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Old 01-24-2011, 02:47 PM   #35
Diana Frese
Dojo: Aikikai of S.W. Conn. (formerly)
Location: Stamford Connecticut
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 382
United_States
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Re: Aikido training - Why are you searching for internal strength?

This is a long thread, a great thread, and a lot of posts today, so I feel like jumping in now, but will re read all the posts. It is worth it.

I like the topic of balance, and of other arts, because this is how it happened for me. I will have to re read the difference between inner strength and internal strength, however.

Other black belts entered the area, and in practicing with them, I found I needed to work on balance because the speed of the practice left me feeling as if I wasn't keeping up.

I already had exercises for balance in the classes I taught but found I needed more.

I ended up in a cultural exchange with a neighbor I met at the Y where I was teaching, he was trying out Aikido which his teacher of Shotokan karate had also taught and thus he had heard about it and was curious.

At first I thought the Shotokan kata (in this case Bassai, "storming a fortress" ) he showed us looked rather fierce and when he offered to teach some karate at a backyard practice one of my students was hosting, I made some polite comment but didn't think I would be interested in one of the "striking arts'

Anyway, too long of a story for now, except to say, I ended up a gofer for his carpentry company after taking Shotokan from some of his friends and their teacher, since it looked to be what I needed to improve my balance.

Then he agreed to teach locally. This was about thirty years ago, but at the time when anyone asked me, I said, well Joe Namath the football player took ballet to improve his football....so?

To make a long story short, often you find out what you need and in previously unexpected places. And you get things you didn't expect, like nineteen beautiful kata (no I haven't tried them all but I have seen most of them performed)

Since my friend and I eventually got married and I'm planning on training again will let you know, as Aikido for sure and maybe Shotokan too.

I guess the point of my post is, if you look around you can find what you need. This will infuriate some, especially those who believe it is important to be goal oriented, but it has worked for me.

Maybe I was indeed goal oriented because I knew what I lacked in terms of training. Yes I have missed training with Aikido, and Karate friends for years, but after non martial arts injuries job concerns various family obligations etc etc. it is probably time to train again, and thanks to all who have been encouraging me to re start.
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