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I had put other posts on the guidelines here, but this one had too many links and pictures. I explored the guidelines for aikido practice for myself as I came to see them as a definition of aikido as the founder wanted it to be.
Some of the guidelines were the same through different translations, but the different translations varied widely on this topic.
Basics are not uniform. While many Yudansha from different associations and lineages have comparable abilities, I came to see beginners in the various associations are offered very different basic practices.
Solo practices are common or even mandatory in some styles; my Aikikai lineage focused more on partner practice. Seiza, Shikko, and Ukemi are important practices - but potentially harmful.
Warmups are not uniformly codified, and in my experience not even uniformly done.
Taiji is taught in several health care facilities in my area, including the cancer center where I work. Aikido doesn't have the same volume of data to support it's use in health care. I love what Janet Rosen has been working on!
My Taiji class has people in wheelchairs, on oxygen tanks, and attached to IV poles participating. The aikido dojo where I train has turned away students for much, much less. How are students with health challenges training in your own dojos?
Are we living up to the promise of O Sensei - "You won't find a healthie
"The teachings of one's instructors are only to provide a minimum of assistance; applying these through one's own training is the only means of making these teachings one's own." From the 1997 issue of "The Aikido" by Aikido world headquarters in Tokyo. Volume 34, #4. (Really, from the walls of the men's change room at our dojo.)
"The instructor can only impart a small portion of the teaching; only through ceaseless training can you obtain the necessary experience allowing you to bring these mysteries alive. Hence, do not chase after many techniques; one by one, make each technique your own." Budo
"The teachings of your instructor constitute only a small fraction of what you will learn. Your mastery of each movement will depend almost entirely on individual, earnest practice." Aikido
Kisshomaru Ueshiba expounds on this in Aikido:
"The fourth rule relates to the assimilation of techniques. Aikido has a few thousand variations in its techniques. Some students are apt to chase after an accumulation of quantity rather than quality. However when they look back on themselves, they are sorry to learn that they have gained nothing. Soon they lose interest. As innumerable variations of each technique are possible we instructors always emphasize the significance of "repetition" to beginners. When you practice each basic technique, over and over again, you master it and then are able to use the variations."
"When the Founder first came to Tokyo, among his ea
"Always train in a vibrant and joyful manner." Budo
"Practice at all times with a feeling of pleasurable exhilaration." Kisshomaru Ueshiba's Aikido
"Training must always be performed in an enjoyable manner." From the 1997 issue of "The Aikido" by Aikido world headquarters in Tokyo. Volume 34, #4. (Really, from the walls of the men's change room at our dojo.)
Unlike some of the other Rules, all the translations seem to be on the exact same page this time. We're making a commitment to being in the same room at the same time for multiple days a week, doing the same stuff with the same people. Why shouldn't we actually Not hate the experience?
We come to the martial arts promised a life changing experience. Most of us are hoping this will become a "way of life" - something we do more often, something we think about more often, want to feel more often to the exclusion of many experiences life could offer us. We're hoping to commit to a practice that pervades and influences the quality of our lives, for the rest of our lives. We are hoping this life changing experience doesn't change our lives negatively. And we should. We don't want a practice that robs us of our enjoyment of life.
I've been to the dojo where angry sanctions against a student for minor infractions are the rule and not the exception, and everyone is always on eggshells. Psychological and physical abuse is considered mandatory - usually by people who "already paid their dues" so they h
This is on the second of O Sensei's guidelines for practice. It is the most concrete, and one of the only defining traits that answers what "is/is not Aikido." I did publish a piece in my personal blog with a number of pictures comparing jujigatame and Ikkyo pins, but I can't figure out how to attach the pics here. The original is at http://john-hillson.blogspot.com/2015/10/the-one-that-extends-to-infinite.html
I'm just putting this here as I would like a conversation about these items. I trained for years before learning about these Rules for Practice. I don't see them discussed much. Like many of O Sensei's writings, they may in fact not be his. I still try to learn from them.
"Aikido is based on the Way of One which extends to the Infinite - practice should always be performed not only concentrating on one's front, but while keeping aware of all sides at all times." From the 1997 issue of "The Aikido" by Aikido world headquarters in Tokyo. Volume 34, #4. (Really, from the walls of the men's change room at our dojo.)
"Aikido is an art where one person learns to face many opponents simultaneously. It therefore requires that you polish and perfect your execution of each movement so that you can take on not only the one directly before you but also those approaching from every direction." Aikido
"Bujutsu is an art in which the one is used to strike the many. Therefore, train yourself to always be mindful of, and alert to, opponents in the four and th
This is the first of six items from my own blog. I am unlingual and unable to read the original Japanese text identified as O Sensei's Rules for Practice. I also have less of a background than many of the people on this site. I would be grateful for any feedback or insights.
I had been training for several years before I bought my first copy of O Sensei's Budo. There was a one page list of called Precautions for Training that I had not seen before. Later on, I found the same list of six items in Kisshomaru Doshu's Aikido, this time called Rules for Practice. It's the term I became most familiar with, so I'll be referring to the Rules from here on even though Precautions might be the better translation. Eventually I started to think of Guidelines.
The dojo where I train now has a third version of the Rules from an Aikikai Hombu newsletter with similar items worded differently. I don't see the Rules getting much attention, and every copy I find seems to have the second Doshu's name closely associated with it. Budo itself was written very soon after the split between Morihei Ueshiba and his Daito Ryu teacher, but well before any of the fractures in Aikido itself developed, and before the name Aikido was even coined.
The Rules were of limited benefit for me to give to beginners for practice. It's not a "no chewing gum in class" kind of list. It didn't touch on any of the long list of things like who sat where, or how to wear a gi, or when to bow, or how to
Aikido is a relatively young art, but has a huge broad base. Morihei Ueshiba had many contemporaries and many students. He had difficulty sharing his full vision of his art, and so many of his students developed their own methods of communicating what they learned and what they felt was important. Ueshiba had many influences: from the Koryu world of Sokaku Takeda; to the rational dissemination and preservation of skills of Jigoro Kano; to the military machines of his day that wanted methods to create/regurgitate entire battalions in the shortest possible time; to his religion that criticized his government, his emperor and the war; to the consequences of the Battle of the Pacific and Japan's surrender; to the opening of his legacy to the entire planet under multiple generations of students.
I started training in a small dojo, the only dojo for the entire province of Saskatchewan. Aikido did not exist until you reached Winnepeg to the east, or Calgary and Edmonton to the west. If there were schools in North Dakota and Montana, the Canadian and American economies were such that I seldom travelled south of the border. Going north, the nearest dojo I would have found was likely in the U.S.S.R.
There were two Shodan and two Ikkyu instructors, and a couple of fourth Kyu who trained me for my 5th Kyu test. They were everything Aikido to me. They had their disagreements and didn't perform their techniques all the same way. I ask many questions and I am a challenging