Saturday, January 20, 2007

Everybody has a story.

John recently started a blog and posted his "how i got into aikido" story. Then Pat laid out his epic over on his blog.

Guess i could try to follow suit.

A long, long time ago in a galaxy far far away.... (who didn't see that coming?)

I was but a mere 4 years old when i first got into martial arts. I was in a private daycare/kindergarten and Mrs. Elaine the owner and teacher one day presented us with the option of taking karate instead of a nap (with parent approval). With me it was a no-brainer. Not only did i get out of having to pretend to be asleep for over an hour but i got to learn how to fight like a superhero (i was 5!!). I enjoyed it and continued going untill my parents freaked out over a belt rank test at the main dojo. Part of the rank test involved all of us sitting in a dark room and defending from an attack. For some reason my mother and father just wern't keen on it and pulled me on the spot. I didn't take it well, especially having made it through the test and not getting scared in the dark (i was addicted to night lights at the time) but that's the way it goes. My interest never really went away, (i held onto the belts and gi for years) but for a long time i never got to go to another class on a regular basis. Until. I was going to Jr. High ( i think?) and i got invited to an American Kenpo class. The short version of the story is the teacher wasn't affiliated with Kenpo and wasn't even a black belt IN the style. The class broke up. It was sorta a blow, i wasn't far from sankyu and at the time i was disappointed that all i had worked towards was for naught (amazing to look back and see how different my opinion is now. on some stuff. yeah yeah i know what you're thinking John.)
After all that i went to Seibukan Shorin Ryu and fell in love with it. I even got John to come to class for a while but it wasn't his thing so he stopped coming. Biljac is an awesome teacher and i pretty much enjoy everything about the style but cost ended up being an issue. If aikido ceased to be i'd end up back in Seibukan. I constantly see Biljack Sensei and he's always wondering when i'm coming back. High school was a sprinkle of Seibukan, fencing, a small bit of kendo (that ended up mostly being an introduction of just how many times I can take a bokken to the ribs before my eyes leak water), some Shotokan with a substitute teacher (i wonder if John remembers that), a quick return to kenpo and a just as sudden departure, John and i trying to learn Aikikai Aikido from Kisshimaru's Aikido book, and other adventures. I was always looking for a sword fighting school to take up, that's sorta always been my thing but along the way i began to dig the ideas of aikido. I guess it finally came together for me when John and i made the 4 hour trek to the coast once to go to an aikido dojo there. John would have his aikido and i could go for iaido. Watching the class was fun but what really got me into it was seeing how their bokken and jodo training looked a lot like their regular aikido so it really piqued my interest. John ended up finding Pat Sensei's dojo and so we went there. I went for a while with John, we stopped going due to a deer demolishing his truck, a huge span of time later and then i started going back and for the most part have been going ever sense. Aikido is definitely a lot different that anything else i've taken but i can see myself taking it till i'm old, the only thing i guess that's "missing" is kenjitsu or kendo (if you prefer) of some kind. But who knows what'll happen in the future.

Messy and inchoherent but it may have gotten an idea across.

1 comment:

Patrick Parker said...

cool story, andy. so - do you consider yourself to be more of a 'wave rider' or a 'deliberate seeker' in the martial arts?

You've obviously shown some interest in the stick and sword stuff here but I had no idea that that was what you REALLY wanted to be working on. sorry for being dense. we can certainly play with more of that if you like...