Today, I’m speaking with Joshua Baulch, 7th Kyu.
Weiner Sensei: What led you to Aikido?
Josh-san: I participated in martial arts before, the primary one being brazilian ju jitsu. I was tired of the culture in ju jitsu, which primarily focused on MMA and beating the other person into submission. I wanted culture to be a part of the experience and looked into other martial arts that focused on culture, self improvement, and self defense. In my research, I found that aikido matched what I was looking for in martial arts.
Weiner Sensei: How would you describe class at our dojo?
Josh-san: Class is something that I value at our dojo. It’s many different things for me. It’s meditative in practice, it’s about learning through and from experience (struggle until you can identify the problems and do your best to correct them yourself, if you can), and it’s got a common goal for everyone at the end of the day.
Weiner Sensei: What are your short term goals as a student?
Josh-san: My short term goals are to improve my fundamentals, down to the last detail. If I can perfect the details now, the more complicated techniques will be easier to learn later since the fundamentals will be in place.
Weiner Sensei: What are your long term goals as a student?
Josh-san: My long term goals are to get higher up so I can help other students learn about aikido as they enter. I also want to incorporate what I learn in the dojo, both hard and soft skills, into my everyday life.
Weiner Sensei: What does it take to be a committed student?
Josh-san: My experience with the dojo was not one I was familiar with, but enthralled to see. I enjoyed the kindness and courtesy that everyone gave me and that they still do give to this day. The respect between colleagues of every level and the respect between the instructor and the students. I planned on joining the dojo about midway through the class.
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