Sunday, January 9, 2011

Continuancy Pt. 1

It has been a while, hasn't it? I'm not terribly good at making myself post on here - particularly since started graduate school. However, classes will resume soon! In a week in fact.. I was unable to attend Aikido classes very regularly last semester due to my library courses, however, i've arranged for my lis courses to be on different days so I will have both days a week open for Aikido!

This brings me to an issue... continuancy. As a new practicioner, it's easy to commit yourself to Aikido. It's simple in its approach.. easy to learn the basics of... but endlessly complex. It's enjoyable, however, it can be difficult to maintain that focus. The discipline requires a partner in order to really practice and this is good - as it helps you form a bond with someone that can be either helpful or detrimental (i'll talk about that next time.)

This partnership can be very helpful. Much like having a work out partner, it helps to draw you back when you might stray. It's one of the things that has given me such problems in the past year.. my partner moved away. Since then, specially since I reached shodan in a dojo that doesn't have many shodan, i've spent nearly all of my time bouncing from partner to partner - usually helping the newer students.

This has been good in a way - it has given me teaching experience and it certainly is my responsiblity to teach those newer than myself. However, it has made it difficult to commit myself. I admit, i'm flawed - I can only be so selfless before I begin to grow tired of not working on myself. It helps that I know that, in a way, I am improving myself. I get to observe the errors of others and to improve my teaching, but that's not always enough.

I've digressed a bit. It can be difficult, once you've been involved in aikido for several years, to make yourself stay. I still love aikido, but particularly when I spend little time on myself, it's hard to make myself keep going back. Given how many students i've seen come for a year or so and then leave - i'm sure that i'm not the only person with this problem.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Classes Starting soon

We've been out for summer, but classes are starting again soon! Unfortunately, i've got graduate classes during one of the Aikido meetings so i'll only be able to go once a week. :\ Once a week is better than not at all a week right?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Press onward!

It's been a while since i've posted. Doesn't matter - no one reads this anyway. :p But yes, i've been without much to say of late. Odd, since I talk so much.

Anywho, Aikido practice continues as always. I haven't been an amazingly good student of late.. things keep conspiring to keep me out of class, but I am trying. It's hard when class starts twenty minutes after I get off work. Nevertheless - we press on!

That's the thought for today I suppose. Press on! No matter what, just continue on. The other week a friend online told me that he felt bad because he'd failed again in trying to stop smoking. He had got seven weeks without a smoke, but had just found a pack in his house and smoked one. I said to him "So what?"

Yes... so what? He smoked a cigarette, but that isn't failure. To stop now and continue smoking would be failure. To throw the pack away and go another 7 weeks without smoking would be a success.

The point is - you haven't failed until you stop trying. The same applies to going to class. You miss a day and feel bad about it.. it isn't good, but so what? What do you do in response? Do you miss another day.. then another..and then finally stop going? Or do you, instead, just go back to class and try not to miss any other days? So long as you press onward, so long as you continue trying your best - then you have not failed.

So, go to class - or at least, keep trying to.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Beginning Again

Ah, classes resume today. Today will be a good day... I imagine we'll spend the entire time going over the most basic of basic things with the new students, but that's alright. It's just going to be nice to get to start back up. Besides which, i'll finally get to strut around a little in my new black belt. ;-) Heh, just a little.

I still haven't gotten a hakama, they're expensive and I still have other things (debts) to pay off. But i'm getting close to being in the clear - and that hakama is looming ever nearer!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


I'm still trucking along with my studies into the Japanese language. I'm endeavoring to keep up my vocabulary base as I try to learn hiragana. The book that I use starts off in english, and then the rest of it is in Hiragana. I don't know if this is standard, but it's how the book does it.. and i'm trusting in the book. So here I am - trying to force myself to memorize hiragana.

And y'know.. my handwriting sucks. And for hiragana - it really sucks. Ha.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Gotta Love YouTube

You've got to love youtube.. where else can you find a plethora of videos that otherwise would have taken you months if not years of digging to find? What am I yapping about?... Aikido Videos ofcourse. They come in a plethora of forms on the tube.. from poorly taped to better quality videos... old and young videos... exemplar and poorly executed videos. Youtube has them all. Even has on of my Nikyu test. :-p Not that anyone needs to see that.

Anywho, my favorite youtube channel of late has been the kazeutabudokai channel. Has a crap-ton of videos. Admittedly, I sit at work at times, watching them when i'm bored.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Solo Training

Meh..solo training. One of the most frustrating parts about Aikido.. how do you train without a partner? Sure, you can do the walking kata and you can mime techniques, but is it really of any use to you? I'd say that it is, but not immensely. Miming techniques helps to keep them in my head during some downtime, it at least helps me keep from forgetting anything; and it is a useful tool for helping to memorize the correct order of techniques.

But is it useful for refining your techniques? No... and yet yes. In general, it really isn't that useful for it; at least not IMO. You really need a partner to test ideas and theories on further refining your technique. However, miming can be useful for coming up with those ideas in the first place. Without a partner, you aren't as concerned with the outcome of your technique, and it is easier to observe your motions and perhaps come up with ideas for how to improve them. Surely, you still need an uke to test these ideas out, but I suppose having at least some purpose to it is better than none.

So ... keeping techniques fresh and coming up with ideas for possible refinement. That's about all i've got. And I don't really have any other way of training until we begin meeting again.. after Christmas.