Clare do you have another update for us? How is it going and have you found your training more relaxing now?
Yes, it's been quite a while since I last commented. Many things in my life have happened since then. I've taken many advanced yoga training courses and will fly to Malaga, Spain very soon for a 16-day intensive training course. I teach at a new studio with smaller classes, but more devoted students. I took my oldest son (he's 12) on a cruise to the Bahamas. He totally loved the experience. Aikido-wise, things are going well. My kids (12 and 7 year old) are liking their Aikido training more these days than last year. My 7 year old is probably going to be the youngest orange belt in his class. Quite coincidentally, I saw this forum post today right after I responded to someone asking me how things were going. I responded:
I'm 4th kyu now and it felt like it took a lot less time to get from 5th to 4th than 6th to 5th (it actually didn't; it actually took 9 months versus 7). I think it's because I learned a lot more about myself over the course of training or maybe I just see Aikido as fun rather than work. I basically stopped caring about rank thinking that I'd never go up from 5th. I just enjoyed coming to Aikido class and learning techniques. It wasn't until the end of last year that a number of my senior colleagues gave our Sensei the nod that I was ready to test. I even heard one of them say "She's ready" and then a few weeks later Sensei called me up to demonstrate a subset of the test. I tested for 4th a week later (mid January). Now I'm working on the premise that I'll never go up from 4th. I'm just having fun learning techniques.
So, now I can say I'm "4th kyu forever," but this time with no hints of frustration like I had when I was 6th kyu.