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"There is nothing more uncommon than common sense." - FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT
In Japan, I got to experience Aikido in a way that very, very few people around the world get to. I am so thankful for that, but the cost was very, very high.
I was a bit of a fanatic back then, I'd make the morning practice, and then usually the evening practice and I wasn't even an uchi deshi.
I enjoyed the mornings because Kisshomaru Ueshiba would usually teach. I met the most amazing people. It was funny because you'd enter the dojo, and the "Old Timers" with the most experience would always line up at the far left, then you had your hot shot, big ego guys on your far right, right next to the entrance. The guys on the left were always way too intense for me, and the guys on the right...well, I just wasn't there to compete. I'd tend to stay in the middle.
But then one night, one of my Aikido friends, he actually saved my life once (for real), introduced me to a man that always sat way, way on the left, and that changed my life.
I really didn't believe in Aikido until he threw me (you know Aikido would never work in an MMA match. ) After training with him for over 10 years (until we parted ways), again, I feel like I got to experience Aikido in a way very, very few people get to, and again the cost was very high.
I guess being independently wealthy has it's benefits...
Anyway, to get back to my point in all of this, never settle for less than the best no matter the cost, a
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?
Aikido is a very simple and easy art to learn. I believe that you can learn all the techniques in one day.
Let's see, Ikkyo through Gokkyo are pretty much exactly the same except for the ending. Iriminage and Kotegaeshi are exactly the same except for the body part that the technique is being applied to. Then, you have shihonage, Kaitenage, which are a little bit different, but not by much. then kokyu nage and tenchi nage's difference is so slight, dropping one arm on the latter.
Koshinage, that's in every technique...
OK, so I strongly believe that you can learn every technique of Aikido on one day! BUT, learning the techniques, and being able to apply the techniques to an attack, now that's a totally different monster. That might take a bit longer. And I think that getting your black belt, definitely doesn't mean that you can do that...
OK, so a friend called me up and said that he saw this video on youtube that proved that Aikido doesn't work for real.
Can you believe that! Aikido doesn't work. Darn, I've been doing Aikido since I was 20 years old, martial arts since I was 5 years old, and to find out that I've wasted 26 years studying Aikido because it doesn't work.
Well, like I tell my students all the time. The art doesn't make the man, the man makes the art. So, ask yourself (if you're studying Aikido, that is), "Does Aikido work for me?" and if it doesn't, what do you need to do to make it work!
Anyhow, though Aikido is a martial art and should be an effect tool for self defense, it's also for physical and spiritual development, that means that you may be using it as a tool to grow spiritually, so then, it works for you.....
So, here is the second video to our Day 2 Aikido Demonstration at the Japan Festival:
I'm giving an Aikido Demonstration at the Japan Festival this year and decided to have all of the students give a quick speech answering the question, how does Aikido Challenge you. I guess I'll have to give a small talk about that as well....
Aikido challenges me to take a deep look at myself, my shortcomings, my weaknesses and work on them. What I am doing and how am I moving? How is that movement affecting my uke? What am I doing wrong?
I find that when I'm getting frustrated with uke, it's really me that needs work. I think it's only taken me about 20 years to figure that out!