Dojo: Eagle Rock Aikido, Ammon, ID
Location: Ammon, ID
Join Date: Oct 2001
Re: Our dojo just tested; my account (kinda long)
Our dojo just tested again. I have passed my 1st Kyu test and while that's nice, I just can't express say how extremely proud I am of all the other people who tested. Congratulations to everyone who had just outstanding tests.
What I find both amazing (and bit disconcerting that I'm getting old), is how good everyone else in the dojo has gotten. We've really had a commitment from everyone that is absolutely phenomenal.
From my first post in this thread (blog), I noted my injury to my ankle. I've had steriod injections, physical therapy, and mucho time. It's still screwed up and overall, my ankles seem to be degenerating somewhat. Before every class, I take Tylenol and Ibuprofen and I ice all the time. When I get up in the morning, I walk like an old man until things start loosening up a bit. The point at which my other leg's calf muscle attaches to the foot constantly hurts and I'm not sure if it's just small tears or inflamation in the bursae. I could go on, but basically, I've been just trying to keep everything working until I tested so that I could take the necessary steps to fix the problems that I have. I'm really not wanting to though since I'll miss Aikido, but I need to.
As for my test itself, even though I dropped 17 lbs since my last test and was in better shape, I still felt that I wasn't at an appropriate fitness level. Part of that is injury related, and part is lack of time and too many commitments such as family, work, university, etc., but really, though those are partially reasons, they're more excuses aren't they?
The big change from this test from the last one was, other than another years worth of work, was a realization that I had. In the past, I was always concentrating on making sure that the throw or technique worked and was sufficently, well, martial. However, this line of thinking leads one to make non-aikido adjustments, however small, to effect a technique that may not be correct. As I am a the ranking student in class, I guess I was feeling pressure to be correct all the time but didn't have the proper perspective, looking correct and being correct are not the same. That's why I feel that being a sensei would be difficult to say the least. I realized that if my aikido is wrong, in a training environment, the correct thing to do is to do it incorrectly and find out why your Aikido is not Aikido. It's the beginner's mind thing. It's funny that as I progress farther that I feel more and more like a beginner. It's part of finding the path I guess. Needless to say, to me, I looked pretty bad there for a while as often, I would not get the throw or whatnot, but I allowed myself to just let things happen, trying to blend and not force things. I've had to really work on appropriate response, it's been a weak point.
I must say that Aikido has been a huge part of my life, ever since the first time I started back in '93 (4 years of Air Force in there..) . I am indebted to Roberto Sensei for the IMMENSE amount of patience that he has shown me and the years that we've spent practicing together. Often I can come off a unapproachable and much too businesslike in what I do (too much work) and I regret the times that I've come to Aikido in bad moods or with a chip on my shoulder. Inevitably, by the end of class, I'm grounded and centered and happy, but it shouldn't be at anyone elses expense. So what I've been trying to learn is the Ai part of Aikido and trying to leave the harm part of harmony out of it. (stops rambling)
Anywhoo, one of my main views on testing is that it is to demonstrate that which you have learned, in a stress situation. The bulk of a test is however, not in the 30 minutes that you're testing, but in every day you practice, every day you try to live a good life and be a good person, every time you step on the mat and begin again anew.
So, I'm gonna go keep practicing.
Last edited by bcole23 : 08-23-2005 at 10:40 PM.