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I've been thinking a lot about why I am addicted to aikido. Why does it draw me back again? Why am I willling to shake up my life, aquire an ever-changing collection of bruises, sore and strained muscles, and mystify/dismay my christian friends by investing my time in attempting to master this art?
I think what I am coming to, at least in part, is a realization that Aikido offers me a time of meditation that is physical and dynamic. On the mat, I am completely focused on the present. My mind is so much more focused, and I leave the dojo often with a clearer mental attitude.
Also, I live so much in my head, that I often treat my body as if it were not part of ME. This is also, I think, a consequence of being a cancer surivor. I still don't trust my body very much -- often it feels like its out to get me. Ok that sounds psychotic, but it's kind of true. Aikido brings me to a place of joy in my physical body; a kind of reconcilliation...
John 15:5 (The Message)
The Message (MSG)
5-8"I am the Vine, you are the branches. When you're joined with me and I with you, the relation intimate and organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant. Separated, you can't produce a thing. Anyone who separates from me is deadwood, gathered up and thrown on the bonfire. But if you make yourselves at home with me and my words are at home in you, you can be sure that whatever you ask will be listened to and acted upon. This is how my Father shows
Capture the center, lead low, cut down with extension, but don't give up your center.
I have a feeling this is going to become my mantra...
Ikiyo was familiar (Katatedori Ikkyo omote). Nikkyo (start with Katatedori Ikkyo then shift to nikkyo) felt really strange until I realized I could also do it resting uke's knuckles on my coller, then it was a piece of cake. I guess I had always practiced it that way in years gone by. Kokkyo (uke grabbs one hand with both hands)-- I have to say it is way easier with a jo. Empty handed, I know it's the same, but I have a harder time taking uke's balance.
And the associated pins (excepting Kokkyu, of course). Take out the slack, THEN apply torque from MY center -- DO NOT LEAN OUT OF BALANCE!
Ok, so the good thing about being the only student who shows up for class -- you get to train one-on one with sensei.
The bad thing about being the only student who shows up for class -- you get to train one-on-one with sensei.