Cartoon courtesy of Jutta, from Gobopictures.
At the beginning, I didn’t get him. His aikido was different, so different from what I had seen in those early years practicing aikido. And I had barely heard of him. When I took my first class with him, I was there, at the New York Aikikai, to train as an uchi-deshi under Yamada Sensei. Oh, how things … [Read more…]
Getting your Shodan is like being a recent graduate. It is the culmination of a long process of dedicated study. Hours of practice, and lessons learned from your teachers. No wonder we feel so accomplished. The graduate gets a diploma, and a degree. We get a black belt, and a most precious hakama. And, for … [Read more…]
At some point in my practice I decided I wanted to be the perfect uke. I’m still far from reaching that goal (very far); but, that thought helped me change the way I was training – for the better, I think. Now, it begs the question of what the definition of a perfect uke is. … [Read more…]
This is not your basic level etiquette in Aikido article. There are already many such articles devoted to its basics. I want to go a step deeper, if you will. Consequently, ‘201’. Etiquette is no other thing than manners. Each society has its own rules of propriety. Burping during dinner could be seen as disgusting or … [Read more…]
Living as a deshi of a true budo requires dedication. The rewards are immense, though. You can be a live-in deshi (uchi) or a deshi that doesn’t live in the dojo (soto) while you follow this path. Either way, the process doesn’t have to be all sacrifice. You can have fun and camaraderie, too. (All photographs Copyright … [Read more…]
We practiced Aikido at 11,800 feet above sea level and on a concrete floor instead of a mat. That’s how we started in September 1997 in what we called the Tenchi Dojo. Our jobs took us there. I was working at the Machu Picchu Program, funded after a debt by nature swap between the Governments … [Read more…]