Tuesday, December 15, 2015
Any one who would like to give the gift of Aikido for Christmas, you can do so easily by sending us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You'll get a numbered certificate good for a year for our beginners' special to give to a new or even long lost student to get them into the dojo and experiencing how Aikido can be a positive influence on their life. The offer is good for our Rochester dojo only as we obviously can't, well shouldn't, take your money for a different dojo! :)
Monday, December 14, 2015
Fri. 1/1/16 – New Year’s Day Class – 10:00 am – 11:30 am
Wednesday, November 25, 2015
I have the honor and privilege of exploring this state of being we call Kokikai Aikido with a group of people that aren't just my students, not merely my peers, but my extended family. For 20 years my wife and I have been affiliated with our dojo. We not only found a practice which has changed our demeanor, our outlook on life, how we interact with others, how we do other crazy tasks like blacksmithing, how we design products (ask me about the device for firefighters inspired by nikyo), but most importantly, we found a home. The experience of walking through those doors to the foyer and immediately feeling the comfort of being at home is not our unique story, but one that has been the grace of most everyone that has been with the dojo for any length of time.
So, on behalf of myself, my wife Candace, and all of us, I want to thank each and every person that has ever made the Rochester Dojo the Home that it is while never compromising the goal that is the elevation of the art of Kokikai. To all those that came before me, that sweated beside me (or on me) over the years, to those that remain, and to those to come. THANK YOU!
While I have you attention, there are a few announcements:
Congratulations to those who have tested in the past few weeks! Progress makes the dojo. We look forward to participating on your continued journey.
There are no classes on Thanksgiving, but please join our extended family on Saturday from 10-Noon for an extended class. Both Alan Tamayo and Steve Perino will be back up from NY City. Hopefully a few others may join us as well from our satellite programs. Though not a formal regional practice, any and all Kokikai students are welcome, as are new comers.
Please enjoy the holiday and may you survive your adventures in shopping! BTW, if you have someone that has everything on your list, maybe they would benefit from the gift of Aikido. Think hard though, it's so awesome you better really like them. :)
Friday, September 25, 2015
- Kid’s Class 9:00 am - 10:00 am
- Adult Class 10:00 am - 12:00 noon
- Lunch Break 12:00 noon - 12:30 pm (bring a snack to share)
- Adult Class 12:30 pm - 2:30 pm
Wednesday, September 16, 2015
You may ask, why is a martial arts dojo having a fundraiser? The answer is simple, we are an all volunteer run organization funded solely through member dues. Martial arts practice is typically a function of people's disposable income. The past few years have been tough economically for the country and Rochester in particular. We have seen a migration of people away from Rochester for work which has directly impacted our membership. In that same stretch the dojo had to invest in new mats, foam, and lighting. The dojo looks great but we have been unable to re-build our reserves.
Our mission is to teach Aikido to as many people as we can, so we have resisted raising dues. This auction, along with some other activities on the drawing board, is intended to help fix that. We need to rebuild our monthly operational reserve, rebuild our scholarship fund, and start saving towards our next mat replacement in a few years.
Please consider supporting our mission.
Sunday, September 13, 2015
Looks like dinner will be at Alladin's on Monroe. There is a sign up sheet in the dojo. Len and Bob are coordinating.
Candy will be continuing to explore the first bokken kata in the second half of her Tuesday night class. Come and brush up on the kata as well as see what it teaches us about movement, ki exercises, and open hand technique.
Also, we are kicking off a fundraiser to re-build our reserves and scholarship funds. We will be opening an online auction of items donated by members. Please share this with your friends and families and some total strangers, too. There will be a variety of items to bid on from artistic to more practical, many are hand made by dojo members. Please let Candy or I know if you can donate something. Events like this helps us keep our dues as low as they are so please help support your dojo. The auction starts September 16th.
Friday, September 4, 2015
Saturday, August 29, 2015
Details to follow.
Remember folks, get there while the Hakama is still fresh. If you wait too long she'll be to good to see her trip! :)
Friday, August 21, 2015
Sunday, August 16, 2015
Sunday, August 9, 2015
Now, not even half way into the month, we enter a phase where we try to internalize and process all that we saw and felt as both uke and nage. It sparks healthy debate on how to lead, to move, to be still, and how to feel.
I grew up near Philadelphia. Summers are as hot and sticky as our winters are cold and snowy, August was always unbearable. If you didn't notice how drenched you were in sweat, the rhythmic sound of the locusts in the trees is always there to add insult to injury as their song rises with the mercury. In Rochester, however, August seems to usher in a break in the heat. The weather was absolutely perfect for our Seminar. Being in the high 70s made every bead of sweat that much more earned.
I want everyone to cash in on all the hard work of the past couple of weeks and we should double our efforts to be in class such that we can collectively work on all the nuances and tips we have experienced and integrate them. Summer is always big for vacations and events, so consider going on another night if such things disrupt your schedule. Also consider going to extra classes this month to see other people you may not normally see and find out what they saw and felt. The sharpness of our experiences fades quickly with the passage of times so don't let any of this spark escape you! And as I mentioned above, no, it's not that hot. :)
Finally in August, we get to cash in on years of sweat equity in the form of rank promotions. This summer we had the pleasure of seeing three of our own test at camp plus many old friends test as well. Please join me in congratulating those that have worked with such dedication to show that they have earned their new ranks.
I'd also like to extend our congratulations to Tara Liddell (1st Kyu) and Natan Krishchenko (Shodan) from our sister dojo, Eastern Sky. Also to our (formally) very own Alfred Lee who tested for Nidan. Alfred started his Aikido career in our RIT class and now practices with Dennis Embert Sensei in Silicon Valley.
Like Alfred and many others before, Rochester is sending yet another Aikidoka out in to the world. Samantha, with her shiny new black belt, is settling near Los Angeles with her new husband. She is in the good company of our friends Sanpisa and Greg where they are working to build the next entry into the growing directory of Kokikai dojos. We certainly look forward to having yet another dojo to visit!
Friday, July 3, 2015
Wednesday, July 1, 2015
...and to remember to take stock in what we all have; the benefits of being born into a free society and the solemn civic responsibility and duty to keep it that way.
Tuesday, June 30, 2015
Saturday, June 27, 2015
We have 3 more people to fit in this week so please make sure to be there. Two of them will be Thursday.
We also had a great turnout today for our Regional practice. Thanks to everyone who made it possible. Special thanks to Matt, Len, and Kerman fo all of the cleaning they have done over the past couple of weeks.
Thursday, June 18, 2015
Saturday, June 6, 2015
Smooth Gets Speed
We all have that little voice inside of us that says "I want to throw fast like Sensei." But like with all things, you can't start there. If you do the chain becomes....
Fast gets Choppy
Choppy needs Muscle
Muscle means Effort, and not everyone has Muscle
That thought chain doesn't sound good at all. Especially not for the "minimum effort, maximum effect" mantra. But alas, we (all) still want to go fast and get to fast faster. But we must recognize that while working through a "throw", we need to feel comfortable that we can practice it slowly. We need to capture and process a lot of information during the throw if we are going to learn from doing it. We unfortuantely can't do a throw, then after wards analyze what went well or not so aftewards. We need to be conscious and aware during the throw.
We need to feel uke's balance and process how that relates and responds to what your are doing, where you are relative to uke, where you are leading uke to next, simultaneously and instantaneously. For that, we need need to slow things down because that's a heck of a lot of mental work.
But the other guys are looking and I can't look like a noob! Cut it. We're all noobs. (that's pronounced noo-B, btw). Why are we all noobs, because if you are constantly learning then you are always treading on new ground. Like the word "throw", "practice" is a poor word as it implies there is a set and known procedure that you just have to learn to rinse, wash, and repeat. Well, that's why long ago they decided to call these martial "arts" and not martial recipes. That and recipes doesn't very warrior like at all. I'm not even sure there is a word for recipe in Klingon. (please don't write me about the etymology of the Klingon word for recipe)
So, you have permission, from me, and from uke, to practice slow without any baggage but remember, slow does not mean stop animation. Slow still means continuous. Uke attacks, we lead them to start falling, continuously, from the moment of connection to the moment that we allow them to finish falling.
stay tuned to this same AKR channel for the next exciting installment
We are having testing on June 27th, Saturday, at the 10AM class. We will also be extending the class to 2.5 hours and are inviting anyone in Kokikai to come practice with us. Beginners are welcome and there is no mat fee for the event.
Please come and support your fellow students and hopefully meet some new ones. Keep an eye on the blog as we are looking to have a post class social event as well.
Thursday, May 21, 2015
Sunday, April 26, 2015
Tuesday, April 7, 2015
If you have a chance, ask Aiala to throw you tsuki kotegaeshi with pin. Aiala has an excellent 3 palms up pin!
Please join me in welcoming Aiala to the ranks of 6th kyu.
Thursday, March 26, 2015
Thursday, March 19, 2015
Wednesday, March 11, 2015
Tuesday, March 10, 2015
Please join me in congratulating Peter and Jason on two outstanding tests this weekend at Winter Camp. I'd also like to thank all those who helped prepare them during test prep and continue the Rochester tradition. It is a continuing pleasure to be practicing with such dedicated, high caliber students.
- Tues. March 10 at Eastern Sky dojo - 6:30 pm-8:30 pm, dinner after TBA
- Wed. March 11 at Aikido Kokikai Rochester dojo - 6:00 pm-8:00 pm, dinner after TBA
Monday, March 2, 2015
- Fri. March 6-Sun. March 8 – Winter Camp, Lawrenceville, NJ-see
brochures or a black belt
- Sat. March 7 – DOJO CLOSED, no kids or adult class
- Mon. March 9 – Camp belts in 7:00 pm class
- Tues. March 10 – Dennis Embert Sensei at Eastern Sky dojo-All
are welcome-6:30 pm-8:30 pm (suggested donation $10), dinner after TBA
- Wed. March 11 – Dennis Embert Sensei at Aikido Kokikai Rochester dojo-All
are welcome-6:00 pm-8:00 pm (suggested donation $10), dinner after TBA
- Thurs. March 12 – Camp belts in 6:00 pm class
- Thurs. March 19 – Testing in the dojo during 7:00 pm class
- Wed. April 1 – Maruyama Sensei’s Birthday, need to get card in the mail by 3/23
Saturday, February 28, 2015
PS. Since Len is going to camp, there will not be open mat on 3/8 either. As usual, check with Len for the Sunday open mat schedule.
For those going to camp. We just got word that parking may be an issue due to a second event on campus that weekend. Please arrive to class early as you may have to walk a bit farther than you are used to.
Thanks and stay warm!!!
Thursday, February 19, 2015
As we continued on with stretches and ki exercises we kept that visualization going. Which leg stretches felt more comfortable, which less? Which of those feelings could be capitalized on during a technique? As we did fune kogi undo, we pictured moving uke's balance back with it. We pictured the beginning movements of tsuki kote gaeshi as we practiced tenkan (turning about the point of connection) and tekubi kosa joho undo. We felt how the connection with uke should feel as we did the kote gaeshi ki exercise. And then, as we did standing ukemi, we took notice of how fast we fell to the ground without any assistance from a nage.
Finally, we practiced tsuki kote gaeshi. Though we really had already been practicing for it 15 minutes.
Warm ups can be very useful. It's not just a time to make a perfect shomen uchi movement, but a time to reflect on how that movement is used in a given technique.
Monday, February 2, 2015
Sunday, January 25, 2015
We had a very successful meeting for the dojo this Saturday morning. We had a great turnout and had many people step up to take care of the various tasks needed to operate the dojo. It is a testament to how much Aikido and having the dojo means to everyone.
Thanks to the entire dojo for your continued support!
Friday, January 16, 2015
Thursday, January 15, 2015
Winter Camp is scheduled for March 6-8 in Lawrenceville, NJ and that means…
The 2015 winter session of camp/test prep kicks off next Thursday, January 22.
All are welcome and as usual, we will kick it up a notch for camp/test prep classes. Beginners will be taken good care of so don't hesitate to come as well.
Camp/test prep will run for 6 weeks, every Thursday night from 6:00 -7:00 pm and continued in the 7:00-8:00 pm class.
As usual, week 1 and 6 we’ll have video review for baseline and progress. Please be prepared to stay a little later those nights.
Remember, if you are not testing, we will need ukes of all types, so please come and support your fellow aikidoka.
Camp/test prep has been a long standing tradition in Rochester which, with your support we’ll continue to enhance everyone's quality of practice.
Marcella and Brian
Thursday, January 1, 2015
The flip side of that is that we need your help to run the dojo. Tasks range from making sure the place is clean to monitoring attendance to doing the finances to help with the websites... You get the idea. It's the stuff you don't need a black belt for to excel!
We're inviting all the members of the dojo to come and discuss these issues, event planning, and serve as a open forum for everyone. So, please make an effort to come and participate in making our dojo the home away from home and haven for training it has been for 30 years and counting. I'll put a pot of coffee on! :)
Time: 11:15-12:15pm (right after the Saturday adult class)
Where: Right in the dojo