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OK, so I was trying to work out why a technique didn't work very well with me when someone was attacking. And, I just couldn't figure it out, so naturally, I blamed my attacker. He's not attacking me correctly, so it's not working.
Can you believe that! I actually started blaming my attacker, on why I couldn't get the technique.
Well, isn't that just a natural why to react to situations. I mean, think about it, don't we do that all the time. How hard would it be if we were always blaming ourselves. Don't you think it'd be a bit depressing?
It's not my fault I'm poor. It's not my fault I can't find a job. It's not my fault I'm getting a divorce. It's not my fault I split the coffee all over me and burned myself.....and on and on it goes. Isn't that why we get married, so that we can blame our partner for everything!
I've seen how instructors manipulate their students into making them look like they've actually "got" the technique. It's so disappointing, and at times, physically painful.
If iron sharpens iron, then it's all of us together that need to work on this. We accept where we are, and are held accountable for it.
So, I was demonstrating a technique the other day, and my uke, in front of the whole class, made sure that everyone knew that I got the technique wrong.....what in the world did I do.......I thanked him and said out loud, "well, that surely didn't work, I need to try it a different way."
I'd like to start this blog off apologizing in advance. My intention is not to offend anyone or point the finger at anyone, just something I've been focusing on for a while now.
Aikido is a martial art and as one, one of the foundation of it is physical. That means you need to be in shape. I see way to many aikido sensei's that are over weight, that smoke or drink...they get up in front of the class and set the example, and it's not a good one!
On one occasion, I went to a seminar, and the first thing the instructor did after class was to light up a cigarette and invite everyone to drink. I watched an aikido demonstration, on another occasion, the the instructor was just way over weight!
Can you do 100 pushups or a 100 pull ups, jog 3 miles comfortably? Being in shape is a very important factor in our health and in our ability to perform the techniques of Aikido effectively.
If you're not in shape, Aikido is a wonderful tool to get into shape, as long as you're not the teacher...because most of the time they're just walking around telling everyone else what to do...
Consider most importantly your diet. What you eat is very important for overall health. Alcohol consumption, caffeine, sugary foods, these are not your friend.
Please comment below, What are you doing to become healthier, stronger and better at Aikido?
One, Two, Three....Three things you should never do in class because it makes you look stupid! That's right, plain out, STUPID!!!
The first thing you should never do, which by far makes you look the stupidest of all, is to never, ever in your right mind, ever try to teach someone that's been doing Aikido longer than you have, even if you know they're doing it wrong. It could be that your partner, that's been taking Aikido longer than you have, is just focusing on something else and, needs the space to experiment. It could be that your partner just had a bad day and is not totally with it, and you need to just keep quite and respect them by letting them work it out. It could be that your partner that's been doing Aikido Longer than you have, just had a brain fart, realizes it, as long as you are attacking in a sincere way, and wants to move on. It could be that your Partner that's been doing Aikido longer than you is not being attacked, by you, in a sincere way....So many, "It could be that your partner, that's been doing Aikido longer than you have....."
Why don't you come up with a few and post them in the comments.
The second thing you should never do in an Aikido Class is try and hold your fart.....I've tried it.....and.....guess what.....it just made it louder. Now a days, I step off to the side and try a silent, but deadly fart...you know, you relax your muscles, relax your stomach and let out the gas............hopefully no one is close enough to smell it. Y
Catchy title, isn't it. I thought it up on my way to the post office to mail some certificates to some students that recently got promoted to 5th Kyu.
So I guess by know you are wondering what they are, those "Untold Secrets of Aikido".........Well, I guess if I knew what they were, then they wouldn't be "Untold Secrets," now would they.
Even if they were the Secrets of Aikido, they wouldn't be secrets anymore, or if there were secret training methods to learn secret techniques, they wouldn't be a secret if they were taught or told, now would they.
And, the hardest thing in the world is to keep a secret!
Well, let me let you in on a secret.......there are no secrets. There are no methods better than others.
Like the famous story about a New York Business man that put out an add, that if a yogi could actually float he would give him a million dollars...from what I heard, people lined up around the building to prove that they could float and guess what ... no one actually could, "For Real."
But, let's add an interesting twist to that story. If the Yogi, could, really float, then what the hell does he need a million dollars for!
Put your mind into your training, seek for truth, justice and righteousness, give God all the credit and you'll be on that secret path to untold truths!
I stepped off the train onto the platform at ShinJuku Station, fighting through the crowd to get to the exit. My heart was racing, from a mixture of nervousness and excitement. I was on my way to my Aikido class at the world headquarters of Aikikai. A dojo headed by Kisshomaru Ueshiba, son of the founder of Aikido, Morihei Ueshiba.
It was a thirty minute walk to the dojo, which took me through the noisy pleasure district of ShinJuku. Lights and color flashing everywhere, street Yakuza ganges and huge tv screens mounted on buildings. It was always a rush walking along thousands of people to get to my destination.
On my way to and fro the dojo, I would always pass a small temple. I loved walking by this temple. It was always so peaceful, with a water fountain and a stone statue of a dragon. I would always feel like I went back in time a few hundred years and was the best preparation for my intense workouts at Honbu dojo.
Walking through the main entrance, the smell of Tatami would always fill my nostrils and images of the mat covered with canvas would always enter my mind. "Can't wait to get on the mat, " would always cross my thoughts, "All I have to do is change, now."
I'd walk up the three flights of stairs to make it to the men's changing room and change. Wondering who I would get to train with that day.
I would bow into the mat and sit there patiently waiting for class to begin, trying to relax and get my rest because I always knew what
Yep, remember that song! Well, I would like to just blog a little about how important it is to stay physical, like doing a bit extra. Like running a 5K every other day, or swimming a few laps in a pool, or even biking.
I've been keeping up with that kind of training on the side, and boy has it helped my Aikido. Not only do I feel much better everyday, but my mind is more clear. I can preceive the techniques much better and my ukes seem to be a bit more afraid of me.
I've finally got the details and the specifics ironed out for our trip to Japan, to visit the World Headquarters for Aikido at the dojo where the grandson of O'Sensei teaches.
It's so exciting to get to go and learn Aikido from the top Aikidoists in the world. I'm soo excited, and so is Mike and Chris.
I've planned it out so that we can train many hours a day, and be able to visit some wonderful historical places in and around Tokyo.
I used to walk to the honbu dojo (world headquarters) everyday. It was a 30 minute walk from Shinjuku station, everyday. That's a 1 hour round trip walk and worth every minute.
I used to pass a small temple on my way everyday. It has a beautiful statue of a dragon. It was my favorite spot to pass on my way to train. And boy would I train. I had some incredibly wonderful times at the Honbu Dojo, I have met some of the most incredible people while training there.
I remember one Friday night, Kisshomaru Ueshiba, son of the founder and late Dosshu, came up to me to show me kotegaeshi. He was already pretty old and I was worried I might hurt him in my attack, but attacked hard anyway. He threw me effortlessly, which was not so impressive to me anymore, but what truly impressed me, more than anything that I have every experienced in Aikido, was when he pinned me, it really felt like I had a ton of weight, and I mean a ton in pounds of pressure, smashing me to the mat. I thought this little old guy was going to put me throug