Tuesday, December 31, 2013

new year...new day...new class...new me?

Thursday at 6:30 PM, January 2, 2014 we will have our first class of the new year. So what's new? Nothing and everything.

We have had about 2 weeks off. Just enough to make me antsy...I get a little weird when I don't train. Aikido is a mood stabilizer for me. I can feel like beetle poop when class starts and when it ends I am smiling and happy... relaxed as a new born.

Speaking of newborns, Princess Muffin is no longer that...she is something else. She is still the same yet totally different just as we will be on this new year...new day...new class...new me.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Swimmy noodles for warm-ups

I  was going to do weapons for warm-ups yesterday morning. Dora broke her wrist in early August and has been on the mat since we re-opened on September, 2nd. Wanting to be inclusive I got out the swimmy noodles that are cut in half and we did weapons warm-ups with the noodles in place of bokkens. We then broke up into partners and each couple made up a noodle kata consisting of 3 strikes and 3 counters. As I worked with my partner I kept an eye and ear on the rest of the class. Everyone was busy and happy.

Just before class ended we demonstrated our little katas again. We all pretty much remembered them. This class was made up of all 3rd Dan and above but the idea could be modified for any and all levels of practice.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Aikido in street clothes

Two situations happened this week. I wasn't wearing a gi and or a hakama for either yet I like to think I was practicing Aikido during each one. Aikido is the martial art that emphasizes least possible harm as we defend ourselves.

1. Drunky guy came up on my 2 grandsons, my daughter and I while we waiting for the balloon clown to make a red balloon dog for Tony at Summerfest. Drunky guy slurs..."Hi Mary. How are ya?.. and moves in for a hug. I extended my arm and said "NO Hugs."...with a smile. He bounced back before touching my extended hand..."NO Hugs?" he mumbled looking astonished. I said firmly, "No hugging." while still smiling...he said, " I will be in to pay soon". I said, "Okay, nice to see you." and he shambled away. My daughter said," Who was that?" I said, "Storage customer." and she said, "Wow, you handled that well.

2. Angry storage customer starts swearing and cursing at me because his unit is over-locked. I turned on my heel and started to walk away. He yelled "What I am going to @#$#@ do? I said that it was not okay to cuss at me or yell at me and that I would help him when he stopped. He cussed and yelled some more and I continued walking away. He came towards me. I stopped and turned to face him and said I would check his account and get back to him. He followed me. I told him he could not come in my office if he continue to cuss and yell. He chose to stay outside. I told him his balance. He handed me a credit card outside. I ran his card and handed it back to him. I then removed his lock and thanked him. When he cussed again and said, "Why are you thanking me?"...I walked away. His anger and problems didn't hurt me.

To me...both of these incidents were Aikido. No hakama, no etiquette...just Aikido.

Friday, June 21, 2013

training for the long haul

Training for life is quite a commitment. We get to run into ourselves often: injuries, classes where only one or two students show up, ego, rank, whether to stay with a teacher or wander about on our own. We train through times when life is easy and life gets difficult.

Long drives, economic worries, issues with other students or teachers... these situations can all seem like reasons to stop...along with having to train with limitatations because of age or a long term injury. Job changes, family commitments, complacency, boredom...people stop training for all sorts of reasons.

For me the best way to honor this commitment that I have is to train one class at a time.

God willing and the creek don't rise... I will be on the mat on Saturday morning...10:00 A. M sharp...cause I am teaching first.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

self-defense is the decision....Aikido is my path

When a person makes the conscious decision to defend themselves they change from the inside out. Now that person has the chance to make a choice about every single situation in her own life.

When a person is complaining about circumstances he can hear the hollow echo of whining in his ears. It no longer fits...it feels like trying to squeeze into a child's sweater.

Now that person knows that since he has made the the decision to be pro active in self-defense, every circumstance is an opportunity to train. Instead of wasting time complaining about people, places or circumstances we can change the only thing that we really can change: Ourselves.

The decision is very important. Until it is made all else is futile.

The path is also important...that will become available during the process of the decision to defend oneself.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

empty body

I like the idea of the empty body...goes along with the empty mind and no weight on your feet.

Which fit perfectly with being very heavy and full of potential.

I also like the idea of uke being in the space that in less than a second I will be in.

 I like the idea of blending and turning and entering as though uke is nothing and yet everything.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Home alone

After reading an article in Real Simple Magazine about being home alone I reflected on my own fear of being alone in the house. Her fear was that someone was outside the house. My fear is that there is someone in the house with me.

When I was a child my dad would pop out of nowhere raging and hitting. The poor man has been dead for several years now yet my fear lives on.

When Ron is not home at night I hear every noise that I never notice if he is home. I know that my fears are irrational. We live in a rural neighborhood surrounded by woods. It is not a high crime area. For women my age statistically any real danger is from a violent relationship. Not a problem for me…we do give each other bruises sometimes but only on the mat.

So even though I know how to defend myself, my house is safe and I have thought out many strategies I still have illogical fear. She (Real Simple article 2/2013) had a way of dealing with it…just by staying home alone for 3 nights in a row. By the third night she was okay. Maybe I will try it. I used to stay alone when my kids were small …whoops, I guess that is not really alone. I was more vulnerable with small children. I just can’t figure it out…so I hold my fears out to the universe in open hands. The winds of time may blow them away.