Thread: 6th kyu forever
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Old 03-20-2016, 03:08 AM   #63
Dojo: Shoheijuku Aikido, Fukuoka
Location: Fukuoka
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 134
Re: 6th kyu forever

I liken learning Aikido to learning to drive a car for the first time. So many things that have to been focused on simultaneously, from position of the hands and feet to everything going on around one.

I realised fairly early on in my practice that I had to do things like cut down vertically while turning in a circle and maintaining balance. While I understood that mentally, actually doing that while trying to move with a partner when being slightly too close or far or slightly to fast or slow with each bit of the moment can muck it was profoundly frustrating for many years.

Clare Din wrote: View Post
Aha! Now this makes a lot of sense because one thing that Sensei always said to me was "Why don't you bring your back foot in with your front foot? You're standing in too wide a stance." This is from doing thousands of Triangle poses over the years (see pic below for an idea of the pose):

When I saw this, the first comment that came to mind was that you might be better suited to Yoshinkan Aikido, or one of it's offshoots, as they start their training with exercises that use very wide/deep stances. I tried a bit of Renshinkai (an offshoot) and one of the students was practicing Yoga and doing well with both.

Here are a series of videos of the basic techniques:

However, it is very linear in form and practiced step-by-step with almost no flow at the lower levels, so it is not as beautiful. The techniques are also heavily standardised now, so they don't seem to allow much, if any, variation.

It's very masculine, to me anyhow.

Aikikai style is very feminine, in that you have to feel the techniques more so. What I tend to find lacking is is some of the physical structure Yoshinkan style has. After my Reshinkai experience, now when I guide students in my Aikikai classes I encourage them to find hanmi inside the movements of their techniques to use as anchor points. This helps them build the structure of their movements through the techniques.

We have a few members who started Aikido around your age who haven't practiced any kind of sport for decades and I have a lot of sympathy for their frustration.

All the best!

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Naturally having something useful to say is like natural responses during training: It takes much practice.
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