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Bob suggested that ASAP I should start a saturday class. I quite like the idea it has to be said but my ideas on what should be taught are not quite mainstream.
Sensei has plans to establish our dojo within the Aikido world and Bob and I think we can do better than that. Actually Bob and I think that if Aikido is going to survive we have to do better than that.
I don't see what future there is in Aikido if the demographics stay as they are, assuming that the demographics are uniform across Aikido. Fifty year old shodans and seventy year old yondans teaching kyu grades in their 40's isn't going to cut it at some point the art will become an irrelevence or die of old age.
I would actually say that Aikido is becoming an irrelvence in the martial arts; we live in a MMA and internet dominated environment if we don't engage with that reality then we cease to have relevence in the eyes of propective students and I want to change that.
What I want to do is take the syllabus and defenestrate it and teach oyo waza from day one from punches and kicks so that from day one people can see the relevence of Aikido and once they see that then we can bring in the traditional syllabus because then people will have a reason to learn it.
Then I want to go out there and bounce thai boxers around like rag dolls, which isn't difficult, and when we're finished with them I want to see if we can't stuff the BJJ guys too and you know what that means.
So my Aikido life seems to revolve around getting our 6th kyus up to 5th kyu which I'm finding rewarding and very good training actually. I didn't realise I knew so much and they're learning far more at 5th kyu than I did mainly because I just teach them what I do so they're kinda being forced to go from 6th kyu to 1st kyu and because I can teach how I want I teach the principles rather than the technique and progress seems to be rapid at the moment.
That and I'm a nit picking perfectionist.
We seem to be doing a lot of suwari waza and hamni handachi too and weirdly my knees aren't suffering for it like they used to. In fact my old knee injury which has plauged me for years appears to have vanished so maybe suwari waza has toughened something up or massaged something or I dunno. I'm just glad its gone.
In other news Sensei has had the bright idea of putting on a course which true to the traditions of the dojo is truely epic in scope as in if you're in the UK or maybe even Europe and you're associated with Aikikai hombu you'll probably want to be there.
As we were getting changed he said to me "Do you think we should make it regional, national or international" and my response was "We should go mental and see what happens." We already have one VERY senior person onboard so hopefully we can get more.
Sensei was talking about whether he should have a teaching slot and to my mind the hosting dojo not having a slot would be a rather weird thing. On the other h
Things are looking up. We have lots more victims coming through the doors and people are turning up to training so maybe we've turned the corner.
I still think we're doing things wrong though; not just our dojo but Aikido as a whole or at the very least our association.
On the teachers course I did a couple of months ago the instructor said that when people first come to a dojo they expect to see martial artists which kinda tallies with my experience and it sounds like common sense doesn't it?
I remember when I first started out in martial arts, when I went to the dojo for the first time what I expected to see was a fight and sure enough in TKD and Jujutsu and kickboxing at some point there would be actual fighting and all throughout the class you were doing stuff that you could see was related to fighting.
We don't have that in Aikido. If you stick to our syallabus you could train for a year before someone throws a not very realistic punch at you; I don't think tsuki is on the syllabus until 4th kyu and this I feel is a real issue.
If a student goes to any other martial art they'll have someone throw a punch at them almost from day one, with the possible exception of judo. Immediately then they see the value of the training, they can see that even if they can't do the technique effectively that at some point they will be able to and they will be able to deal with this situation.
In Aikido what we're worried about is someone grabbing our wrist and we quite