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Keoni May's Blog Blog Tools Rating: Rate This Blog
Creation Date: 05-20-2007 08:47 PM
I have heard from people, who have not had any real life fighting experience, argue about pure Aikido vs. Atemi Aikido.

They equate pure dojo training, as real fighting experience. There also seems to be intellectuals who have not fought in the real world, who have convinced many others, that you don't need to train for the real world.

Those with real life experience, are portrayed as not knowing Aikido, as well as not knowing real life fighting.
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Status: Public
Entries: 8
Comments: 2
Views: 60,002

In General Back to class! Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #8 New 10-22-2010 06:49 PM
I returned to the Katsuo Watanabe Tomiki Aikido School operating out of the Westchester Community College located in Valhalla, New York.

My first class there proved that white belts can be dangerous. She was executing a technique and crash landed me onto the back of my head & neck. Whip-lash is an understatement.

By my third class, I had to stop, because my prosthetic leg broke its heel. Oddly enough, it was not as a result of practice. It was damaged walking down concrete steps.

I returned once again to see another white belt and developed a little fear of her. Only simple techniques would be practiced. Only techniques that I knew the expected outcomes.


Since I have retired, I have had a change of training philosophy mindset take place, and it was subconscious. I don't train as though people are trying to hurt or kill me any more.

I actually have time, to look at the minor details, that I have missed all of these years. It is like waking up and smelling the coffee.

I have been in a warrior mode for so long that I overlooked the fine points of my techniques. Now, techniques are actually improving.

I am still a brittle old man, in a young person's mind, who definitely knows his physical limitations. There are no questions about my limits any more. They are like highway lane markers these days.


I hurt my right wrist during Tuesday night practice. I made believe that it did not hurt, however, I will be missing Thursday's class because it still hurts.

There was a time, when I would have gone to class, with an injured wrist. Bones, joints, tendons, ligaments, and muscle don't heal very fast or well when you hit 60.

My practical training versus dojo training, comes into conflict from time-to-time, at the dojo. Shihan Watanabe sometimes gives me the look. He was taught by Tomiki and still follows his teaching. Old ways do not change with him, however the Shidokan does influence him from time-to-time.

Life changes and training has to change with it.


One Wednesday, I will go back to Shihan David Jones in New Rochelle, NY, for Ju Jitsu training with his hyperactive students. They can't seem to find their personal brakes and have the spirit of the Kami Kaze.

The last time I went to his class, his students were practicing their standing techniques, under the belief, that they could duplicate the speed of light. They definitely left the souls of their uke in the ground.


The strangest thing happened in class last night. For the first time in my life, I ran out of gas half way through the class.

My diet is going to have a thorough review. I did cut back on food after I retired, however, I didn't realize that my diet changed my energy.

I am still stuck in New York and can't move back to Hawaii, because of my lawsuits (ended my law enforcement career).

I am still able to workout, however, no where near my past performance.


My World Trade Center lawsuit has finally come closer to the end. One down and another to go before I go back home (Hawaii).


After a lengthy stay away from the dojo, I have returned, and found my new limitations. Physically, I can no longer turn in circles, without feeling pain in my right ankle, right knee, and left knee.

I still find that my growth in Aikido has far surpassed karate and kenpo. Jumping and wild twisting is permanently out.

My classes have been slow in progress, however, I am still learning a little more every time.

Age 61, left leg prosthesis, and right rebuilt broken ankle with metal hardware, what could get worse?

Practice has been rough, to say the least. My old teacher still scolds me just like I was a student back in 1959. I hope he gets a break with life.

He studied with Master Tomiki. Not too many people can check their geneaology to a Master.

YouTube is a good tool.

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