Thursday 30 January 2014

31 Count Kata Workshop next Tuesday

There is no Aikido next Monday (3rd February). But on Tuesday evening (4th February, at 7:30) we have a special workshop on the 31-count jo kata. You may have seen this kata, maybe you've even practised it - but probably very few people who do Aikido have had the opportunity to study it in depth. This kata is at the heart of the Iwama Aikido syllabus, but there are not many Aikido clubs that have access to an expert Iwama Aikido teacher. We are very fortunate, therefore, to have the opportunity of being taught this kata in real depth by Sensei Richard Small, a 4th dan Iwama Aikido teacher, who specialises in the bokken and jo. This is the first of a series of jo workshops which Sensei Small will teach at our club. The cost is £5 for two hours or £3 for retired/unwaged. Please bring a bokken and jo (if you have them - if not the club will provide them) and proof of insurance.

These workshops are open to anyone who is interested in studying the jo in more depth. You do not need to be a member of the Hartland Aikido Club or its parent association (The BKAA), nor do you need to have any prior experience of the 31 count jo kata. Please note that the Hartland Aikido Club welcomes all interested parties and if you currently practise with some other Aikido organisation (of any Aikido style) you will be very welcome to join us. This is a great opportunity to learn this important kata, so please come along!

Sunday 12 January 2014

You're never too old...

Not all of us in the Hartland Aikido Club (myself included!) are in the 'springtime of our youth'. But that doesn't stop us setting a pace that challenges the younger members.

Some people, as they grow older, slow down, do less exercise, tell themselves they should 'take it easy' at their time of life. I tend to go to the other extreme: the older I get, the less time I have to do all the stuff I want to do, so I accelerate the pace rather than slow it down.

I was interested to read this piece in The Washington Post recently, about a 70 year-old athlete and coach who seems to share my views. Joel Friel cycles for about two hours a day and also does weightlifting and plays golf. His activities are significantly different from mine. My exercise principally takes the form of aikido a few times a week and long walks with my dogs a few times a day. But the principle is the same: don't give give up, don't slow down. You may need to change your activities if your body can no longer cope or if you have specific health problems, but stopping them is simply not an option.

This is what Friel says about staying active in his 70s...
"I’m highly motivated. I always enjoy going for ride, but sometimes younger athletes, although they want to, they can’t. They have so many things in their lives that interfere [such as] trying to start a career and raise a family. I’ve been through that. Now I can do things as I want to do them. That’s one of the beauties of getting older: You have much more freedom in your life. I’m taking advantage of that in every way that I can."
Good advice, I think!

Friday 10 January 2014

Tohei Sensei Aikido video, 1957

Someone recently posted this video of Tohei Sensei showing a mix of exercises and techniques back in 1957. I thought some of you might find it interesting.