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Completed the teaching course and passed. Yay me, etc. I have to say I actually enjoyed the course and found it useful. Yeah I know: Alex doesn't like courses and they're as useful as a fishing rod in the desert yada yada.
Aside from that I got this sense of, I suppose family, from the course, not so much from the people who were from other associations and styles but from people in my association. Not that the other guys were anything but friendly but reccently I find that people know who I am and are pleased to see me which to me is always unexpected.
Something I picked up from the course was in the part about group norms and something resonated with me in that I came into the dojo and everyone was standing around drinking tea (yeah on the mat, what rebels we are ) and I walked in and sat down and I was the only person sitting. I suppose I never feel part of the group or a need to conform to the group norms.
Then later it occured to me that that's my dojo, we're a group of people who normally don't conform to group norms and this is reflected in how Sensei teaches us or at least the senior of us where he has adopted a very co-operative teaching style, we're left to get on with it and we call him in when we need him.
Our dojo is the one people with issues with authority go to and the people who basically think they can do anything and are the best and can get where they're going (the top) with only need a little help and that must be a massive challenge
Ever since I saw Seven Samurai I wanted to be Kambei. Not much ever affects Kambei. I suppose he's the personification of a view of Samurai like you find in Hagakure and other writings; he's stoic, composed.
So today we were on a bus heading back from a teachers course and this guy starts hurling abuse and threats at us and we simply ignored him. Even after he moved closer we still essentially ignored him, kept our body language neutral, our voices calm, even and clear and it was apparent the guy was totally baffled.
We said next to nothing and just watched him and he would become more abusive, trying to get a reaction and then go quiet and then try again and we just watched him, like Kambei watches Kikuchiyo.
Eventually we decided it was best to get off the bus, we wanted room to draw and use our weapons since we were both convinced he was armed and it seemed a confrontation was inevitable.
As we did so he starts asking if we want to get off and fight and we simply calmly said "no" and made to get off the bus. This is when he noticed the weapons bags, which had been kinda hidden in the piles of kit on our seats and he asked what was in the bag and we didn't answer.
At this point another guy, who I'm guessing didn't need to told what was in a long bag with kanji all over it, or was potentially in the bag since people often assume that there are shinken in there, starts talking to the cretin advising him to back off.
My dojo is a lunatic asylum, I know this, but tonight we had a real lunatic come in. Literally he walks in and asks who the instructor is, I mean there are a bunch of white belts and black belt........it's not difficult.
So then he starts going on about how he's going to be the best ever at karate and he's going to evolve it and yada yada. This went on for 15 minutes while we put the mats away in silence, we couldn't get a word in edge ways; I tried talking to him and he just kept on talking. Then he suddenly says "Is this even karate?"
So we explained it was Aikido and sensei asked what he was looking for and he starts talking about how he wants to "be wise and know everything so that if I'm ever broke I can go in the UFC and win money and make something of myself"
By now we're on the verge of laughter, but everyone's keeping it polite as he goes on about how he wants to be the best ever at everything. Then it's how long to get black belt and how it won't take him that long.............
Sensei invited him down next class and he seems eager...........
You know, I really don't know where I'm going with this Aikido thing. I'm approaching dan grade with total indifference. Well, that's not entirely true; this assistant instructor thing is frankly annoying.
It's so much hassel and that would be fine if I could see some kind of point to it but the fact is that on good night we have three people on the mat including myself. This will change and everything but even so it's looking at being £170 and lots of time on top of the couple of hundred that summer school will cost.
I hate summer school; I'm not one of these people who really enjoy camping out and doing not much but Aikido for a week, frankly that sounds like a nightmare, which is why I don't go. Three days out in the wilderness living off rat packs and purifying my own water while yomping all over the place, sure.
Four days stuck in one place with nothing to do but train, bearing in mind that I get bored of Aikido after about two hours, nah.
I suppose I don't see much point in it all at the moment. I don't see where I'm going with this. It seems like lots of pointless demands are being made on me or I'm being pushed in directions that I don't really want to go and it's kinda expensive when you're a dirt poor student.