So I’ve hit that point which, without doubt, I will encounter over and over again on my journey through learning aikido and jiu jitsu. At this moment in time “that point” is occurring in aikido. Experienced martial artists will nod and know where I’m coming from. The thing is, I’ve stalled in my progress. Techniques are just making so little sense and I emerge from each training session with a feeling that I haven’t been as receptive as I should because my session has felt like one big muddle.
Strangely the one thing I don’t feel is frustrated. Rather I feel an abstract, “oh look, I’m having to work harder to gain a better understanding,” and happily continue on with my training. So these musings are born from a curious, rather than conquering, mindset.
For an example of my stalling, when even the simple question was raised to us, “which hand is going to meet the mat first when uke falls out of this throw,” it left me thinking, “uh?” The senior grade next to me muttered, “come on girl, you know this.” Well yes, I did know that one side met the mat first, in this case the right, but for some reason my brain was just not functioning on any sensible level to formulate the correct answer.
In many areas of my life people have accused me of not seeing the woods for the trees. Part of me wonders if this is what is happening here. I’m so busy thinking, rather than actually doing and feeling, that my mind has gone into overload. I seem to recall a similar moment in jitsu. My sensei’s response there was to make me deal with a line of attacks without pause. Did the trick nicely. Someone rushing towards you ready to knock you out with his mate rapidly closing in as well, followed by another and another. . . You don’t think, you just defend again and again.
Or maybe I’ve reached the end of one rapid learning curve, now is the time to refine what I have learnt and people are helping me with that. Bad habits are best corrected early. Or another way to look at it, I’m being encourage to fine tune what I have.
Or the third option, people feel it’s time to stop being soft with me, that I need to learn to deal with attackers that have a bit more purpose. Now seeing as I wrote once on the challenges of being an uke then I am truly delighted at increased tenacity on my uke’s part. And the best bit is, they are still willing to spend the time to show me how to be better. Training must be more satisfying for them if they can launch a decent attack.
So. Stop thinking so much, start doing.* Be aware that learning is never a steady process, but one of acceleration and breaking. And continue to enjoy the challenges and teaching I receive.
* And I am well aware that writing this blog is part of me over-thinking!