A Great Way To Start The Day

Got up this morning, ate a banana, and headed off to a 10am keiko. I’d never been to aikido for a weekday morning session, so I was curious to see who all would be there. Out of the five other aikidoka, I hadn’t met two, one of whom was Danny-sempai, who taught the class. (I guess that would make him Danny-sensei?) Today’s class included myself, Hank, Jim, Matt(?), and Taisho. Small group.

I’m not good at remembering the names of the techniques we work on, unless we’re specifically training for tests. Then, we *have* to know the names of the techniques, so more of a focus is placed on knowing those. Normally, though, it’s just “Monkey See, Monkey Do” for me. We did some yokomen-uchi ikkyo omote, which was just a variation on a technique I already knew, so that worked out. We also worked on irimi kokyu nage, which I was familiar with, and I learned some new nuances of the technique. We also did some variations on both of those moves, plus one or two others.

That’s what’s really interesting to me about learning this way, by repetition and gleaning as much as you can with each pass: every keiko, you can learn something different, even if you already know the techniques that are being taught. You pick up on varying styles by the different aikidoka you train with, you learn from other people’s mistakes, and sometimes (like I did today) you have an “ah-ha!” moment, when things start to click.

I still have a bit of a major mental block against rolling, or even attempting to roll, especially since I pulled a muscle last time I attempted an all-out forward roll in class. I’m also scared to practice at home, since I could be learning it wrong and think I’m doing fine. (Plus, carpeted basement does not equal padded dojo mat.) Hopefully, with testing coming up in two weeks, I’ll get to practice rolling in class with the other mukyu, and get some pointers without having to ask someone to critique me as a favor.

No injuries this time, a few eureka moments, and a boost to my aikido confidence. Good keiko.

By the way… I’ve been trying to be careful not to reveal the name of my dojo, just so my ineptness doesn’t reflect poorly on the rest of the dojo. I’ll let the cat out of the bag here, though, because Sensei posted clips to YouTube that I want you all to see, so you can get a feel for what aikido is like. Aaron’s quotable: “No wonder you come home sore.” 😀