Tag Archives: Japanese

Brain=yes, body=no

A three day seminar of Iaido may have moved my sword work forward a little but it left my knees extremely battered!  Almost as battered as my boken from doing tachiuchi no kurai (the paired exercises we do) which is … Continue reading

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Breaking a kata into steps

Sometimes we get so focused on the whole form of a kata or throwing technique that we forget the importance of being precise in the elements that make it up. Continue reading

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Leave the ego at the door

Ego – def. a person’s sense of self-esteem or self-importance. Saying someone has a large ego or a super-ego is generally meant as an insult yet arguably we need some ego in order to keep functioning in daily life.  Lack … Continue reading

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When does push become pull?

I have previously mentioned the perils of training with someone who continually over-steps the levels at which you feel confident at training at, but sometimes this a good thing.  So what is it that differentiates the partner you train with … Continue reading

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The Light Response

Some years ago, when I was working on ships, my boss asked me to tell the crew not to use compressed air for cleaning up the deck and tank tops. There was a danger paint chippings could go in their … Continue reading

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The calm in the storm

Three weeks ago, during a wonderful aikido seminar of which I really must type about, I re-herniated a disk in my lower back and was reduced to immobile agony on the mat.  Having assured my training partner it was not … Continue reading

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The Dawning Wonder of Weapon Work

When you consider that at least three of the instructors I am training under in California hold rank of shodan (1st dan) or above in Iaido (Japanese sword work) or other weaponry, then it is not surprising that a good … Continue reading

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Mixed up abomination

What is this abomination?! I admit I became a little snobbish when I saw a martial art school recently advertising in my area.  “Little bit of everything, specialising in nothing,” I sneered to my companion. I know I’m not alone … Continue reading

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Aikido and Movies!

Originally posted on Tenrokan Aikido Dojo:
Jokingly we were discussing the connection between Aikido and the movies as I pointed out Obata Sensei played the villain in the Ninja Turtle Movies. Well in life he’s very much the real deal. …

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The energy of the mind is the essence of life

I have spent an enjoyable weekend training in aikido with Matthew Holland.   A question he asked of us was, “what is kokyu?”  Now my instant thought was, “breath or air throw,” which indeed was the answer one akidoka gave.  But … Continue reading

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A small matter of not seeking a black belt

There have been occasions when my sensei’s have wiggled their black belts at us and asked, “so, who wants one of these?”  (Which then leads to a talk on the need and desire to train regularly and that the belt … Continue reading

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Belt up

In many martial arts there is a teaching syllabus, with students being awarded progressively higher grades as they become more competent.  Formal grading examinations may exist, or a teacher may declare a student to have consistently demonstrated competence at a … Continue reading

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Hakama horrors

Hakama.  For those not familiar with Japanese martial arts hakama are the big baggy trousers (normally black or deep blue) worn over the white gi, (the pyjama like clothing for the uninitiated).  There is all sorts of self-imposed dojo etiquette … Continue reading

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What are you saying?

There you are, in the dojo, trying to remember what your arms, legs and body need to do and your Sensei comes over and says, “no, no, tsugu ashi, not irimi.”  WHAT?!  You thought you’d come to learn throws, pins … Continue reading

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