Archive for February, 2011

Use Aikido with Telemarketers

I was chatting with A-D after practice and he commented on the fact that I was almost late for class, landing on the mat just in time to bow in.

“Yeah, I made the mistake of answering the phone on the way out the door and got tagged by a telemarketer. Man, they waste a lot of my time!”

“You should do what I do - use aikido with them.”

I was intrigued. “How so, Aiki?”

“Ok, we’ll role-play - you be the telemarketer.”

“Ummm…ok, I’ll play. Hello, could I - ”

“No, you have to make the sound of a telephone first.”

Sigh. Nothing’s ever easy with Aiki-Doh!-ka. “Ok…Brrrrriiinnnggg!”


“Ah, hello…could I please speak to Mr. or Mrs. Aiki-Doh!ka?”

“Yes, I’m Mr. Aiki-Doh!-ka. See, first you have to enter, just like aikido…”

“Hmmm, yes, I see…Er, Mr. Aiki-Doh-Ka, I’m calling tonight to see if you’d like to make a donation to the Sempei benevolent fund…”

“Hah, your dreaming…ok, now you have to blend; say something like: Oh, that sounds very interesting, tell me more…”

“Ah…well, ah, we collect money to buy beer for aikido seniors…”

“Good one. Now you redirect: What kind of beer do you buy?”

“Well, ah, it depends…”

“See, now you’re losing your balance; time to apply a control: Excuse me just a moment. All this talk about beer is making me thirsty. Hold the line while I get a beer…”

“Then what, A-D?”

“Whatever! Have a beer, iron your hakama. He’s pinned, you’re free. Come back in a few minutes and he’ll be gone, you can hang up the phone.”

We discussed it further, considering strategies that would be more like a throw, etc. I can hardly wait for the next telemarketer…



Aiki’s on a Roll

Aiki-Doh!-ka knows when he’s onto a good thing and he’s decided that my somewhat klunky initiation to what he calls the “man-skirt club” is just too good to pass up. Witness my first class on the mat with my new hakama lashed firmly to various parts of my uniform. I thought it went pretty well - no hakama nages nor did it come undone, my greatest concern. But I guess A-D thought otherwise and couldn’t wait to tell me after class.

“I guess you still need practice with your man-skirt, huh?”

“What do you mean Aiki - I thought things went pretty well.”

“I saw you catch your toes and stumble”


“Three, four times at least!”

“A-D, I never…”

“And during weapons class, you looked like a table top hockey game player.”

We had been doing ma-ai exercises with bokken, moving quickly back and forth in pairs. Perhaps he had a point there - it’s hard to see the feet of someone wearing a hakama, making it appear as if we were gliding like hockey figures on pegs.

“Aiki, we were…”

“You’re lucky the ref didn’t give you a penalty for high-sticking!”

“Ref? What ref?” Not a bad idea though; after all, we were swinging wooden sticks at each other…

“Yeah, you were offside, too…and who tied that bow, your grandmother?”

On and on it went - the only way I could get him to shut up about it was to invite him for a beer…