Saturday, May 28, 2005

Black Belt?

When you get old enough, you see many things that you never though that you would.

Last Saturday Mrs. Islander and one of the Islander daughters (the non-blogger) were tested for black belt in the Japanese sword art of Kenjutsu.

You must believe me when I tell you that this is a sign of the coming Apocalypse. I am 6'5" and weigh in at a Falstaffian 280 lbs. Mrs. Islander is a twig, a breath; yet after a couple of years of Aikido training she can drop me like bad sushi. Now I find that she can cut my head off and spit down my neck (if she has a ladder handy.)

Last Saturday (after a week of nights of tossing and turning and waking her long-suffering husband) she stepped onto the mat and showed her stuff.

She was the second person that day to test. The first person to test was "Chainsaw," a graceful and energetic young man. He moved through the katas and forms smoothly. As he stepped off the mat there was polite applause. The Mrs. Islander stepped onto the mat.

In the silent dojo, the "Whommm" of her bokken slicing the air announced that her moves had content. I spied Sensei nodding his head as Mrs. Islander repeatedly showed that she was not just waving a stick around, she was cutting. Though the results of the testing must be confirmed by the headquarters dojo in Japan, I have no doubt that my wife will wear the black belt in our family.

(And yes, I said that my daughter tested. Her and Mrs. Islander have been working together on the test materials for months. She also did a wonderful job. Her husband must look to his own life.)

A few months ago I yeilded to the inevitable and began Aikido training myself. As a newly-old guy, I had made peace with my aches and pains. Now I wake up after class nights with entirely new sets of grunt and groans. But, I also wake up limber. I guess that, as in all life, compromises must be made.


TooterTurtle said...

You Knew This Day Would Come

and bye the are Very Good Sushi ;)

And if the power I am seeing in you as a beginner is any indication, you will soon, once again, be wearing the hakama Pants in the family,

WhidbeyIslander said...


Ah, but Aikido is not about power. It's about blending with the energy of the attacker and cooperating with him/her until the attacker is on the ground.

Kenjutsu on the other hand...

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