Aikido girl takes a fall

Dean told me about the Aikido class.

(Sometimes I feel like parts of me broke off somewhere and started orbiting in space, and I know they’re there, but I can’t remember how to talk to these broken satellite bits. Dean reminds me how.)

Aikido. A martial art that’s about energy transfer, using peoples’ strength against them, and — as far as I can tell — rolling forward and backward over one shoulder from a standing position, like a total bad ass.

The main benefit of Aikido is that it makes me feel like a fool. You dress in white, with a uniform that I can never tie. (Like: the teacher sent another student into the dressing room to tie my belt because I was taking so long.) You bow at twenty million appointed times (entering the dojo, leaving the dojo, after a critique from the teacher, at the end of class, more — and to two different portraits). I can never remember these times. You sweep the dojo at the end, starting at the back of the room and proceeding to the front, working in columns next to all of your classmates. (This took me, no joke, three class periods to learn.)

You fall, in Aikido. It’s part of it. You step towards someone, and they take your arm and twist it over their shoulder and they step forward and suddenly there’s the ground, you are in a (controlled? crazy?) fall toward the mat, and there goes your wrist behind your head and…

I need this. There’s an art to falling, good ukemi. I need this.

I also need the part where I kick some ass.

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