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First One Under My Belt

I’m pleased to say Mrs Wishful Thinking and I both passed our aikido red belt grading last night.

I was impressed by the grading test – it was quite formal, we had to line up and perform the techniques in front of the rest of the class, black belts in front of us, brown belts watching from behind. And there’s something very satisfying about having passed the first test – like the first step on a long journey. Breaking things down into specific, measurable steps is good practice in setting goals, and aikido has evidently got this down to a fine art.

This is one of the things we had to do – we weren’t as fast or agressive as this though.



  1. Thanks for the warning – I’ll make sure I never knock your pint over!

  2. You lookin’ at me???

  3. No messing with Mark now!

    Which is more challenging: passing an Aikido test or writing a poem that satisfies you?

  4. Right now, writing poetry is definitely harder. I’m at the beginning aikido stage, so it’s challenging, but the challenge is to learn the rules and get the ‘right answer’ in terms of performing the techniques properly.

    Writing poetry is about rewriting the rules, or making up new ones – ‘The second right answer’, as somebody once said 😉

    I can imagine aikido getting much harder though, with the freestyle sessions where you have to spontaneously choose the right defence against unpredictable attacks. And of course there are always those occasions when you surprise yourself by writing something that feels easy but you’re very pleased with it (for a day or two, anyway…)