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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!
Was thinking about titling this blog entry, I'll Be Back, but then realized that won't work, because I am back. Wow, it's been 7 years since my last blog post. that's 7 more years of Aikido without posting about it. That means I must have a lot saved up to talk about. I've seen so much and experienced so much. I've been to a few seminars, and amazingly I'm still learning more and more. I must be getting stronger cause the other day I was able to pull of 200 pull ups, not all at once, but all with in 30 minutes.
I look forward to writing about all the wonderful things and changes that have occurred in my Aiki-life.
One, Two, Three....Three things you should never do in class because it makes you look stupid! That's right, plain out, STUPID!!!
The first thing you should never do, which by far makes you look the stupidest of all, is to never, ever in your right mind, ever try to teach someone that's been doing Aikido longer than you have, even if you know they're doing it wrong. It could be that your partner, that's been taking Aikido longer than you have, is just focusing on something else and, needs the space to experiment. It could be that your partner just had a bad day and is not totally with it, and you need to just keep quite and respect them by letting them work it out. It could be that your partner that's been doing Aikido Longer than you have, just had a brain fart, realizes it, as long as you are attacking in a sincere way, and wants to move on. It could be that your Partner that's been doing Aikido longer than you is not being attacked, by you, in a sincere way....So many, "It could be that your partner, that's been doing Aikido longer than you have....."
Why don't you come up with a few and post them in the comments.
The second thing you should never do in an Aikido Class is try and hold your fart.....I've tried it.....and.....guess what.....it just made it louder. Now a days, I step off to the side and try a silent, but deadly fart...you know, you relax your muscles, relax your stomach and let out the gas............hopefully no one is close enough to smell it. Y
Catchy title, isn't it. I thought it up on my way to the post office to mail some certificates to some students that recently got promoted to 5th Kyu.
So I guess by know you are wondering what they are, those "Untold Secrets of Aikido".........Well, I guess if I knew what they were, then they wouldn't be "Untold Secrets," now would they.
Even if they were the Secrets of Aikido, they wouldn't be secrets anymore, or if there were secret training methods to learn secret techniques, they wouldn't be a secret if they were taught or told, now would they.
And, the hardest thing in the world is to keep a secret!
Well, let me let you in on a secret.......there are no secrets. There are no methods better than others.
Like the famous story about a New York Business man that put out an add, that if a yogi could actually float he would give him a million dollars...from what I heard, people lined up around the building to prove that they could float and guess what ... no one actually could, "For Real."
But, let's add an interesting twist to that story. If the Yogi, could, really float, then what the hell does he need a million dollars for!
Put your mind into your training, seek for truth, justice and righteousness, give God all the credit and you'll be on that secret path to untold truths!
I stepped off the train onto the platform at ShinJuku Station, fighting through the crowd to get to the exit. My heart was racing, from a mixture of nervousness and excitement. I was on my way to my Aikido class at the world headquarters of Aikikai. A dojo headed by Kisshomaru Ueshiba, son of the founder of Aikido, Morihei Ueshiba.
It was a thirty minute walk to the dojo, which took me through the noisy pleasure district of ShinJuku. Lights and color flashing everywhere, street Yakuza ganges and huge tv screens mounted on buildings. It was always a rush walking along thousands of people to get to my destination.
On my way to and fro the dojo, I would always pass a small temple. I loved walking by this temple. It was always so peaceful, with a water fountain and a stone statue of a dragon. I would always feel like I went back in time a few hundred years and was the best preparation for my intense workouts at Honbu dojo.
Walking through the main entrance, the smell of Tatami would always fill my nostrils and images of the mat covered with canvas would always enter my mind. "Can't wait to get on the mat, " would always cross my thoughts, "All I have to do is change, now."
I'd walk up the three flights of stairs to make it to the men's changing room and change. Wondering who I would get to train with that day.
I would bow into the mat and sit there patiently waiting for class to begin, trying to relax and get my rest because I always knew what
I like shihonage. The idea is to learn to protect yourself all around on every corner.
Is it possible? To create a technique so powerful that you are protected all around all the time.
Trying to develop this kind of technique over the years has taught me many humbling lessons.
Shihonage is one of the more difficult techniques to perform with multiple attackers. It's much easier to perform kokyunage, or tenchinage, or ikkyo kokyunage. It's hard getting around the idea of having to turn your back when you have more than one person attacking.
The funny thing, is that when it is performed correctly, Uke, or your attacker is the one protecting you!
Last week we got together for a little physical training and enjoy a wonderful evening watching the Golden Dragon Acrobats.
I think a few of the students realized how easy it is to get out of shape and how important it is to get a physical fitness program going.
We only did about 50 pushups, 50 situps, 50 back extensions and a two mile jog/walk, then we did a few sprints up a hill.
The training was simple, just some pushups, situps, back extensions a jog and a few sprints. Nothing special, nothing extravagant, no wild names like tae bo, pilates, Yoga...just your basic thing that could get kind of boring, but what I've discovered is that when you are in the company of friends, even the most mundane boring task can be fun!
The Golden Dragon Acrobats are truly amazing! I wonder if it would be more fun to try that out than to do Aikido?!?!?Maybe not.....Don't think my body can do what they can!
Erik Calderon, Vinny Nguyen and Rafael Garcia from left to right
When I was 13 years old, my dad shipped me off to military school. I went to MMA, Marine Military Academy in Harlengen, TX. It was, and I believe, still is, an incredible school. I learned all about discipline and physical fitness.
I went in weighting 90 pounds, three months later I weighed in at 140 pounds and I was able to do 150 push ups in a row under 2 mins.
We had a physical fitness test "PFT" every three months, if I remember correctly...
We would jog every morning, together. It was awesome. So awesome that I'm deciding to require students of mine to undergo a PFT, physical fitness test in order to proceed with rank.
I think the Aikido training in itself is enough to get one in shape, but the running, push ups, pull ups, and sit ups just makes the training a bit more exciting. And best of all, the Army has an incredible website with all kinds of awesome guidelines for the Physical Fitness Test.
Tomorrow is our first PFT training at Memorial Park....I wonder if anyone will show up!
Here's another video - I sure am having fun making these.....