Sometimes, being an instructor sucks, plain and simple. There is a lot weighing on the shoulders of the instructors, a proverbial 3 word question: “What to Teach?”
Not only that, sometimes seeing the same old folks again and again does challenge me to do something different, but what can be different? More of the same? Or same same, but different, but still the same?
It’s a People sport
That is where last Monday made me felt different. While we think that things always stays the same in the dojo, it is not always so, despite of so many decades practicing Aikido, we still bring a different level of experience to the mat every single time.
It was such a wonderful session as we all came together to learn and figure out new things. There was a spirit of exploration, learning about concepts and putting it to the test on the mat, physically connect to see if the mental map correspond with the physical world.
It’s the people that comes together, good, bad, and warts to put time, heart and soul to train, build good will on the mat.
It’s a beautiful feeling when we have been training for so many years together, and that trust is so well honed. It’s not just Aikido we are practicing, it is also putting our trust on each other on the line. While we may be less than perfect people off the mat, when we come together and put all our differences aside, really beautiful movements can happen.
This cannot be overstated nor under-estimated. Harry sensei left behind a small group of us still banding together to train. This is a very precious connection that binds us. We didn’t come together for fame nor glory, we are training in the true spirit of Aikido, for peace, friendship and harmony.
It really feels good when I give a feedback to Melvin on his Irimi-nage, and Choy chime in with his opinion, which might differs from mine, and it is still fine. It’s great to see both Choy and Melvin work on the finer points of the technique, so that we can all improve.
Like Nike’s famed slogan, Harry sensei’s mantra is simple, just turn up, and train. This has hold me in good stead, through good times and bad. Sometimes I really don’t feel like coming, especially when the attendance is low, I put all the doubts aside and just turn up.
No place in this world
This unique feeling caused me to think deep and hard, can we replicate it? Can we do more? Can we share this with more people out there? I certainly hope I can, because the world needs more goodwill and friendship, more people coming together to train and build trust, face fear and insecurity bravely. The only way we can do this is to do it together.