History, Dates, and Places

When was O'Sensei born? What was the name of the religion that he followed? When did Aikido get it's name? When was Sensei Suenaka born? What were his parents names? What year did he meet O'Sensei? What arts did he study? What are his ranks in those arts?

And so on. In addition to the techniques, the history and linage of the art is important. It is a way of looking at where we are by remembering the trail that was blazed for us. Still, I find these historical events, names, and places very difficult to hold on to. When called upon to respond to these questions, I feel like a 4th grader, the answers draining out of my head.

Monday's class began the new year with a lot of energy, and as we worked through the taiso, Shihan peppered the class with questions. A reminder that we will all sit in seiza before the testing board and wishing that they will ask me something I know is not much of a strategy.

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