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Old 03-07-2006, 11:20 AM   #1
Location: Arizona
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 11
My first Seminar

Hi all-

Just wanted to share some thoughts here-

Ive been training somewhere between 6 and 8 months. I don't keep track of the time as I really only want to be graded on skill, I hate the concept of the number of training days between testing - note that I am sure to exceed that number, so that doesn't bother me. Anyhow, I train in a small dojo, the busiest it gets is usually 8 or 9 aikidoka on the mat. Which made my first seminar pretty exciting!

It was with, and I hope I spell both these names properly - Y Yamada Sensei and Peter Bernath Sensei, in Scottsdale Arizona. For me just a Gokyu it was a little intimidating being on a very large mat - the dojo in Scottsdale is large, and very beautiful - but there were a TON of people on the mat. Several times lines were formed for throws, and many a time after my roll I stood up right in my place in line! I didn't see anyone get bopped though, which was good.

Highlights for me personally-

In the morning, my Sensei grabbed me and took me to the front of the class for a really complex nikyo grab to sankyo finish ura technique. My sankyo needs help! Yamada Sensei came by and corrected me. A few minutes later, he came by again, watched, and said "much better". Wicked cool. Later on, we were doing a katatedori (hope I'm spelling that one right - the one hand gi grab) nikyo. I wasn't pulling my partner all the way around, so Yamada Sensei had me grab him. Dopey me, I thought he was only going to demonstrate the pull around, I wasn't quite prepared for the nikyo! So I was a bit stiff, when he did it my wrist made some popcorn awful noise, and I'm sure my eyes went as big as saucers. He looked down at me, laughed! And then walked away. Cracked me up. So I got a Yamada brand Nikyo, very cool. Usually I can feel people slightly either winding up for it, or slowly starting it. Not him - he flips on Nikyo like a switch! Something about being an 8th dan and all I guess.

In the afternoon Sensei Bernath (again my apologies if I am spelling that wrong) did some fantastically fast and effective techniques. I have never seen iriminage done quite so fast. At my dojo we train very slow, which I like and prefer, but it's nice to mix it up now and then. I got to take some ukemi from him as well.

I was really impressed with both of the instructors consideration and attention to the students. Anyone who trains down in Scottsdale reading this - great seminar, lots of fun, and beautiful dojo - thanks for the hospitality. Unfortunately, I am now even more smitten with Aikido and can't wait to take my next test. What fun it is.

Just wanted to share my excitement here instead of my usual lurking!

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Old 03-07-2006, 12:02 PM   #2
Location: Arizona
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 11
Re: My first Seminar

Shoot, I meant for this to be in general. Mods if you see fit to move this post, I dont mind. I would edit this in instead of replying too, not sure if thats available (dont see how)

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Old 03-07-2006, 02:57 PM   #3
Location: Gent
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 4
Re: My first Seminar

Hey Eric,

I'm pleased to hear that your first seminar went that well. I lived in Yamada senseis' dojo for a month, but a long time ago. Liked him very much. Hope everything continues this good for you.

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Old 03-07-2006, 03:01 PM   #4
Dojo: UBC Okanagan Aikido Club
Location: Kelowna
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 94
Re: My first Seminar


I enjoyed reading the post. I remember clearly how excited and nervous I was for my first seminar, and how much my aikido benefited from it.

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Old 03-09-2006, 02:37 PM   #5
Location: Arizona
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 11
Re: My first Seminar

Thanks guys.

I feel so foolish for not anticipating that nikyo, but the pain was worth the funny story, albiet at my own expense. There are so many styles of AIkido out there, vastly differing - and I really like what he does, its very similar to what we do in our dojo here. Not overly fast, just precise and economic. Really cool.

Crowded mat though! My goodness. Really increases your awareness.

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