Today, I’m speaking with Karen Chacko, 6th Kyu.
Weiner Sensei: What led you to Aikido?
Karen-san: I had done some martial arts with my older children. When my youngest son expressed an interest in learning martial arts with me, I looked for something that emphasized the discipline and mental practice of martial arts, and self-defense. Aikido of Charlotte impressed me right away with its focus on protecting self as well as your opponent as well as the sheer beauty of the movement.
Weiner Sensei: How would you describe class at our dojo?
Karen-san: Serious but fun. There is an attention to detail and proper form, yet an emphasis on the pure enjoyment of Aikido. Each student progresses at their own pace and in their own way. There is no pressure to progress at a certain rate.
Weiner Sensei: What are your short term goals as a student?
Karen-san: I want to grow in my ability to mentally focus. I want to become more aware of my own body position as well as what is going on with my nage/uke and to learn to work in harmony with them.
Weiner Sensei: What are your long term goals as a student?
Karen-san: I would love to make it to black belt and gain mastery over myself enough to perform at that level. I know you really never stop learning, but that would be quite an accomplishment for me.
Weiner Sensei: What does it take to be a committed student?
Karen-san: I am learning the hard way that it means not allowing the pressures and stress of life to keep you from coming to Aikido. Just show up as many times as you can and take advantage of the great instruction and the warm community that is Aikido. You will grow…you will make progress. And there will be many smiling faces to encourage you along the way.
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