear sign of age
Great friday class...actually I had a good week at aikido. Wed and Fri classes felt really good. And we did a new move in Wed class I'd never seen before and am hard put to describe. It just ended with ones arm pinned over one's head in what looked like a wrenching way.
Anyway, it's nice to be back in the aikido groove again. Haven't had this feeling for a long time since all the injuries, illness and work got in the way the last couple of months. And of course i'm squeezing as much aikido as I possibly can in for the next week before the dojo shuts for Chinese New Year.
Sadly the whole month of Friday we don't really get classes at my dojo as they're upgrading the place. So even more reason to practice hard while I can this coming week.
Sadly I don't think I'll be able to make aikido classes this monday/wed/fri like I normally do. Work is definitely getting in the way with a lot of work functions at night this week.
I'd rather be doing aikido!
But well, one must earn a living so I managed to make the Sunday morning class and stay on to help in the children's class which is massive so they need all the adult helpers they can get.
Plus I did however manage to do a pilates class and a body pump class so far this week in lieu of the aikido. Let's see how much I ache tomorrow. My first body pump class on New Year's Eve I ended up aching for 4 days afterwards. For some reason I don't usually ache much after pilates class even though I don't have strong stomach muscles especially the lower abs. I'm not entirely sure why.
Hopefully my aikido schedule next week things will revert to normal since there's the Chinese New Year's break coming up and I'm sure that week the dojo will close. So I'd rather not miss any more classes than I can help.
This morning I managed to go to the gym and do a Body Pump class which is a light weights class set to different music tracks. It was fun and half way through, my muscle memory started to kick in. I'd last done the class some 4-5 years back so I declared myself as a beginner to the instructor so she wouldn't wonder why I was slow.
It felt good. I'm hoping to supplement my aikido with general keep fit activities this year and that was the start of it on the first day of the new year. It'll also help as i think this year I will have more work related interruptions to my aikido so the Body Pump, pilates and yoga classes I can do at the gym will help me mantain muscle tone and fitness levels on non-aikido days or days when I can't make it to aikido.