Banishment with Multiple Silver Linings

So it’s a wonderful twist of fate that I made my greatest Aikido discovery… after I was kicked out.

You heard that right, I got kicked out – in August of last year.

I’m the guy on the left being a badass, with my tail in-between my legs while meekly mooning them. 

Long story short: 
I had hit a plateau in my training in August. At the time I had grown tired of hearing my two sensei infer to me repeatedly that was I was too mental. Plus I realized that I was too “soft” in my movement – too limp and “no energy”.

One day I realized that I moved better outside of the dojo than I was on the mat. I had a pep in my step outside of the dojo and I was much more “settled” outside of the dojo than in.

Which is great right? Well to me it was weird.
– How could I be moving better outside of the dojo than in?
– Why was I always tired and lethargic before, during, and after training?
– Why was I NOT down whenever I wasn’t training? 

The second question was the real reason I decided that perhaps my training needed some much needed boast.

So then I thought to myself – Why don’t I bring the energy that I have outside the dojo, inside? –  So it wouldn’t hurt right?

I was wrong apparently

4 years ago I ran into hot water because of my flirtatious ways and lack of social awareness. I was then asked to leave then for a few months (when turned into 8) and then allowed back. Before I had consciously decided to try bringing this new attitude to the mat I asked myself if those same people who sent me off 4 years ago would have forgiven me by now and had forgotten the incident.

Around the last week of August of last year, my sensei pulls me aside after class one day and informs me that there were some members of the dojo that felt that I made the same transgressions that I did years ago. The conclusion being that they felt that my presence was not welcomed any more and that they wished to have me leave.

Oh fuck, not this again.

It has been about 5 months since that incident and I haven’t set foot inside my home dojo since that time, nor have I set foot in a dojo. One good thing: while I’m still technically a member of the dojo, I can’t train with the rest of the crew for reasons above. If I do train, I have to adhere to a set of rules that were agreed upon between myself and my sensei.

Do I deny the accusations brought forth to me? No, not at all – social graces has always been a weak spot for me and thus I’ve dedicated myself to continual improvement in that area. But what I do accuse my accusers of is of not confronting me personally – and instead having the work around my back and have the situation blowing up in my face.


Okay, so what’s the silver lining that I speak of?  Well, it’s this: I finally got what I wanted out of my training Aikido.

Well, what is it you ask? I had found myself.

That’s right! I finally feel that I’m comfortable in my skin – this is big because I’ve always been very “out of body”. Some people call this “always in the head”. Grounded, centered? Whatever, it only took 7 long-ass years of training!

But you know what? I think if it wasn’t for my banishment, I wouldn’t be this confident in myself in the first place. Along with this confidence, I finally solved the problem regarding my social graces!

But of course, all of this came at the cost of my being ousted from dojo. Was it worth it? I don’t know. My sensei has been surprisingly supportive of me, even saying that my absence is a way of “protecting me” from the other yudansha (I bought him a bottle of Italian wine as a thank you). We’re arranging a meeting with my accusers at the moment, though with all the judgement that this going around, even if these confrontations were to end on a happy note, I will be taking my martial arts training else where.

I think the only other loses were my waistline and my job situation (unrelated).


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