John summed up what was so good about the Aunkai methods in general and this seminar in particular extremely well. This just simply is very valuable stuff. It's not easy and it's not comfortable, but I *know* that I am a better martial artist today than I would have been if I hadn't stopped by their dojo a year ago. When I met my current teacher (Neil) my ability to understand and perform waza changed in a monumental way. Since then, I've been pretty generally underwhelmed whenever I would venture out into the seminar world or back into mainstream Aikido spheres. So when I met Rob and Ark and had to really step back and say, "Wow, there's something here." It was signifigant. To be honest, I was really nervous about the first workshop we hosted with Rob. After all, it had just been a couple hours while I was rather sick, jet lagged and in a foreign country. Was I just in an impressionable headspace? But after talking up their methods and hosting Rob's workshop (attended by a lot of folks whose opinion I really respect) I realized that memory was true. Getting this chance to see Ark again was extremely valuable. I had a number of things really some together for me (particularly on the second day) that I'm really looking forward to exploring further. (This was the first time I was able to feel the kind of kua-heel-palm connection that I did, where the strain literally comes off the quads and you almost feel the pressure of the mat in your palms. This was during the SLOW tenchijin exercise on day 2.)
Watching Ark bounce our 'little' Samoan Fritz around during Aiki-age was basically worth the price of admission, and I can still hear John's laughter at being bounced about during the exercise he mentions above.
As for what I learned and how I will apply it, I'll leave that to my journal and the coming weeks of class. It's too hard to mis-communicate and get lost in semantics on the forums. Futhermore, I really fell that I just need to do it and live in the results longer before I start trying to explain how to apply it. The methodology is such that it changes how you *are*, not how you do x-waza. It really is the kind of thing that you just have to go feel. Of coursel, after you feel it, you could buy the DVD...
Edit: Oi, Mark Gibbons, post your thoughts! You are in an excellent place to comment on how this feels and how valuable it might be. You also know what I felt like before I ever tried this stuff and we got to play a little at the workshop.