When I look back at that first day of Aikido, I am amused that I've made it this far. My intentions then were to stay in Aikido as long as I could. Things have changed now and I've set my goal, I hope someday to make Shodan rank

I 've always looked at Aikido as giving my mind-body a higher education, reaching for a degree; just as I'm reaching for a degree in the education of my mind-intellect.

The belts I have earned from testing have come to mean the same to me as the grades I receive from a quarter of academic classes, or from being on the Dean's list.

I am proud I give Aikido my very best, I feel I work very at trying to perfect my movements, and I do this for me, for inner strength. I push myself sometimes to the brink to find this inner strength.

Each belt and especially each test has been a stepping stone of learning, like learning how to walk. First comes the step with great thought, then the running head-long with no thoughts, to finally acquiring the finished gait.

This last year I have started running , trying to correct all the bad habits I've developed along the way. The has been very hard. It has become painfully clear that I am capable of butchering a technique beyond all recognition, but this is good also because it brings me back to reality and a greater effort.

Acquiring 4th Kyu rank is important to me because it brings me one stone closer to the finished gait.

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