Posted by: balladofyoko | June 30, 2006

“The Fun of Flying”

When I was a white belt, a black belt had tried to encourage me to keep practicing by saying that if I kept working at it, the “fear of falling becomes the fun of flying.”

Those words have been with me ever since. It did not make sense to me when I was first practicing, that’s for sure. As I watched higher-ranked folks soaring through the air in big falls, I kept concentrating on not hurting myself. Of course, then I got hurt several times, and I had to learn from that hurt.

This week during practice, I was twice called up to demonstrate as uke (attacker) a big fall from ushiro sankyo (grabbing from behind)– and I was launched into the air by the instructors. It’s not the first time I’ve caught air, but the first time that I thought it was fun. So much fun, that when we then practiced in a line, I said, breathlessly, “That is an awesome ride!” And did it several more times after that.

My aikido has been feeling really centered these days. There’s always room for improvement, though. I finally was able to view the video of my last test, and although I did reasonably well, there are aspects I need to work on– more confident footwork, more gracefulness. So I keep practicing.


  1. Yay for flying! Is your Shodan test scheduled for the imminent Summer Camp, or are you waiting until Fall or Winter?

  2. I’m scheduled to test for Shodan during Winter Camp. woot!


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