I was stirring in a bucket of paint at work yesterday. I noticed that when stirring with my right hand the arm moved kind of like a snake. When stirring with my left the arm moved like sticks connected by wire.

I know that I am using my right arm much more than my left in the keiko. Take shomen uchi as an example. If the partner attacks me with his/her right arm, I break the balance mainly with my ai-hanmi arm, my right arm; if the partner attacks me with his/her left arm, I break the balance mainly with my gyaku-hanmi arm, again my right arm.

Some after session fun at a seminar with Jan Nevelius in Trondheim in November 2011. Photo by Kim A. Tinderholt.

So sometimes in the practice, sometimes even at seminars, I decide that this session I will reverse the roles of the arms. I consciously try to lead the partner, and take the balance, with my left arm. However, doing aikido, which requires such delicate sensitivity, accurate coordination and timing is not very easy when using only sticks connected by wire.

Enjoy your keiko! Aikido make people happy!