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jxa127's Blog Blog Tools Rating: Rate This Blog
Creation Date: 02-09-2005 01:53 PM
Blog Info
Status: Public
Entries: 109
Comments: 18
Views: 196,828

In General Report on the seminar with Ellis Amdur Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #84 New 03-01-2005 12:31 PM
The seminar at Itten Dojo with Ellis Amdur is over, and boy, am I sore!

Unlike the last seminar of his I attended, Ellis focused almost exclusively on atemi (with only a very brief mention of ukemi). That was just fine with me as I've struggled a bit to implement Ellis's suggestions for really integrating atemi practice with my regular aikido practice.

(If you'd like to read more about Ellis's approach to atemi, get his book, Dueling with O Sensei. I can't recommend it more highly.)

There was some new material that Ellis presented that complements his overall teachings on aikido. He's working on classifying aikido movements according to their particular vectors, of which there are five. Those vectors closely match the movements of the five pinning techniques, but also encompass the other aikido body movements (like tenkan) and atemi.

Ellis showed how to use uke's structure to guide and even give energy to strikes. He also consistently emphasized that there can be no technique without irimi. In fact, irimi and atemi are closely linked.

Ellis's overall approach to aikido technique was very positive and direct. He stated that each of us should have the attitude that our own bodies are perfect, and everyone who is shaped differently is a little deformed. By that he means that we should make our partners conform to our own body's strengths. If you're short and uke is tall, bring him down to your level.

I think I've captured the bulk of what I learned, but there was a lot of information presented and I'm still sorting through it mentally.

Itten dojo is a wonderful place to train. Bob Wolfe sensei and his students are uniformly friendly, welcoming, and helpful.

Ellis is a very approachable instructor and a friendly guy. He has a vast store of martial arts experience and a willingness to share it. I highly recommended attending any of his seminars.
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