Sunday, March 25, 2018

Aikido Benefits for Veterans

I came across this interesting article on the benefits of Aikido practice, particularly for military veterans.  It's not a difficult read as some scientific papers aspire to be.

Aikido: A Martial Art With Mindfulness, Somatic, Relational, and Spiritual Benefits for Veterans

Not all of us have the honor and privilege of serving, but our dojo would proud to be of service to that that do.  If you or someone you know could benefit from Aikido, we'd be happy to help.  Contact us via email or phone (585-325-9160) or just stop in during any scheduled class time.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Dichotomy of Safe Spaces

By all standards, a Dojo is a safe space to practice martial arts.  It surely beats figuring things out in the middle of a bar room brawl and yet is still far more realistic than watching "kungfu" movies, but that guys is another story...

A dojo needs to strike a balance between simulating the stress of an actual altercation yet remain light, friendly, and welcoming.  It must also provide fair and constructive criticism to yield personal growth and avoid coddling which leads to a dangerously destructive sense of ability beyond truth.  It must provide rigorous practice of potentially devastating techniques while minimizing the risk of injury to the practitioners.

As Nage (the defender) we must remember to not be fooled into thinking we will need our training solely in a wide open, well lit room with endless do-overs.  We must be serious when needed, treat wooden stand-ins as sharp steel, and believe our friends are real attackers.  We must throw the attacker without apology or malice.  We must remember that the real world is not covered in 2" of energy absorbent foam and that what we do is real.

As Uke (the attacker) we must remember our only purpose is to help Nage improve.  We must be honest in our attacks, we must forget that we know what Nage is going to do and provide stress and strength just a smidge above Nage's present capacity.  We must attack without apology or malice.  We must remember that the real world is not covered in 2" of energy absorbent foam and that our response to being thrown should be genuine.

Be safe, be aware, be honest to yourself.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Winter Camp Day 3

Winter Camp has come and gone but not without a tremendous display of experience in senior belt testing, including our own Peter Veazie who calmly and confidently earned his sandan.

Thanks to all those we practiced with, shared, and learned from.  Aikido practice is reliant upon having a variety of training partners spanning all the spectrums of size, energy, flexibility, and strength.  Each bringing a unique feel that hones our senses and builds our library of responsiveness.  We look forward to our next gathering!

I invite you all to come to the Rochester dojo Monday night for belt presentations in the beginning of Hugh's 7pm class.  

Winter Camp Day 2

An inspiring day of practice!

Congratulations to Scott Andrews on his excellent 2nd kyu test.

Getting together with 200+ of the most dedicated aikidoka in the country for practice is always great.  But this camp we took a moment to reflect on 50 years of our Sensei, Shuji Maruyama, and his impact on our lives and on martial arts in America.  It is an honor to have him as our instructor and to be among his many lifelong students.  Among the many testimonials and proclamations was one from our own Rochester city mayor's office honoring Sensei's positive influence on our community and declaring March 10th, 2018 as Shuji Maruyama Day.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Winter Camp update 2018

Great class Friday night!  The class was well attended and many thanks to the Hun   School staff and lineman who were able the restore power to the building just in time after the nor'easter that came through this week.

Congratulations to Mark Douglas and Gil  Crepso for their great tests.  Two down and two to go.

And for Kerman, since you are wonderful stickler for accurate records,  they tested at 9:10PM.  :)