I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. If you are new to Aikido, attend weapons classes. Why? Because all Aikido techniques have a basis in weapons. If you’re new, the most critical aspect of weapons training that will impact your comfort level with Aikido is kamae. Kamae is not just the way we stand before we do a technique. It is the stance in which we are ready. Ready for whatever comes next. We are focused, and ready to act. When you stand in kamae with a bokken, your sword is drawn. You are committed to action. You mean business. But even if you don’t feel all that focused just yet, holding the weapon will alter your kamae in subtle ways. You will feel more need to put weight in your back leg in order to offset the weight that is projected from your hands. When you lift the bokken and strike, you will also need to push your weight down through your hips to maintain your balance. Maintaining your own balance while upsetting your partner’s balance is how Aikido works.
While our regular classes do include some weapons techniques, spending a full class dedicated to weapons practise will improve your comfort level enormously. You should especially do this if you find weapons forms frustratingly complicated or confusing. Even if you are not new to Aikido (black belts included!) weapons training can still improve your Aikido. It’s a chance to practice beginner’s mind. Pretend you don’t know anything and learn how to move your body differently. Your arms are now three feet longer and can no longer grasp your opponent. How do you make this work for you? Energy flows differently when you have a weapon in your hands. It comes from movement, flow and balance rather than muscle strength.
I encourage you to make a commitment. Pick a Tuesday or Saturday weapons class and commit to attending for six weeks. Try techniques with bokken, tanto and jo if you can, and most of all, practise, practise, practise!
Our regular room is not available tomorrow; The City of London has booked the whole building . Class is going to be held on the basketball court in front of the Centre tomorrow (JUNE 3).
Sensei Gruninger has announced a Kyu Test for Saturday, May 27, 2017 with an alternate date on Tuesday May 30, 2017.
Test Fees are due May 20, 2017 along with your completed Test Form. Be sure to identify your testing partner or notify Sensei before test day, if you need a testing partner.
It’s no secret that I love weapons training, an so I’m very pleased that we are re-integrating weapons techniques to our testing protocols. Kyu tests from 7th kyu on now have a required weapons technique; details are contained in the Weapons Syllabus. (This can be found with the rest of the Testing Information).
While exposure to these techniques will increase during regular classes, attendance of weapons classes will likely be necessary to apply the fine polish you will desire for your test. The added benefit will be an improvement or your overall aikido ability through a better understanding of where our tachi waza (’empty hand’) techniques originate (the sword!), ma-ai (proper distance), kamae and timing.
And it’s fun!
To further support weapons training/testing, we are creating demonstration/instruction videos for all the test techniques. The first two are now posted (links below) and the remainder will appear over the coming weeks and months.
Wishing you all joy and success with your aikido training!
Kote Giri Kote Osae (4th Kyu)
Tanto Tandoku – Kata dai Ichi and Ni (Nidan)
Sensei Hiro Ishihara will be teaching Thursday February 23, 2017
Sensei Matt Knight will be teaching Thursday, March 2, 2017
Sensei Matsuo & Seiseikai invite black belts from Aiki Budo Centre to attend the annual Kamakuru Gashuku May 13th & 14th.
This is the 30th Anniversary of this Gashuku and a ceremony for those attending will be held on May 14, 2017. Many other training opportunities are available on May 15th, 17th and 21st.
If you are a black belt and are interested in attending, please advise Sensei Sheppard. The club will sponsor your entrance fee.
Sensei Therese Chow has announced a time change for Friday evening class at Aiki Budo Centre London.
Starting Friday, March 3rd, 2017 class will start at 6:30 PM. Hopefully the slightly later start time will mean that more people can attend! OSU!
Adult test techniques on our Testing Information page have been updated to the AYF 2017 technique lists. New Dan and Instructor recommendation forms are also available. Note that these forms have changed and new information is being requested. Forms are available as fillable PDF or Excel spreadsheet, MS Word versions are no longer available.
Our next dojo closure is Monday, September 4th (Labour Day holiday). For a full list of 2017 closures, see Aiki Budo Centre London 2017 closure dates