I have seen some Aikido look a bit plastic but this takes it to a new level.
I have been travelling religiously to the Coventry seminar with Sensei Burgess for over twenty years now. My wife can testify that I have preferred the enthusiasm of the Coventry dojo over many a social engagement over the years.
The classes take place the second Saturday of every month at the Coventry Dojo from 1pm-5pm and cost £20.00.
Visitors are always welcome.
The club will be closed for a couple of weeks over the Christmas break.
The last day for the Farringdon club will be 19th December. We will be starting at our new venue at the Deli Studios in Broadgate on the 9th January
The adults class in Ruislip will run until the 21st December. We start again on the 4th January next year. The children’s class will run until the 17th December this year. It will restart on the 7th January
After over two years at the dojo in Farringdon, we are moving the club to a new venue at Broadgate. These will be at the Deli Studios which can be access through the Theatre Delicatessen at 2,Finsbury Avenue, London
We will be starting at the new venue from the 9th January 2018. The class will run every Tuesday from the 6pm-8pm and cost £10/session or £40/month.
Here is a repost of The Beginner video, where Lord Menuhin, the violinist, joins an Aikido class. It is a good introduction to Aikido as Yoshigasaki Sensei introduces some him to some common themes that are practised.
Aikido is a self defence art developed in Japan in the early twentieth century, but has roots which go back to the samurai era. While remaining true to its roots, the art has been developed into an activity suitable for the twenty-first century and modern life.
Aikido practice has three main components:
- Exercises to maintain health and flexibility
- Meditation and breathing practice
- Self defence techniques
You may be wondering how a martial art can involve harmony. If someone attacks you, how can you avoid fighting back without giving in to the attacker? A major principle of Aikido is that it is better to lead an attacker in such a way that their attack fails, rather than trying to beat them at their own game by fighting back. In order to do this, you must understand how to lead the mind of the attacker, not just their body. This involves an understanding of the concept of ‘ki’.
Ki is a Japanese term which can be translated into English in many ways. Often, it is use to mean something like ‘spirit’ or ‘energy’. However neither of these translations is very useful. In Aikido, ki is used to mean the subconscious intention of the attacker. For example, when you walk you do, not consciously control the many muscles involved in moving your arm and legs and maintaining your balance – this is all done subconsciously. Similarly, when someone attacks you their movements are controlled at a subconscious level and it is this which you have to control to prevent their attack. These ideas may seem very strange or even unbelievable, and you have to be prepared to test them out for yourself.
Since in Aikido we aim to lead the attackers mind, the art is very suitable for women as well as men, since it does not depend on having a superior physical strength to the attacker. There is no point in trying to physically subdue someone who is stronger than you are! But your mind can be stronger than that of a much bigger antagonist.
What happens in an Aikido class? This will vary, depending partly on the ability and experience of the students. However, no student is asked to do anything which they do not wish to do. Typically, the class will begin with some gentle exercises to promote and maintain good posture and flexibility. Don’t worry if you are not very flexible – as you practice your flexibility will gradually increase. Stretching exercises may be carried out to reduce the chance of injury during the more active parts of the class. Exercises to develop your understanding of ki and how it is applied in Aikido techniques may follow.
I believe that students who practice an art such as Aikido for many years, and yet who are never attacked, must gain some other benefit as a result. It is not just an insurance, there if you need it but wasted if it is never used. Perhaps the major benefit stems from the fact that attacks are not just physical – they can be verbal or psychological as well. The philosophical side of Aikido develops your ability to deal with these non-physical’ attacks which are more usually known as stress. This, in fact, is more common than a physical attack. In Aikido you will learn to deal with stressful situations in a way which does not involve confrontation (fighting back), taking it out on others (bullying) or simply giving in, which may result in mental illness. Either way, there are many aspects of this art that benefit each of its students and provide a rewarding pastime or hobby.
There will be no children’s class next week on the 22nd October as I am away on a seminar with Doshu Yoshigsaski.
The adult classes on Tuesday and Thursday will continue as usual and we will return to a full schedule next week.