Did the unthinkable (my Aikido journey)


Staff member
Mama san;176494 said:
Lookin' good, Ladybug, lookin' good!!!!!
Keep it up!!
God bless,
Mama san

Thanks, Mamasan! I hope my back and my knees hold out for the duration.... I really, really, really want to take a shodan test, even if I don't pass (well, that's not in the cards, since my sensei wouldn't let me take the test unless she was certain I could pass it).

However, I still have 2nd kyu and 1st kyu to conquer, so this could take a while...

(still working on my forward ukemi and getting more weight off so that I don't have to deal with my fears of hurting myself from my own mass).


Staff member
We had the next round of testing this week (no, I didn't test, it hasn't been 200 days yet!).

Whiz Kid took his 2nd kyu.

After watching Whiz Kid do his thing, I've decided I'm not going to take any more tests. I've reached the pinnacle of what I can do, and that's 3rd kyu. From this point onwards, I'm going to aikido just for the exercise, and because I enjoy the activity.

I think my reasons are sound: I barely made it through the 3rd kyu test, and the 2nd kyu is twice as long. I doubt very much I can improve my breathing problems and lose half my body weight in just one year, and by that time, I expect I'll be under the knife for back surgery, anyway, which will finish me as far as aikido is concerned.

I have my niche in the dojo - I'm the practice partner that forces people to slow down, forces them to get my balance using their centres and not their physical strength (not an easy thing to do, apparently, according to some of my instructors - I've been variously described as "solid", with very strong ki, and being short, making the tall guys s/u/f/f/e/r adjust themselves to my height).

I'm just feeling a bit depressed right now at not going up any more ranks, but I'll get over it.

The Technical Director for the CAF is in Toronto this weekend. I'm going to watch (can't afford to attend) and one of the lads from my dojo is testing for shodan, so I'll be there for that for sure. Another Sensei is also coming soon and I wouldn't mind watching that seminar as well. I went to watch when he came a few months ago and really enjoyed seeing what he taught.

The journey's not over, it's just going in a different direction, for now, anyway.


Havent seen you in an while girl now we know why hey soon you will be able to give the big guy (steven) an good ass whoopin god knows he needs it i would do it myself but i have an dickie knee...thats my excuse and iam sticking to it...


Staff member
ORANGATUANG;178406 said:
Havent seen you in an while girl now we know why hey soon you will be able to give the big guy (steven) an good ass whoopin god knows he needs it i would do it myself but i have an dickie knee...thats my excuse and iam sticking to it...

Well, my dickie knee is back, making it difficult for me to do suwari waza and han mi han dachi techniques, but hopefully it'll get better soon, as it did the last time!

I'll still ticking away at it, but i wish I didn't feel so depressed about my decision, which I know in my head is the right one, but not in my heart.


Staff member
The technical director for the CAF was in town this week for a seminar at which much testing took place - 4 for shodan, 5 for nidan. On the whole, the women did better than the men in the one-on-one, but not as well in the randori. The two women in the shodan test both made the same mistake - they turned their backs on uke. Uke was nice and didn't grab nage from behind, which, in my opinion, they should have (if my ukemi was any good, and if I'd been uke, I would have).

However, I finally got to see a "real" randori. The last guy testing for nidan dived into his pack of uke and for the first time in a test, I saw a no-holds-barred, street-fighting, get up and I'll kill you Steven Seagal style randori. Holy mackerel, this guy was throwing his ukes around like they were rag dolls. It wasn't nice, it wasn't pretty, and it did get applause when it probably shouldn't have because it was so rough, but man, it was what a randori should be, thanks to the five ukes who gave him the energy to make him do what he did. I think it also helped that the guy was Steven Seagal sized... but you use what you have, and if size is it for you, then use it.

That's one guy I wouldn't want to encounter in a hostile manner (not that I would, but you know what I mean).

Whee! and, Yikes!


Twitter: adadrian
hah the first time i did a real randori, i was thrown over 4 matts across teh room and landed on my butt!


Great pics TD,
Looking good to me mate. It`s always a pleasure to see a fellow aikidoka practicing the Way. You`ve come a long way since you began your practice, from what i can gather, through many obstacles and setbacks. Many of us who walk the path of Aikido have similar tests handed to us, but anything worth having isn`t easy to attain. The martial arts are difficult, but the rewards are so great. Anyway, just wanted to say well done and KEEP IT UP!!!

All the best,


Staff member
Thanks, Dragonking. I hope I can keep it up!

I'd like to ask other aikidoka here their opinion about something.

I had an accident in class today, a pretty serious one, although so far I've declined going to the hospital, as the symptoms haven't got any worse.

We were doing a line and it was my turn to be uke. I came in with what I thought was a committed attack; I suddenly found myself in a position from which there was no safe way for me to fall, and I went down on the mat, and hit the back of my head, hard.

I got a headache that lasted about ten minutes, went away, but now, 12 hours after the fact, it's come back.

I talked to the guy who threw me after class, and the outcome of the conversation was that the hard fall was my fault; what I thought was a committed attack was a "push/pull" attack that caused him to react aggressively. His leg was hooked behind me so I couldn't do a backward roll, and since I can't do either ushiro toshi or ushiro my yoko kaiten, I went straight down into the mat, on my tailbone (which I always try to avoid doing) and because my head had snapped back from the kokyo ho, my head, of course, hit the mat.

A couple of the other students also said the hard fall was my own fault.

I've practiced with all these people before and they know that I have limited ukemi skills.

I wasn't aware I was doing "push/pull" so obviously that's something I need to work on, but my question is, was nage right in throwing me so hard I got hurt just because I made a mistake? Other students watching also said that if I was in a position from which I couldn't roll out or fall safely, that it was my own energy that put me in that position, and so it was still my fault I fell so hard.

Right now I'm scared to death to take any ukemi at all, which means I won't be making any committed attacks. In fact, I'm so scared I'm not sure I even want to go back on the mat.

What do you think?


TD - I think you should go and see your doc for an xray/scan just in case, especially with a head injury with ongoing headaches. Take it easy on your body - fused vertebrae have to be handled carefully - my lower spine is fused and oh boy, I know it if I go too far LOL!!!


Staff member
Well, I'm pretty sure I have a mild concussion, but I sure as heck don't want to spend 7 hours in an emergency room today, as I have better things to do with my time. However, the dizziness seems to be getting worse, so I guess I'd better go...

I'm just upset that I got blamed for the fall. Any of you aikido practitioners out there, is this usual?

Donald Lee Wilkey

A Steven Seagal fan
not to jest, but for me it's alot like going to chuch on Sunday mornings. That's how i perceive my appreciation for aikido, at times it hard to go check out a book about aikido from the public libraries, but it's necessary, and after it's arrival at library and i pick it up, i feel a confidence. I feel better for returning to my interest to continue my scholastic studies of aikido.


Hey there, TD,
In my opinion, you were not at fault. When we practice Aikido, we hold each others life in our hands. There is a great responsibility, therefore, to take great care when executing techniques. O`sensei said that "Aikido is love". Where was the love in how this other student treated you? My own sensei always stresses that before we can hope to control others, we must first learn to control ourselves. For this person to get "pissed off" because of how you attacked shows a vast lack of understanding and self control on their part.
There is a book called "The Art of Peace" by John Stevens. It is a collection of O`sensei`s quotes, speeches and poems. It may help you to cope with difficult students and the problems we each face on the mat and in life.
Finally, please do not let anyone else, aikido student or otherwise force you to consider your own future in Aikido. That decision, my friend, is yours and yours alone.

Keep well everybody,


Staff member
Well, I told my sensei last night. I dithered about it for a couple of days because I don't want to be known as a "rat"; but it was safety, not only my own, but that of others as well, that was foremost in my mind.

If I can't trust the senior student to correct me when I make a mistake in a way that's safe, I can't practice aikido. If I make the mistake of attacking more strongly than my ukemi can take, then I depend on my practice partner to explain what I'm doing that could end up putting me in an unsafe position, and to modify my attack accordingly.

I only need to be told once. I don't need to have a serious injury as a lesson in what not to do. And for sure I don't need to have the person responsible for the injury on me telling me it was my own fault I got slammed into the mat so hard I got a concussion.

Oh, yes. I did end up going to the emergency room after all, and they confirmed the diagnosis of concussion. It's just a mild one; I should be able to go back onto the mat after a week with no symptoms, but only light practice, no tumbling for a while, and for sure no hitting my head on the mat, even lightly. I've still got a little dizziness but the nausea has subsided, so I'm hopeful I can go back next week some time, even if all I do is ten kan and stretches.


Active Member
I've come into this thread late but TDWoj I'd like to share my comments.

Firstly, I hope you have continued with your Aikido training, even on an intermittent basis.

I wish you all the best of luck with your training, and wish you continued good health and happiness.

Regardless of age, physical abilities, health issues etc, if you really want to do something, then go for it. If you ever feel any concern at any time in relation to any aspect of your training, talk to your instructor/s about it. If they genuinely care about the art and genuinely care for the continued well being of the followers, then there is no reason why they can't modify your training to suit your needs. Not everybody in the whole world is athletic or agile, and Aikido in particular is an art which emphasises a soft approach/application of technique, hence promoting longevity, practical self defence and good fitness.

Martial arts isn't just about self defence or fitness. Martial arts is a way of life, motivation in your life, to stay confident and strong and positive, particularly mentally/emotionally.
So just do your best, and if you are ever unsure or concerned about your training, speak to your instructor.

Once again I wish you the best in your training, and hope you'll come back and talk about how you are progressing.




Old member aikidoka
Hey TD, long time since I've been here and followed your path of aikido.
From an instructor and aikidokas perspective you (as uke) are never to be blamed for anything. It doesn't mean that uke can get away with 100% attacks if the person can't take 100% ukemi. But you know that. And they should know that. Uke gives his/her life to nage/tori and has to be able to trust that nage/uke don't use the situation to "win" at all cost.
It is good that you talked to both them and your instructor. It would be better if you talked to nage again after the fact (even if it's a bit dated by now) and tell him what the consequence of his behaviour was. Basically you can tell them that if they can't handle the attack without hurting uke, they should slow down enough so that they can. The trust that we don't get hurt is all we have when training aikido, since we don't compete and since we are training dangerous techniques.
I sincerely hope that you'll continue training. And believe me you got it all right. These people just need to grow up and it seems like they couldn't tell the idea/principles of aikido from their own arses.

Ps. Nice photos! You rock! Ds.



Hey TD, you are awesome just for getting out there!
I have been thinking for awhile that I need to get back into a dojo. The last time I tried was in different city to where I am now - I think they forgot about the whole "respect" thing there, and I left feeling humiliated and frustrated.
But you have inspired me to try again!
I'll let you know how it (and I) rolls...