Little House In Ise

There is a very fine line between “hobby” and “mental illness.” *
May 9, 2008, 22:25
Filed under: Aikido, Japan, Work | Tags: , , , ,

I try not to proselytize about Aikido. Really, if my first thought is, “Wow, that person should try Aikido” I try to morph it into, “maybe they should try bujutsu” or even more generically “a little exercise would probably help their xxxx”. I do my best not to let those thoughts out lest I sound like a snob and an ass. The fact is though, I often think that people could help their bad backs (or bad whatevers) by making a habit of better posture and doing stretches… A little Aikido perhaps?

Even though I actively try not to sell the gospel of Aikido, it seems that I do talk about it quite a bit — possibly too much. Everyone and their cat knows that I am an Aikidoka. At home, having a pile of wooden training swords and staffs by the door is normal. In the neighborhood, nobody gawks when I pedal up the street in my dogi. At the office, people regularly ask if I am going to practice tonight and laugh when I tell them, “No I trained before work already”. Damn! I must be a boring conversationalist!

Anyway, the office jokes took an extreme turn today when I was attacked by a dude from Sales. The attacker was “BD”, an ex-Bosozoku (motorcycle gang member) and kendo yudansha. All in all, BD is a fun guy who is amongst the most willing to tease me about the silliness of my hobby — usually whilst pretending to swing a golf club. I was chatting with another Sales guy when I noticed a weird motion out of the corner of my eye. It was BD doing that weird Kendo gallop and swinging shomen at the left side of my head. I quickly but, I hope, casually, stuck my fist out to where his face would be if his course completed. My timing was on and as his downward swing started to accelerate, his head started snapping back out of the way of my fist. Before reaching his target BD was already stumbling backwards. We all got a good laugh out of that.

It’s the closest thing to Aikido that I’ve done in two weeks now. My recovery from appendix surgery is going well though I’ve another two weeks before I’m allowed to train. Just watching practice is frustrating!

* Dave Barry


3 Comments so far
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😀 thanks!

PS – the fine line between hobby and mental illness – for me, the line is not a crossover TO mental illness, but instead I think some interests in life, aikido in particular, could help people with some mental concerns significantly. Aikido itself I think is less of a hobby than a lifestyle. Or Life. For me 🙂 So I quite understand you.

PPS – sidenote on the unpredictability of economics professors, nothing to sneeze at, as economics IS the modern philosophy and real life experience. Aikido, too…

PPPS – regarding hobbies, if something is owrth doing, it’s worth doing seriously and with complete devotion, agree? And if it does look like too much for some people, then they don’t know what they miss. My neighbour, a very big black guy who is ex boxer, was also teasing me about aikido at first but after a successful nikkyo (ura) I heard no other comment from him except that he will come see the embukai and is considering joining the class himself 😉

PPPSSS – Get well soon!
slash that.
Get well Now 🙂

Comment by Kadi

Aikido has more similarities with psychotherapy than you might imagine; hence, as a treatment intervention for some mental illness diagnosis it may be just what the therapist ordered. For example, both stress holistic health practices; attention to disciplined actions; mind/body focus; cleansing rituals, and many more. So, I applaud your attentiveness to the above as I watch & listen in wonder. May you always be on the lee side of the wind.

Comment by Ita

Sorry to hear about your appendix surgery, I think you’re doing well to have recovered so quickly. I once had appendicitis, and though I recovered without surgery, it took me about a month to recover my strength from the hospital stay (I was about 20 at the time).

Madame Monet (in Morocco)
Writing, Painting, Music, and Wine

Comment by wpm1955

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