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So my friend gets thrown and he takes ukemi, gets up, picks the other guy up and has him across his shoulders in kata guruma.
The instructor then informs my friend that he'd lost because he landed on his back when he took ukemi.
"Oh. Right. Sorry" says my friend and shrugs. The thump was loud.
I can see why bushi often thought of their weapons as being devine and having personalities.
Tonight we were doing jo awase and it wasn't going well for me at all, as in, I think I have a broken finger and I'll have a few welts tommorrow.
Then suddenly it occured to me that I just had to trust my jo, just let it do the work and I'd be ok, my jo acquired a personality and I trusted it. Suddenly the fear went.
Just after that it occured to me that I'd just had a mental conversation with a lump of wood and the fear came back.
The new question about hakama reminded me of an incident that happened a little over a year ago. A karate instructor joined our class.
A few of us were on the mat warming up when he comes out of the changing room and onto the mat. Where upon he states "Oh good, we're all beginners."
This produced a few smiles as it was obvious that he assumed that we had the same kind of coloured belt system as karate, or at least his karate school. I suppose no-one was immodest enough to challenge the idea of us all being beginners or maybe it was just too early on a saturday morning, but anyway.
So he asks my friend "How many classes have you had?" No doubt expecting an answer like six or seven. My friend frowns thoughtfully and says "Well, we've all been training about six years" his face was priceless "So what rank are you?" he asks "Oh, we're 2nd kyu" my friend replies. "Oh" he says, quite shocked "So you're all quite advanced students then?"
Our dojo is off paintballing on saturday. Paintball is most of our guy's other passion in life and it's taken at least as seriously as Aikido.
I think training together is what makes us such an effective unit, we all know each others personalities and how we'll react to things. There's no need to refer to each other in a tight spot. Sometimes you see/hear n00bs or WOWs having lengthy discussions about how to get out of situation, while they're in it. Or arguing over who owes who how much for lending paint.
Obviously they don't trust their mates to pay them back. For us it's simple, I have paint, you need paint, therefore I give you paint. If I leave you in a weakened state then I am in a weakened state. On a paintball field there is no you and me there's just us. Mind you we're the same with money off the field. "I have no money" isn't an excuse for staying in on saturday night.
There's no leadership issues either, everyone recognises everyone elses strengths and weaknesses, and their own, and everyones committed to winning the game, so command shifts easily to the person best suited.
Also I think Aikido is what gives us discipline, everyone works as part of a team, no-one goes off glory hunting. No-ones off on a trigger happy, adrenalin fueled rampage.
Actually the interesting thing is the lack of an adrenalin rush, everyone is very calm, I've seen it in real confrontations too.
There's a hightenend sense of awareness but that's it, no narrowing of vision or hea
Aikido is the only art that trains against resistance. Judo (at least in theory) is non-resistive: it's push when pulled, pull when pushed.
The heart of Judo training is randori where (again in theory) this theory of non-resistance is put into practice. Good Judo is the art of throwing a non-resisting opponent, he pushes you, you pull him over, etc.
Aikido, on the other hand, is at it's core about training the body to have immovable posture and to be enormously powerful. Aikidoka spend all their time attempting to throw progressively more statue-like people. Perversely, except in the extream lower levels, Aikidoka never truely have a non-resisting uke the way Judoka do in randori.
Even when an Aikidoka makes an energetic attack, if the attack is made correctly, ukes posture is never given up and still has to be broken by tori, not with uke's power, but with tori's e.g. the tenkan on irimi nage ura.
So, I've been doing all these weird and wonderful exercises and keeping a close eye on my posture and they seem to be paying off.
We were doing suwari waza kokyu ho, which I am usually terrible at and I'm with big phil, who naturally enough is big and since he's only been training a few months he's a stiff as a board.
I'm sitting there struggling to move him, as per, and I adjust my posture a bit, suddenly I feel a weird kinda tension in my lower back and it starts spreading along my spine, up my sides and into my arms.
I concentrated on this feeling, took a deep breath to relax and now I find that moving big phil is really easy. So this weird feeling gives me TONS of power to lift and push, within a limited range of motion.
My new goal therefore is to explore this new power and see if I can develop it.
The past couple of weeks have been interesting for me. My friends father teaches Karate and so from time to time I'm invited to go and train there.
Usually when this happens all the rest of my friends invite me to train at their place too and so for the past couple of weeks I've been dojo hopping, along side my normal training.
I look forward to a day when I have a dojo of my own and can return the favour.
It's quite humbling to go somewhere else and be treated with a level of respect I really don't deserve.
So I'm very sore and very energised, I'm still mulling over what I can learn from all the different arts and things I've done, it's provoked a few realisations about my ability..........not so much in a technical sence but more in a tactical sence, my ability to adapt my training on the fly has been tested and I'm quite happy.
In particular what's caught my attention is the way I use tai sabaki and mai-ai in sparring matches. I'm very good at not getting hit and very good at getting in close. On one occasion I went in with a front kick and threw a cross, my opponent covered up and I ended up in a situation where I put a tegatana in my opponents elbow and could quite easily have snatched his shoulder, as for chudan irimi nage.
This got my mind working and I started entering in more aggressively and I found that with atemi I can dash in and get VERY close both on the dead and live sides. My opponents reaction was invariably to back off to create ro
Something weird happened yesterday. I was training with a guy that's been training for only a couple of months. The technique was shomen uchi chudan irime nage and I was showing him how to break balance by pushing the elbow while pulling the shoulder.
The weird thing is that my right hand was just lightly touching the side of his elbow and it quickly became apparent that his elbow was stuck to my hand. Now I didn't feel anything, but he did he was like "Wow! That's weird, how do you do that?" and seemed to be quite shocked and suprised. I'm like "No idea."
In fact I only became aware that something weird was happening when he mentioned it at which point it did seem to be a bit odd that I could move him with a perfectly flat hand.
This is the second weird thing in the space of a week. Last week we were doing shomen uchi ikkyo and while doing ura I felt incredibly grounded I could feel something, running from my belly down through my legs and into the ground and to be honest I felt like I was stuck to the mat as I was making tenkan.