The Seventh Day…

31 01 2017

…he rested.. I mean, I rested, finally! Yesterday.. yeah!

During the weekend, feeling quite tired at practice in Belgium with Kuribayashi sensei, and going to bed relatively early Saturday night after the dinner event, I realized that I have been practicing quite a bit this month. Every day since last Tuesday (no practice on that day). At least, a bit for my own self, nothing compared with my aiki-bro Aikifreak. More or less like the Stavanger days, but there I was teaching most of the classes and it is quite a big difference, especially here in Amsterdam, between being instructor or not.

19 training days this month and my condition is far from optimal. The elbow inflammation and the probable knee bursitis are following me from last months in 2016 to now. But it was ages I did not practice that much in a month, and none of these days was a full teaching session.

A couple of weeks ago I had a bike incident, smashing on the frozen tarmac after misjudging the height of a step and try to “jump” with bicycle and all, I had landed on the same knee already in pain and for some strange Aikido reflex I had managed to not smashed the left arm on the ground when I bent the handlebar:

bike handlebar re-work

bike handlebar re-work

An accident due to 80% stupidity, 10% iced road and 10% bad luck..

Funny thing is that after the crash both knee and elbow seems to improve.. Fight fire with fire?

…but the not traditional healing method did not really stick, and nowadays I have started thinking to get back to some more traditional cures, that wouldn’t require to crash again my poor bike..

In the close future I see some more very active weeks coming and I am quite happy. I have planned to attend interesting seminars where I will meet amazing people on the mats and have more chance to test my body and mind. Last Aikido year had been fantastic. I have hopes and I trust this year will be equally great.. but I have to improve my own condition. Learn how to recover faster as well.

Tuesday’s are my days of rest but unfortunately it’s almost sure I work overtime every single one. But I also promised myself to stop on the way home at Bukowski bar, my oasis in Amsterdam. Often alone I sit in my spot, have an occasional chat with the people working there, check my Instagram or social places or write my blog… like yesterday night….


13 10 2016

Last week I had to stop practice after the first hour and it was a bit annoying: I have a couple of physical problems that are carrying longer than expected, and a few too many thoughts on my mind, that are also not helping.

During a first hour of several beginner techniques, working especially on ikkyo and with no throws at all, I had to compensate a lot a problem with one knee that is forcing me to avoid as well all suwariwaza work. That is boring, but last year, more or less in the same period I had the same problem, that went away with some rest..

hope... for something better....

hope… for something better….

Read the rest of this entry »

Values & Time, Water & Teflon

19 09 2016

It is the time to say goodbye to shoes I had bought for 14.90 € thinking that if they lasted 3 months it would have been a good investment.

A long road

They lasted about 18 months, they have walked me all around Europe, in Japan, I’m Indonesia and in Vietnam.

I have learnt to give value to everything and everyone independently by the time things and people are around. Because this time can be short.

I have had 3 relevant relationships in my life of which the longest lasted about 3 years “on paper” but in reality maybe less than 3 months and the best most spontaneous and natural part has been the first 3 hours.. I valued most of the time with her and looking back I regret I did not enjoy more. But I have no other regrets. Read the rest of this entry »

2016 Resolutions & Predictions

11 01 2016

Maybe last time.. because they are actually more or less a copy from last year revised ones:

2016(5) Resolutions:

  • learn something new
  • get passionate again about about something positive, constructive (..else than Aikido, reading, taking pictures and travelling – specified since in 2014 apparently I got passionate about.. rejections!)
  • stop doing always the same mistakes, especially with people! 向前走,莫回头! (got close again, but maybe I managed to be a little adult this time!) — one add: stop comparing myself to other people! In life, work, Aikido and especially relationships! Some sort of typical masochism that results only in me feeling like a shit..
  • work for my 3.dan in Aikido (when ever it might be) and work on my Aikido in general! (since I have realized I got not so much else to spend time for)  — related to this one there is an extra goal: help a fellow Aikidoka in Amsterdam to develop, “find”, feel more her center 😉
  • maintain 75 kg rather than reach 72 kg: the path to this target has started already! I had been almost steadily around +/- 75 kg during the summer, but I certainly failed to keep it or push for the 72 kg goal.
  • the most important: care less!!!

2016(5) Prediction:

  • I will travel a lot
  • there will be some changes

Time to eliminate the learning part: I had of course in mind learning to play the guitar (there is a guitar in the room I rent now!) but I failed so many times that I think I am too stupid.. I’ll try again, but not as a resolution..

The most important part for me though is step forward in my life, both Aikido life and “the rest”. Not easy, in neither of them. But I got some motivations. Some thoughts/plans that need a bit more working on and maybe some further changes. I tried some this year, but the reason behind that change was not worth and I was never convinced about what I wanted. That is probably a first step: know what (not who!) I want, more or less..

On the way to Trondheim!

8 01 2016

First seminar of the year even if I am not sure if I’m allowed to count it or not… since I will be the “teacher”.. With “” because as explained before I am just a student working on my path..

leir med andrea 🙂

I posted about this seminar but I think (or maybe many think) it has been my ego talking there.. As a matter of fact I miss teaching, but not for letting my ego grow stronger (again?.. I know many think that..), but for having a chance to practice the Aikido I love, work on the mats with like-minded people and try to understand something that at seminars one has not always time to doing that.

This is a chance to work both on the Aikido I practice in Amsterdam and the Aikido I manage to practice very seldom, ie. Irie shihan‘s Aikido. A chance to work a little on that and introduce it to my Norwegian friends, certainly something different (not better, not worse, just different, hoping to leave them with something to think about and maybe some curiosity to meet the source!).

If people think it is my ego talking I am actually not so concern: I hope some of this people will be on the mats with me to try and experiment and see if some good feelings come out from the practice as well.. I can only repeat what I always say to people that call me teacher, as my Aiki-brother says:

So who am I? What do I want? Well, I am a student.

That is exactly what I am, what I have always been, and what I will be, independently where I will sit at the beginning of a class.. and I love it!


dry kiwi and papaya

Sitting at the airport, eating some dry fruit in the best Chinese tradition (I mean, my Chinese life experience tradition!), feeling a little like when I was going to Hangzhou for teaching weekend seminars… and still working on my practice notes!

It’s going to be a good weekend!!

2015 wrap up

8 01 2016

A few thoughts about last year. At some point I updated my commitment:

2015 Resolutions – updates:

  • learn something new
  • get passionate again about about something positive, constructive (..else than Aikido, reading, taking pictures and travelling – specified since in 2014 apparently I got passionate about.. rejections! Got worse this week, indeed)
  • stop doing always the same mistakes, especially with people! 向前走,莫回头! (got close again, but maybe I managed to be a little adult this time!)
  • work for my 3.dan in Aikido (when ever it might be) and work on my Aikido in general! (since I have realized I got not so much else to spend time for)
  • reach 75 kg reach 72kg: the path to this target has started already! I have been almost steadily around +/- 75Kg. in the past few months, so it is time to raise the bar!

…and failed!

I closed the year around 78 kg: not bad, but remaining at 75 kg is also a challenge especially if I do not practice every day and I have some more parties than expected!

Aikido is a difficult topic: I practiced a lot, almost as much as I could (I dropped maybe a couple of possible seminars) and I am feeling a slight push to “confirm” my level woth examination. But if I have no motivation in grading for Dutch federation, even liking Tissier sensei style: dan grading for me is a sort of tribute to the sensei I am following, to show him that I want to practice his Aikido. And right now this is impossible (Dutch federation would not grant me the possibility to grade out of Dutch territory: understandable, maybe, it was, for someone.. not open to discussion though).

For the rest, it is like I have never written those resolutions. Next year, maybe. In particular, for the mistake part, last night I got confirmed I had made a big one with some new Aikido friend. Sometimes I should shut up and get out of my own head. To be remembered. All it’s part of the learning and growth. Mistakes made with interesting people are probably a better teaching. Fate wants maybe that I take this as learning of something new for the year?

2015 Prediction:

  • I will travel a lot
  • there will be some changes
  • if I do not achieve the majority of those resolutions I will go nuts!!!

I changed house; I did travel a lot, mainly/only for Aikido, and a little for work; I did not manage to make real the majority of resolutions, therefore I am nuts.. On the other I have been going nuts for some time anyway.. it has not been an easy year.. again! My fault..

Let’s see 2016.. where I will be more realist I suppose!

Don’t cry on the running… wine!

3 01 2016

It might be a better year than I would think…

During the last trip from the old to the new place using backpack and trolley I managed to crack a Bulgarian wine bottle bottom that was in the top of the backpack, certainly not wrapped good enough.

That spilled one liter red wine in the backpack and the floor of the room where I moved but I have been lucky for a few reasons:

  • the wine filtered slowly from the backpack and I managed to contained it to a relatively small area and then managed to clean the floor pretty fast;
  • the floor was not covered by carpet or similar, but wood floor easy to clean;
  • I could retrieve all the parts of the bottle without cutting myself;
  • in the backpack there were no clothes, no Aikido keikogi or my hakama, no official papers, no computer related stuff or electronics;
  • that was supposed to be the last trip of the backpack us I could stick it immediately in the washing machine together with only other washable thing stained by wine: a small pillow that if it doesn’t get clean will be disposed of without many regrets!
  • I found paper, towel and floor cleaning stuff to clean and especially remove the wine smell, not so welcome for my first night there.

So I am sad I could not taste that wine but I might go back to Bulgaria this year again for Kuribayashi sensei seminar.. a good excuse! Get more wine there and later today (still few large things to move and do the cleaning) enjoy the mess in my new room for the next few months!