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Old 10-07-2011, 02:09 AM   #7
Ernesto Lemke
Dojo: Seikokan , Leeuwarden
Location: Leeuwarden. the Netherlands
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 150
Re: Focal points for solo training

Hello Azriel,

I apologize if my reply discouraged any further exchange. I have great sympathy for your attempt but in a sense you opened up a possible can of worms. I think this may be the first time anyone attempted to describe some of the exercises Dan offers on a public forum. Seeing as he is reluctant, dare I say adamant, in not offering any online “how to’s” with those unfamiliar with his approach, you may find very few people may respond other then maybe per PM.

I guess it may also possibly muddy the waters when you receive comments, feedback, sincere as they may be, from those who are unfamiliar with Dan’s approach. Even if they are in pursuit of IT themselves via other routes. This is not to say there cannot be any exchange, but as long as people differ on the meaning of terms like “spiraling”, “winding” “opening/closing” etc. it tends to get hard to get any decent exchange going.
But again, I sympathize with your desire to learn more. I guess I’m kinda with Dave on this. You lucky bastard!!!

Thanks for sharing how IT has it’s place in your dojo. I didn’t mean to imply wanting to know “how it’s done”, more how the approach to incorporating IT was accomplished. So from what I understand, there is one class that exclusively focuses on IT, and then a ‘regular’ aikido class that highlights, features those same IT elements within, I guess, aikido waza.
If you don’t mind me asking, is taking the IT classes considered obligatory? I am sure Gleason Sensei considers IT fundamental but one only needs to take a look at the types of discussions on Aikiweb over the years when it comes to the topic of IT/IS/IP/Aiki etc. to see how little consensus there actually is. From believers to non-believers and everything in between. I can see how folks with no innate desire to want to pursue IT will find it difficult to see how others consider IT so fundamental.

My interest lies not so much in your dojo or Gleason Sensei per se (though I admit I’m curious). It’s just that part of this ‘silent revolution’ imparts the choices people are making/need to make/needed to make when IT became such a profound aspect of their budo pursuits. Gleason Sensei’s choice seems to be having two distinct types of classes (though of course in reality they feed eachother). Others, like myself, are currently working almost exclusively on IT, but my goal is to find some balance during class. Whether that means starting with IT exercises and then work on waza I have yet to find out. Since I have my own dojo and we are only with five people it’s not so much of a problem. It’s something on my mind with the future in mind when new trainees come and enter expecting aikido, not those gruelsome, tedious, no-instant-succes type of drills. I can really see how Tokimune Takeda said his people didn’t want to do that stuff.
Maybe that’s just the nature of the IT beast. I dunno. In this day and age, with all the possibilities to exchange thoughts with people around the globe, there’s no harm in exploring ways in which people are looking for solutions to deal with this, is there?
Thanks for sharing.

Walter, I was thinking we could throw that one out in the open after the seminar. And didn’t I mail the dates? I’m sure I did. See you, and Dave, and the rest next week.

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