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03-16-2002, 03:09 PM

Today I went to an Aikido training seminar, for the very first time. :)
I've been training in the Art for almost 10 months now, but it kinda freaked me out to attend a class with hundreds of other students from all over the country, and in a completely foreign dojo. Actually, it wasn't really a dojo, no dojo can take so many people, we used the indoor basketball course of this very luxurious health club. The tatami that was brought was VERY hard, so, for the first few minutes, everybody hurt themselves performing ukemis. :dead:
We trained for two hours and a half, which to me seemed considerable, considering that I usually train for one hour, three times a week. But it felt great afterwards. It's very beneficial to train with people you've never met. But thank the gods my sensei was the one giving the seminar (after all, he's the one who has firmly established Aikido in the country).
We did the three main Jo katas (which was a rather funny experience because there was very little space for us AND our weapons, and we kept bumping into each other), various types of irimi nage and kokyu ho, tsuki kote gaeshi with and without the Jo, and some suwari waza.
Time went by very quickly, it was exhausting overall, but it was also very exciting.
Just felt like sharing my first seminar experience. :D
But we still have tomorrow! :eek: I'll tell you all about it later.
After the reception of course! ;)


The Glade

03-18-2002, 09:36 PM
Hello Mona

I'm glad that you enjoyed the seminar and that you learned lots. These seminars are fantastic to get some intensive training and to share the practice of aikido with different students form different schools.

I'm looking forward to a 4 day intensive seminar over the easter break. Its going to be about 15 hours over the 4 days with all sessions being instructed by a visiting 7th Dan.

All the best for your training

03-19-2002, 01:34 AM
Hello Mona!

I'm also glad you enjoyed your first seminar. Maybe your post encourages others to also visit their first seminar, wouldn't that be great?

I also, like Mayland, look foreward to attend a four day seminar (will be very intense, too) over the easter break (mine will be in England) with a 5th dan. I think what keeps me going to seminars is, besides the fact that you can learn a lot, the very special atmosphere at such a seminar.

Wishing you many enjoyable seminars,


03-19-2002, 03:37 AM
Just HAVE to join in the chorus.... I too look forward to a seminar during easter (Here in Denmark). Six days, 29 hours on the mat, 7. dan instructor from Japan and perhaps up to 300 people on the mat in the last couple of days. All this within a one hour drive from my parents place, so I can go sleep in a real bed and see my wife and kids when I'm not flippling around in the dojo. :D

03-19-2002, 05:32 AM
Thanks for your encouragement!

We only had a two-day seminar and my body aches everywhere and I've got tons of bruises. I survived, but, during regular class yesterday, couldn't "produce" much "kime". We were all very tired and Sensei took pity on us by giving us only 'soft' things to do.

But...4 and 6-day seminars?


After reading your posts I suddenly feel in better shape. :p

In Aiki,

Harmony Club, Aikikai of Lebanon

03-19-2002, 05:39 AM
Originally posted by Simone
Maybe your post encourages others to also visit their first seminar, wouldn't that be great?

I think what keeps me going to seminars is, besides the fact that you can learn a lot, the very special atmosphere at such a seminar.

You're right, Simone (lovely name, btw).
Unfortunately, not everyone went to the seminar. BUT..There were Judokas, Karatetkas and Taekwandoists practicing with us in the seminar and guess what? Some of them have now taken up Aikido. Now THAT'S good news! :)

~ Mona

03-19-2002, 07:19 AM
Hi Mona,

Welcome to the world of rolling out of bed in the morning and wondering where all the bruises came from!

Most of the national Aikido organizations hold some sort of Summer Camp, usually lasting a week. At first you think that you will not survive another minute, but somewhere around the third day, it becomes much easier. You are not going to work, or dressing up; you're not fighting traffic jams or rushing off to lunch. You discover how much of your daily energy is spent just on living in modern society. Around the fifth day, you dread the idea of going back to work and leaving all your new friends. On the last day, you're already making arrangements to come back for next years camp.

Love your dojo web page, by the way. It has a lighter touch than most. (Not quite as light as mine, but few do!
(Antarctica Aikikai http://home.earthlink.net/~jimbaker6/aa/index.htm)

Have fun!

Jim Baker

03-19-2002, 07:53 AM
After a four day seminar, all the bruises meld into one big head to toe bruise and everything below my eyebrows seizes up.

But hey its all worth it cause I actually learn heaps :)

I can certainly echo those feelings, Jim. At then end of the seminar you wish there was more mat time with Sensei. Its kinda the inevitable having to go back to work the following week.

Well its looking forward to the next seminar.

03-19-2002, 08:56 AM
Hello Mona, hello all your others!

It's great that there seems to be the same special spirit in all the seminars all over the world!

My organization also helds a week long summer camp every year. At the second and third day you barely can't move because of the sore muscles, but in the end it's always too short and everyone longs for next years summer camp. Some people do really camping, with tents and so on, last year in the lake district (UK) it rained all the week and the year before in Brussels, too. This year we will be in France, next to Freiburg and the german border. This is almost a guarantee for nice warm sunny weather.

Most of the bruises I had when I was second kyu. We wear colored belts and 2nd kyu is blue. So maybe there's a correlation? Since I'm shodan, I noticed that bruises are almost an exception now, maybe this indicates improvement in my Aikido?

Mona, I'm glad you like my name. It's the female version of Simon and it's (I think) hebrew, meaning "God has listened". What I value in this forum here is that there are Aikidoka from all over the world contributing. Thanks Jun!

Best regards,


03-19-2002, 02:25 PM
Originally posted by Simone

Mona, I'm glad you like my name. It's the female version of Simon and it's (I think) hebrew, meaning "God has listened". What I value in this forum here is that there are Aikidoka from all over the world contributing. Thanks Jun!

Yep, thanks Jun! :)

Simone is indeed of Hebrew origin, it means "obedient" and refers to someone who is "cautious" and who "cannot remain idle".
Now that's good for an Aikidoka! ;)

Bruce Baker
03-19-2002, 02:26 PM
I love going to seminars! Not only do you get a different slant on the same old thing in a new light, but the variety of new people who have fun riding the waves of energy of a technique, but just the pure joy of practice is so invigorating!

There is the drawback of wrestling mats that are very hard from lack of use and materials that harden as they grow old or cold? With these types of situations you should learn to use quiet/softer falls instead of loud thumpers that shake the ground. You will find that being able to do softer falls, rolls, and keeping your techniques in a tighter circle in group practice will facilitate less accidental bumps and crashes? When you move to the outter edges of the mat for line throws, the large circle and a gentler throw in line practice a blessing for an easier recovery on hard mats.

I know how impressive people want to be who are under two hundred pounds with breakfalls that make a lot of noise, or are large circles with the hands and feet taking the brunt of impact, but on those hard mats? NO WAY!!

Believe it or not, I have found that if the noise of the fall or roll is louder than the snap of the fingers, it creates some kind of pain to shorten my practice ... of course one hour for me is like four or five hours to a normal person, but that is another story.

I am glad you had fun. I know I am not having fun unless I am tapping from a finishing technique, and laughing when I get up to do more! I just love it when that feeling of uke and nage in harmony from beginning to end ... like riding a wave from way out and ending up on the beach by running off the board at the end!

Haven't done that since before kids and marriage over twenty years ago ... no wonder aikido is such fun.

03-19-2002, 11:50 PM
Hi Mona!

Thank you for the explanation of my name.
There seems to be some truth in: I really cannot remain idle. And that's definitely good for an Aikidoka. Not only during training, but also when e.g. organizing of our christkindl course has to be done. You always need people who are not idle. But you know this, you maintain your organizations web site.You've done a good job!


03-20-2002, 03:51 AM
wait till you have a seminar with people from other coutries.... :)