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Peeling Onion

I have Aikido teachers who are very creative with the way they give grading tests.  Depending on who you are -- your level of competency, your strengths, your weaknesses and personality, they often come up with interesting ideas that make the grading an educational experience for all. For our Yondan (4th degree blackbelt) test, in addition to demonstrating techniques from various attacks, Takeguchi Sensei asked me and my cohort to give a presentation on what Aikido meant to us.   I only knew about the test a week before, and had no idea about the presentation.  Because there were quite a few junior students in the audience, I decided to give an impromptu presentation on training goals at different stages of one's Aikido journey. Being nage (the thrower): -- As a beginner, one learns to present oneself with a good physical structure.  In other words, the various parts of the body have to be well aligned for good structural integrity.  For someone who is new to martial arts, to con

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