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Old 02-21-2004, 08:34 PM   #6
gstevens's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido Of San Leandro
Location: Alameda
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 47
Wow... I feel compeled to write on this thread...

This is so opposite my experiences in Aikido. I am a rank newbie too, only having four weeks or so under my belt. I have participated in belt test preperation, with people testing for 2nd and 1st kyu. It was fun! I didn't understand their half of the techinique, but they treated me with the utmost care and RESPECT. Every time I go to the Dojo I have fun.

I looked into 5 Dojos before selecting the one that I am currently a member of. In all of them I was invited to train with memebers of the Dojo that were more advanced than I was, in all of them I was treated with Kindness, and respect. I was part of test preperation as a guest at one of them. In no way was I misstreated, always I was shown respect and kindness. Which is what I expect from Aikido.

In two incidents since I have been on the mat, I have made errors because my focus is still on me, and at best connecting to my partner; the rest of the world outside my feet sometimes does not exist. (I am working hard on this, but there is so much new, so much to take in every class, that it is very hard to take in all of the technique, and people doing the technique next to me.) In both cases, I was moved, by the sempies that I was training with before there could have been a "being stepped on" incident. Both times I said thank you, and both times the people I was training with said; "That would have been completely my fault, not yours, you are new, and part of my position in the dojo is to make sure that you do not get hurt."

I can't say enough how much your post vexes me, having the opposite experience here, and loving Aikido. Aikido has already changed the way that I look at and approach the world in the four weeks or so that I have been practicing. It is because the Sempies, and my Sensei are kind, and caring that I am able to learn....

Sensei has stopped me rolling twice to point out that I was doing something incorrectly and could hurt myself. I have seen him do this with a lot of us. He also has told the sempeis not to "Throw" us, but to flow with us, and stop before a roll would be necessary, so that we could then line up concentrate, and practice a roll...Or not.

Something seems wrong here, I wish that there was another dojo close to you so that you would have the opportunity to experience the magic of this art, and not whatever is going on there.
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