Little House In Ise

October 18, 2010, 22:02
Filed under: Aikido, Family | Tags: , ,

Last week I had one of the most wonderful experiences of my career in Aikido. I attended another weapons training camp in Iwama but that wasn’t it. I met, trained with and swapped gossip with a famous American teacher but that wasn’t it either. The wonderful experience was that my son attended his first adult class, Doshu’s ichiban geiko, and trained with me.

The previous week I had watched Doshu vigorously throwing Waka-Sensei around and when it was over Doshu tossed in some gentle fatherly ribbing. It looked like great fun and when Doshu saw my smile he asked what was up with that. I told him that I wished that I could do that with my son too. When Doshu found out that Ray was eleven, he told me to bring him in on a school holiday. That was it, official sanction for something that I’d been wanting to do for quite awhile.

The following Monday was a national holiday and on most national holidays Honbu Dojo is closed. However this was “Sports Day” and the Dojo stayed open for some classes. With school closed Ray didn’t have an excuse to NOT go to morning class. On his own he is an early riser so I didn’t feel too guilty booting him out of bed and tossing him his dogi. After much complaining he gave in to the inevitable and we biked over.

As we entered the dojo, Ray handed over his member card and formally announced to the people at the desk that he would be attending today’s class. I was surprised, the uchi-deshi behind the desk amused and Doshu seemed totally confused until he saw me smiling and pointing. Doshu smiled and nodded and so we went in — first hurdle cleared with extra-style points awarded for Ray’s little announcement.

In the third floor changing room I put on my hakama and Ray worriedly looked around at the crowd. The place can get pretty packed and there were several tour groups in that day from Russia, France (of course) and Scotland. It was crowded.

I mentioned to Ray that the warm-up was different than he was used to so he could just follow along. He did and had no problems. I picked a spot near the “Silver corner” where the crazy old men work out. Ray said that wanted to meet Yoda and then asked about another of my favorite old-guys. Sadly, Yoda was out that day but he did say hello to quite a few of the codgers.

This was our first time to take a class together and train as partners. Ray went out of his way to throw me as hard as he could and for a pre-2nd kyu, his kotegaeshi and shihonage are pretty hard-core. This was his first ever adult class and as icing on the cake, Doshu came around twice to throw him. Afterward, Ray said it was physically really hard but he wanted to come and do it again. Appropriate superlatives to describe how that made me feel just sound silly — I was, and am, ridiculously proud of my son.


5 Comments so far
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Wow, it’s been quite a while since you posted in your blog. I started to think you gave up writing.
But the wait was worth while. Thank you for sharing your experience. As a father, your pride of your son doesn’t sound even slightly silly to me. I can imagine both of you had an experience to remember. Keep on writing, it’s fun reading your posts!

Comment by ziv

I’ll reiterate what Ziv stated that I thought you’d fallen off the blogging radar!

In any case it’s good to hear from you and your continued your adventures. I don’t have a family of my own but I can only imagine the impact of this event must have had on you – and the aftereffects.

Write on, fellow aikidoka!

Comment by Accidental Aikidoist

Thank you! I’d like to say that personal and professional issues have kept me away (I have been busy) but the truth is that I got sucked into Facebook and that pretty much ate all of my online time. I do have things that I want to write about but first need to wean myself off of Facebook’s instant gratification.

Take care and happy rolling!

Comment by Eric Holcomb

Your story touched my heart. Wishing both of you many years of joy in Aikido. My son (9 years old) also trains with me.
Thank you for sharing,

Comment by Ze'ev Erlich

I, too, am glad you’re back writing again – the triumph of quality over quantity! (Can you tell I don’t admire the FB stuff?)

And, what an exceptional, heart-warming experience you describe w/Raynaldo. Wishing you both the best of many such trainings.


Comment by Ita

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