Saturday, September 02, 2006

Kyoto Aikido

Up til now, I haven't written many martial arts posts, despite the fact that I spend many hours a week in such practice and it's basically the main reason I'm in Japan at all. Yesterday morning I joined the aikido class at the Budo Center. As I tower over most Japanese training partners, I'm often likely to cheat, relying on my strength far too much. For years I've been wanting to train with a woman instructor, someone to help me favor technique over muscle, to teach me all the things that make Aikido "gentle." I'm thrilled to find Okamoto Sensei. Her movements are so subtle, based quite a bit on feeling more than muscular power. Yet Okamoto Sensei has a great deal of power too, remembered all too well by aching legs as I write this.
The dojo seems split in half between foreign and Japanese members, everybody seemingly comfortable in Japanese and English, which is a treat. In three years, Okamoto sensei has done a fantastic job in creating a small multi-cultural community, and I'm happy to be the newest member.

On the turntable: "Almost Famous"


Nico said...

You'e found a happy budo-kan, I'e found a drunken volleyball team. Ah, life is good eh?

Pablo Escabar said...

>>someone to help me favor technique over muscle
I agree, it's very important to do, studying Aikido. But I believe, if you are realize that, you can sharpen you technique, even working with men... I'm trying to do so. :-)