Little House In Ise

Aikido in Ise
September 6, 2006, 03:06
Filed under: Aikido, Japan | Tags: , , , ,


I’ve started practicing again. Ise is going to be good for Aikido and my ego …

The location of practice at Ise Aikidokai rotates from day to day. It seems as though they are trying to tie four different city dojo together into one organization and they’re still having organizational birth pains. I dunno. I don’t care.

The first night’s practice was held in local shrine in a beat up old room with mat space about half again that of my old dojo just longer. The mats are beat-to-hell old tatami. I’d forgotten how tatami is both slippery and abrasive depending on the direction you slide. There was no picture of O Sensei just a massive rising sun flag on the far wall and metal lockers lining both sides. The only thought of safety was that people closed lockers when they swung open. 🙂

It was HOT, stinky, painful (tatami burns from the tips of my toes to ankles and knees) and exactly what I needed. The style is similar to how I trained in Seattle so I fit in immediately — aside from the part about being the only white person in the room and about a head taller than almost everyone. The sensei watched for a few minutes and started saying the same things that my old sensei has been telling me about my foot angle and relaxing my shoulders. It was wonderful.

I’ve sometimes had the very juvenile fantasy of walking into a dojo, kicking ass and then being recognized by a pro for my skills. I hadn’t been thinking that way this time. I was just terribly happy to have a place to release stress with friendly people. I went in relaxed. I kicked major ass the first night. The second night Sensei announced before class that I was a force to be recognized (and studied) and that the Japanese students could learn from my manners and presentation. I spent the whole class keeping up with his head black belt assistant and after that sensei came up to me and talked about testing. He told me to test for black belt in December.

It’s flattering and bewildering and it looks like I’m going to be pushing my physical limits again. I haven’t exercised since a week before I left F5 so I haven’t been this badly out of shape in ages. These young black belts are tough, wiry and have stamina that I haven’t had in ages. So, there is a challenge ahead of me that I think will keep me going for a while. It seems as though Aikido is going to make this move worthwhile for me. We’ll see.


1 Comment so far
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Eric san, I enjoyed your post. I have learned that any time you are on an aikido mat, is always a good thing.

Nice to see you decided to return, in spite of your tatami burns and all. 🙂

Comment by Sticky Rice

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