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juliaKay 03-14-2006 10:46 PM

Hello...
 
Hi All,

I live in San Francisco, California, in the United States and I train at East Bay Aikido in nearby Oakland with Tom Gambell Sensei. It's a wonderful community of Aikido-ka and Gambell Sensei is an extraordinary teacher: come visit if you're in our part of the world.

I started playing with Aikido over a quarter century ago (I love saying that) alternating school years at a college Aikido club with summers in New York City at the Aikikai. However, my first real training and my first real sensei was at the Baltimore ASU affiliate with Charlie Page Sensei. He gave me a strong foundation, strong enough that some of it was still in my body when I came back to Aikido after 12 years off the mat. Thank-you Charlie Page Sensei!

I never have understood how I let that 12 years off the mat slip by but I've been back for more than 5 years now and I'm completely addicted. I found a wonderful dojo and a wonderful sensei and I love many kinds of training including focused concentration on one technique, jiu waza and other free styles, weapons, especially jo, playing with my favorite partners, playing with folks I've never met before at seminars, training for testing, training when testing is the last thing on my mind, learning from beginners, being tossed around by my sempai, etc., etc. In short, I've got the bug bad: I love to train and I love Aikido. Also, Aikido has been of enormous help to me in my life off the mat, and during a recent very stressful time I found that it also went the other way - when I learned to resolve things better off the mat, my Aikido also grew.

I've lurked on AikiWeb in the past, making good use of the dojo search when travelling, browsing forums, reading articles, and occasionally voting. It's really a fabulous resource and my hat is off with much appreciation to Jun and everyone else who makes it happen. So why finally sign up now? Had to add my aiki-puns to the pun thread in the humor forum!

OK, I do do a couple of other things besides Aikido. :) In addition to playing on the mat, I like to play in my art studio (you can see some of my work at http://studiojuliakay.com ). I very recently made my first ever aikido-themed art but it's not online yet so please check back soon.

I've also become very interested in the Alexander Technique, a method of learning to use your body with more ease whose general philosophical precepts and physical techniques have alot in common with those of Aikido (don't muscle, don't endgain, don't "do" the technique, yes be calm, yes have poise etc.). I'm looking forward to seeing how these two arts work together as I learn more. FM Alexander, the founder of the Alexander Technique, lived at pretty much the same time as O'Sensei but in Australia and England. Interesting to think about all that was happening in the world around then.

Well, really, I think that's quite enough about me - see you online or on the mat,

Julia

Kaan Berberoglu 03-15-2006 01:16 AM

Re: Hello...
 
Very interesting, this Alexander Technique. Please, let me know how it works out for you in the near future. Thank you for what you have done here, today.

Michael O'Brien 03-15-2006 02:56 PM

Re: Hello...
 
Hi Julia,

Welcome from Nashville, TN.

akiy 03-15-2006 03:20 PM

Re: Hello...
 
Hi Julia,

Welcome to AikiWeb.

-- Jun

Perry Bell 04-02-2006 08:53 PM

Re: Hello...
 
Quote:

Julia Kay wrote:
Hi All,

I live in San Francisco, California, in the United States and I train at East Bay Aikido in nearby Oakland with Tom Gambell Sensei. It's a wonderful community of Aikido-ka and Gambell Sensei is an extraordinary teacher: come visit if you're in our part of the world.

I started playing with Aikido over a quarter century ago (I love saying that) alternating school years at a college Aikido club with summers in New York City at the Aikikai. However, my first real training and my first real sensei was at the Baltimore ASU affiliate with Charlie Page Sensei. He gave me a strong foundation, strong enough that some of it was still in my body when I came back to Aikido after 12 years off the mat. Thank-you Charlie Page Sensei!

I never have understood how I let that 12 years off the mat slip by but I've been back for more than 5 years now and I'm completely addicted. I found a wonderful dojo and a wonderful sensei and I love many kinds of training including focused concentration on one technique, jiu waza and other free styles, weapons, especially jo, playing with my favorite partners, playing with folks I've never met before at seminars, training for testing, training when testing is the last thing on my mind, learning from beginners, being tossed around by my sempai, etc., etc. In short, I've got the bug bad: I love to train and I love Aikido. Also, Aikido has been of enormous help to me in my life off the mat, and during a recent very stressful time I found that it also went the other way - when I learned to resolve things better off the mat, my Aikido also grew.

I've lurked on AikiWeb in the past, making good use of the dojo search when travelling, browsing forums, reading articles, and occasionally voting. It's really a fabulous resource and my hat is off with much appreciation to Jun and everyone else who makes it happen. So why finally sign up now? Had to add my aiki-puns to the pun thread in the humor forum!

OK, I do do a couple of other things besides Aikido. :) In addition to playing on the mat, I like to play in my art studio (you can see some of my work at http://studiojuliakay.com ). I very recently made my first ever aikido-themed art but it's not online yet so please check back soon.

I've also become very interested in the Alexander Technique, a method of learning to use your body with more ease whose general philosophical precepts and physical techniques have alot in common with those of Aikido (don't muscle, don't endgain, don't "do" the technique, yes be calm, yes have poise etc.). I'm looking forward to seeing how these two arts work together as I learn more. FM Alexander, the founder of the Alexander Technique, lived at pretty much the same time as O'Sensei but in Australia and England. Interesting to think about all that was happening in the world around then.

Well, really, I think that's quite enough about me - see you online or on the mat,

Julia

Hi Julia,

i have been practicing the Alexander technique for some time now and I think you will totally enjoy the correlation between the technique and your Aikido, to me the principle is the same, not to struggle with the move but to let it happen freely. You will close enjoy the difference it will make in your private life in the way that you see various situations, I live in Australia and study with a very well known Alexander teacher, who not only teaches the technique but combines it with his own philosophy of Aikido as well as the spiritual side of Reiki which I find to be very uplifting.

Take care and have fun

Perry :-)

juliaKay 04-10-2006 12:44 AM

Re: Hello...
 
Quote:

Perry Bell wrote:
Hi Julia,

i have been practicing the Alexander technique for some time now and I think you will totally enjoy the correlation between the technique and your Aikido, to me the principle is the same, not to struggle with the move but to let it happen freely. You will close enjoy the difference it will make in your private life in the way that you see various situations, I live in Australia and study with a very well known Alexander teacher, who not only teaches the technique but combines it with his own philosophy of Aikido as well as the spiritual side of Reiki which I find to be very uplifting.

Take care and have fun

Perry :-)

Hi Perry,
Thanks for letting me know how these two practices are working together for you. So far I have found them very compatible and growing off each other. I also find it very interesting that both founders were born around the same time, lived to be 86 years old, had, of course, followers that developed slightly different styles, etc.

I felt my search for the right teacher-training course was also like searching for the right dojo. But I couldn't figure out why the students were always telling each other what to do (this is discouraged at my aiki dojo). Then I remembered, duh, it's a teacher training course, so everyone needs to practice teaching!

Anyway, thanks for checking in!
Julia

PS Do you have a good short description for when folks ask you "What is the Alexander Technique?". Somehow, I am still fumbling in my explanations...

Pauliina Lievonen 04-10-2006 11:18 AM

Re: Hello...
 
Hi Julia and welcome! And hi to Perry, too!

I'm an Alexander Technique teacher and I've been doing aikido for seven years soon. I find them a very good combination, too. :) So are you already in a teacher training course or looking for one? Good luck in any case! Cool to see other AT people here. :)

kvaak
Pauliina

juliaKay 04-10-2006 06:06 PM

Re: Hello...
 
Hi Paulina,
I'm very fortunate because there are three AT teacher training programs in commute distance from me. I spent about a month visiting each school, sitting in on classes, chatting with students, taking lessons with the head instructors - alot like finding the right aikido dojo! Anyway I was accepted at the one I preferred, and I start this semester - next monday in fact! So a whole new adventure begins...
Julia
PS I like the sound I imagine for "kvaak", but i wouldn't want to misuse it... does it mean "bye"? or...

Pauliina Lievonen 04-11-2006 10:30 AM

Re: Hello...
 
Your in for interesting times then. :) I'd love to hear how you are doing on the course, please keep posting! I did find doing aikido hard sometimes during the training course when everything I thought I knew about myself and my coordination seemed to change every day...

Kvaak is what ducks say in Finnish. It basically started as a joke and stuck. :) I have a fluffy yellow toy duck with a black belt and a little bokken that i got from my little sis, it's called Aikiducky...

kvaak
Pauliina


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