SHIHONAGE

The opening move of san no tachi begins with both players connecting their ken near the kissaki.  Keeping the connection flat to flat, the initial move is to snappily turn uke’s blade off-line and cut the thumb while simultaneously sliding to the flank.  Nage’s right hand started vertical (seigan no kamai) and now has turned […]

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Keys to Effective Training

The keys to effective training – these are the ‘secrets’ of any art.  The more I study and train the easier it is to see connections where I once saw only differnces:  Moving beyond techniques to see concepts: to see connections among the arts. The metaphor of a ‘key’ is a powerful one – for […]

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LEVELS OF TRAINING

Traditional pedagogical transmission reinforces hierarchical structure: Shoden (初傳, beginning teachings) Chuden (中傳, intermediate) Okuden (奥傳, hidden or inner teachings) … and then there is Kuden – the secrets taught “mouth to ear.” This is a good way to ensure structured progression (kyu > dan) and maintain social gradients (kohai > sempai).  Mass production and replicable […]

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RYOTEDORI KOKYU NAGE

Suwariwaza ryotedori kokyuho as a means to establish correct tension, indexing and lines of force. Correct tension.  Uke must approach nage with the intention of controlling nage’s arms with force from high to low and nage will receive with equal counter force from low to high.  The resulting tension is the starting point, the axis […]

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IKKYO IS MAKIOTOSHI

This morning we started with bokken.  Standard shomen cut suburi to free the shoulders, then slide-cut to incorporate footwork (ashi-sabaki).  From solo suburi to shomen uchi as a paired exercise. Shidachi gives gedan no kamai to invite uchidachi to strike.*  Uchidachi strikes at the available opening: shomen.  Shidachi receives with a cross block with a […]

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EDGED ETTIQUETTE

An armed society is a polite society In the Aikido dojo, remember that the sword remains the soul of the samurai and that spirit remains salient.  Therefore, even a bokken (wooden sword) should be handled as the symbolic representation of a shinken (live blade). When sitting in a line, place the sword on your right with […]

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SPOTTING

I am failing my new year’s resolution of teaching to the test.  Concepts and connections are taking precedent over technique in my classes. This morning the only technique I taught was ai-hanmi-katate dori kokyuho (and its variant irimi nage).  I have covered kokyuho previously but this morning I used it as an exemplar of precision […]

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