Blend Away From The Minivan

When you are on a bicycle, your body is the bumper.  I got caught by a minivan turning left as I crossed an intersection today. Having the right of way is not all there is to cycling. Today, cycling included taking a full body hit down my left side and a sutemi to the pavement as I left the bike.

Getting off the line would clearly have been a better choice.

A Letter To O'Sensei

Linda, who writes over at Grab my Wrist, tested for shodan last Saturday. In her style, there is a tradition of writing a letter to O'Sensei as part of the final preparation for testing.

This is the link to hers.

 Your art has expanded my understanding, opened my heart, and enlivened my spirit. These have been happy, free, rewarding years. Through Aikido I have begun to discover who I am. --Linda Eskin

Off The Mat

It happens to all of us. We get hurt, either on the mat or not, and can't work out. When Aikido is a regular part of your life, not being able to participate means watching from the visitor's area.

My stitches come out Monday. I'll ask the doctor if I can resume normal activities.

Who Are You?

When I first came to an Aikido class, I was "a visitor". Once I started attending and paying dues, I was "attending class", or "going to Aikido". If you asked me a few years ago, I might have said that I was "studying Aikido".

Now I would say "I am an Aikidoka." It's not about how good my waza is or what rank I hold. It's that I have integrated Aikido into my life. It permeates other parts of my life and cannot be isolated into a time frame or a class or a dojo.

It is part of who I am.

Shomenuchi Attack

I used to wonder, is a shomen attack realistic in today's world? Isn't this really a stylized attack form that we retain because of it's historical context?

Yesterday, in St, John's Hospital in Golden Valley, Minn., a man attacks the nurses with a metal pole from a bed frame. A series of shomen strikes, one after another. Bringing the energy, full swings from far behind his head.