June 22nd, 2010 by twistingwrists Categories: VideoNo Responses
Chris Koprowski from Seidokan Dojo of Tokyo stopped in last week and taught a special class for us. Chris was in town for the annual Seidokan Aikido camp and I twisted his arm to get him to teach at OCBC while he was here.
The first part of class he had us going over “ki testing” which is a way to make sure attention is placed on keeping centered and balanced.
The rest of the class focused on ushirodori (bear hug from behind) techniques. I’ll upload video of that next week.
June 20th, 2010 by twistingwrists Categories: VideoNo Responses
It’s not often that Aikido and UFC get mentioned in the same sentence however UFC champ Anderson Silva recently brought in none other than Steven Seagal to help him prepare for his upcoming fight against Chael Sonnen.
This was recently broadcast on the Portuguese language MMA/BJJ show “Passing the guard” and filming took place at the Black House gym in Los Angeles.
April 20th, 2010 by twistingwrists Categories: VideoNo Responses
Last weekend we put on a short Aikido demo at the Hanamatsuri Bazaar held at the Orange County Buddhist Church in Anaheim, CA.
Hanamatsuri (literally translated as “Flower Festival”) is a Buddhist holiday celebrating the birth of the Buddha. Church members and guests spend the day eating Japanese foods and watching demonstrations of various Japanese cultural arts such as Aikido, Kendo, Karate, Tea Ceremony, Taiko, Nihon Buyo, and more.
The demo started off with ukemi (not shown), followed by a ki test, a range of empty hand techniques, weapons, and finishes with a randori (multiple attackers).
February 4th, 2010 by twistingwrists Categories: Techniques, VideoNo Responses
One of the challenges that all Aikido teachers face is how to get students to stop relying on brute strength to move their partners. It was this challenge that led me to develop an exercise that I call “Aiki Push Hands“.
In this exercise both partners place their hands together and try to push each other over. It is exactly this kind of training that shows how reliance on muscular strength will not bring you to your goal.
By keeping your upper body relaxed and fluid, you can move and be able to absorb your partners pushes. By keeping tension in your hara (lower abdomen) you become very stable and difficult to push over.
I find this exercise to be a great way to start the class. Aiki Push Hands helps to get student’s minds off of strength and allows them to feel more of the relaxed power we are striving to develop.
Dan Kawakami talks about the proper attitude towards randori training. He discusses both the physical techniques to handle multiple attackers and also the relationship of randori training to daily life.
Kawakami sensei focuses on maintaining awareness, posture, and dealing with only one thing at a time. Not only by the techniques but also by our presence and our calmness we can help to keep the movement flowing and to keep ourselves safe.
Every January we have a special class where we spend most of the time cleaning the mats. After the mats have been cleaned, they need time to dry. During that time, Kawakami sensei gives us a lecture to remind us what we should be focusing on in our training. Some of the students have been there for many years while others have only been training for a few months. Regardless of the experience level of the student, sensei’s words always sound fresh and true.
In this years lecture sensei covers such topics as:
-the underlying mental state for good aikido training
-the relationship between zen training and aikido
-living in the moment
January 12th, 2010 by twistingwrists Categories: Techniques, VideoNo Responses
For this exercise, the attackers (uke) were instructed to try to grab both of the collars to immobilize the defender (nage). Strikes are not allowed.
This type of training teaches one not to get stuck in one place, to keep moving, to find the opening, and to not move from where you are being held.
While you are held if you get nervous, tensions rise, muscles get tight, and you will soon find you are stuck in your tracks.
It can be very difficult to move when 3 people are holding on to you but with a calm mind, good hip movement, rotation, ducks, and spins, we can usually find a way out.
Perhaps this can be a metaphor for life. Sometimes you may feel stuck and that there’s no way out of a problem. Outside pressures are coming in but don’t stay immobilized. Keep moving… maybe there’s an easy solution?
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