Aikido bestiary

With tongue in cheek, here is a bestiary of a few rare types we see on the mat (and try to enlighten) from time to time, in no particular order.

Chatty Charles
Wants to discuss and debate every single point of a technique in detail before, during and after trying it.

Professor Perfectionist
Can’t stand seeing his partner doing anything that is not 100% up to his standards, and then expounds verbally rather than demonstrating through practice.

Gorilla in a gi
The whole point is smashing your uke into the mat as hard as possible, isn’t it? And why shouldn’t I resist if I can?

Cautious Calvin
Trains only with friends and juniors, actively avoiding practice with stronger, more experienced partners as possibly damaging to his ego.

Dirty Dan
Thinks washing his gi is optional, until it reaches the point where his partners are gagging and it won’t bend any more.

Cultural Tourist
What is all this bowing and scraping stuff for, anyway? And why can’t I wear shoes in the dojo? And why can’t I wear my undershirt and jewelry during class?

New-Age Nate
Thinks he will soon master levitation through breath control and relaxation. Then all that “martial” stuff will just fall into place.

Algophobic Al
The slightest bruise or scratch shakes him like a tiger. Thinks sweating and fatigue are precursors to death. Does not grasp the distinction between pain and injury.

The Hothouse Flower
Never trains outside the dojo at seminars — has no idea what practice is like under pressure among the weeds.

The names have been changed to protect the identities of the subjects. I’ll stop here, even though I am just getting warmed up.