A Good Day

Lead by Harris Shihan and Pasour Shihan, Saturday we held an all day Aikido seminar in Farmville.

A chance to work out with old friends and new.

At the end of the day we were already talking about doing it again.

Veteran's Day Seminar

Come and join us for a one day Aikido seminar at the Farmville Dojo. Pasour Shihan and Harris Shihan will be leading the event. The location is 3725 West Wilson St, Farmville NC 27828. Call 252-531-8476 with any questions or if you looking for a place to spend the night. The seminar fee will be $60.00.

Controlling the Center

Last night in class, Shihan was explaining a theory about one-point. That, in an interaction, there are three centers to consider. The first is your own, the second is your uke's, and the third is the center of the two of you together.

Later last night, completely unrelated, I was looking at an article on planetary orbit. We think of the Sun as a stationary object that the Earth rotates around. Something like this.

In fact, the sun is moving too. It's a complex movement, but it is enough to understand that the Sun is moving 514,000 mph in a movement around the Galactic center. Earth's center is trapped and controlled by the Sun and so, instead of moving in a circle around the Sun, it is following the Sun's movement in a continuous trailing spiral.

Once the center is controlled, it's all spirals.

Study thoroughly the principles of the universe and practice them.
--Koichi Tohei

We Pause For a Moment

Aikido is always a journey. The greatest Sensei will say that he is still learning and exploring. People who don't study have no idea. They think a black belt is a sign of mastery of an art.

 Shodan is an acknowledgement that one has learned a specific set of building blocks and shown a level of dedication to training over a number of years. It is a waypoint on the journey. An important one in some ways. It signifies that you have been accepted by your organization as a serious student.

Lee Sensei reached that waypoint at Gasshuku 2017. This weekend our dojo celebrated her promotion with a gathering and a meal that ended with the presentation of her belt.


On Monday the journey continues.

The Summer of the Blade.

We returned to the dojo from the annual summer camp in June. All the buildup and preparation for testing is over for a while. It’s vacation time and even the regulars are taking weeks off to travel. Classes are small and often consist of an instructor and two or three yudansha.

Shihan has capitalized on this opportunity. It can start with a non-traditional attack, sometimes a series of yokomen-uchi , shomen-uchi, and mune-tsuki attacks that can only be greeted with parries and blending movements. 

Start with empty hand. Hook punches, straight punches, kicks. Get the pattern of attacks and responses you will be working with engrained in nage and uke.

Move to the bokken. Perhaps now it is yokomen-uchis and thrusts.

And then onto the knife. Multiple attacks with a training blade, trying to study not just what the attacker’s next move is, but the move after that, seeking a disarm and an Aikido technique at the finish.

Even the training blade changes the energy of a class. Nage’s focus is the blade. Uke’s focus is the blade. The world outside is forgotten. The universe shrinks down to you and your partner. Over and over, taking turns, it is the blade.

There is no air conditioning. The fans blur any noise from outside. 

Shihan watches, stops the practice, makes corrections, demonstrates again, and you resume.

“Parry it this way.”

“Here’s that disarm, lay the flat of the blade on your forearm and strip it.”

“Turn and open your hips, take their balance and control the weapon, then throw.”

It is the summer of the blade.