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I went on Saturday and Sunday to study at the Institute of Zen Studies (izs.org). They have Aikido on Saturday morning, and Iaido on Sunday morning. The Aikido looks Ki Society-ish but with a bit more in the way of application. The Iaido students looked very serious and impressive.
I'm really excited about this place because the instruction is solid, and because they are interested in sitting zazen, as well as tying Aikido and hara development to your state of mind in your daily life. Unfortunately, class is way early in the morning, and I would need to buy an iaito.
"You don't need to think about how that is/is done/will be done/works, etc."
"You don't need to worry about how that is/is done/will be done/works, etc."
Is there anything more demeaning than that?
Or things like..
"Its a business concern, you don't need to think about that"
That's the modern day equivalent to "don't worry your pretty little head about that" and is likewise a matter of control and serves only to remove ownership.
How is the relevant to Aikido? "Trust sensei without question" is along those same lines. It is one thing to acknowledge that one may not have the background to understand what is going on, it is another to also them to decide to avoid giving the background, or at least to delineate it.
Why should one trust someone who doesn't trust you? I guess they could ask me the same question, eh? So how does trust ever begin?
I went to the Aikido Ohana Friday night.. Firstly, they have a really nice space to practice in. Secondly, they are very informal and friendly.
I saw a beginner's class. That is exactly like what I would like to see in other dojos (a lot like what I saw as a beginner in Pittsburgh, although that was concurrent, not serial).
I also happened to be there when this Japanese shihan (Yamashima-sensei and two others of some high rank, Yamaguchi-sensei, and another I can't recall) was there for a seminar. Apparently, he'll be traveling around Hawaii going to dojos all this week. Perhaps I should buy a gi and get on the mat.
It was very interesting to see how people took a seminar over here, vs. on the mainland. In addition, I got to see many of the other senior Aikido people from the island and to watch them interact and observe their techniques.
One thing I noticed here - ukes move a lot, nages don't move much at all. In addition, not so much atemi. Also, lots of on the mat casual instruction, and a lot more informality.
I went to Kane'ohe Aikido Club last night... Seemed like a nice enough place, but it was all kids, with adults instructing them. Not really a place that I can get much out of until I have kids. Next dojo..?
If I had sufficient skill, here's how I would teach aikido. All comments are welcome.
Stage 1: Ki and kokyu ryoku
Goal: Develop and condition internal body skills
Means: aiki taiso and breathing exercises
Explanantion: Think Mike Sigman, Dan Harden, Rob John, Akuzawa.
Stage 2: Applying internal body skills
Goal: Applying the skills of Stage 1
Means: ki tests
Explanantion: Stuff like grounding a push, push/pull someone with the rowing exercise, tenkan from a wrist grab, etc.
Stage 3: Aikido kata
Goal: Learning the martial/aikido principles inherent in Stage 2
Means: Basic aikido curriculum
This is not about techniques! Aihanmi katate dori irimi nage is not a technique. The katate dori is the starting position. The irimi nage is a throwing principle: unbalance partner to the rear and cut him down. Ironically, if you fail to unbalance your partner at first contact (as learned in the Stage 2) there is little use for the actual irimi nage...
Stage 4: Aikido waza
Goal: Learning the applications of the principles/ideas
Means: More dynamic and free practice of the basic aikido curriculum
Use your understanding of the principles of Stage 3 to create techniques in a more dynamic environment. Irimi nage may not look like the standard irimi nage, but the principle needs to be present. This Stage still uses the uke-tori type of interaction.
Stage 5: Randori
Goal: Learning how to use aikido waza in a dynamic, alive, resisting envir