In A Moment

We go along, living our lives, not realizing how fast it can change. The spouse of one of our members missed a step last night. It caused her to roll her ankle, wrench her knee, and then as she fell, she badly broke her wrist. Recovery will take some time, the wrist will require surgery, and currently nothing is normal.

It made us all reflect after class tonight, talking of people we know that have experienced life changing injuries doing relatively common things, most of them related to falls.

The Season Changes

We're in North Carolina. The dojo has no air conditioning. We feel the seasons and in the last couple of weeks it has taken a turn toward autumn. The doors are still open and the big floor fans are running, but it is not as oppressive as August was.

It is a great time of year to come to class.

The Boys In The Boat

I heard a talk last week where the speaker mentioned a book, "The Boys In the Boat", by Daniel James Brown. It's the story of the University of Washington rowing team that won the gold medal in the 1936 Olympics.

I bought the book yesterday and starting reading it last evening. In one sense it is about the young men that went to the Olympics in Berlin and won. In another, and perhaps more important sense, it is about the pursuit of unattainable perfection that athletes and martial artists seek. I have only read the introduction and the first few pages, but it made me reflect on my study of Aikido.

Eight oar rowing is a team art, requiring a matching of flow and energy, in harmony with the boat, the water, and each member of the team. It, like aikido, can lead to those shining moments where you approach the limits of what is possible.
“It’s a great art, is rowing. It’s the finest art there is. It’s a symphony of motion. And when you’re rowing well, why it’s nearing perfection. And when you near perfection, you’re touching the Divine. It touches the you of yous. Which is your soul.”
― George Pocock

Defense Against a Roundhouse Punch

From Black Belt Magazine and the founder of the Marine Corps Mixed Martial Arts Program, a short video on responding to a roundhouse punch.

Sometimes You Only Get A Moment

Are you going to get involved? Are you going to step away? Do you really know what's happening? What's the right thing to do? Decide. Decide right now.