44+1- happy Aikido birthday to me!

7 07 2016

Special treat for my birthday yesterday night at Aikido practice at Aikido Amsterdam dojo: I hope it represents the introduction of a tradition developed in Norway.

What better way for Aikido people to celebrate their birthday on the mats receiving Aikido “hugs” in forms of throws and techniques by the fellow aikidokas?

I cannot think of a better way to show Aikido love 🙂

Aikido Amsterdam

Aikido Amsterdam – birthday treat

So last night after a bit more than 1.5 hour practice, my aiki-friends gave me 44 (my new age) + 1 (entering the new year) ukemis: a very nice combination of people of very different ages, level and backgrounds. And we have all a passion in common: Aikido.

Many people asked me what special thing I was going to do for celebrating my birthday, and until evening for me it was all normal: work then Aikido practice. Birthday is usually a normal day for me, but I did not hide I was happy to receive so many birthday wishes on facebook or other means (email, sms, whatsup, in person.. sometimes good treating nice also my ego). But then I got this special surprise at practice: you can see form my face color that I had to work hard on the mats, and that is what I love!

People that has met me mainly at Aikido seminars know I become quite fast red-faced, and usually it goes together with my smile increasing: as my aiki-brother always says, Aikido makes people happy.. and I have never had problem showing it!

birthday flowers..

flowery aikidude

Smiling during practice is not about lack of respect of the art or a weakness as I have heard some people considering it: for me it is just impossible to not do it.

Ok, you can smile, but not laugh, right Theo and Svein? 😉

aikido family in Vienna

aikido family in Vienna

Yesterday night I have been thrown hard and high and a few times I have heard gasps from the people watching, and at those moments I was probably smiling the best. Ukemi is not Aikido, but uke‘s work is certainly the part I love the most in Aikido, the part that has improved a lot thanks to Endo sensei and the people in his entourage. The part of my Aikido life that has deeply changed me. And step by step, allowed me to get to know better an aiki-wizard like Jorma Lyly sensei, starting probably a deeper change inside myself, Aikido and not.

taking ukemi for Kuribayashi sensei

taking ukemi for Kuribayashi sensei (Pecs, 2015)

flying lessons

taking ukemi for Dijkman sensei (Amsterdam, 2015)

After all, Aikido is the largest part of my life, the part I never regret. The part that takes me back even after I treat her bad or I leave her alone for some time. The part where I feel at home and myself, always. More than the part outside the mats.

The part where I find so easy to relax..

aikifreak and aikidude enjoy evening practice

aikifreak and aikidude enjoy evening practice (Lillsved, 2015 – photo by Katarina)

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