Monday, May 31, 2010

Lesson 2: One Movement

Not ichi, ni, san, shi, go, roku.



Tonight, and actually very often, I get into the habit of practicing Aikido movements broken down into their individual steps. This is certainly residual from my past experience in Hawaiian Kenpo and Tai Chi Chuan, and it can be a very helpful way to learn movements, but in my Aikido class my sensei is always telling me to make it one smooth movement. You can certainly break movements down in Aikido when learning them. However, when practicing them with an uke (partner), it seems the technique suffers unless it is performed with its full fluidity. I think this is not so much a weakness in the art, but a goal to strive for.

Tonight I was reluctant to go to Aikido for numerous reasons, all of which stemming from a bit of laziness. Of course about 20 minutes into the practice I was having an amazing time and had forgetten about any reasons to stay at home. Most everyone has days where they don't want to go to practice for some reason, but I've noticed it's tendency to become a habit. Ever since I've been practicing martial arts, I've noticed this trend in myself of not wanting to go to training even though I feel amazing during and after. Often times for me it can last weeks, and sometimes it gets the better of me. After a few years of experience, I think that it's important to get over it as quickly and thoroughly as possible. Instead of succumbing to it or waiting for it to go away, do whatever it takes to get excited about going to practice, whether its some kind of mantra, reward, or watching a clip of a cool kung-fu movie. I think this is crucial for any aspiring student, as this laziness can truly plague good potential. What matters in martial arts is hands on practice, and I don't know about any of you readers, but for me I only get two chances a week. If I don't consistently go to those two practices, I know I won't improve (at least as much as I want). What matters most to me is benefiting from the few classes I have in Aikido while I'm here, and that requires attendance.

I had a great training tonight, but I know again soon I will be reluctant to go, but I will do whatever it takes to make it there, because the rest is taken care of when you do your best. For all of you students thinking it would be better to just get some sleep, clean your apartment, or read a book about your martial art rather then practice it with your precious companions ... JUST GO TO TRAINING!



  1. Well, you could take a couple of beers to class with you like we do!

  2. Rules, lines, and other things tend to be a bit more blurry at the shima dojo! Perhaps a true training ground for creative expression.

  3. Aye aye Cap'n!

    Obvious as it might sound, we should train, and often! By attending almost every single class this far, I already outpaced (in number of forms, quality of performance and general knowledge of the art) other fellows who started their martial careers before I did. Gong-fu means "work-achievement", and ain't that an achievement?

  4. P.S.: now that I think about it... were the "knights who said 'Ni'" japanese?

  5. Ha! If they were, they had some funny accents.