I was recently honored by the opportunity to test for 1st Kyu – in front of not only my teachers but by their teacher, Demko Sensei. This test was very different than any of the ones previously in that I had very little tension or anxiety! That was very strange for me. Maybe it had to do with life maturity (in the 2 ½ years since my 2nd kyu test my life has been VERY eventful) or maybe Aikido maturity (300+ classes as a 2nd kyu). In either case it was fun and I enjoyed it.
Being a 1st Kyu I feel a weight on my shoulders. It’s important to note that this is self induced weight – nothing was mandated by our sensei’s.
- Lead by being in every class (that I can.)
- Lead by being on the mat early.
- Lead by serving my Kohai (working through their understanding of Aikido).
- Lead by taking ukemi for whomever needs it.
- Lead in the areas of fulfilling dojo responsibilities as outlined by my peers.
- Continue my own personal journey – more agility, more flexibility, less recovery, softer ukemi and cleaner more precise Aikido technique.
I look forward to the journey onward to Shodan and the breakthroughs in understanding that will present themselves.
I’d like to also thank all of my Sempai for not only helping me prepare for the test but also being part of my journey for the last 6 ½ years – all of you guys are amazing – THANK YOU!
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Teacher versus Instructor. In Aikido, I feel both of these terms tend to be used interchangeably. I beg to differ. An active, serious aikido student — someone with 3+ years of consistent 3-4 X a week practice and seminar attendance (2-3X a year) — can achieve 2nd Kyu and maybe even 1st Kyu. Depending on…
There is Etiquette in everything we do – even the Seminar Group Photo. So the morning classes just ended, everyone is dehydrated, ready for lunch, Yudansha are about to start folding hakamas and the host dojo says, “Let’s all get in front of the kamiza for a group photo.” Now, this sounds like a simple…