Horsey Therapist

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Introduction to Martial Arts

I joined the Aiki Budoin ( and attended my first class.

Many lessons generated in less than two hours!

My hopes were to start learning to fall, to roll, stuff like that. What was presented was how to sit seiza, brief history of the Martial Arts taught at this dojo, how to bow, when to bow, then we proceeded to some hands on work -- two basic escape moves.


I am easily disappointed when my expectations are not met. However that state was acknowledged and released very quickly. No room for disappointments when there is so much to discover in life.

I came wanting to get to the active stuff, learn what I want to learn without considering that someone who has been studying and teaching Martial Arts for more than half my life time will know a sensible order to present material so I have the best chance of being successful in learning, in engaging in the culture of the dojo, and in adapting the philosophy and practices of the art forms taught there.

I have a huge, deep habit of stuttering -- not when I verbalize, but when I move. That is the best way I can describe it. Hesitate, pause, stop, interrupt the flow. Motion stuttering. Sensei Pristow spoke to me early on about moving forward, continuing what I'm doing regardless of doubts or questions about how well I'm doing the move. Wow, this will be huge for me to change. And during class I did change it.

My body hurts when I rely on strength rather than my center.

My left side is relatively really awkward compared to my right side -- and I'm left-handed? THAT was a big surprise!

The experiences of practicing two simple escape moves, of moving from my core, carried over through the evening, most notably when I was out with the horses feeding.

Coming from my center - the horses knew! I needed much less peripheral moving of my arms and body to influence their moving and their stopping. I stuttered once, and knew it instantly -- it was like switching gears from one world to another.

I felt the blending -- engaged in it -- without thinking it through while putting on and taking off the horses' feedbags. I was consistent about keeping my boundaries with every horse, not making exceptions for the ones I feel closer to, more affectionate with.

I am very excited about the effects from the one class. And wonder what incredible openings lie in my future.


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