Two quotes from Maruyama-sensei:
1. “Daydreaming is not confidence.”
2. “Aikido is helping each other– for life.”
It’s been a whirlwind of a summer camp, folks. Four days of camp, days filled with three 2-hour classes with meals in between. Days filled with intense workouts, goofy antics of Maruyama-sensei interlaced with pithy comments, opportunities to work with new people and get to know members of my dojo better, lots of insight, revelations, frustration, exhaustion, wonderment, determination and fun.
I tested for 2nd kyu (first level brown belt, two levels below black belt in the Kokikai system) Saturday afternoon. The test involved being able to demonstrate different techniques against different attacks, and a freestyle (randori) against three simultaneous attackers.
There were about fifteen people from dojos across the country, from Maine to California, who were testing for the same level. We were called upon, two by two, to test. Something clicked inside me when it came my turn– I performed the techniques without any hesitation. I don’t know how to describe how I did the freestyle except to say that it felt like the mat expanded for me and I had all the space in the world to throw the three big guys who came after me one by one. I got a lot of compliments afterwards on how my freestyle flowed.
I’ve been told I’ll get a DVD of my test, so I can show it to you if you’d like to see it.
It’s been an amazing experience at camp. I’ll try to write more in detail later about a couple instances that struck me, but for now, I need to rest.
p.s. I’ve been catching up on your blogs and am amused to see a lot of them sharing the theme of integrity– I’ll also try to add something to that when I can.