About The Following Blog

The following blog has been written purely for those wanting a first hand knowledge of what it is like to step into the dojo for the first time as a complete beginner as a Martial Artist. Through practising a Martial Art, you will gain many things such as self-confidence, self-respect and life-long and good friends. I hope this helps you to see into an amazing world of which you have never seen before and that I have had the privilege of belonging to and knowing.
Although I have not put my name or any name to this blog, it does deserve a dedication- a dedication to those who help people to train, who teach, reassure and most important of all- those who never give up, no matter how many times they hit the ground or a mental brick wall, with themselves or others. But above all- those who are ready to begin their own journey, it begins with one step….

Saturday, 26 May 2007

Chapter 16: Counters...another aspect of Aikido just like marmite, you either love 'em or hate 'em

Having recently obtained the level of 4th Kyu (Orange belt) I learned that for green I also needed counters as well as Hikkitat. Okay, thinks I lets have a go.
I quickly found that counters as THE worst thing to learn (apart from rolling) and whlist some people like them, others hate them with a passion.
However, counters do have their uses both inside and outside of the dojo. Inside, they are obviously employed as a technique in Hikkitat but outside they may also be used as a form of defence should an attacker also have knowledge of martial art (or so I'm told).
At the moment I'm reserving judgement as to whether I like them or hate them but there's no doubt that a knowledge of counters are useful in certain situations.

Thursday, 24 May 2007

Chapter 15: Putting the 'Martial' back into Aikido...queue technqiues frenzy

I was a little dubious when one session one of the Senpagi's decided it was time to put the 'martial' back into our Aikido. I will be honest, I really, really had no idea what he meant. I mean, I'm not violent!, I don't like hurting folk (honest). Anyway, at the session he brings out punch pads. Okay.. now what?
Turns out we were to work on punches. Yay! I had had a really lousily day at work and it felt real good to get some frustration out of my system. Once we'd done that, we worked on shomenouti strikes (strike to top of head) right and left handed. Only were told 'strike like you really mean it', okay...but I thought Aikido was not about aggression. But then I realised what they were getting at...its easier to do techniques when Uke strikes well and is reasonably compliant then to just edge forward, arm out nervously. It was a kinda revelation for me to realise that you could have some hardness in technique but without being aggressive.

Chapter 14: fast can you go?

Ninandori for me was always about worrying whether I can breakfall correctly and quickly enough to actually get back up after every technique (harder than actually the technique if you ask me). So, imagine my sheer panic when I realised for one two hour session we would be learning and doing Ninandori. Eek!
I actually like Ninandori in a strange sort of way, its a bit like the 'Fast and the Furious' cut down into thirty seconds depending on who the Tori is at the time. But I didn't have a clue how to survive...I mean, two on one is hardly fair right?
We started off quite gently working on how to shorten techniques and showed them to the rest of the club. Then we partnered off for Ninandori....
It was really really great. In the end, against a dan and 1st Kyu I managed 16 techniques in thrity seconds a personal best for me. Now, its their turn...tatanmi at break neck speed here I come!