This past weekend (May 27 & 28) we held a small seminar. Attending aikidoka included Paul Laudeman Sensei from Bloomington, Phil Strong Sensei from Chicago, and David Bock Shihan from Wisconsin.
We bowed in at 11 am on Saturday. Thanks goes to Chris and Jack Davis as well as Megan Immerzeel for our shomen, a beautiful picture of O’Sensei and a slick stand to keep it on. We warmed up then Blair Sensei led taiso. Afterward, Strong Sensei led koho-tento-undo (ukemi practice).
Each yudansha taught part of the seminar. Topics on Saturday included ikkyo, nikkyo, sankyo, and kotegaeshi techniques. We had tamales for lunch — yum! Many thanks to Chris Bays for being such a patient uke for our photo shoot. On Saturday night most attendees grouped at Blair Sensei’s place for pizza, beer, and fun. Because seminars are almost as much about ohana as they are about Aikido. After a good night’s rest, we reconvened on Sunday. After a brief warm-up and ukemi practice, we jumped right in to more classes.
Sunday topics included ukemi, atemi, and shiatsu after lunch at Red Robin up the road. We ended around 4:30 and cleaned the dojo, an important part of the seminar is leaving no footprint on our space, in fact leaving it a little nicer than when we came. Afterward we celebrated a successful seminar at the Tilted Kilt which is just south on Michigan Road.
More pictures are available from our Facebook page.
Aikido (Japanese: 合気道? Hepburn: aikidō) [aikiꜜdoː] is a modern Japanese martial art developed by Morihei Ueshiba as a synthesis of his martial studies, philosophy, and religious beliefs. Aikido is often translated as “the way of unifying (with) life energy” or as “the way of harmonious spirit”. Ueshiba’s goal was to create an art that practitioners could use to defend themselves while also protecting their attacker from injury.
Aikido techniques consist of entering and turning movements that redirect the momentum of an opponent’s attack, and a throw or joint lock that terminates the technique.
The word “aikido” is formed of three kanji:
合 – ai – joining, unifying, combining, fitting
気 – ki – spirit, energy, mood, morale
道 – dō – way, path
Therefore, from a purely literal interpretation, aikido is the “Way of combining forces”, in that the term aiki refers to the martial arts principle or tactic of blending with an attacker’s movements for the purpose of controlling their actions with minimal effort. One applies aiki by understanding the rhythm and intent of the attacker to find the optimal position and timing to apply a counter-technique.