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Old 05-14-2011, 07:03 PM   #1
aikidoaddict
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Basics, basics, basics

We must constantly train in the basics. I believe that the foundation of Aikido is in the basics. If your foundation is not strong, anything built upon that will subsequently be weak. I believe that the basic body movement (Tai no sabaki), hand movement, foot movement, centre line focus and alignment of feet, hips, body and arms, proper breathing, building up and the use of Ki, extension, posture, awareness, focus are all important and necessary to becoming a proficient Aikidoka.
If you rush past these things to reach the more flashy spectacular techniques, or the more spiritual enlightened part of Aikido, it will all be founded on sand and will crumble at the first hurdle.
I have met many high ranked Aikidoka around the world who, after having their wrist held tight, cannot easily perform Aikido. People of rank, who should know better, turning their backs on an attacker to get into the right position to perform the technique that they have chosen. People of rank having extreme difficulty moving an attacker when performing a technique. People of rank using brute force and dangerous methods on their chosen uke (victim) to show that they are good at Aikido. Thuggery basically, and not what I perceive Aikido to be.
Sad to see, but you can all observe this many times at many Seminars around the world, if you already haven't.
We all pass on what we learn to be true, taught to us by our guides and mentors, and if it is not so your students will follow down that same path without question.
We must therefore question our own Aikido ability and evolution whilst constantly seek to refine and better our techniques and understanding. Do not blindly follow.
Basics, basics, basics.
Enjoy the journey.
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Old 05-15-2011, 01:40 PM   #2
Mario Tobias
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Re: Basics, basics, basics

I was watching one of Suganuma shihan's after-class talks with his students.

He remembers a time when one of O-sensei's students asked to the effect "why don't you teach us the secrets of aikido?" after seemingly exasperated with repetitive kihon practice, to which O-sensei replied to something like "I am teaching the secrets to you everyday."

This made a huge impact on me.
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Old 05-15-2011, 01:51 PM   #3
Russ Q
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Re: Basics, basics, basics

@ Mario - You'll notice that Suganuma Sensei always teaches basics at seminars or at home. Even his uchi deshi, when conducting seminars, will teach basics...variations for sure but basic nonetheless.
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Old 05-15-2011, 03:39 PM   #4
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Basics, basics, basics

Quote:
Paul Araki-Metcalfe wrote: View Post
We must constantly train in the basics....Enjoy the journey.
I had the privilege of attending a seminar in 1976 where Morihiro Saito Sensei said you should begin each morning with basic tenkan practice. I believe he always emphasized daily practice of the basics.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B7hQt...layer_embedded

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6idg72hZ_HM
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Old 05-15-2011, 09:07 PM   #5
Walter Martindale
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Re: Basics, basics, basics

Quote:
Rudy Ternbach wrote: View Post
I had the privilege of attending a seminar in 1976 where Morihiro Saito Sensei said you should begin each morning with basic tenkan practice. I believe he always emphasized daily practice of the basics.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B7hQt...layer_embedded

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6idg72hZ_HM
In any high level performance of anything, the people who perform the best generally execute the basics, better than the rest...
Aikido, music, dance, sports, academics, combat, you name it - the people "are" the basics - or they're "one with" the basics, or however you describe it...
W
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Old 06-05-2011, 11:51 AM   #6
Adam Huss
 
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Re: Basics, basics, basics

Our seminars include instruction from many of the junior, mid, and high ranking teachers. A friend and I commented many years ago that we both noticed the junior instructors often teach fun, complex, and robust techniques while the more senior instructors usually emphasize basic stuff (our basic body movements or techniques, or stuff often neglected).

So our sandan teachers are teaching some example of henka waza, or armbar throws while the 6th - 8th dan teach kata, basic stances, or a very basic aspect of a basic technique.

Ichi Go, Ichi Ei!
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Old 06-05-2011, 01:16 PM   #7
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Re: Basics, basics, basics

Quote:
Paul Araki-Metcalfe wrote: View Post
I have met many high ranked Aikidoka around the world who, after having their wrist held tight, cannot easily perform Aikido. People of rank, who should know better, turning their backs on an attacker to get into the right position to perform the technique that they have chosen. People of rank having extreme difficulty moving an attacker when performing a technique. People of rank using brute force and dangerous methods on their chosen uke (victim) to show that they are good at Aikido.
Who are these people? Anyone we know?

-

-It seems to be all about semantics!
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Old 06-05-2011, 03:39 PM   #8
SeiserL
 
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Re: Basics, basics, basics

Agree, agree, agree.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 06-07-2011, 06:47 AM   #9
bleepbeep
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Re: Basics, basics, basics

I very much agree on this one, too. When one is fluent in the basics, the other more complicated stuff aren't complicated anymore.
I can't have enough of the basics. I actually enjoy the reps. They are the very core and foundation on which other forms come from.
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Old 06-07-2011, 07:34 AM   #10
DH
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Re: Basics, basics, basics

If by doing basics, people are relying on wrist twisties and throws done over and over to have you get it...well, good luck with that. I believe this is yet another dead end. There are many very serious and committed Aikido-ka who DID and DO practice the basic techniques and remain largely unimpressive..several I know even say they remain personally unimpressed with their own art.

On the other hand if you mean the exercises Ueshiba did and showed; you can watch any number of people practicing the exercises that Ueshiba did (example: Terry Dobson and Ueshiba) and it is obvious that they are not doing the same thing. Great material, not adequately explained, can lead to really crappy results.

This is not something that just plagues Aikido, it plagues all the arts. I once asked a Daito ryu teacher how many people in his art did he consider to be any good. He thought about it and said ...."Two." So many of the arts that have specific drills/ kata/ forms, whatever you want to call them for building power and have failed (whether by intent or neglect) to convey their meaning to their own membership. Thus we can end up practicing hollow forms, hoping and waiting in vain, for something really cool to happen. We need to look for meaningful ways to train that brought the founders of these arts true power, beyond techniques.

Cheers
Dan
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Old 06-07-2011, 08:49 AM   #11
Cliff Judge
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Re: Basics, basics, basics

Quote:
Paul Araki-Metcalfe wrote: View Post
basic body movement (Tai no sabaki), hand movement, foot movement, centre line focus and alignment of feet, hips, body and arms, proper breathing, building up and the use of Ki, extension, posture, awareness, focus
Hi Paul,

I have a few questions regarding your post.

Do you consider each item in the above-quoted list to be basic? Some of them seem pretty advanced to me. For example, the concept of "building up and the use of Ki."

What are some examples of flashy techniques that you think should not be attempted before one has a sufficient grounding in the basics?

Can you also explain which types of spiritual experiences that one may think he or she has had that would actually be false if not built upon a sufficiently strong foundation of basics?

Thanks,
Cliff
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Old 06-07-2011, 10:15 AM   #12
Keith Larman
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Re: Basics, basics, basics

FWIW.

"Advanced Techniques are simplified basics." the late Rod Kobayashi (and he possibly got it from someone else).

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Old 06-07-2011, 02:26 PM   #13
phitruong
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Re: Basics, basics, basics

advanced techniques are just basic techniques done with the force. we, of the sith, know this. or it could be done with a stomach full of beans and cabbage... too. either way, hold on to someone's wrist tight, who knows the secret, isn't the wise thing to do.
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Old 06-07-2011, 05:40 PM   #14
Janet Rosen
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Re: Basics, basics, basics

Advanced techniques are whichever cool ones you haven't seen before. Jeez, I thought everybody knew that!

Janet Rosen
http://www.zanshinart.com
"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
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Old 06-07-2011, 08:24 PM   #15
Erick Mead
 
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Re: Basics, basics, basics

"Passive acceptance of the teacher's wisdom is easy to most boys and girls. It involves no effort of independent thought, and seems rational because the teacher knows more than his pupils; it is moreover the way to win the favour of the teacher unless he is a very exceptional man. Yet the habit of passive acceptance is a disastrous one in later life. It causes man to seek and to accept a leader, and to accept as a leader whoever is established in that position."

-- Bertrand Russell.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
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Old 06-07-2011, 10:23 PM   #16
Keith Larman
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Re: Basics, basics, basics

Quote:
Erick Mead wrote: View Post
"Passive acceptance of the teacher's wisdom is easy to most boys and girls. It involves no effort of independent thought, and seems rational because the teacher knows more than his pupils; it is moreover the way to win the favour of the teacher unless he is a very exceptional man. Yet the habit of passive acceptance is a disastrous one in later life. It causes man to seek and to accept a leader, and to accept as a leader whoever is established in that position."

-- Bertrand Russell.
"Those who ignore the wisdom of those who came before rarely transcend them." -- Me.

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Old 06-09-2011, 07:17 AM   #17
Chris Knight
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Re: Basics, basics, basics

"if by doing basics, people are relying on wrist twisties and throws done over and over to have you get it...well, good luck with that. I believe this is yet another dead end. There are many very serious and committed Aikido-ka who DID and DO practice the basic techniques and remain largely unimpressive..several I know even say they remain personally unimpressed with their own art.

On the other hand if you mean the exercises Ueshiba did and showed; you can watch any number of people practicing the exercises that Ueshiba did (example: Terry Dobson and Ueshiba) and it is obvious that they are not doing the same thing. Great material, not adequately explained, can lead to really crappy results.

This is not something that just plagues Aikido, it plagues all the arts. I once asked a Daito ryu teacher how many people in his art did he consider to be any good. He thought about it and said ...."Two." So many of the arts that have specific drills/ kata/ forms, whatever you want to call them for building power and have failed (whether by intent or neglect) to convey their meaning to their own membership. Thus we can end up practicing hollow forms, hoping and waiting in vain, for something really cool to happen. We need to look for meaningful ways to train that brought the founders of these arts true power, beyond techniques. "

Dan, just a quick question, do you know why Ueshiba allowed ukemi and showed the principles of aikido via techniques without teaching aiki first??? Or did he??

Regards

Chris
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Old 06-09-2011, 01:37 PM   #18
Erick Mead
 
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Re: Basics, basics, basics

Quote:
Keith Larman wrote: View Post
"Those who ignore the wisdom of those who came before rarely transcend them." -- Me.
Nice. Epigram is a lost art.

Having said that -- Who is ignoring ? Who is being ignored ? What is the wisdom ? Was it "theirs" ? Or is it just out there to be found -- if you look? Is there only one, or more than one, aspect of transcending that wisdom, however understood ?



Apropos in this context, to both current debates and Ueshiba's direct transmission:

"Wisdom is experience, but simply repeating the experience of others not only does not increase wisdom, it does not even preserve it."

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
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Old 06-10-2011, 06:17 AM   #19
DH
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Re: Basics, basics, basics

Quote:
Chris Knight wrote: View Post
Dan, just a quick question, do you know why Ueshiba allowed ukemi and showed the principles of aikido via techniques without teaching aiki first??? Or did he??

Regards
Chris
Hi Chris
I don't think anyone knows.
Why did his teacher, Takeda only produce 5 great teachers?
Why did Takeda say not to teach white people?
Why are the Chinese famous for....not teaching?
We can hypothosize all day long. There have been a million words devoted to it for decades. Some will say Ueshiba did teach it, others will say that he did not. Some will say "Fault of student." Others will say "Fault of teacher."
I'm past caring anymore.

We have a strange situation in the martial arts.
1. Those who don't really have IP/aiki are convinced their teachers are teaching them the real goods, and that their teachers are amazing
2. Those who either have it or have at least started to feel it, now "see." What they see, is that the real heart of the arts is all but lost. Few "have it" to any serious degree, and of those that do, the majority seem to either not know how, or are uninterested, in teaching it.

As for Ukemi, principles of aikido techniques and so on:
What comes first? Not my job to guess what he did and why or decide for you or anyone else.
Me?
I say that while it is good to learn Ukemi, and fighting principles....it is best to learn IP/aiki, which for the most part negates techniques and the need for ukemi.
But I've stopped trying to convince people with words.

IP/aiki is the single most important thing in the arts. It goes from basic to refined movement. Everything else is a shadow.
Cheers
Dan

Last edited by DH : 06-10-2011 at 06:19 AM.
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Old 06-10-2011, 07:49 AM   #20
Cliff Judge
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Re: Basics, basics, basics

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
Everything else is a shadow.
Some of us study that too!
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Old 06-10-2011, 08:40 AM   #21
Tony Wagstaffe
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Re: Basics, basics, basics

Quote: I have met many high ranked Aikidoka around the world who, after having their wrist held tight, cannot easily perform Aikido. People of rank, who should know better, turning their backs on an attacker to get into the right position to perform the technique that they have chosen...

Yep..... I would whole heartedly agree with that.... One cannot know if one does not train with full resistance. As for the basics? Goes without saying, good bodily core strength combined with the basics done at full resistance will see to that....By the time one is Shodan should be able to deal with kicks, punches, hand, thrusts elbows and that kind of atemi should be practised hundreds of times over.... as well as the standard shomen /yokomen attacks, which always look silly to me but I suppose represents a sword attack and can be effective if delivered with real intent on the right target.....
No sweat, no pain, no resistance = nothing = empty technique = collusion = delusion.....
New mantra?

As the great? Bruce Lee said " you have to "feeeel it"

Last edited by Tony Wagstaffe : 06-10-2011 at 08:46 AM.
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Old 06-10-2011, 08:46 AM   #22
Mark Freeman
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Re: Basics, basics, basics

Quote:
Attilio Anthony John Wagstaffe wrote: View Post
No sweat, no pain, no resistance = nothing = empty technique = collusion = delusion.....
New mantra?
Hi Tony,

welcome back, don't know how we've all survived without you

regards

Mark

Success is having what you want. Happiness is wanting what you have.
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Old 06-10-2011, 09:08 AM   #23
DH
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Re: Basics, basics, basics

Quote:
Attilio Anthony John Wagstaffe wrote: View Post
Yep..... I would whole heartedly agree with that.... One cannot know if one does not train with full resistance. As for the basics? Goes without saying, good bodily core strength combined with the basics done at full resistance will see to that....
No, no it won't. And for that matter it won't get you even close to doing aiki.
Fighting well...is fighting well. It has nothing to do with the subject of good basics to attain aiki in Aiki...do.
Otherwise ya might as well call the art, jujutsu and done with it.

Where we agree is that having some measure of IP/aiki and not knowing how to fight has brought a credibility gap. One which has been worsened by those deluded and timid souls thinking they understand IP/aiki and going about their business constantly evading attacking energy by twirling and making large body displacements and thinking they are demonstrating Ki strength. I am just as saddened by this stuff as you are.

Quote:
No sweat, no pain, no resistance = nothing = empty technique = collusion = delusion.....
New mantra?
The major difference between you and I, is actually having IP/aiki and then the ability to use it ...to fight with, not the end goal of effective delivery.

Quote:
As the great? Bruce Lee said " you have to "feeeel it"
I agree, but the other side of that mantra is.... "Most people I have met and talked to, were convinced they already had it and got it to some degree....until they did actually.......feeeel it?
And that...my friend is why ten thousand words of debate all end...in person, and why one by one...people are seeing the thruth of the real power behind these arts and training it!
All the best
Dan

Last edited by DH : 06-10-2011 at 09:15 AM.
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Old 06-10-2011, 10:02 AM   #24
Erick Mead
 
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Re: Basics, basics, basics

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
Quote:
Chris Knight wrote:
Dan, just a quick question, do you know why Ueshiba allowed ukemi and showed the principles of aikido via techniques without teaching aiki first??? Or did he??
Regards
Chris
Hi Chris
I don't think anyone knows. ... I'm past caring anymore.

As for Ukemi, principles of aikido techniques and so on:
What comes first? Not my job to guess what he did and why or decide for you or anyone else.
Me?
I say that while it is good to learn Ukemi, and fighting principles....it is best to learn IP/aiki, which for the most part negates techniques and the need for ukemi.
Why is it either/ or ?--- If you claim the mantle of Ueshiba's aiki and you cannot explain the need of ukemi in the training he himself demonstrated, you cannot negate the need for ukemi in training for aiki as he intended it to be used (which I grant may be distinct from the way others may use it). If you cannot explain the purpose of ukemi in Ueshiba's intended uses of aiki principles you cannot explain why it may be dispensed with.
Quote:
But I've stopped trying to convince people with words.
... and so, you cast aside a weapon and resource of enormous power... Jesus once stopped a mob stoning a woman by a few words scratched in the sand and a single question.

More prosaically, Hooker Sensei once taught a seminar. He is military man of sometimes less than gentle words. He demonstrated what he wanted practiced. Attempts were made to practice it and then he stopped and expressed his displeasure to the whole group in words something like the following:

"What the F^&% are you doing? I showed something to do. I asked you to do it. All I see are you doing whatever you feel like doing instead of what I showed you. Now, I am just wasting my time coming here and you are wasting your time being here because you just don't want to do what I showed you. If that's what you want, why don't you just tell me -- 'F^&% you, Hooker! Go home!"

"Now do it again!"

So, again everyone tried and this time worse and more f^$%ed up than the first time. and he stopped everyone again:

"What just happened? I'll tell you what happened. You let me get up here and take your center, everyone of you, with nothing more than some words. That was your mistake, and when someone does that to you -- you should have just said: "OK, Hooker, F^&% you, go home!" Many laughed, but the point was very serious.

Training is essential -- BUT -- we must indulge the power of words to both break and reassemble ideas AND to communicate them because words are the vehicle of thought. Ideas in words can build up or break men. If you have no words on a topic you can have no thoughts on that topic. And since teaching and learning by mere imitation seemingly got us to this juncture -- it will not very likely take us home.

If we are not thinking for ourselves -- working out explanations that both makes sense to us subjectively from our experience -- and working out ways to objectively describe and explain to other people in both words and deeds -- what is done and why we do it --

-- then we might as well all just "F^&%ing go home."

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
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Old 06-10-2011, 10:09 AM   #25
Erick Mead
 
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Re: Basics, basics, basics

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
Quote:
Attilio Anthony John Wagstaffe wrote:
One cannot know if one does not train with full resistance. As for the basics? Goes without saying, good bodily core strength combined with the basics done at full resistance will see to that....
No, no it won't. And for that matter it won't get you even close to doing aiki.
Fighting well...is fighting well. It has nothing to do with the subject of good basics to attain aiki in Aiki...do.
Otherwise ya might as well call the art, jujutsu and done with it.

Where we agree is that having some measure of IP/aiki and not knowing how to fight has brought a credibility gap. One which has been worsened by those deluded and timid souls thinking they understand IP/aiki and going about their business constantly evading attacking energy by twirling and making large body displacements and thinking they are demonstrating Ki strength.
<<Marking calendar in red -- "Agreed with Dan.">>
Hm.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
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