About The Following Blog

The following blog has been written purely for those wanting a first hand knowledge of what it is like to step into the dojo for the first time as a complete beginner as a Martial Artist. Through practising a Martial Art, you will gain many things such as self-confidence, self-respect and life-long and good friends. I hope this helps you to see into an amazing world of which you have never seen before and that I have had the privilege of belonging to and knowing.
Although I have not put my name or any name to this blog, it does deserve a dedication- a dedication to those who help people to train, who teach, reassure and most important of all- those who never give up, no matter how many times they hit the ground or a mental brick wall, with themselves or others. But above all- those who are ready to begin their own journey, it begins with one step….

Sunday, 30 December 2007

Chapter 28: Happy Birthday to 'So, You Want To Start Aikido?'

I realised the other day that my blog is very nearly a year old, so I guess its 'Happy Birthday' to 'So, You Want To Start Aikido?' and perhaps I should make a special post or something. I'm afraid that I've really only just realised that I'm not really a beginner anymore :( . I suppose that as I've progressed in my Aikido, my blog has progressed too. But I've decided to keep the title the same and I will explain why a little later.
I guess I've never really explained why I started Aikido and not fully why I wrote this blog or for the reason behind the title. The title stems from the fact that I'm an Irish dancer and I can't sing a note! (Honest). I started writing this blog purely to help others, as others have helped me. I didn't put a name to this blog, as I wished to remain nameless as I didn't want beginners to compare themselves to me.
Although I'm not a beginner anymore, I can assure you that I still feel it at times! I've decided to write this as a progressive blog, so that people who want to start a martial art for the first time, can see, first hand, how a martial art may help you develop as a person, perhaps in a spiritual, physical or health manner.
I started Aikido for self-defence reasons as around two or three years ago, there was alot of attacks and rapes on women in my local town. To be honest, I was scared stiff that it would happen to me, so I started looking for a martial art that I could do for self-defence purposes. My dad, who did judo as a child, encouraged me to look at all options, but after several disappointing searches I was still self-defenceless. Everything I looked at seemed to require suppleness or immediate toughness, but I didn't have either! Why wasn't there a martial art for women like me? You know, women who couldn't do 1 full-weight press up without collapsing and wasn't Cat woman?
Eventually, someone suggested Aikido might be for me. But much to my frustration, I couldn't find a club! Eventually, I was successful. So on Wednesday, 4th January 2006, I stepped into a dojo for the first time. It was from here that I started.
I'm afraid that I have a slight confession to make. I started writing my blog about a year into my training as I was struggling with several aspects of my training (take rolls for example) and hoped to help others and perhaps gain help from others who like me quite frankly felt like a fish out of water at first, and didn't know my fist from my elbow. So, technically in many Aikidocca's eyes, I wasn't a beginner anymore. Maybe I wasn't. But I have struggled with my Aikido. Quite frankly, if I wasn't such a stubborn woman, I would have quite happily brawled my eyes out at every session for the first month of my training. So yes, although this perhaps isn't a beginner's blog anymore, please, please don't forget... I'd neither even seen a Gi up close or the inside of a dojo before until my first session. My blog is purely designed as a story of a journey... you have to start at chapter 1 I'm afraid as my posts are not 'one off' posts, they form part of a story, my story. Its the story of a young lass (I was 19, 5 months and 26 days old, hence the name 'Aikilass') who was the target for the school bully (which geeky kid of the class who isn't? But enough of the sob story) who stepped into a dojo for the very first time and was scared witless for the first 6 months of her training and is now a green belt. But I still haven't forgotten my first tentative steps...the ways of learning what respect for others really meant...overcoming my fears of pain, ...and to some extent, my fear of breakfalls.
I know I'm not a beginner anymore. But my blog is remaining that same. It's a documentary of my journey...and perhaps similar others or to yours eventually, if you want to start a martial art like me. But I hope that if any beginner is reading this, or anyone really, they start at Chapter 1. The beginning. After all, isn't that where we all start? Just remember, that even the highest ranking Dan Grade in the world had to start at white belt long ago....

1 comment:

little cricket said...

Yes, its a funny feeling of loss, isn't it, when you realize you're not quite a beginner anymore.

Happy new year, and happy practice!