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, 6 July 2008

Chapter 38: Finally, I'm back after a three week break-it feels as though I've never left...

Hee hee...I'm officially back on the mat, including breakfalling! It feels really great, the three weeks I was off was an absolute nightmare-I honestly felt like climbing the walls sometimes and can't really explain why.
I was a little nervous about going back, especially after the op as I'm still healing. But I was so desperate to get back (very sad I know)that I wasn't going to let the fact that I only had a month to gain back my mat fitness before Summer School this year stop me from at least trying.
Our new dojo is great. We're sharing the dojo with a local jodo club so as a result we have proper competition mats (as comfy as concrete to breakfall on) and lots of space to train.
I've really missed Aikido-I don't just mean that I missed the training, I've also missed the social aspect as well and meeting up with everyone on our first session back was like a reunion almost. It really struck me how close we are as a club despite all the different grades that we have.
I've also recently started training at another Aikido club (with my Instructor's blessing of course)so that I can widen my training experience. I felt a little like a thief in the night at first, like I was betraying my club-even though I had my Instructor's blessing. But I've come to realise the only way to progress in a martial art like Aikido is to train with as many different people as possible.
With training at two different clubs I've come to ask myself-what makes a club a club? Some I suppose would say the dojo and the facilities it offers, but I like a response from a First Dan that I know- what makes a club a club is its members. The place you train is important, you need somewhere-our temporary closure has illustrated that, but you don't need Olympic standard facilities to train-just a few mats but, more importantly, members. Without members there is no club. All members are as valuable as each other; a white belt is as important as a Dan Grade as it is the white belts who bring in fresh blood to keep the club alive-but the Dan Grade is needed to pass on much valued experience.

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