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At Saturday's children's class we had three new students. A girl and her little brother and another little boy. I was talking to one of the new parents whom I'd met a few years ago. He asked if I enjoyed helping with the class and I said, "Yeah, I get to be Bad Cop."
At the beginning of class when the children were lined up in seiza some of them were slouching and talking. I barked to sit up straight and keep quiet. I looked at the parent I'd been talking to and he mouthed, "Is that Bad Cop?" I smiled and nodded.
In adult class there were a lot of new people. One of them was a big muscled 6' 5" guy whose arms and legs just flopped around. I was working with him for tai sabaki. Of course, I didn't move him at all. I'm 5' 1". How does one adjust to someone soooo much taller than them? Training with him is going to be fun.
Yesterday at the grocery store I saw one of the little aikidoka from our children's class. It doesn't seem to matter how much I tell him to sit up, be quiet, keep your hands to yourself, hurry up, stop talking, pay attention, fix your gi…he's always so happy to see me.
At ladies class last night two new people joined. Friends of mine. Long manicured nails, jewelry. I thought, "This is going to be interesting." They both did really well for their first time out and seemed very enthused afterwards. So hopefully they'll continue.
One of them commented on how her abs got a good workout. "Anything that's good for my abs is a friend of mine."
I was thinking about how our instructor, our only female shodan, has a great teaching demeanor. Very approachable and relaxed. I would be the opposite. Like a drill sergeant, I guess.
I hadn't taken any ukemi as I was out sick for two weeks. And boy, could I ever feel it. I was a bit tense and out of sync with our instructor. I was wondering what she was going to do instead of just going with it.
I disclosed to her after class that I was a bit relieved that there were new people in the class, because then she would cover basics and not toss me around too much. However, because there were new people she demonstrated to them what was possible to do with aikido.
I'm glad to be back training even though my cough is lingering a bit. Hope to be back in the swing of things next week.
I have been sick with a really bad cold since before New Years. I missed the first two weeks of training.
I've been doing some reflecting on my training since I returned last June. A thread in one of the forums mentioned what it meant to be "humble". I heard the following a couple of months ago from another MA practitioner who heard it from another. I'd like to share it.
"Humble people do not think less of themselves, they think of themselves less."
The above sums up for me what defines "humble" and describes my sensei to a T. He has for the last twenty five years or so been devoted to dispensing his knowledge to numerous students at our dojo as well as others he has visited.
His knowledge and friendship are his gift to us.
A few years ago I made a very brief return to training, but my mindset was not one that was conducive to receiving instruction. Where did this arrogance come from? An environment that fostered the ego. It's interesting to look back and realize how much that attitude crippled my ability to really learn.
I was told by the deshi that when he'd asked sensei if he could remove my name (amongst others) from the rank board, sensei said, "No, they all come back sooner or later." I'd been away for almost ten years.
I am only beginning to grasp the importance of openness and humility in training and daily life.