Author: Aikidowarrior

Aiki applications – Sometimes they just create themselves

It is sometimes said that there are 3 levels of Aikido practice – fixed practice, free practice and creative practice.

However, there are also times when Aiki applications just seem to create themselves. And so it was with the below application. An accidental backward trip over a hakama during ushiro practice resulted in a spontaneous sutemi waza (sacrifice throw) response. Before you knew, we were recreating the movement and practising a new form of Aiki application (at least for our dojo).

 

A road less travelled – Aikido pins

In the post-war period of his life, the teachings of Master Morehei Ueshiba (Founder of Aikido) involved significantly less focus on the teaching of pins. This trend has for the large part continued since O’sensei’s death to the point that there are now schools of Aikido that only teach so-called “health pins”.

However, there are still those of us who enjoy and find value in the study of Aiki pins.  At our dojo, for example, we believe the study of pins plays an important role in ensuring that Aikido, in addition to its many other benefits, offers a complete form of self-defence.

The below short video features slow motion demonstrations by Takeda Satoshi Sensei (7th Dan AKI Aiki kai) of a number of rarely seen Aikido pins.  The video was taken during Sensei’s recent visit to Queensland at classes given at Aikido Kenkyukai International Fudoshin Dojo, Sunshine Coast and Fudoshin Warrior Dojo, Brisbane.

 

  • Other Pins

The below pics show demonstrations of other rarely seen pins in modern Aikido practice. All of the demonstrations are by the Founder.


 

Have a great Friday

Ian Grant
Dojo Cho
Fudoshin Warrior Dojo
Aikido Kenkyukai, Brisbane

Aiki Studies for suwari waza – Non resistance

Suwari waza (sometimes referred to as Zagi waza) is a form of Aikido practice performed from the initial position of nage and uke sitting opposite and facing each other while kneeling  (seiza).

In the below video Takeda Satoshi Sensei (7th Dan AKI Aikikai) demonstrates the application of Aiki principles for Suwari waza where the uke strikes the temple of the nage.  This form of traditional attack is referred to as shomenuchi.

As Sensei is exploring responses from Suwari waza shomenuchi from a purely Aiki perspective, there is no predetermined outcome or pin as occurs when practising purely syllabus based Aikido.  The focus is on principle, with particular emphasis on not meeting an attack with physical resistance.

 

The above video was recorded at our dojo on 25 November 2017 as part of a special class by Takeda Satoshi Sensei during his 2017 visit to Australia.

Have a great weekend

Ian Grant
Dojo Cho
Fudoshin Warrior Dojo
Aikido Kenkyukai, Brisbane

Aiki studies – Cross hand grabs

Opposite side one-hand hold wrist grabs are typically one of the first “attack” types taught to new students of Aikido.  The reason for this is that the less aggressive nature of the attack (compared to say a strike) allows the nage (i.e. the receiver of the attack) to more readily focus on such things as correct footwork, moving around the point of contact, basic balance breaking principles, correct posture and movement, maintaining centre and getting off-line.

As we move to Aiki studies, however, the cross hand grab needs to be considered in the context of a more “real world” martial setting.  Specifically, the grab itself is treated as  nothing more than a precursor or set up for a follow through strike to the head or body.

In the below video Takeda Satoshi Shihan (7th Dan AKI Aikkai) provides instruction for dealing with a cross-hand grab from a purely Aiki perspective. As is typical in Aiki studies the emphasis is on principles with spontaneous creation of technique rather than a predetermined Aikido outcomes.

Have a great week

Ian Grant
Dojo Cho
Fudoshin Warrior Dojo, Brisbane
Aikido Kenkyukai

Aiki studies for 2 person attacks – Morotedori

Training with 2 person attacks (Futari dori) is a common form of Aikido practice.  There are numerous syllabus techniques that can be practiced in these circumstances depending on the nature and the type of attack.  Typically beginners practice with the ukes statically holding each arm under resistance.

As we progress to Aiki practice, formal syllabus technique is replaced with more free flowing and spontaneous responses.  The emphasis is on Aiki principles rather than defined outcomes.

In the below video Chicko Xerri Sensei (6th Dan, AKI Aikikai, Tokyo) explores Aiki principles for dealing with a 2 person attack where both ukes attempt to apply a morotedori based grab. Key learnings include:

  • Gathering the attack;
  • Breathing;
  • Moving off-line;
  • Taking balance; and
  • Understanding the sword principles that underpin the movement.

 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Our dojo is an Aikido Kenkyukai Fudoshin dojo operating under the guidance and mentorship of  Chicko Xerri Sensei, 6th dan AKI (Aikikai), Tokyo.

Chicko Sensei has been practising and teaching Aikido for more than 45 years and is endorsed by Doshu Ueshiba.

Have a great week

Ian Grant
Dojo Cho
Fudoshin Warrior Dojo, Brisbane
Aikido Kenkyukai

Aiki studies for 2 hand grabs – Kokyu nage

The term morote dori refers to a traditional attack form whereby the uke grabs the nage’s wrists with 2 hands.  Responses to a morote dori attack are practised in our school both from a static position under resistance and also in free flowing form.

In the below video Takeda Satoshi Shihan (7th Dan AKI/Aiki Kai, Kamakura BudoKan) uses both static and free flowing forms of morote dori to explain the Aiki principle of “gathering an attack”.  Sensei explains how to use this principle to take the uke off balance and then project the uke with a kokyu intent.

Associated Aiki principals also referred to in Sensei’s instruction include:

  • relaxed posture,
  • centre line,
  • moving as a single unit and
  • focussing on the entirety of the uke rather than the point of contact.

The video was recorded as part of special class given by Satoshi Sensei at our dojo on 25 November 2017.  

 

Have a great week

Ian Grant
Dojo Cho
Fudoshin Warrior Dojo, Brisbane
Aikido Kenkyukai

Takeda Satoshi Sensei – Sunshine Coast Seminar

I had the good fortune opportunity on 19 November 2017 to a attend a mini seminar by Takeda Satoshi Shihan at Aikido Kenkyukai International Fudoshin Dojo Australia, Sunshine Coast Australia. It was the first time I have had the opportunity to train with Sensei. Fortunately, the opportunity would repeat itself as Sensei visited our own dojo a week later.  

Whenever I go to a seminar I always hope to either learn something new, gain a deeper insight into something I already have some knowledge of, or otherwise just be inspired. The mini-seminar delivered all three. Further, Sensei was incredibly generous with his time and went to much efforts to ensure we understood his teachings and unique perspectives on higher level Aikido practice.

Key learnings included an exploration of such Aiki concepts as:

  • Gathering an attack rather than fighting it;
  • Finding the zero-point in an attack;
  • Using centreline to take balance and move a uke;
  • Advanced ukemi; and
  • The importance of relaxed good posture.   

Sensei also explained the difference in the way grab based attacks were carried out in pre-war and post war Aikido, specifically the combined use of atemi (strikes) in pre-war times. As an additional bonus, Sensei also demonstrated of various Aiki Budo pins rarely seen in modern Aikido practice.

Dojo friend Steve (AKA Haybigz Bender) recorded the seminar and kindly agreed to let me post his highlights video (see below).

 

Huge thanks to Chicko Sensei for organising the event and also to all the folk from the 2 Sunshine Coast Dojos for making me feel so welcome.

Ian Grant
Dojo Cho
Fudoshin Warrior Dojo, Brisbane