When I first joined Aikido, I did so partly because Steven Seagal was the vogue. After these years of training, I’ve somewhat abandon the idolization of such public figures or superstars.
We cannot help ourselves but look for such aspirations, don’t we? When we train in our dojo, there is always a certain senior belt we kind of look up to and some how set our standards against that mental, social superior figure. The senior belt seem to move in such and such a manner. the skill and confidence so inspires us that others in the dojo seem to look plain in comparison.
I cannot help but observed this phenomenon myself because I apparently has become the object of such idolisation. I hope i’m saying this based on my observations and not because of an egotistical and self glorification desire.
My dojo is a small and tight one, with the few of us has been training together for years, and after so many years, we pretty much knows our own status in class and what we can and cannot do. like i mentioned before, I can pretty much take most of Harry sensei’s throws and break falls and I guess this is very much a kind of a aspirations for some of the junior belts there. I approach my sensei confidently and I am never subservient to his wills, I treat him as equal and he has to be skillful as a nage, otherwise, I as his uke will not budge. My Sensei knows that I respect him by not patronising him. Anyway i can’t, anything less than the best with my sensei, risks getting injured. Sincerity and confidence protects me from injuries.
My point is this, I feel that the junior belts there looks up to me with a certain expectations. Please don’t.
In our practice, we habitually have ‘favourite’ partners, and during group practice as nage, we tend to quickly dispatch other uke, so that we can get to the ‘better’ uke. is it fair then? Certianly no. That was what i felt with some of the brown belts in class. I felt looked up upon and they might think that training with me more will bring about some quality to their experience, as compared to some other junior belts. To carry this attitude of discernment to class is to betray the efforts and teachings of our sensei.
Don’t go to class thinking that a senior belt is better than a junior belt. Everyone comes to class with something to offer, their best effort, we have to respect that. beyond that we should be aware of who we think is ‘good’ in class and who is the ‘ace student’. Respect everyone as they are and be open to what they have to offer individually. That way everyone can be at their best.