Sunday, 22 March 2015

Aikido Fandango!

This is a photo taken at one of last week's classes.

Here Dermot, Phil and Lara appear to be doing a Spanish flamenco dance. All they need are castanets! As I don't recall teaching flamenco dancing at last week's classes, I have to assume that they are, in fact, doing something that may have some vague connection with Aikido. After prolonged consideration, I have decided that this might be their attempt at a bizarre version of Sankyo. Then again, I could be wrong. Maybe they were doing a flamenco dance while my back was turned...

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Katate Kosadori Kokyunage

We've been exploring Katate Kosadori Kokyunage (known to some as Iriminage) in our classes recently. We emphasise flowing, blending, circularity and balance-taking. This short video from Kashiwaya Sensei illustrates these qualities nicely.

Saturday, 14 February 2015

Meanwhile, back at the dojo...

Here are some photos taken at the Monday class last week. I am explaining some of the principles of the shihonage technique...

Many thanks to Sensei Richard Small for taking the photos.

Sunday, 8 February 2015

Fitness for Aikido - there's an app for that!

It's often said that you don't need to be fit to learn Aikido. And that's true - up to a point. Since timing, softness, blending and unbalancing should be used instead of just muscle-power, you need to be neither very young nor super-fit to do Aikido.

But is it sensible to do a martial art without being fit? Personally, I don't think it is. For one thing, the fitter you are, the safer will your practice become: muscle strength and flexibility will support your joints, cardiovascular fitness will ensure you don't get tired quickly. And what is more, since Aikido is, at its best, a very dynamic martial art, one of its benefits is (or should be) that it helps to make you, and keep you, fit.

But to be truly fit you need to work at it. And the older you get the harder you have to work. While I am not exactly unfit, I am by no means at an optimal level of fitness. So my New Year's Resolution this year was to get myself fitter. The video below shows your a short review of an iPad app which I am using to help me achieve this goal. It's call You Are Your Own Gym and I can honestly say it's the best $2.99 (£1.95) I've spent this year.

You can read my complete review of You Are Your Own Gym here:

Thursday, 5 February 2015

Tohei Sensei performs jo kata (video)

This video was recently uploaded to YouTube. I've never seen such an extensive video of Tohei sensei performing jo katas before. Very interesting to watch.

Saturday, 31 January 2015

February Aikido Schedule and 13 Jo Kata Workshop

There is no aikido class this Monday (2nd February). However, there is a special weapons workshop on the 13 jo Kata (not suitable for complete beginners - but anyone with some experience of aikido, no matter what style or organisation, is welcome to attend). This workshop is given by Sensei Richard Small on Tuesday 3rd of February at 7:30. For the rest of February all classes run as normal on Mondays and Thursdays at 7:30.

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Aikido - Putting the Art into Martial!

There is more to Aikido that simple self-defence techniques. The best Aikido is smooth, fluid and, well, just plain beautiful. In that spirit, I really enjoyed this video by an Indonesian teacher in which he demonstrates a number of defences against attacks while simultaneously manipulating a fan! This is not only aesthetically pleasing but it also shows a high level of skill. I hope you enjoy watching this as much I I did.