Sam gets more familiar with her wooden sword and gets ready to learn an awful lot more

It’s not easy being green, green as in the Aikido belt colour. And what if, just what if, for me, green is as good as it gets in Aikido? I’ve been worrying about that.

But I’ve decided to be positive about it and work at being the best green belt I can be. Maybe I won’t ever be able to roll well enough to train for a more advanced belt but I love Aikido and it’s all okay. I don’t need to be all type A, over achiever in all things! I’ve got a Wikipedia page that details my academic accomplishments. I’ve got a PhD. I’m a full professor. Maybe it’s okay to never have a black belt. Can I just be mellow about it?

I’m trying.

Saturday I showed up at the dojo for the first Saturday morning class I’d been able to attend in a long while. I was worried about rolling but I needn’t have been. After a few warm up rolls, we moved on the practice with weapons. I like the weapons aspect of Aikido training but it took some work to get there. See Channeling my inner warrior for my first exposure to Aikido weapons techniques and some of my initial reservations.

Here I am a white stripe ago with my bokken, wooden Aikido sword. (It’s a thing of beauty, made of Purpleheart-“When freshly cut the heartwood of Purpleheart is a dull grayish/purplish brown. Upon exposure the wood becomes a deeper eggplant purple.” Thanks Rob and Sensei Matthew.)

Sam with wooden sword, while wearing Aikido gi, in the lobby of the student rec centre

There was a big announcement in our class about the changing Aikido testing curriculum at our dojo, which will now include weapons techniques and demonstrations. There’s an awful lot to learn. This means that there will be  a pause in testing. Big sigh of  relief here. The earliest green belts can test for brown belt with stripes is the spring. Phew! I was so happy to hear that. I hadn’t realized quite how much testing had stressed me out until I heard that news.

I am also very excited to have something new to learn that doesn’t require getting better at rolling. Also, weapons techniques are very easy to practice outside. I love being outdoors and I am already planning an event with bokkens at the beach.

So expect to hear more about Aikido weapons…

Here’s the first thing we are all working on, Happo Giri, or 8 direction cut.

And here’s Steven Seagal with swords, just because.

3 thoughts on “Sam gets more familiar with her wooden sword and gets ready to learn an awful lot more

  1. I empathize! It was hard watching others who had been junior to me go on to Shodan and beyond while I struggled with an injury. Then my instructor told me a very wise thing: “It’s just rank. That doesn’t matter.” Good luck with your weapons training, and I hope you have fun with it! Osu!


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