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….

Tuesday, 20 March 2007

Chapter 9: Tanto: You either hate it or love it....a bit like marmite really

I remember the first time I did tanto, I was placed against an extremely scary looking Senpagi and told to have a go. Well, I don't know about you, but I took one look at my opponent and wanted to run away (real fast). But if anything, I'm not a quitter, so I stuck it out and found I really really enjoyed it.
First of all there are two forms of tanto in Tomiki Aikido. The first is Gekarigaygo and the other Hikitatigaygo. The first is free play without resistance and the second free play with resistance (basically think 'rag doll' and you get the basic idea).
I really enjoy both forms of tanto. It is great exercise and really good from a defence point of perspective. But I do find that some higher grades really don't like tanto at all whereas I love it, but maybe I'm just weird in that way.

Saturday, 10 March 2007

Chapter 8: Different grasps for techniques...suddenly a technique in Aikido becomes a method of self-defence

When I first started to work using different attacks and grasps like cuts to the head, straight punch etc., I wasn't really sure how to apply any Aikido techniques to any form of self-defence, so these exercises are brilliant for encouraging you to sort of overcome the initial fear with all beginners... that you don't want to hurt someone, you just don't want to be the one hurt, yeah?
But the real handy thing about practising techniques from different grasps is that they also show how you can adapt your technique for different situations. Take technique five (Ushorio-ate) of Aikido (a personal favourite of mine-really easy technique to apply), this technique can be used for different attacks, say, for example, bottle attacks.
So there you have it... a versatile form of self defence, not entirely fool-proof, but as with any form of self defence, it just makes you feel as though you can do something, should you get grabbed in the street (as what frequently happens in my home town, particularly to women). But in case anyone is wondering, no, I don't feel invincible... just safe walking and traveling to and from A to Z.
However, I feel I have to say to any women reading this... that just because you may be able to defend yourself, doesn't mean that you are invincible or you will never be attacked at 1am coming home alone from a club or pub, play it safe and get a taxi home. I have spoken to many women and it always frightens me that because they live in a small town, they don't think anyone will try and jump them in the early hours of the morning when they are walking home alone. So basically, what I'm trying to say is, don't get paranoid...go out enjoy yourself but keep yourself and your mates safe.

Tuesday, 6 March 2007

Chapter 7: I am offically weird

After one year of aikido, you may think, yep, she's getting there, knows stuff yardy yardy yar. But I STILL cannot roll (well, I sort of can roll... in a 'roll' sense of fashion)
So, I decide enough is enough. I decided to try Shigaei (roll into side breakfall) as I kinda figured if I landed one my side...I may as well try doing a breakfall which involves landing on the side with the bizziare idea that I might actually roll.
Well, I didn't roll... but I did manage to achieve Shigaei. Yeah, okay I can't roll but I can do Shigaei... doesn't make sense, but there you are. Yippee! I can actually do Shigaei, even if I can't roll. Roll on the next grading I say (Hehe-pun not intended, honest)

Saturday, 3 March 2007

Chapter 6: Two clubs....How or how not to choose?

After practising for a year, I wanted more out of my Aikido, you know... better fitness, improved technique etc. As the club I first trained at was out of town and not having a car, imagine my relief when I found a club virtually on my doorstep. I have to say I didn't really know what to do... how would Sensi take my training at two different places?
It was then that I realised that it wasn't out of disrespect to Sensi that I wanted to achieve more.. it was more of that I wanted to explore my Aikido further, push the boundaries of my physical abiltites.
I then rather timidly approached Sensi at the end of a session to ask his permission (I didn't want to offend him, I just wanted to ask him his opinion) and to my relief, he seemed to think it was a good idea.
Just one little thing... how to fit in three different sessions in one week? I eventually decided to train one nigh at one and one night at the other. Seems to work quite well, I'm getting an extra half hour a week and a good variety of teaching and training.