Last night was my first full Aikido lesson at the Seishinkan Dojo here in Dickinson, Texas. Sensei Walter Marker was out of town on business all week, but we had the pleasure of another well trained instuctor filling in. I arrived around 5:45 only to wait outside with other students for the dojo to be opened, and spent some time introducing myself. The students I was able to meet and practice with were not only incredibly helpful and informative, but were also beyond friendly. I was able to get my gi as soon as I walked in and I'm hoping it's shrinking quite a bit in sleeve and pant length!
Once I was in my new gi and my shoes were off, I took my bow and entered the dojo for my first lesson. It was a bit nerve wrecking being surrounded by people of more experience, but once we got into the groove of things I felt right at home! We started with stretching, which turned out to be pretty rough on me, forcing me to come to terms with my lack of flexability. After stretching the other students moved in to break fall practice, in which I was taught how to fall. I picked up on the technique rather quickly, but still can improve.
With stretches and warm ups done we were able to move on to technique. For the life of me I can't even begin to remember the names of them! The first we went over was how to defend against a grab of the wrist, and continued to follow through with more technique starting with this basic movement. I was quite impressed with my immediate ability to bring down a much larger person with a simple twist of the hand and wrist!
I started out practicing with Eddie, a brown belt, as my partner. He was quick to correct me and I was very thankful as he was also quick to reward with comments on good technique as well. Eddie taught me a very simple way to falling back that would keep me from injury. As we moved on I was Partnered with J.T. who helped a great deal with remembering where to grab the hand.
All together it was a great experience, and a great workout. My legs and shoulders are quite sore, but nothing a little time can't cure! I'm excited about my next lesson on Tuesday, and hopefully I will be able to attend weapons class on Mondays soon. It's very pleasing and calming to find an outlet for energy that I enjoy and look forward too.
I'd like to send a big thanks out to everyone over at Martial Arts Planet, especially Koyo. You've really been an incredibly large help and influence already in this journey!
"Foster and polish the warrior spirit while serving in the world; illuminate the path according to your inner light."
- Morihei Ueshiba