A blog with some news, reports and articles from the Aikido community around the world.
Edited by Lawrence Warry & Ze'ev Erlich

Monday, May 2, 2011

April and May 2011

1. Special Update from Siberia.

Summer Trip Invitation from Siberia.

Our Aikido friends in Siberia have invited anybody who wants to join on an amazing adventure this summer in the Altai mountains.
The region is said to have some of the most beautiful untouched scenery you could ever see. However, if you are thinking of going, please do
take precautions and enquire about vaccinations before leaving as there may be some danger with bugs and ticks which inhabit this region.
The trip will take place in the second half of august but no fixed dates have yet been given. If you are interested to join this voyage, please contact the organiser, Alexander Petrov as soon as possible (email:
Some more information about the Altai region …


is a vast mountainous area, located in the center of Eurasia at the juncture of China, Kazakhstan, Mongolia and Russia. Russian part of Altai includes the Altai Region (Barnaul is the central city) and the Republic of Altai (Gorno-Altaisk is the capital). The most attractive sites for ecotourism are concentrated in the Republic of Altai which is also called Gorny Altai. Unique natural and cultural features of Gorny Altai grant wonderful opportunities for all kinds of ecotourism activities.

Gorny Altai is the highest mountainous province of Siberia. Some mountain-masses are 3000 – 4000 m high. Their peaks are covered with snow and ice all year long. Glaciers descend along their slopes. The highest point of Siberia – Belukha Mt (4506 m) is situated there.
Gorny Altai is also famous with its rivers and lakes. Biya and Katun are the two largest rivers which interflow near the town of Biysk and give start to the Ob River – one of the greatest rivers of the world. Katun with its tributaries Chuya, Koksa, Kucherla, Argut, Ursul are very popular among whitewater rafters because of thrilling rapids and exciting landscapes. The Biya River has its source in the Teletskoye Lake which is situated between high ranges of mountains. The Teletskoye Lake with its length of about 80 km, depth of 325 m and volume of 40 cubic kilometers is considered as a symbol of Altai. The beautiful Shavlinskiye Lakes are situated on the Northern slope of the Severo-Chuysky Range.
The greater part of Gorny Altai is covered with taiga. Larch and cedar prevail but you can see many other species of trees and bushes. Alpine areas, situated on heights more than 2000 – 2400 m, offer large meadows with various grasses and flowers. In the whole, in Gorny Altai tourists have opportunities to observe practically all kinds of Siberian scenery: dry steppes of Central Asia, taiga, alpine meadows in blossom, tundra, majestic glaciers and snow peaks. Fauna is very diverse too, including 90 species of mammals, 260 species of birds, 20 species of fishes. Snow leopard (irbis), wild ram, elk, Siberian stag (maral), bear, golden eagle, hawk, umber, sterlet can be met there.
The climate of Altai is continental with a stable cover of snow in winter and with summer temperatures up to +300C.
The Golden Mountains of Altai are included into the UNESCO World Heritage List.

2. Teacher profile: Richard Strozzi Heckler Sensei, 6th dan Aikikai.

(image and text obtained from the Internet, credits to

Richard Strozzi Heckler, PhD is the founder and President of Strozzi Institute. A nationally known speaker and consultant on leadership and mastery, he has spent more than three decades researching, developing, and teaching the practical application of Somatics (the unity of language, action, and meaning) to business leaders and executive managers.

Richard is the author of seven books, including In Search of the Warrior Spirit, The Anatomy of Change, Holding the Center, The Mind/Body Interface, and Aikido and the New Warrior. His articles have appeared inEsquire, East West Journal, The Whole Earth Review, and numerous other publications. In October 2000, a Wall Street Journal cover story featured the groundbreaking leadership program developed by Richard for the United States Marine Corps. Richard has a Ph.D. in Psychology and is a sixth degree black belt in the martial art of Aikido. He also holds ranks in Judo, Jujitsu, and Capoeira. Richard has taught at the University of Chicago, Harvard University, Sonoma State University, Esalen Institute, Lone Mountain College, Naropa Institute, and the University of Munich.

Having worked with tens of thousands of people over the last 30 years including corporate executives, Olympic and professional athletes, managers, political leaders, and inner-city gangs, Strozzi-Heckler’s client list includes U.S. Marines, U.S. Army Green Berets, U.S. Navy SEALS, AT&T, DMV, Microsoft, Sportsmind, Capital One, Barnes & Noble, and Hewlett-Packard.


I met Heckler sensei for the third time in Petaluma, north of California, USA at his dojo, the Two Rocks dojo in the coutryside next to Petaluma. The dojo is surrounded by beautiful scenery and beautifully kept on the inside too. Heckler sensei's group follows the lineage of Mitsuge Saotome shihan (Aikido Schools of Ueshiba) and the lessons are rich in aikido learning as heckler sensei places emphasis on grounding, centering and positive state of mind. Goodness and healing is radiating from this dojo, and it was a great pleasure for me to enjoy aikido with the Petaluma community and Heckler sensei. Therefore, I present my thanks for again allowing me to participate in the classes during the week of my visit there.

With Heckler sensei in his Two Rock dojo in Petaluma, CA, USA

For more information about Heckler sensei's work, click the following links: and

3. Safety in Aikido (Preventing Injuries and Training Sensibly).

Some things to consider for safety when training aikido (an article written by Paul Mitton sensei of Bath Aikido Society in England).

Maintaining safety in the dojo must always remain one of the key concerns of any instructor. No one likes to be injured or to injure anyone. Injuries prevent practice, can lose you friends and certainly reduce income to the club.

On the other hand injury can be the mother of technique. Unable to put stress on an injured limb, you might just discover new ways to apply the principles, forced by injury to discover the maximum effect attainable from the minimal effort.

Nonetheless all clubs need to have a first aid kit. In addition to the normal medically approved contents, you will benefit from having available a greasy antiseptic for minor cuts, plasters for the same and electricians tape to bind on plasters in a sweaty environment and/ or to strap together injured toes and fingers.

It is a good idea to have two or more of the regular members trained in First Aid. Even a two hour session will give a little knowledge. Further training is often available locally either free or very cheaply.

More important even than first aid training is to have immediate access to a telephone (someone in the club may have a mobile phone) and transport for the more serious injuries that require expert attention in a hospital.

Far more likely are the bumps and strains that simply require time to put themselves right. RICE is a well-known acronym in sports injury circles - Rest Ice Compression Elevation.

Manage the session sensibly to minimise risk of injury. Pay attention to warming up and cooling down. Maintain a sense of discipline throughout to limit any bullying or over intense competition. Ensure that equipment is well maintained. Train sensibly. In throwing arts, when the dojo is crowded, then make sure people are thrown to the edge of the mat and not into the middle. They are far more likely to collide with others in the middle rather than the edges of the mat. Throw in groups or in lines. Train lightly when carrying an injury. Mark the site of your injury with a piece of red electrical tape to remind yourself and others to go easy on particular joints. Do not get over tired - practise more calmly for a while.

Remember when you do become injured that suffering is good for the soul - pain is that by which we become perfect!

Paul Mitton, Bath Aikido Society, 1 August 1997

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