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

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

May 2012

1. EAAC 10th Anniversary Event Report.
The EPO Aikikai Aikido Club's 10th anniversary was successfully celebrated with the advent of Takeshi Yamashima sensei giving an excellent Aikido practice on Wednesday the 25th of April followed by a spectacular dinner at the Full Moon Chinese restaurant in the center of The Hague. During the week leading up to the event, Yamashima sensei visited various dojos in the area (Amsterdam, Gent and Antwerp, Leiden, The Hague's Hagukumi dojo, Delft). Looking back on 10 years, I made a video clip of some of the memorable occassions during the period. Please enjoy ...

It was a pleasure to receive the Japanese delegation (Yamashima Sensei and wife, Aoto san, Chizuyo san and Nagata san) to the training and their visit to Holland. It was a week of many wonderful Aikido impressions, setting us in the mood for many more years of Aikido to come!
With more than 50 people practicing on the mat, it was the largest Aikido held so far at my office.
More than 50 people on the mat enjoying the 10th Anniversary event with Yamashima Sensei.
Although three important persons in the EAAC's history could not make it (Bacas sensei who passed away on the 27th of February 2006, Fujita sensei who is rehabilitating form a stroke since 2008 and Leisinger sensei who is recovering from a heart operation), we nevertheless lighted three candles respectively for each missed teacher and, out of respect for Leisinger sensei's great teaching contribution to the club, we performed the famous 25 move jo kata that Leisinger sensei bought to us from Aikikai Deutschland.
Not forgetting during the lunch period of the same day, the EAAC hosted Ernesto Ladavas sensei, 6th dan Aikikai and chairman of the CABN.
The event successfully celebrated the forming of many old and new friendships and we were pleased to receive three members of the recently formed Aikido club of our office counterpart site in Munich. Many thanks to all the people who supported this project.

2. In and Yo 陰陽 (Japanese for Yin and Yang)
On completing my shiatsu studies last year, I was asked to write an essay on Shiatsu. As part of my essay, I compared common Japanese terms shared between Aikido and Shiatsu. Maybe not so often mentioned in the Aikido world, the terms In and Yo are more commonly known in their Chinese form (Yin and Yang). Whilst these appear to be important terms referred to in the Chinese martial arts, the Japanese terms In and Yo are scarcely mentioned in Aikido publications. I decided, therefore to write something about them in this blog because, afterall, the Yin and Yang Chinese principles also apply to the Japanese martial arts most certainly. 
In principle, In and Yo correspond to the Chinese Yin and Yang and it could be said that the Japanese imported the same meaning as given by this ancient Chinese expression of duality through the transition of Buddhism into Japan.
The terms In and Yo (or Yin & Yang) express common opposites/dualities in nature which when balanced together form a non-dual existence in harmony with the laws of nature created by the universe. That is to say, that all dualisms have a “in” part and a “yo” part.
“Yo” (Yang) is an expression of direct, hard, positive, active, light elements of nature.
“In” (Yin) is an expression of indirect, soft, negative, passive, dark elements of nature.
In shiatsu, the body is expressed in terms of In and Yo. Externally, the parts of the body which accept light (the front of the body) are all considered “In” parts and the parts of the body which shed from light (the back of the body) are all considered “Yo” parts. Internally, some organs are “In” organs (Large Intestine, Thyms, Skin, Small Intestine, Stomach, Gall-Bladder, Bladder, Brain) and some organs are “Yo” organs (Lung, Appendix, Pericardium, Heart, Genitals, Kidney, Liver, Pancreas, Spleen). So a healthy body is one which has a balanced existence of the “In” parts and the “Yo” parts. The application of shiatsu provides the necessary impulse for the body to self-heal. That is to say, by applying pressure to tsubos (pressure points corresponding to the organs), the autonomic nervous system is stimulated which triggers the body to take over the job of unifying organs of opposing polarities thus bringing the body into harmony with a universal balance according to laws of nature.
The same combination of In and Yo are also required in Aikido. When we receive an attack, we don't block it, we accept it (In) and we respond by changing the direction and neutralising with an entering movement (Yo). It is important in Aikido to be both strong and soft at the same time. Most people are either too strong or too soft. Therefore, the practice in Aikido is try to find a harmony between these two qualities and adopt them both at the same time.