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Old 02-02-2007, 10:13 AM   #8
gstevens's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido Of San Leandro
Location: Alameda
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 47
Re: Wife joining husband in aikido class?

I have been training with my wife for ~2 years now. We love it, I have been her uke for her tests, and we are currently ramping up her training and training schedule as she wants to test for her next rank, so we are training together every day. We train at the dojo every weekday except Mondays, and do weapons practice most other days...

Like all of us she gets frustrated sometimes trying to get the techniques to "work". We know this is going to happen, and that she is not frustrated with me. I get frustrated occasionally with her when she judges her aikido based on her frustration, but again she knows that it isn't her that I am frustrated with.

We don't argue about aikido. It has made a lot of the rest of our conversations, and actions a lot smoother, learning to get off the line and blend is a good thing, especially with your spouse!

However..... We have a different relationship than most couples. We are quite happy being together in very small spaces, we have lived aboard a boat and sailed over half the planet for the last 12 years.

Issues that we have observed with other couples either doing Aikido, or trying to teach each other to sail. ( They seem to be equivalent to teaching your spouse to drive a stick shift or cast a fly rod). If you spouse is a higher rank, or has more sailing experience, then he/she is going to try and help you learn. This is largely because they love the activity and want to see you succeed in it. Now here is the part that is the rub. The tone and inflection of voice used in teaching, and in starting an argument are almost identical. We realized this after several episodes of teaching sailing -> arguing, (while sailing, not on the mat...) and realized that you have to assess the situation and decide if your partner is trying to argue with you, or help you learn a new skill.

Now if you are both the same level, the above is 200X more true. So be gentle with one another and remember that you are both on a path, the do part of aikido, and that there is really no right or wrong to the whole thing. Have fun.

We were on the mat practicing once together, and another couple bowed into one another, Sensei went over and shuffled them to other training partners. They asked why, he said; "It is generally not a good idea to have couples train together". They both turned to us, and said; "What about them?" Sensei said; "They are different, they live in a really small space, and have sailed 1/2 way around the world together." Training went on...... I trust Sensei's experience in this more than my own.

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