Re: Shodan is another start of Aikido?
Thank you, both of you.
I like keiko itself. There is not comptetion there. Everybody is concentrating on the waza (technique) taught by the sensei. Our sensei scolds us when we are chatting, but when when we are making grimace, he tells us "Smile." I can see that he has changed too.
We come to the dojo for keiko to practice and at the same time to see our sensei and other members and to see how we can be better at each waza.
As a person, we are all immature, but we are trying to be better, which is really good. We are trying to develop as a human being by doing keiko.
One bad thing about Aikido is that I forget all my frustrations after keiko. You know, you need some sense of crisis in order to continue your work, but after practicing some techniques six or seven times or more with my partner, I just forget the day's unpleasant events or worries for the future. I just feel that my mind is peaceful and wishing peace for everybody.
Today is one of the holidays of the so-called Golden Week in Japan. I got on the train and saw many of them shouldering back-packs, probably going to the sea and mountains to have a relaxed time.
Tuesday and Wednesday are the days when we have to work or children have to go to school. It is like a pocket between holidays. And then the third, fourth, and fifth of May are holidays.
I am going to the Chichibu mountainous area, two hours train ride from the center of Tokyo, to see azaleas and to eat wild boar meat with my wife.
Then on the sixth, keiko will begin.
After the keiko, we drink tea sitting on the tatami mat around a low-legged table, chatting with each other and with the sensei. Just chatting, but it's nice with everybody smiling and eager to please others. Some still practice which we call "jishu" or self-learning after the soji (cleaning) of the dojo.
Our sensei has made various efforts to help us come to the stage where we can enjoy the jishu (self-practice) time after the keiko. He prepared for a party in the first, second and maybe third years, but now we are happy to prepare for a friendship party, though three times or four times a year. We were taught how to prepare for having parties by him and still we make lots of mistakes and are made to realize how poor we are at handling these events, about how many dishes of sushi or sake we need for how many people and how we should entertain each other. We are learning everything he has learned as a uchideshi (internship or apprenticeship) and as a teacher. We are learning how to communicate with each other by practicing Aikido in pair work and while having tea or having a party.