Saturday, September 10, 2011

Aikido: The Way of Harmony

I'm not quite sure how this relates to my maturing. I'm going to chuck it in the "Diversify" bucket, when it may actually belong in the "WTF" bucket. Anyway, anyone who knows me well knows that I am an Italian minor, with the, lets say quirky caveat that I don't speak Italian. I can understand it and say semi-coherent sentences when under pressure or the influence of alcohol, but I am not fluent. This why my "Survey of Italian Literature" class was kicking my ass. If I'm not totally comfortable with modern Italian, it stands to reason that Dante is going to cause unnecessary stress.

So, I decided to search for a class to take Italian's place. And the one that I found was Aikido, aka "soft" martial arts.

Aikido: A Japanese form of self-defense and martial art that uses locks, holds, throws, and the opponent's own movements. Aikido focuses not on punching or kicking opponents, but rather on using their own energy to gain control of them or to throw them away from you.

Last week, I was having a meeting with my co-producer and decided that I would skip Italian and go to Aikido that day. The decision was made, of course, about 10 minutes before the class started. As fate would have it, that was the day I chose to break in my new boots. They're adorable -- leather-ish, black, Granny-boots with approximately, a THREE INCH HEEL. Error. Error.

So, I head over the Pearson Hall, the Gym Building, the building I have never before stepped foot in and sashayed into Aikido. There I am, doing my urban chic impression, surrounded by twenty people bouncing around the carpet in dogis, aka those white karate pajamas. To say I stood out, would be to say that Gigli was sub-par. I think the TA had to do a double take when he saw me. Meanwhile, I was just grateful that I wore my pseudo-boyfriend jeans rather than skinny jeans.

Luckily there was another girl there who, though in much more appropriate attire, was new, so I partnered up with her for the technique and we struggled through together. The teacher and the TAs were very nice and patient with us as they corrected our stances and went through techniques slowly. I thought that Aikido would be fun and easy. Well, it was definitely fun, but not easy. It seems that much of Aikido is an art form, so the rules are fairly strict. Nonetheless, I enjoy learning different things and after class, I headed to the bookstore to buy my very own dogi.

If you don't know what Aikido is, here is a video of Steven Seagal doing it. One day, that will be me...jk

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