Friday 30 May 2014

Kumi-jo Aikido Workshop in Bucks Cross

Sensei Small (4th dan Iwama) will be teaching a kumi-jo workshop at the Hartland Aikido Club in Bucks Cross Village Hall (between Bideford and Bude) on Tuesday June 3rd. There will be no class on Monday June 2nd. Everyone is welcome to attend Sensei Small's workshop. If you practise with some other Aikido club, you will be very welcome - so please come along and join us for the evening. The class starts at 7:30.

Wednesday 28 May 2014

Thoughts on the Nature of Aikido

I happened to notice these two short videos in which Saganuma Sensei discusses elements of aikido and its practice. They are, I think, worth watching. I hope you find them of interest.

The Basics are The Ultimate Secrets...

Attitude in Training...

Monday 19 May 2014

Sankyo in Aikido

Sankyo is one of those core Aikido techniques that can give newcomers (or even people who've been practising for a few years) real problems. The main problem is not the sankyo grip itself but how to retain control throughout the technique. Often people 'take off' the sankyo as they pull down the arm, thereby making the technique ineffective. I encourage my students to practise the sankyo control as two separate movements: 1) rotate the arm around the pivot point established by the sankyo grip close to the wrist. Only then 2) point the arm towards the ground to move the uke.

Experienced practitioners take the uke down in a single movement - that is, they both rotate around the pivot-point and simultaneously take the arm down towards the floor. But in my experience beginners find this too complicated  to master as a single movement, which is why I encourage them to learn sankyo in the two steps outlined above.

Today I came across an alternative way of explaining the sankyo control. In this video (one of an excellent series made by the New York Aikikai), the instructor comments on the similarity between the sankyo 'cut' and a sword cut. "I don't want to point the fingers down and cut with the butt of the sword," he says, "I want to try to cut out with the tip and the elbow of the sword."

If you are having problems with sankyo, this video is worth watching...