first day

Yesterday when I got here I called for someone to come and unlock the door. Some guests here from Miguel from Spain came down to let me in and helped me with my suitcase. Then Julia and Enise (I don’t know if I spelled his name correctly) showed me around the dojo and made sure I knew where everything was. After I got my things put away Julia, Enise, and Miguel invited me to go out to eat. We went to an Italian restaurant and walked through Time Square. It was a nice way to spend an evening. There was a bit of a language barrier, but when we talked about Aikido it seemed we were all speaking the same language.

Today I wanted to help with the children’s class, but was unsure of what that entailed. I decided to just watch this time. It looked like a lot of fun. There was one girl in the whole class (who was absolutely adorable) and the rest were boys of varying ages. It was a small class so they didn’t need a lot of help anyway.

The 11:00 class with Sugano Sensei was great. I trained with Doug, who I believe is a new uchi-deshi here. He has a very neat, quick technique and helped me by showing me what to do without speaking (which is what I prefer anyway). The second class we did some jo work. I’d never seen any of it before so I had to start really slow. I eventually got the footwork down and then it was pretty easy. Everyone was willing to help me out if I acted confused. (which happened several times). Sensei was merciful because of the hot weather and had us do some group work. The last class I was with Mike the head deshi. He gave very good advice also; just what I needed to know to stay safe. Most of the class we were in groups so I didn’t get as much of a workout. The last class was a weapons class. Which was fun. I believe we did part of the 13 jo kata. I didn’t have any weapons so Sanji went and got me some so I could train.

After class Sugano Sensei and some other students went to see a movie, but I took too long getting my lunch made and missed them. Which was okay because I didn’t really want to see the Borne Ultimatum anyway. Later I might go with Donovan Sensei and some friends to Merchants, to chill. I don’t want to stay out too late because I have to get up early for morning class. I hope I can take the heat of five classes tomorrow.