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….

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Chapter 65: Summary of the journey so far continued (part 3)....

 I must apologise for leaving you on a bit of a cliff hanger at the end of the previous entry. It seemed a good point to end so that I could continue further. The next part comes during a time when I had been training for about 3 years, and had just graded to green belt when the club was forced to close. So to continue...
Clubless-but not all is lost it would seem

Right, there I was 4 weeks post op from my first laporoscopy (incidentally where the endometriosis was missed, but never mind), with 3 weeks to go until the next big summer school camp thing that was good to go to with no club. So, two choices- give up Aikido or find another club and train, hard.

Hmm, well obviously I choose option 2. The only problem was that the club was about an hour away with traffic and so I only had about an hour and 15 minutes from finishing work, getting across town, and travelling 40 miles or so and then back again after training. Oh, yes and I also had to eat and hydrate at some point along the way. That was mad, insane even! But worth it.

I remember my first session there. Funny story- I think you'll like it. Well, I bowed onto the mat, introduced myself as you do. When I recognised one person. It had been someone I had met at a course about six months previously, had thrown me particularly all morning mainly using Gedan-ate (over the knee) during ninadori. I swear I knew exactly how many roof tiles there were in the ceiling by the end of that session.

I think its fair to say at this point my thought was 'Oh God no! No! Its you! To interject here, I have never liked breakfalling from Gedan-ate, presumably because its painful due to IBS and what I now know was endometriosis.

Well, of course I hadn't travelled for over an hour to chicken out. Nope, I got on with it. Yeah, about 10 minutes in I must admit I wished I stayed home! I wasn't unfit, just unused to such ferocious training. I was the only woman by the way, and most of them were double my weight.

Yep, took some getting used to. But after a while, we all settled down. I tried not to be too much of a whimp, they tried not to pulverise me too much. Seemed a fair deal.

But it was tough. Mentally and physically. I could now see what my dad had meant by giving everything and then having to give it all again. I did feel at times, I should throw in the towel, give in, admit defeat. But I didn't. It wasn't sempai that saved my sanity this time. No, it was another female student of about the same grade. We trained together, encouraged each other and where on hand to give hugs and tissues in the changing room afterwards when sometimes it seemed all too much.

I think it was about this time that I found that not all higher grades are nice and cuddly when training with lower grades. I'm sorry if I offend anyone by saying this but its true. There are some sempai who will help you, teach you, work with you and you grow from that. And there are other higher grades who slam you so hard your teeth rattle. Please don't misunderstand me, sometimes you do need someone to be hard with you, but not all the time. Its counter productive. The lower grade avoids the higher grade because they're afraid, and the higher grade doesn't learn from their mistake. I learned here that you don't have to instill fear to gain respect or maintain discipline.

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