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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Aikido's LiveJournal:

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Tuesday, February 14th, 2017
11:50 am
learning front split
those who want to learn front split, please check out my article

Sunday, October 21st, 2012
1:05 pm
Time for a change
Hello All,

I have been learning Aikido for about 2 years.  For a number of reasons I stopped September 1st.  I feel nothing but kind affection for the students and teachers where I have been learning.  I have not been driven away and still respect them all and like most of them.

Why have you left a particular dojo and were you able to find what you were looking for in another one?
What were you looking for?

Thank you.
Thursday, October 18th, 2012
3:05 pm
katana exhibitionism
This is a sword art, not aikido, but...it made me laugh too much not to share. What happens when someone skilled in something with no practical application is noticed by Japanese TV?

Thursday, August 23rd, 2012
6:02 pm
general advice from any iaido/sword geeks...
I'm looking for an iaito to buy as a first non-bokken practice weapon for Eishin Ryu.  Would appreciate input from anyone with experience in this sort of thing.

Details of my iaito-related web-wanderings here (spent Way Too Many hours on the web today):

Current Mood: drained
Sunday, August 19th, 2012
11:43 am
Conflict at the Egg Farm
Had a run-in with a bully...would like your opinions.

fake lj-cut to my journal
Saturday, July 7th, 2012
5:07 pm
new class starting!
hi! i (and two other instructors) are starting a new class. we will be practicing in porter square, cambridge, massachusetts, on sundays at 11:30 am, starting in the middle of august. our style is kokikai with ki-society influences, by which i mean i will be teaching kiatsu as it comes up along with the throwing arts :)

anyone interested in participating, drop me a line!

Current Mood: excited
Friday, December 30th, 2011
11:44 pm
Chicago Dojo and Hi?
I'm stupid as I lent my copy of Aikido and the Dynamic Sphere to a Jujitsu student who wants to take up Aikido when he goes to college and I haven't seen him since (it's been a little more than a month). I'll have to get Tashi Anthony or Sensei Mike to get it from him when he comes back because it was an expensive book and it'll make sense to me at some point (I doubt it made much sense to him).

I guess I should probably introduce myself. My name's Kate. I started Chendokan Aikido back in April (http://chendokanaikido.com/ --the link to the main dojo in Miami) and I'll be going for my orange belt in February. The dojo's pretty much home to me (and one of the dojos in Miami is too--I went there for a seminar last month and they greeted me with open arms) but I'll be graduating high school in June and, as much as I'd love to go to school in Miami and continue my training with Doc [Doctor Chenique] and all of the other amazing people, it's not going to happen due to me not being able to drive (it's beyond my control, at least until this time next year possibly), so I'm looking into community colleges in big cities like Chicago.

Finding a new dojo is important for me. The dojo I attend now has helped me in so many ways. I actually somewhat like people now and I've met some of the most amazing people, all of whom I consider family. I've learned to push myself harder and gained a lot of confidence. I've done demos in front of crowds of people before and I enjoy it. For once, there's no fear of being laughed at due to my lack of physical abilities (which I'm working on; when I get lazy and don't go to the dojo it all goes to crap) and instead there's people laughing at me in a joking way and my main instructor who uses a lot of tough love while the other instructors are encouraging. I consider Grandmaster Leo like dad (and he considers me like a daughter) and his son like a brother while I have two other dojo brothers and I'm friends with instructors from the other arts (Atemi Ryu Jujitsu and Yang style Tai Chi). I wasn't big on family til I started there and, even now, I'd rather spend time with them than my extended family--if you met my actual family you'd understand.

If I liked this town I'd stay and keep studying here but I don't and you need a car to go anywhere here (the public transit isn't reliable and my dad is retiring then relocating with my mom in September).

I'm just now starting to really get into the weapon part of Aikido. I can do one of the katas with a Jo staff somewhat well on memory but I screw it up if I think about it as I do it (as it tends to happen in everything when it comes to this martial art). I'm spending Christmas money to order a Jo staff and bokken from my dojo and it'll help with not looking like a freak practicing out in the front yard as much, hopefully (I was working on my tenkans on the driveway once and some kid asked if I was doing yoga). I'm okay at randori but I could be a lot better. Technique-wise, it entirely depends; shomenuchi ikkyu omote and ura are two of my favorites though.

Does anyone study in Chicago in a family-friendly dojo? I don't care what style just as long as it's family-oriented and accessible by public transit. I do have family in the city but I've met them once when I was ten. I've tried a little to do my own research, although I haven't gotten very far, and I'll ask GM if he knows any good dojos in the area (he's done a lot of seminars in the US and a few in other countries) but I could use you guys' help too, if you can.

I'm okay with training with a bunch of guys too; there's only one high ranking female at my dojo (she's going for her blackbelt in March, although all of the senseis and GM said she should have gone for it a lot sooner) and she's my mentor but she's not at the dojo often (she's an ER nurse). The majority of females stay for a week or two then you never see them again and I'm not sure the only one of those new people I've seen that has stayed will be around much longer. 

I apologize for rambling so much.


Sunday, December 25th, 2011
3:38 pm
aikido-finally catching on?
After a year of flailing on the mat, something must be soaking in. I find myself "stepping off the line" whenever Chuck Norris advertises "World of Warcraft".
Friday, December 23rd, 2011
9:39 pm
What aikido is for
I think its pretty common among martial arts beginners to occasionally have fantasies of being a ninja or kicking some would-be-attacker's ass. Fortunately we live in a world where incidents that require an ass-kicking are rare. So if we're probably not ever going to physically fight anyone, what is aikido for?

A few weeks ago I was walking home from a yoga class as it got dark, along a relatively busy street for my quiet town--busy enough that there are sound-walls lining it behind the houses--but fairly quiet for that sort of street engineering. Between the ivy-laced sound-walls and the road is an area of tanbark studded with human-tall cone-shaped junipers, then the sidewalk running along the curb.

Something moved suddenly amongst the junipers. At first I thought it was a dog, then it made a startled noise and stood up.

It was a homeless woman. She looked to be about 60 years old, with scraggly unwashed grey hair roping down her face, and tattered clothes.

"Hi," I said. "I'm sorry to have startled you. Are you going to be safe there?"

She looked at me with an astonished expression. "What?"

"Are you going to be safe there?"

"I think I'll be okay," she said.

I asked her if she knew where the homeless shelter was; she didn't. I wasn't sure if it was open yet, as it only opens in the winter, but I described where it was (about a mile away). I also pointed out there was a church about a block away where she might be able to use the restroom in the morning and get more information about homeless services in town.

She reached out cautiously as if to hold my hands, so I held her hands. She almost broke down crying, saying it had been so long since anyone had talked to her or just held her hand.

I didn't have any food or money I could share. All I had was a kind attitude and my directions where she might find more help. She seemed mildly demented or possibly schizophrenic, so when I arrived at home I called the police to ask if the elder-care facility two blocks from where the woman was sleeping had lost anybody. The police said they'd had no reports of any missing residents. I think the cop expected me to ask them to roust the poor lady, which I didn't--in any case he told me about the city's homeless resource flyer I could download and print from the city's police website, to give to her if I saw her again.

The flyer was in small print that I'm sure the woman would not have been able to read, if I had been able to find her again. The following morning I had to pick up my car from being repaired, and when I drove past the woman's spot, there was no sign of her. I hope she found some help at the places I described.

I think this is what aikido is for. Before starting aikido I think I would have been either too afraid or too indifferent to talk to this woman. Even though I couldn't do anything to materially help her situation, I'd like to think she got some emotional comfort at least for that one particular evening. Even my low-level of skill made me feel I'd at least be able to get away if she had done anything dangerous, and that confidence gave me "room" in which to be kind.
Wednesday, December 7th, 2011
11:10 pm
This is probably old news to you, but its new to me
...so...a 1935 film of Osensei:

Current Mood: calm
Monday, November 21st, 2011
2:56 pm
nidan! Also, was uke for a short while of the sandan gradings and sensei asked the yudansha about our opinion about the kyu gradings' candidates.

So, now we have 4 freshly minted shodans, and 1 nidan and 3 sandan promotions!

Current Mood: accomplished
Wednesday, September 28th, 2011
6:20 pm
less-than-optimal-nikyo owie
My wrist still hurts 6 hours after an unfortunate experience with nikyo today.

Debating whether to see a doc about it. Does nikyo have much record of causing actual injuries?

It felt like the radius and ulna, or possibly the lunate and one of its neighbors, were grinding together when it happened.

"Anatomical snuff box" is only vaguely tender so I don't think it is a scaphoid fracture.

(btw, the nikyo was actually done right what was done sub-optimally was me getting out of the way by falling fast enough)

Current Mood: depressed
Saturday, September 17th, 2011
9:41 pm
aikikai and kokikai
My dojo is aikikai. An internet friend goes to a kokikai dojo.

Has anyone studied both and, if so, can you give a comparison as to how these two approaches differ? (I mean, they must differ otherwise why give them different names...?)

Current Mood: calm
Monday, September 12th, 2011
10:16 pm
My dojo may start offering Iaido soon. Anyone here studying that as well? I'm thinking about learning it to improve my ability to center quickly.

Current Mood: bouncy
Sunday, September 4th, 2011
3:11 pm
awesome real-world ukemi
Ok, it's a silly clip, but it really *is* awesome ukemi...


Current Mood: amused
Saturday, August 13th, 2011
8:59 am
Anyone have particular methods of strengthening their grip?
Friday, August 5th, 2011
11:50 am
Aikido and The Dynamic Sphere- Organization and Practice of Akido.

Greetings True Believers,
Sticking to my guns on this and actually doing what I said I will do. Read the book in total and notate my thoughts on the each chapter.  I share this on my personal blog and the Aikido group I belong too.  Please, feel free to comment on either one. That now out of the way, moving on.

Continuing from my readings inAikido and the Dynamic Sphere, I move on to Chapter 3 and Chapter 4.

Read more...Collapse )
Friday, June 24th, 2011
10:46 am
Heaven and Earth Throw
Hi - Aikido newbie here - just started training with the Oregon Ki Society last week.

Last night a throw was demonstrated that kind of blew my mind. I would like to find a video of it, but my searches on YouTube aren't getting me there.

It's called the "Heaven and Earth" throw, and there are several variations. The variation I'm specifically looking for can be described like this:

An attacker runs up to you intending to grab both of your hands. Before he gets there, you scoop your arm straight up and then straight downwards, thus knocking him backwards. He falls to the ground without you ever touching him.

Can anyone find me a video of this?

5:05 am
Akido and The Dynamic Sphere. Thoughts Pt 1
So I am reading Akido and The Dynamic Sphere, and thought I would jot down my thoughts as I go through the individual chapters.

Chapter 1 talks about what Akido is. Aikido , in essence is " Discipline of Coordination, a way of strengthening the mind and body, of fusing the individual's physical and mental powers so that he or she will emerge as a more fully integrated human being. " It is a purely defensive style martial art created for self defense and the preservation of life.

It talks about the importance of fusing ones mind and body into a whole being.  A person who has practiced Akido enough can react instinctively to an attack in such a manner as to defend themselves and disable their attacker with hurting them greatly.   The author puts forth the ideal that the Aikidoi is a higher form of martial art, in that it stresses being so in control of yourself and your environment that you  can dictate how an attack will end without resulting to brute force. 

This of course is brought forth by a lot of repetition, which I can tell you already, Aikido is anything, a lot of practice and a lot of repetition to develop a strong mind-body connection to allow you to react quickly to an assault without lashing out in a blind panic.

Chapter 1 talks about Ki or as the Chinese refer to it as Chi. It is literally the whole, mind-connection. I have seen it in effect so I am a believer but one of things I have not seen yet at the dojo is the "Unbendable arm".   Any martial arts which incorporates Ki/Chi discipline in it will cover this exercise (Tai Chi, Kung Fu, but not Krav Maga or MMA). 

The author writes the key is being totally relaxed. If you are doing it right, you should be asserting no actual physical force.  I will have to speak with my sensi about this and see if he can show me it, maybe cover it  in class some day.

Chapter 2- The Foundation of Aikido.  Aikido was founded by Master Morihei Uyeshiba in the 1950's. Master Uyeshiba  desired to blend the highest ethics of mankind with the practice of the martial arts.  In this chapter the author talks about the " Ethics" of Defense.

To illustrate his point, he gave an illustrated series of examples. In example A, a man without provocation  attacks another man and kills him.  This ranks the lowest on the order of ethics in martial arts.

Example B, the man does not directly attack the other man, but he provokes him with words or bodily language into attacking him and in kills him.  The author writes " there is only a shade of difference ethically..." between A and B.

Example C, we see the man neither attacks or provokes but when attacked  defends himself in a manner which protects him but ends up killing his assailant. Ethically  speaking this is a more defensible action.  Still his defensive tactics , while keeping him safe, resulted in the death of another.

Example D, We see the man attacked but using his attackers own energy against him, he is able to disarm his opponent and walk away.   This is considered the highest of ethical self defense.

High ethical standards and self defense.   Something I have never really given much thought too before reading this.  In a fight, the idea is to win.  That's what I have been taught for years and something that was stressed to me in all my self defense training at academy and in remedial training at work.  The goal is to win, not just to survive.  You can survive in a wheel chair, pooping in a bag but I would not consider that winning.

So how do I reconcile  that with the ethics of Aikido?   I would have to say that is the ideal situation, period.  Ideally , you want to end the fight/ aggression as quickly and as peacefully as possible. However, I know I must be willing and mentally prepared to perhaps cripple or kill someone to be able to go home at the end of the night.  That is not the ideal situation to be certain. Perhaps with years of training the need to go to a more aggressive method will not be there, as I will react instinctively  in a effective, highly ethical manner.

Something to think about for certain.

More to come.

Current Mood: geeky
Monday, May 16th, 2011
10:06 am
I thought I could introduce myself here.
I have practiced aikido since september, and really want people to talk to about aikido since there is a lot I don't understand. Also it would be nice to just talk about the things surrounding aikido as well.
Yoroshiku onegaishimasu~

Current Mood: awake
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