There are two motto’s at Pure Aikido

There are two motto’s at Pure Aikido….and they are also my personal motto’s, (no surprise there). Always take

1. “The path of least resistance” and
2. Minimum effort for maximum effect.

Don’t oppose strength but redirect. Don’t clash intellectually and personally, strive to harmonise the situation. Struggle against the instinct for conflict. Change negative energy into positive. Improve yourself everyday and follow your dreams. Be strong enough to oppose conflict and wise enough to avoid it!

The key to improving Aikido is daily practice.

The key to improving Aikido is daily practice. I say it all day. But that is not
enough. One spends so much time and effort acquiring any skill that once a
certain level is reached it is easy to become complacent or to not take new
information on. This is the beginning of stagnation. Everyday one must come
in with something in mind to sharpen or to focus on a weak area. This way we
keep fresh and at the same time condition ourselves to practice excellence.

True Aikido is a level of virtuosity above what would normally be considered
good. As a martial art Aikido can be functional at a lower level but will not
become transcendent until excellence has been attained and maintained.
Real Aikido soars above the techniques and the movements of the art. It
becomes High Art, philosophy mastery. One has to go through the normal
levels one would in any martial art but also go further.

To cross train or not

A big question for many Aikido-ka is how much to cross train? In Japan at the Aiki Jinja or

shrine it was forbidden to practice other Martial Arts. I wasn’t to keen on that at the time.

Now I understand it. Number one at an Aikido shrine it is not appropriate to do other

martial arts. Also over the course of a career in Martial arts and especially at the beginning

it is hard to keep ones focus. Beginners don’t need to be encouraged to other arts when it

is hard enough to stick to one. In a world of MMA where multiple methods are advocated it

seems rational to do many styles. Personally I believe in cross training be it weights, Yoga,

or even other martial art styles. But where it becomes detrimental is where a student

spends time on other activities that could be spent doing Aikido. When they miss classes

and seminars or events that improve their Aikido skills. I suppose it just relates to how

good you want to be. If you want to be outstanding at Aikido you have to put Aikido first. If

you are content to do as a purely social or recreational thing then a lower level of intensity

is OK. So to sum up when you consider yourself a true Aikido practitioner who is trying to

take the art to its quintessential form you have to ask yourself if the time you spend on

other things is diminishing your Aikido mat time. If it competes for Aikido time you have to

say IT IS DETRIMENTAL , if you can do it and maintain your regular classes and practice

sessions its OK. One thing is for sure. A student will never be able to equal the feats of

O’Sensei by putting Aikido second. Aikido was an art which originally was learnt by experts

of other Budo arts. Obviously it requires a singular focus to master it. Just research how

hard O’Sensei trained or his best students Morihiro Saito Sensei, Rinjiro Shirata sensei,

Tohei sensei, trained. They put in superhuman efforts. This is what I attempt to model. In a

world where so much competes for time its difficult over a lifetime to maintain focus.

Personally I want for myself, and my students to engage in a practice that they maintain for

life, when they get a partner, have children, get more challenging jobs, So by all means do

cross training and even other martial arts …..just don’t let it cut down, or take over your

Aikido time. In ones life there are many things that compete for your time. To

excel….choose Aikido

Misogi

Misogi

Every Saturday we have Misogi and flowing Keiko class. What is Misogi? Well literally Misogi is purification. Traditionally it was done by dousing yourself with cold water either from a well or waterfall or in the sea. One practices abdominal breathing to alleviate the cold and focus the mind. It also relates to the use of breathing techniques for purification of mind and body. I

n the Saturday class we do a series of Misogi exercises (without water) that is usually preceded by seated meditation and seated Misogi breathing. Saturday class is the one day where there is NO FOCUS ON COMBAT OR PRACTICALITY. The idea is to harmonise all the esoteric elements of Aikido and integrate them into our basic training. As such we practice Ki exercises and flowing technique and integrate the Misogi and meditation into the daily Keiko.

States of Keiko

States of Kekio

Within the practice of Aikido there reside many levels. levels of practice, levels of intensity, spirituality and ki. Aikido differs when it is practiced on the mat or in a live (street) situation. In a normal class our basic practice method revolves around static, flowing and ki methods. They represent

A- Static, the generation of control and technique by generating momentum from a static position or hold

B- Flowing. Flowing movement to facilitate the use of timing and flowing ki states with a high degree of cooperation.

C- Ki. A piercing execution of waza that is closer to the self defense form that displays the waza at its most abreviated form but retains the use of Ki in a self defense situation.

Basic practice is not to vie for a winning position it is to practice TOGETHER> In a free-sparring situation injuries can and will most certainly occur.

In the Aikido taught effective technique is paramount as that is the gauge of whether what we are doing is correct-it is not however the whole goal. the goal is the cultivation of KI and self development and bringing harmony to our environment. It takes many years to harmonize the use of deadly self defense with spiritual self development.

The other day in practice i was giving this analogy.

“The basic level in Sankyo omote I am giving the opponent the option of countering my atemi or the sankyo but not both. The next level of training is that they are locked into the centre and the atemi becomes like a mystical ki extension that moves the opponent but really it is that the are locked so solidly into our centre that they cannot  get out of our orbit of control. The highest level is that there is no pressure on the opponent and in fact they are no longer an opponent but an orbiting object which doesnt know how and why they are under control. No strength is required. the previous states must be mastered before this can be achieved