Stopping Short

Is there a Doctor in the House? I have a masters degree. I also have a fair body of original research reviewed and approved as a dissertation submission. What I am missing from completing a Ph.D. is going back and sitting through some classes: paying the money and doing the time. Does this make sense?… Continue reading Stopping Short

A Ronin’s Story, Part 5: Teaching

At the end of class, as we sat in seiza, I had a realization. And so I asked: Who was tested here today? In fact, I set out that morning only to assess their readiness, not to “test” anyone, so there was no announcement that this was what had occurred. After the members speculated a… Continue reading A Ronin’s Story, Part 5: Teaching

A Ronin’s Story, Part 3: Gaman / Perseverance

On a cold January afternoon, I had the somewhat rare duty of accompanying my daughter, now ten years old, to her gymnastics class—a task normally handled by my wife. We waited nearly twenty minutes as the management tried in vain to locate her class’ regular instructor. There had been on-going confusion: Within the last month… Continue reading A Ronin’s Story, Part 3: Gaman / Perseverance

A Ronin’s Story, Part 2: Enso / The Circle

Around 13 years ago, I became a bona fide addict. Missing scheduled training for even one evening affected me deeply, both mentally and physically. Aikido and I shared a symbiotic relationship, with me undoubtedly more dependent upon Aikido than Aikido upon me. My wife appreciated my passion and even shared my practice right up until… Continue reading A Ronin’s Story, Part 2: Enso / The Circle

A Ronin’s Story, Part 1: Shoshin / Beginner’s Mind

With the gentlest, most caring spirit, the elderly lady with the hakama corrected each nuance of both my technique as well as my ukemi after each throw and each pin. I humbly accepted her guidance and worked to incorporate her corrections with each new repetition. The hakama were deceptive: In this dojo, each student wore… Continue reading A Ronin’s Story, Part 1: Shoshin / Beginner’s Mind