Downs, ups and scattered thoughts

An interlude.  With less than two weeks left in California, and what is likely to be an increasing workload limiting my time to writing blog entries, then I would like to use this chance to extend a huge thank you to Aikido of Monterey.  For anyone who finds themselves in Monterey, California I say, take some time to visit the dojo there.  Welcoming, friendly and willing to spend time training someone who is only there for a short while.  I am going to miss training with them.

Thank you all!

Back to the blog entry…

Scattered thoughts.  I have had a rather odd week, definitely subject to Murphy’s Law where anything that could go wrong, did go wrong and generally in the worse possible way, both work and aikido.  Thankfully that seems to have come to an end this morning.  The universe flung one final obstacle at me, with the bus driver walking off the bus leaving a bunch of puzzled passengers in the middle of no where, but despite that I somehow arrived in time for classes, during which my harmony was restored.

Aikido at the past week has seen the unusual development of me becoming a rather timid mouse.  My atemi has been uncertain, apart from one determined effort which caught my training partner by surprise.  My techniques have felt like I’m trying to juggle jelly/jello and I have lost sight of the concept.  An endlessly patient sensei has show me something in  a myriad of ways, but I still tripped over myself.

Or as you old timers will say, “oh, we all have those moments, it will pass.”

It did.

And flow.  So despite the previously mentioned transportation issues, some element within me switched back on today.  My mind suddenly focused in.  I felt like I could achieve a technique, rather than the required goal having vanished so far over the horizon it was likely to circle the globe and bite my backside.  Of course I wasn’t perfect, I’m only a 6th kyu, but I felt that with enough time I could be and that is a different way of thinking.

Then an unexpected boost came to my re-growing confidence.  Visiting us for the weekend was a sensei from another dojo, and he was asked if he would like to teach part the class.  The style which he demonstrated was so akin to how I have trained at home that a final part in me relaxed.  Sometimes the familiar is required.

Overly harsh on myself?  I re-read all of that and it has dawned on me that in the past eight weeks I have covered a lot of new ground.

  • I have been adapting to a different style.
  • I have seen different approaches to techniques that I would do at home.
  • I have had to learn how to work with a whole range of new training partners and how far the can go.
  • And my new training partners have had to learn the same back from me.
  • Then there is all the boken and jo work.
  • Plus some still healing knees from the suwari waza sessions.

So time to be honest with myself.  Fours hours training spent fumbling, uncertain and not knowing where to go?  Is that all?!  To paraphrase the American psychologist Carl Rogers:

The only martial artist who progresses is the one who has learned who to adapt and change.

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