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Old 11-14-2007, 12:26 AM   #97
Mark Kruger
Dojo: Aikido of Eugene
Location: Eugene/Springfield, Oregon
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 40
Re: *Tentative* dates for Akuzawa (Aunkai) in Seattle, WA 11/3-11/4

Knowing both Chris Moses and Tom Wharton, when they showed interested in what Ark is doing, I figure it was worth investigating. The fact that Robert has presented his point of view on this, and other forums, with a minimum amount of arrogance helped. Of course the Seattle seminar was scheduled on the same weekend as a firearms trainer (Southnarc) was teaching in Portland. With the Stanford seminar, I was able to have my cake and eat it too.

I was impressed with the quality and quantity of the information provided. From various instructors over the years, I've heard bits and pieces of what was covered, but never in as complete and coherent a version as was presented by Ark. The descriptions were couched in terms that were easily accessible. I think that this accessibility is one of the key reasons why Ark has been able to teach what he knows so well. The esoteric language of many internal arts has always been a problem for me.

Drills like shiko and tenchijin were taught in a progressive fashion. The rough shape was demonstrated first, then additional information was added as the students, as a group, were able to handle it. I think that the drills on Saturday were in some ways more difficult than the drills on Sunday. Having Ark and Rob going around to adjust postures and actions was invaluable. I suspect that they left a lot unsaid and uncorrected since the crowd was new to the Aunkai training methods and that more refining will occur in the future, either in other seminars in the USA or as folks visit them in Tokyo.

The down sides to the seminar are relatively minor. An earlier start time would have been helpful. 6 hours a day isn't much time to pack all of the information in. The lunch breaks could do with better planning. Some options are: allow for more time to get lunch, ask folks to pack a lunch, or send a few folks to get orders while Ark and Rob helps the others review the covered material.

Anyway, I've got a lot of material to study, so I'll stop blathering on and get back to doing the work.

Mark Kruger
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