I've been blessed with a wife who quickly fell in love with Aikido.
I had recently finished by 2 years living in the dojo under Stickles Sensei when we met. It was clear to me that anyone I spent my life with would have to share my passion for martial arts and Aikido specifically. My greatest fear was that she would simply say that she enjoyed it, but either hate it or be ambivalent to it.
And so we went together for one of her first classes at my old alma mater. She of course did not have a gi, so I lent her one of mine (they tend to be somewhat or very tattered from long hours of training).
Jump first, learn to build the plane on the way down.
My approach to most experiences in life is really that simple, so we warmed up for class and immediately spent the remaining time training with others. In the first 15 minutes, she rolled her ankle taking ukemi for Iriminage. Now the question was, what would she do next?
...she took a deep breath, stood up, and attacked again. And again. And again, for the remaining 45 minutes of Keiko. Amazing!
Later we discovered that her "rolled ankle" was actually a fracture along the bottom of her foot. Even more impressive! I was and continue to be in awe of her commitment to everything she does.
Aikido, like an 'Do' or 'Way', is a commitment not to be taken lightly.
What followed was consistent training. Nights, early morning 6am classes, and more through to 3rd kyu before we moved down to Florida. Her tenacity and focus was unparalleled. She discovered that Musubi keiko was her favorite, but she was (and is) equally skilled in Kumitachi. All of this came from focused training, day after day, mistake after mistake. As sensei would say, like the forging of a sword, one must hammer out the imperfections, sculpt the blade, then go to work polishing. To polish a rock is meaningless when trying to craft a blade.
Spouses that train together, stay together.
What we discovered most of all, and continue to discover on this journey, is how Aikido fundamentally helps to both maintain and grow our friendship and marriage. Who could ask for more than a best friend who shares your passion for everything you do? Spouses who train together tend to achieve so much more, both on the mat and off.
Do you train with your spouse? If so, what are the benefits you have felt? Increased passion? Reduced tension? Fewer escalations?
As always, everything we do here at Pinellas County Aikikai is yours to review, implement, explore, and ultimately incorporate or dismiss from your daily training.
Everyone here at the Dojo looks forward to your visit to beautiful Pinellas County Florida (home of Clearwater and St Pete Beaches!) and to our dojo.
See you on the mat!
P.S. Speaking of spousal support, don't forget about our upcoming seminar this September with Peter and Penny Bernath Shihans - click here for the details and to pre-register and SAVE!
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