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Home > Columns > AaaRk Sensei > January, 2007 - O-Sensei Meets an Eager Student

O-Sensei Meets an Eager Student by AaaRk Sensei

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Ueshiba Sensei, to prepare for his Mongolian trek with Onisaburo Deguchi, decided to test his mettle with Nobu Shirase's expedition to Antarctica.

Shirase's group immediately ran into trouble, which is understandable considering they thought they were going to Southern California. Trapped by a sudden blizzard, Ueshiba was separated from the expedition. As the snow piled up around him, he started his misogi and began chanting to Ame-no-Tajikara-o.

A little distance off, Byrd Sensei was taking a break from the philophical discussion underway in his Winter huddle. He heard the near Penguin-like squawks of the chant. Beguiled by the heavenly warble, Byrd was drawn out to the storm, where he found a near-frozen Ueshiba. Bringing him back to the huddle, they pushed O-Sensei into the middle, concentrating enough heat to thaw him out.

Ueshiba was a curious looking bird; no beak to speak of, no feathers, knees way too high, and very little by way of adipose beauty. But he was charming and genteel, so the rookery took to him right away.

After the storm, in gratitude, O-Sensei taught byrd a modified way of Aiki, which he called "Aiki-cccAAAwWkk", but Bird suggest he shorten it to Aikido. So skillful was Byrd that O-Sensei made him a Shihan on the spot, although, being the only Aikidoka on the continent helped a bit.

Ueshiba made the summer trek with the males of the colony and got back to the Ross sea, much to the amazement of Shirase.

Byrd Sensei developed a waddling style of Aikido, with an absurdly low center. No thumbs, so no weapons; we do have a mean beak kata, though. The circular part was easy, as we are naturally round. He modified the suwari-waza techniques for us as it is much more efficient for us to slide on our bellies. (As a side note, penguins do have knees.) We've also developed some fun underwater group katas.

Antarctica Aikikai still has fine relations with Hombu Dojo. The 10 tons of shrimp we send annually surely helps.

We continue to run our classes based on the plan of the Winter Circle. In order to survive the worst part of the winter, we all gather together in a big huddle, which naturally forms a circle. The middle can reach a balmy 60 degrees F! No one is left out and everyone gets their turn in the warm center point. But this only happens because everyone also spends some time on the cold, clod outer rim. Sort of a social In/Yo. You give a little; you get a little, and everyone works together.

I was asked to give our Memphis Lady's Junior League Cheese Cake recipe. Unfortunately, the American Heart Association says we're not allowed to. It's great for Penguins, but perhaps not so great for humans. It starts with a stick of butter, a cup and a half of sugar, four eggs and two pounds of cream cheese! We add krill, of course.

Robert from Austin, TX:
Brrrr, it's a might chilly down here! Come on out to Texas and we'll put on some barbecue to warm you up!

AaaRk: Well, OK, but only because I need to increase my fine attractive layer of fat for the coming summer months. Now, if only Texas had beer.
Steve from Northampton, England:
Brilliant! And here's me trying to come up with some way of making Aikido sound interesting - I think I'll give up now and try laying on some more blubber. All the best - Steve

AaaRk: Good Man! Blubber is God's gift against the cold (and very attractive to the opposite sex).
Andrew from Calgary, Alberta, Canada:
Greeting from the Great White North.

Our thoughts are with you. Our igloo dojo has survived another summer although the mats did require some snow removal during the July blizzard.

Be strong, throw long, and visualize flight.

Polar Bear Dojo

AaaRk: Be Soft, thrown down and visualize crashing into a pile of gull guano.

Robert from Germany / Karlsruhe:
...Which kind of Fish are your favourite choice ? For best flood of Pengi- Ki.

AaaRk: Hey Robert, you really can't beat a pile of krill, a keg of beer, and perhaps a pizza, when you can get them to deliver it 9365 miles from Goodfellow's in Staten Island.
Rachel from somewhere in Cyberspace:
Penguin Rondori?
Finding one's chick in a crowd.
Practice from birth then?
AaaRk: Hey Rachel,
Too many syllables
Not Rachel from Cyberspace
Have a beer on us.

Do you have a question you would like answered by AaaRk sensei? If so, contact him by e-mail!

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