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Change, confusion, new horizons and optimism

July 15, 2016

June and July of 2016 was a time of change and confusion, both on a National level –with the ‘Brexit’ vote and leadership contests for both government and opposition party, the media made this into a time of pessimism and despair.

 

Also on a personal level I had been suffering from a fairly deep depression about a month since coming back from sesshin (Zen retreat), I hadn’t attended Zen practice since the end of April, even my morning sitting had begun to be hit and miss.

 

Things seemed very bleak, but I had my Aikido, this was hard work making the change from Aikikai style to Ki style but I was slowly getting my head around it and enjoying it.

Then June 13th Sensei dropped the bombshell that he was closing the dojo we had until July to get us (me and Ian) through 3rd Kyu and then the doors were closing for good.

 

July 11th  – this was to be the final class, Sensei brought the closure forward 3 weeks, I think he had just had enough, the club had just seemed to run out of energy (and students), Sensei wasn’t teaching class anymore, after taking warm-ups, Ian and I were left mostly to our own devices.

 

So on Monday night Sensei unceremoniously took down the A4 flyer from the notice board and tore it up, he asked us (just me and Ian again) what we wanted to cover, and mentioned that he (Sensei) had brought a baton to train with so we practiced with that most of the night, then we finished the class with Jo Kata 1 bunkai, we did a standing bow, I shook Sensei’s hand and thanked him, and that was that.

The end of our tiny rural dojo, and the end of this branch of the associations (BKAA) lineage going back to O’Sensei.

 

These days my back aches after taking a fair amount of ukemi, so maybe my Aikido days are now behind me, Ian is planning on going to a dojo in York and start training there, he took it all in his stride saying it was just karma that the club was closing, I think its hit me a little bit harder, after turning away from Aikikai to start Ki Aikido I expected to stay with this club / association until reaching Dan level and then maybe help Ian run a club or even go independent.

 

Yet the dojo door has closed for good, I didn’t expect my Aikido journey to end quite so soon or sudden….

 

About 3 weeks ago I started chanting again, and reinstated my Gohonzon, I’m chanting to feel more positive, to break the cycle of depression I was slowly spiralling into, and so far it has been working, even when faced with a changing and challenging situation at work, I have stayed positive and seen each day as a victory.

 

So now I’m looking towards new horizons, I’m seriously thinking of returning to my Wing Chun practice in August, and attending an SGI chapter day this weekend.

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