Tag Archives: Concepts

The new student, after a few training sessions, goes over to the instructor and says, “You are so good, how long have you been training?”, or something similar. Another example is, “How long does it take to get a black belt?” These are common questions that crop up almost every time a new student joins a dojo. They’re important questions, but they’re not the real questions. What the student wants to know is how much work they have to do to achieve the same level. So What Is The Answer?…

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Last month we introduced a new concept. You shouldn’t be claiming aikido is lethal unless you’ve given it some serious thought, and worked out how to do it. The first part of that is actually quite simple and easy to achieve. The second part though, how to actually make your aikido dangerous, requires a bit more consideration, and a fair bit of practice. The techniques of aikido, the ones we see in every session on the mats, are brutal. As aikidoka we have a tendency to focus on the opposite.…

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Over the last number of months, as the world has been shut down, there has been an increase in weapons training. As noted in a previous post I think this was a missed opportunity but it has revealed something else that was unexpected. The world over aikidoka are performing weapons techniques and kata. Now, more than ever, social media groups are flooded with videos of aikido weapons. Watching these videos it’s almost impossible not to notice a problem. Failing To Finish It seems that when aikidoka are performing weapons kata…

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Another question that has come up on social media recently was, ‘What would you like aikido training in the future to look like?’ Again, this was an interesting and thought provoking question that prompted many responses. I’ve expanded on my thoughts on this topic here. Unsurprisingly, there’s a few factors to take into consideration on this subject. Self-defence The first and most obvious is the self-defence aspect. 99% of people (and that’s being generous) have no real concept of what self-defence actually is. This includes the vast majority of self-defence…

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There is an interesting conundrum in aikido that is simply neither acknowledged nor talked about. It’s actually built into the fundamental training method of the art and, in my opinion, is a bad thing. Aikidoka, in general, do not know what it feels like to be hit. On the surface of it this is a good thing. The whole point of aikido is that you do not get hit. If you are being hit then you are messing up on Rule #1. I completely accept that and do actually agree.…

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One of the most difficult things that aikidoka have to do is maintain their structure. In this post I’m specifically going to focus on the importance of being upright. There are many aspects to having good posture and one of those is simply standing up straight. Many people think they are standing up straight but when you look at them it is quite obvious that their spine is bent and they’re hunching over. This isn’t always our own fault though. Almost everything around is is designed to make us slouch.…

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There is an idea that keeps cropping up in aikido at the moment. I’m not sure how long it’s been rumbling along for, but it seems to have come to the forefront of social media in recent times. The argument runs a bit like this – Aikido training is worthless because it does not include pressure testing. The first thing to address with that statement is what, exactly, is meant by pressure testing. This is where things start to diverge a little. It may not surprise you to learn that…

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There’s a really common idea in aikido that if it doesn’t hurt, it doesn’t work. I can understand where this sentiment comes from. If somebody applies a nikkyo lock to you then it’s usually accompanied by pain. That tends to be how it works. The classic one for this though, is yonkyo. People groan when yonkyo practice is announced because it means they’re in for a lesson of pressure point squeezing pain. The catch though, is that yonkyo doesn’t hurt. None of the katame-waza in aikido actually hurt. They can…

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For this months topic we’re going to take a look at one of the more advanced concepts of aikido. This is likely to be much more of a style relevant subject. Some styles for instance seem to go out of their way to ignore this subject but almost everyone’s aikido can be improved by taking this idea to heart and applying it to their technique. This idea is that you really shouldn’t disturb the mental processes of your uke. For the purposes of the following we will make the assumption that…

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There is a well known concept in aikido that it’s almost impossible to be unfamiliar with. Chances are that you came across it during your first lesson. We usually refer to that concept as the ‘Line of Attack’ (LoA). It’s a basic idea that forms a fundamental principle within our art and likely several others as well. The LoA is an imaginary line that connects uke with nage and is the line along which uke attacks. It is generally considered to be straight and the shortest distance between uke and…

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