Tuesday, January 22, 2008

A different kind of aikido.

Well, it's been (almost) a month since my last post and there hasn't been anything to report since then. With current circumstances being what they are where i live, these days i don't see my aikido training staying a continuing practice the way it has been in the past i.e. going to the dojo and getting to practice with an uke on even an occasional schedule. I used to worry about that kind of situation happening and my aikido sliding into atrophy but i realize even going it alone a lot of aiki training can still be maintained without a training partner. Tegatana, our aikido style's walking kata that demonstrates the basics of evasion, can (of course) be done solo and with the different thoughts behind it I can keep staying out of the way of an attack fresh in my mind.

Ukemi, falling practice, is something i've been uncomfortable with in the past and though i have a long way to go to make it a second hand idea or an automatic response i'm getting there. Another solo practice it may be (who needs an uke to roll?) it's one that i actually need to do more regularly... tegatana can be broken down into segments and done "out in the world" where you wont get cross looks but if someone clear out of the blue decided to fall backwards to one side or the other you tend to feel like an odd duck. My current (much after the new year) resolution is to get into the habit of doing some ukemi practice since i have to set it aside just to find a place to do it easily/safely.

Well that's all well and good, but the title of this post hints at i've been mentally noodling over what's still aikido when actually physical practice isnt involved. This is the point where i think everyday aikido comes into play, the aikido you use by rolling with life and blending with the occasional hard knock and getting along with the people you come across.

The Way of Harmony a guy named Ueshiba talked about once.

You may be familiar with it.

The philosophical parts some may gloss over entirely or focus on exclusively. Their or your call.

It was never a driving goal for me, but the spiritual side (if you'll allow) seems to have popped up over the time i've been in aikido as a by-product of the whittling away of anxiety over learning something like the kind of martial art aikido is, looking silly, not getting it right aways - name your poison. The training that you place on yourself that gets Andy(insert your name here) at white belt to Andy at brown belt and beyond.

So even though i don't have a good destination for that train of thought to end up at the moment in the confines of this post i am working on it. Enjoying the knowledge that i'm handling life better that previous and the understanding that aikido had a part to play in it. It may not be fighting an army of Agent Smiths but i think it's the aikido that we end up practicing much longer in the end than the martial side.