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Nothing Given

August 21, 2015

Sensei as ever was full of surprises on Monday night at Aikido.

It was a small turnout and we we’re finishing off Ian’s (and Ben’s) 4th Kyu grade, as I had only passed 5th Kyu in June, for the last three weeks I’ve been acting as Uke to start with then Sensei insisted that I try the techniques, he was often fairly critical and continued to make sure that the techniques were repeated until some level of competence achieved, at the time as thought this was a bit harsh as I had another 6 months before taking my next grade.

I had even developed a coping strategy (see previous post) of just trying to remember 2 or 3 techniques from the class, rather than stressing over the entire lesson.


However Sensei dropped the bombshell Monday night, that I had also passed my 4th Kyu along with Ian and Ben.


I wasn’t quite sure how to feel about this, I certainly didn’t come into Ki Aikido looking for any ‘short cuts’, this incidentally isn’t the first time I’ve found myself in an impromptu grading, I remember my 1st Kyu at White Rose Aikikai, being a similar affair, I suppose the difference being after the grade was over I felt that had had earned the grade, and was ready for the responsibility of it, whereas in this instance I left the dojo on Monday night feeling neither worthy or ready for 4th Kyu.

I’ve recently been listening to Tenshin Fletcher Roshi‘s pod-casts, where he talks of his teacher Taizan Maezumi Roshi, no giving him anything, and if he did give him something he would be cautious, he also tells us the Maezumi Roshi would tell him that a teachers job is to put obstacles in your path.

So maybe that is what Sensei did on Monday night, put a large obstacle in my path, namely the ominous 3rd Kyu syllabus (probably a twelve month ordeal) to see if I cope with it or just take my keikogi and leave.

So in a sense I feel that nothing has been ‘given’ but rather something large dropped in my path.

I suppose this raises the question on the role of ‘Sensei’, I think that may be an issue for another post, once I’ve digested the memories of my own.

Elsewhere in my life, It looks as though my Reiki course will be delayed by a couple of weeks, as the course teacher is ‘stuck’ in France at the moment.

The friendship afternoon, went well, with more people from the Sheffield district supporting than our own members, and due to a failure on the ‘marketing’ and advertising front, we only had one member of the public through the doors, but oh well she seems to enjoy the event and I hope it was of some use to her.


I let my Chapter leader and district (Women’s division – but the only leader our district has) that I will be returning to formal Zen practice before the end of the Year, both were fine with this, and as I don’t intend to fall out with anyone, I don’t see why It should be a problem.


From → weekly blog

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