Sunday 28 May 2017

Learn Aikido for Self-Defence in North Devon

We start our new club in Holsworthy in just over a week. The Holsworthy Leisure Centre is a great venue for practising aikido so I hope that lots of people in the area may be tempted to give us a try.

It’s difficult to summarise aikido for someone who’s never done aikido before. These days I like to use the expression: “The Coordination of mind and body for self defence.” That was the subtitle of Koichi Tohei’s marvellous book on Aikido, written under the supervision of the founder of aikido, Morihei Uyeshiba, in the late ‘50s/early ‘60s when Tohei was the chief instructor of aikido. To me, this is the central text of aikido. It defines what aikido is all about. Sadly, the book has been out of print for many years so I cherish my own copy which I bought about 30 years ago.

The definitive book on Aikido - sadly now out of print
 This is how Tohei describes Aikido: “All the Aikido arts are involved with the principles of non-resistance…. No matter how strong he may be, you do not oppose his strength with yours but lead him in the direction of his own strength…”

And this is what he says about self-defence: “In the arts of self-defence, you discover how important it is not to struggle against the power of your opponent: in other words, not to receive his power. Though you may have strength, if your opponent is stronger, you will have difficulty beating him. If you do not struggle against his strength and do not receive the strength that he is projecting, he may be stronger than you but that means nothing to you.”

Aikido is a beautiful, elegant, graceful, powerful and effective martial art. The fact that it relies upon using the power of an attack itself means that you do not need to be big and strong to practise aikido well. If you have never done aikido before, please come and join us to learn this wonderful art. Or if you already practise aikido, come and join us anyway. You will be very welcome no matter which aikido style or organisation you come from. There are no boundaries to our aikido. If you want to practise with us, we will be very pleased to practise with you!

From the 6th of June,  we will be practising at the Holsworthy Leisure Centre each Tuesday evening from 7:30 to 9:00. Every Monday (except the first Monday of the month) and Thursday we have a class at the Bucks Cross Village Hall, between Bideford and Hartland. And our friends at the Bideford Aiki-jo club teach Aikido weapons every Wednesday in the Methodist Church Lower Room on Bideford High Street from 7:00 to 9:00. Please note that all classes are adults only (18+).
Make this the year you learn Aikido! Come and join us!

Sunday 21 May 2017

Back To the 80s - My Aikido History

I just came across this old article which I wrote for a lawyers' magazine called "Legal Business" way back in 1991. That's me (oh, so young!) chucking about one of my students at a club I used to run in Queen's Crescent (midway between Kentish Town and Belsize Park ) in North London. I was a 1st dan at the time - I took my first dan in 1989 and my second dan in 1992. Happy days!

Friday 19 May 2017

Aikido Against Bamboo?

Got any over-rampant bamboo in your garden? Aikido can help! Here Kashiwaya Sensei (head of the Ki Society in North America) demonstrates the power of aikido weapons with some impressive bamboo cutting using a bokken (wooden sword). Notice that the bits of paper supporting the bamboo remain intact. This may look easy. From personal experience, I can assure you that it isn't!

Wednesday 17 May 2017

More movie Aikido

Firecracker is another film I haven't seen. The chap in black in this scene is Omar Camar, a senior aikido instructor in the Philippines. Camar did fight scenes in several action films. I would be the first to admit that this is not entirely 'pure aikido' shown here - it is definitely the movie version! - but anyhow, he seems to be enjoying himself...


Another film that features aikido (or possibly aiki-jujitsu, the precursor to aikido?) is this Japanese film... apparently about a boxer who has to relearn self-defence after being confined to a wheelchair.

Tuesday 16 May 2017

Aikido on TV - Science Fiction and Zombies

Following on from my recent post about Aikido in the films of Steven Seagal, here are a couple scenes of aikido (or, anyway, an approximate representation of aikido) from two recent TV dramas... first, Amazon's alternative history science fiction blockbuster, The Man In The High Castle.

Man in the High Castle
from michael hilow on Vimeo.

And then, aiki-jo as a defence against zombies from The Walking Dead.

More aikido in TV and films soon...

Saturday 13 May 2017

Holsworthy Aikido - North Devon

Our new Aikido class starts on Tuesday June 6th in the Holsworthy Leisure Centre. This is the poster. If you'd like to display it on your blog or web site or print it to display on a notice board, we would be very grateful for your help in publicising this class. Remember that Monday and Thursday classes continue as normal in Bucks Cross and aiki-weapons classes are also taught every Wednesday in Bideford.

Monday 8 May 2017

Aikido in Holsworthy!

From June you'll be able to practise Aikido with us in Holsworthy, North Devon. Classes will be on Tuesday nights. Classes continue as usual on Mondays and Thursdays at Bucks Cross. And our good friends at Bideford aiki-jo also have aikido weapons classes every Wednesday. Which means that if you are really keen you will be able to do aikido with us four times a week!

More details of the new Holsworthy class soon..