TESTING

Testing in Aikido is a performance art.  Without overt competition there is no immediate external validation of one’s skill and achievement.  A presentation of one’s understanding of the art at that moment in time (the great Tarim Kim has sound advice on knowing what you know now*) , along the path of one’s development is the […]

Read more "TESTING"

ASHI-SABAKI

Ashi-sabaki generically means foot work but for us it denotes a very specific relationship.  The solo form of practice will be similar to ikkyo.  Standing shizentai as a universal posture, lower the center and zone out with the fingers in the up position, elbow pointed toward your own hip.  Drive the fingers forward with the […]

Read more "ASHI-SABAKI"

PRESERVING INFORMATION

Continuous and correct training is the most efficient way to learn material, but we will always need a way to reference past material and transmit information to future generations. This morning my son was watching an episode of Batman “Artifacts“ set in the future after the Batman has died.  A group of scientists search the […]

Read more "PRESERVING INFORMATION"

ARTIFACTS OF TRAINING

I have used the phrase ‘artifacts of training’ sporadically to refer to conditioned responses that result from improper training assumptions and methods.  One of the most notable is the ‘sensei effect.’ The Sensei effect works on both teacher and student – the student ‘over-reacts’ to the instructor’s input (making any given technique look more effective) […]

Read more "ARTIFACTS OF TRAINING"

JULY 4th

The iconic picture of Washington crossing the Delaware by Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze – while fraught with inaccuracies the image is a powerful reminder of the total commitment the rebels had – pledging their fortunes, lives and sacred honor to the cause. Now used as a parody of saccharine inspirational posters – it translates the 18th […]

Read more "JULY 4th"

IKKYO – SOLVING FOR THE INFINITE

There was a time when students paid their teachers for each technique.  At first glance that may seem expensive – especially if you believe the hyperbole that Aikido’s techniques are infinite – but that would be to confuse naming conventions for patterns of movement. Ikkyo.  The first technique.  The first teachings form the pedagogical foundation […]

Read more "IKKYO – SOLVING FOR THE INFINITE"

SAN NO TACHI

The third paired sword exercise – we broke it down into its constituent movements of uchi komi and kiri kaeshi then rebuilt it as a flow sequence.  But each component has its purpose – its bunkai.  Any given point in the flow could be a terminal movement. Uchidachi’s opening gambit of kiri kaeshi could remove […]

Read more "SAN NO TACHI"