1. Aiki-concepts at Work
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
1. Aiki-concepts at Work
Monday, November 1, 2010
Nadeau Shihan is one of the few non-Japanese who got close to and learned directly from O-Sensei. The essence for Nadeau Shihan is to uphold the teachings of O-Sensei by taking the ego out of the movement. Therefore it is no longer "I" that is doing the movement but the movement exists and is being and you are letting the movement "be" and do its job (this was the general jist of what I understood from Naeau Shihan's words and the feeling I got in trying to actualise this development). Nadeau shihan allowed the classes start abstractly in this way, giving our bodies the perception of being machines with simple mechanical functions such as "drilling" (turning), "basing" (stable grounding) and "hydrolic pumping" (lifting up and out from within the core or centre rather than lifting with the arms or shoulders). Emphasis is laid upon "presence", "centering", "feeling" with uke and Nadeau shihan presents and requests feedback from the students about analogies of the real world in which the tools we try to develop with O-Sensei's methods would apply. For example, Nadeau Sensei would ask "what does a person who is more grounded feel", "what is intersting about those that come from the planet of grounded people" and then a response would be formed from the contributions of the class particpants and eventually a conclusion would arise from Nadeau "a person who is more grounded is able to take on more projects, more challenges, is more confident, is more able to listen, etc". Nadeau shihan challenges his students in this way to conceptualise with him in defining what the movement is that is being done and so there is a feeling of a unified idea at that moment in the class formed by collaboration of input from all those present in the class. From Babbage to Nadeau, the machine theme is abundantly present in California which has made my trip even more valuable and worthwhile.
Thursday, October 7, 2010
Friday, October 1, 2010
1. Aikido and health and happiness.
A student of aikido told me once that they were not doing Aikido because it is healthy and further went on to even claim that the practice of Aikido is not healthy at all. I spent a considerablly long time overcoming my astonishment at this declaration and required many meditation sessions to accept what the person had said.
Indeed, with injuries, and countless cases of senseis passing away, God forgive, I started to have doubts myself if aikido really is a healthy practice. I came to my senses finally after re-reading the book "Kodo - Ancient Ways" by Kensho Furuya, which was recommended to me by Ze'ev san. Towards the end of this book, there is an excellent exerpt about health and modern day attitudes to health and, I quote from the article, Furuya sensei mentions "Isn't happiness the missing ingredient in our desire for true health?".
I had the pleasure and honour to practice with Yamashima sensei over many occassions this past summer (Geneva, Bath, Hamburg and The Hague and concluding in his own home dojo in Japan). Yamashima sensei has mastered a true way to healthy living and healthy training. It makes his aikido a great pleasure for all and he eminates a true wisdom of continuous repetition of the basic practice. There is no show or spectacle in his practice, he simply expresses in his movement a peace of mind which we are all striving. That, together with true happiness are what comes from my impression of Yamashima sensei's practice.
An honest practice of Aikido which prevents physical and emotional injury to oneself and to others will cultivate hapiness and, from there, will arise good health. Therefore, please let's get back in touch with our spiritual insights which have been somewhat washed away with modern day trends and total dependence on modern medicine and adopt a healthy way of living with the dependence more on our own personal happiness (with the inclusion of aikido training)! You can see the happiness eminated on this sample clip of a training session that took place towards the end of September this year: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j79TOgCFqLY
2. Fujita Sensei corner. Kokkyu-ho.
Fujita Sensei taught often variations of kokkyu-ho, a training for the centre and letting go of the desire to fight or contest. In his training method, he had a very well-defined approach:
1. Za-gi kokyu ho (seated breath power exercise).
2. Tachi waza kokyu ho (standing breath power exercise).
Remember Following points:
1. Avoid a foolish contest of strength with your training partner.
2. Move your body in a circular way and your hand in a twisting motion so as not to be hindered by your opponent’s power.
3. Use the power of your whole body and do not attempt to be clever by only using concentrated spurts of power.
These exercises, performed both standing and sitting, enable one to learn the correct means of using and projecting one’s concentrated body strength and using one’s power in a properly coordinated manner.
When your eyes engage those of another person, greet him or her with a smile and they will smile back. This is one of the essential techniques of the Art of Peace.
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
We start with sad news as, during the summer, three legendary figures of aikido and budo passed away: Aikido masters Tamura Shihan and Sugano Shihan and legendary judoka Anthon Geesink.
Passing Away of Tamura Shihan (9th of July 2010).
At the age of 77, Tamura shihan passed away in France. Tamura Sensei is one of the great legendary uchideshi of O-Sensei who brought Aikido to the world. His influence in propagating and teaching aikido is overwhelming. Aikido has lost a very significant figure. Our heartfelt condolences go out to family and friends of Tamura shihan.
The following notice has been posted on the Australian Aikikai site announcing his death:
“Sugano Shihan has passed away in New York. He challenged illness with great courage, then passed away peacefully, in the arms of his family. Sensei touched and changed the lives of generations of aikido students around the world. We were privileged to know him.”
Our heartfelt condolences go out to family and friends of Sugano shihan.
Dutch judo Olympic champion Anton Geesink, the first non-Japanese to win a world judo championship, has died at the age of 76. Dutch state broadcaster NOS said Geesink, an International Olympic Committee (IOC) member since 1987, died on Friday from a brief illness after spending the past few weeks in hospital. Geesink shocked the Japanese judo establishment by winning a world championship title in 1961, the first non-Japanese to do so, and won a gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics in 1964. Anton Geesink has a street in Utrecht, The Netherlands, named after him and, there you can find the location of the CABN’s aikido training dojo, the Anton Geesink dojo. A representative of the CABN attended Geesinks funeral in his honour.
The Dutch man, Marcel Reijers, and Bulgarian lady, Silvia Marton, (both ranked 4th dan) have been selected to participate on the 30th and 31st of August together with other Dutch Aikido group representatives at the 2010 World Combat Games in China. From the whole world, only 80 Aikidokas were selected. The new 4-yearly event is taking place this year in Peeking from the 28th of August until the 4th of September. This event was made possible with the influence of the World Games organisation. The 5 Dutch representatives join the group under the supervision of the internationally famous aikido personalities, Tissier Shihan (France) and Yokota Shihan (Japan).
During the combat games, thirteen different martial disciplines (Aikido, Boxing, Jiu Jitsu, Judo, Karate, Kendo, Kick Boxing, Muay Thai, Sambo, Sumo, Taekwondo, Wrestling and Wushi) will be demonstrated at a high level. The event is competition oriented and has an olympic style medal presentation scheme. This feature, makes the Aikido participation exceptional since it is not a fighting sport and not a competitive sport. Therefore, it has been given a special place in the games as a dynamic and spectacular self-defense art, only for demonstration.
We wish Marcel and Silvia a successful visit to China and safe return home.
In September, Yamashima Sensei, 7th dan Aikikai will be making a north European tour to England, Germany and Holland with the following schedule.
September 4th & 5th: Manchester, England (Internet:http://www.manchesteraikido.com/index.php/news-events)
September 11th & 12th: Bath, England (Internet:http://www.bathaikido.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/courses.html)
September 14th-15th: Düsseldorf, Germany (contact Frank Osthof:firstname.lastname@example.org)
September 16th: Bremen, Germany (contact Frank Osthof:email@example.com)
September 17th: Lübeck, Germany (contact Frank Osthof:firstname.lastname@example.org)
September 18th & 19th: Hamburg, Germany (Internet:http://www.aikido-institut.net/pdf/Yamashima_Hamburg_engl.pdf)
September 20th, 21st & 22nd: The Hague, Amsterdam, Rijswijk and Dordrecht, Holland (Email: email@example.com).
In October, the Israeli Aikikai Aikido Organisation hosts for the second time Thailand and East Asia's supervising shihan,Fukakusa shihan, 7th dan Aikikai. The seminar takes place on the 7th to 9th of October. More news about this seminar coming soon. Contact Ze'ev Erlich for more information (firstname.lastname@example.org).
In November (12 - 14 November 2010), Christian Tissier shihan, 7th dan Aikikai, shall be giving a seminar at the dojo of Serge Beraud in Singapore. Because this seminar is likely to be fully booked, the announcement comes well in advance. Please read the following message from the organisers. Early bird registration is now over. Registration for this seminar after the 1st of September is S$200. Student discount 50% applies. Seminar will take place at The Swiss Club. For more info, registration and payment please followhttp://www.mumeishudan.com/, email email@example.com call (+65) 9112-1193.