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Old 04-19-2020, 12:17 PM   #1
TheBlindBard
Dojo: Shoshinkan
Location: Las Vegas
Join Date: Apr 2020
Posts: 4
United_States
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Starting my Aikido Journey!

Hello All!
After many years, finally got in to Aikido after dabbling in iaido. I am blind and my Grandpa suggested Aikido as a martial art to look in to for self defense after I moved out from my parents. Many of the philosophical parts of Aikido have always resonated with me as a person who is very nonviolent and nonconfrontational. I've only been training about 3 months at my dojo. They also do Judo, Karate and Eskrima/Kali. I look forward to all I am going to learn. The changes to how I move in the world around me are shocking. I now walk better in a straight line without my cane than with it. All of the jo techniques can be usable with a 50 inch cane, which I carry everywhere to feel where I am going. Some things in Aikido are tricky, like meeting an attack. My dojo has had me working from contact, but I am working on meditating to extend my senses and pay more attention to them to try to feel when an attack is coming. So far I am loving the exercise and the entire learning process. I am open to questions, so never be afraid to ask!
Thanks for such a great resource. The Jo techniques fully described out have helped me practice amidst this pandemic while I am unable to go to my dojo.
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Old 04-21-2020, 08:35 PM   #2
PuppyDoggie
Location: Halifax
Join Date: Apr 2017
Posts: 29
Canada
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Re: Starting my Aikido Journey!

Hi Andrew! Welcome!
I'm especially excited in learning and hearing about how you progress in aikido since you will of course experience it differently from most practitioners. I found aikido to be the least violent of all the martial arts I've heard about and experienced.
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Old 04-22-2020, 01:35 PM   #3
TheBlindBard
Dojo: Shoshinkan
Location: Las Vegas
Join Date: Apr 2020
Posts: 4
United_States
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Re: Starting my Aikido Journey!

So far my main issue has been remembering and keeping the movements straight in my head. The body positioning is also another issue. I tend to walk all over the place and can rarely walk a straight line. From the iaido practice I did, I was used to sitting in seiza and how to hold/draw a sword. The Eskrima training has been especially good for helping me correct my feet and leg placement with the footwork and how to generate energy using the hips. Eventually I’d like to get to the point where I can do the full contact sparring in Eskrima, partly because it sounds amazingly fun, but it will help if I ever need to use any of this for self defense. Just doing the basics in eskrima right now, footwork and learning the different strikes.
Aikido is fascinating with how it uses the basic body mechanics to put a person on the floor. Ikkyo, nikyo and sankyo are really opening my eyes to just how easy it is to get a person off balance with simple movements. One of the classes we were doing jo nage and was amazing to see how a staff could be used to apply the same techniques. My cane is not sturdy enough to do anything like that, and I doubt I’d be fine walking around with a jo as a cane, but it was still neat to see. Glad I finally made up my mind and got in to aikido. It’s given me an enjoyible form of exercise, and the dojo does several other styles so I am crosstraining at the same time so I’ll have multiple tools in the toolbox for self defense, though I hope I never need to use any of them. Lots of these techniques can't feel too pleasant for an attacker.
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Old 04-29-2020, 10:31 AM   #4
akiy
 
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Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 6,036
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Re: Starting my Aikido Journey!

Hi Andrew,

Welcome to AikiWeb, and thank you for your introduction. Thank you for sharing your experiences, and I'm glad to hear your classes have felt accessible for you.

-- Jun

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Old 04-30-2020, 04:07 AM   #5
TheBlindBard
Dojo: Shoshinkan
Location: Las Vegas
Join Date: Apr 2020
Posts: 4
United_States
Offline
Re: Starting my Aikido Journey!

Hello,
Some parts of the classes have been difficult, but with a lot of the techniques working from grabs it is fairly intuitive. One of the visitting Sensei’s was having me perform a technique as soon as I felt the grab, which was an interesting experience. I’m bad with a lot of the names but it was the technique where you enter under an attacker’s arm to get behind them and loop your hand around their wrist a few times to get them off balance and then topple them over in front of you with a hand at the back of their neck. Not sure if it was a form of irimi nage or not. Practicing iaido for a short while before transfering to Aikido for sure helped with the imagery of cutting down/to the side to get a person’s balance. Taking balance is same motion to clear blood off of a sword, the shorter version just snapping the sword to the side. It sucks not being able to go to dojo because of Covid19, but it is giving me a lot of time to work on the basic exercises we do at beginning of class and work with the Jo staff. I’ve been working to shadowbox what I can remember of the techniques like shomanuchi ikyo omote/ura and kotegeishe to get them in to muscle memory easier. Been browsing these forums and found another topic with some people expressing disbelief that a blind person could use it for self defense. Made me chuckle, since a cane is an aluminium version of a jo staff and is a lot lighter than a wooden one, making it much faster and easier to move with. Are there any resources explaining techniques in a similar way to the jo suburi articles? I’m working to learn the names better, but having descriptions would be useful.
Thank you
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