Trackball rolls badly; Aikido experiment is threatened

The Trackball of Truth went to Aikido class last night amid some bad instinctual mojo. Didn't really want to go, felt some vague hesitation, experienced the occassional questioning of why he bothers with it at all. Today, Trackball is laid up on percocet and is sleep deprived after a night of severe pain. Lesson: always, ALWAYS listen to the instincts.

Trackball is not so great at rolling. Aikido rolls, that is. These rolls involve straightening an arm, ducking the head and shoulder and gracefully go ass-over-tea kettle into a stand about 7 feet in front of where one started. Batman does this stuff all the time. Very useful if you get thrown so you don't get hurt. Remember the don't get hurt part for the irony later on.

Somedays when ToT does them, they're good, other days they're Goddess-awful. Last night we worked on a technique where the attacker (the Uke) ends up bent over with his arm locked behind his back. His only escape: a forward roll and come up in a defensive stance facing the defender (called the Tori). It looks cool as hell.

I've done this move several times -- but without the finishing roll. The brown belt instructing me asks if I want to try it after my 15 year old Uke does his first one flawlessly. Sure, I say what the hell. Nothing ever turns out well when I say or think that.

I did everything about the roll correctly except to get enough forward momentum by throwing myself forward. Imagine a bicycle that stops going forward - what happens? I flopped on my lower left back, right where my kidney is. It hurt both times I did it on the left side. (ToT always does stupid things twice before learning.)

Apparently, my left kidney coughed up a kidney stone, which I thought was back pain. So, in a sense, I really didn't get hurt at Aikido, I just sped up the inevitable.

As they elder students say, good, you only have to do it another 1000 times before it's right. And I'm looking at 997 more attempts and going, are you kidding? Is taking Aikido a good idea? It is a martial art, albeit the most peaceful and least harmful. The class has a preponderance of guys with tough guy builds with other martial art and military experience plus high school students who all outweigh me. I have low muscle tone. ("Really push down on my elbow." "I am really pushing down on your elbow." "Oh."). I'm getting flashbacks to living in the party dorm my first semester in college - I don't belong.

It might be time to hang up the gi and retire as the world's longest holder of a white belt.

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