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All Tied Up – Musubi part 2

In my last post I discussed two Japanese words–awase and musubi— are slightly different concepts of connecting with a partner’s energy. I focused on musubi, which means “knot.” As uke (attacker, receiver of the technique), I can feel when my attack gets tied to what nage (thrower) is doing, either by a slight loss of…

Falling For It, Redux

Falling For It, Redux

Watch Your STEP by man’s pic     I dreamed that I stood on the ledge of a tall building, 40 floors up. I stepped casually off the ledge and fell, remaining upright, hands by my side, as though I were just standing on a street corner. Looking down, I saw the ground approaching and…

Falling for It

Falling for It

“My ex-wife chose the paint colors,” Trebb explains as we set food and silverware on the dining table. He must have seen me eyeing the odd pastel yellow, blue, and green. Although the yellow leans too close to chalk and not close enough to daffodil, the overall color scheme is as charming as Easter candy…

When I’m Ninety Six

When I’m Ninety Six

As the milk for my morning’s cappuccino was frothing, I tore off yesterday’s page from our daily Zen calendar. Today’s quote was brief: “Practice thirty more years”. Last night I went to the first session of a beginners’ class that Michael was teaching. He called me up before the group to demonstrate a technique, then…

Ai’s Wide Shut

Ai’s Wide Shut

“It’s like we’re psychic,” Holly marvels. “How did you know what I was thinking?” I ask. We repeat the experiment. She shuts her eyes. I grab her wrist and we pause there a moment. Then I focus on her shoulder—specifically the bunched fabric of her gi top. I think about grabbing it with my free…

Dignity and Respect

Dignity and Respect

I’ve always thought of myself as the kind of person who treats everyone with dignity and respect. In the short 21 months that I’ve been training in aikido, it has become glaringly clear that there is someone new whom I am learning to treat with dignity and respect: myself. Through our aikido practice, I am…

Have You Ever Had To Use Aikido?

Have You Ever Had To Use Aikido?

  Have you ever had to use aikido? I suspect that most people who practice a martial art have been asked a similar question. “Have you ever had to use tae kwon do—kenpo—kung fu—brazilian jujitsu—kick boxing—sumo wrestling—northwestern wounded praying mantis style…?” What we’re really being asked is, “Can you give me the salacious details of…

Which way is down?

Which Way Is Down? I’ve always been a bit clumsy. From bumping into walls to drawing surprised glances when I dance in public, I have always felt challenged by my lack of physical grace. But even so, I’ve always believed I knew which way was down. It’s just right there; look at the floor. Toward…