Thursday, September 22, 2011

In 1989, I finally made my way into formalized Japanese martial arts training. I was 19.

It was an optimistic year, I had finally gone back to college, and bundled Aikido into my community college semester, against my parent's wishes, telling them it would help me study.

It wasn't easy, I cried a lot inside, I got sick and I had to sit on the side, and I was ill-suited and had a bad attitude and I wore the wrong clothes and had a brown belt someone had given me, which I had bleached white.. I don't remember much else about this semester.

I was stiff, arrogant, stupid and stubborn.

Maybe I still am.
Now, I just know that this doesn't help me learn.

Now that I am not quite over that proverbial hill, but still playing with the young and vital, those young people who show up in your life, who persist and keep the faith with you, and they still consent to play with the broken so that we can all learn something, I am gaining the perspective I saw in the people  trained with, back when I was the springy young buck in the equation.

Thanks to some of the best bodywork on the planet, this pile of scratch and dent is still training. The twice separated shoulder is glued back together, thanks to Dr Robert Wagner, friend of my dear friend Cosper Scafidi. He said I would be back to 100% this month, and I had a moment of deep sadness, for a man who could not understand 100 of 500%.
At this point, I give him 85, which is Not Shabby At All!

Dr Robert, and his associate whose name I forget, injected a variety of biological superglues into my ruined left shoulder over a series of three sessions last year.
This year I have vastly greater stability, but in shihonage, and the big kotegaeshi throws, I hold onto that arm like it cost me 1500 bucks, which it did.

The other complicating factor is the cervical disc disease and the bulging disc in my neck, which means that impact of any kind is simply OUT.

I choose to minimize it. I don't reject it, I just find ways to train honestly, and minimize.
I'm going to tell you, not to bang me around.

Most people won't listen, so I mostly don't bother.

Everyone has the responsibility to train with their partners in a compassionate, constructive, and responsible manner. I'm nowhere in the leagues of the people who have written articles on this problem, but I have been in the trenches since 1989, and all I can do is call for awareness.

I can learn, I do learn, and I will never be "shiny" but in the end, I will be the one who has to work the hardest to remember, and pass it on. We are the ones who make the notes, write the books, and have to work hard to remember every move.

You know better, than to ignore the slow ones. At least I hope.
Otherwise, we need to renegotiate.

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