All posts by marcus

Register for Friendship Seminar 2016

2016 Seminar

The 2016 Friendship Semniar will feature Dunken Francis – head of the Aikido Institute international, Marcus Encel – Sensei at Pure Aikido, and highly skilled Martial Artist Darren Ball from the Yamagawa Dojo. The Seminar will be held at Pure Aikido Dojo (8 Robert St Collingwood) on Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th May – 9.30am – 4.30pm each day.  Cost is $80 per day.

Lunch will be available – $15 Vegetarian Bento Box – please pre-order to purchase on the day. Book here by registering your details below.

PLEASE REGISTER YOUR DETAILS HERE

 

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Please indicate here which days you will be attending (Saturday 7 May, Sunday 8 May or both) and if you would like to purchase a Japanese bento box (vegetarian) for $15. Lunch needs to be pre-ordered, so you can purchase on the day.

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

Too many Sensei.

I have always felt the phenomena of too many people trying to teach is a cancer on the martial arts. In class obviously beginners need assistance but this should quickly be supplanted by self reliance. Don’t rely on others to teach you. general class is not for private tuition. It is for training. As for those who spend more time teaching and talking than hard training…..just train. Many times people are wasting time on the matt trying to teach someone and often they are wrong or neglecting the hard work of training themselves. Ones primary mission is to train. Don’t self appoint teaching roles to yourself. I will do that. Try and improve everyday in Keiko. That is your mission. Talking doesn’t teach like doing does. Also the recipient of this dubious wisdom is often not receptive or open to it (sometimes rightly).

Reflect on yourself.

Everyday in class i teach and give information on how to do Aikido correctly. Focus on this. Don’t add layers of dubious info. Students should focus on what I am saying when demonstrating and try to do that. That is what a general class is. Focus on your goals. reflect on yourself. be self reliant. Take responsibility for your own keiko and don’t externalise.

 

Aikido v other Martial arts

Aikido vs other martial arts.

by Marcus Encel

I am often asked by new students questions like who wins between Aikido and MMA, or how do I counter Karate techniques etc. I answer in this way:
Aikido has no need to prove itself. Aikido works, well. In fact it is among the most effective martial arts in existence. The fact remains though that Aikido serves many purposes such as mental, physical and spiritual development, meditation and self defense. In Aikido we also allow anyone to train. Students may be old, infirm, ill or otherwise unsuited to sparring and physical combat. In a sport based martial art such as boxing, BJJ, MMA, Teakwondo etc students always practice their moves at full power which gives them a great deal of skill when using them. The techniques are developed in a manner to be able to practice in a more or less safe manner. Aikido however is a Budo. Traditional arts were never practiced as sparring forms as in the old days one only practiced to kill someone in a life and death battle and they practiced them the same way they would use them in reality, which is not the same as you would in a sport. I have often heard people from modern combat arts like Systema, Krav Maga and others say that Aikido is weak and that only they practice real fighting techniques. Well let me just say Aikido techniques are real world techniques. Some are outdated and belong in a different field of engagement i.e., samurai combat but all have modern equivalents. Aikido contains many of the most effective techniques in the Martial arts. In any military today enlisted men are taught what could be seen to be Kata., (pre arranged moves), these are a method of understanding technique. All arts use them from wrestling to Escrima, Systema to Krav Maga, BJJ to MMA its only the emphasis that differs.

So back to the original question….there is no best martial art for combat. It comes down to the individual. MMA students will have a huge advantage unless the Aikido-ka is familiar with full contact or real combat scenarios. Just remember though there is a huge difference between someone who does MMA at a gym and a real MMA fighter who gets in the Octagon and puts it all on the line. Professional fighters are light years ahead of other fighters. MMA is a great discipline. It is very different from Aikido. Aikido lets all people participate at a level comfortable for them that doesn’t mean that someone who doesn’t take the same risks with their life and health as a professional fighter could ever hope to beat one in combat.

All the combat arts are good. Find one that you love and take it to the limit. Thats how to be good. Martial artist who think they can train a few times a week and beat a mugger who bashes and maims people every week is crazy, similarly if you want to be able to hang with a pro fighter you have to train just as hard as they do. Thats about 4 hours a day 5 or 6 days a week for all your formative years 10-20.

The good news is you will be able deal with about 90% of combat scenarios that are likely to come up in a normal persons life if you train a few times a week. For those who come to class casually well….they can expect results in line with the effort.

by Marcus Encel 20/4/2012

Pure Aikido is accepting Soto Deshi

Applications are being taken for:
Soto Deshi
I am introducing the Pure Aikido Soto deshi program. Soto
deshi is a deshi that lives outside the home of their Sensei.
It along with Uchi deshi (live in student) is the method of
transmitting traditional Japanese art. It is like becoming
family.
Duties are several and can vary from cleaning and clerical
duties to teaching or other activities to assist the Sensei
outside of normal teaching. Deshi are expected to follow
directives WITHOUT question. It is a total commitment to
Budo.
Soto deshi participate in special private training sessions.
They are also given special training routines to follow. Their
level of involvement and responsibility is determined at the
discretion of Dojo- cho. The commitment is mapped out
according to their individual work schedule. It is not easy,
then again becoming good is not easy. No whiners allowed,
a positive helpful attitude is required at all times. Those
applying must place complete trust in the Sensei. Loyalty is
paramount in this type of relationship.
Going forward this is the method I will use to issue teaching
licenses Kyoju Dairi (representative of Kaicho) under the
Pure Aikido banner. There will also be the Menkyo and
Menkyo Kaiden above and beyond the normal Iwama Style
Dan ranking system. Menkyo is certification of Mastery of
certain waza detailed in the Menkyo. Anyone who masters
the whole curriculum will receive Menkyo Kaiden, (complete
mastery of all techniques). I am looking for students to learn
the complete system who will carry it forward into the future.
There is scope to specialise on a specific area No one can
be the best in the world at all skills simultaneously. You can
take an area and develop it to the highest degree be it
Misogi, suwari, Jiyuwaza or knife/makeshift weapons or any
other.
Dedicated students who do not become deshi can still teach
and progress through the Dan ranks in Iwama style it is just
they will not have a teaching license issued to be able to
teach the higher and more secret levels of Pure Aikido.
Common sense would indicate that a non deshi can still
achieve a very high standard and receive the utmost respect
in the dojo, Daryl would be an example. Students here will
learn the complete Iwama style curriculum plus elements of
Pure Aikido system. Iwama style is “The Basics”.
Exceptions to the teaching licensing and Menkyo system
may be made at the discretion of the Dojo-cho.
I anticipate as more people join the program there will be an
increasing demand for admission. Applications are in writing
or by recommendation only. It may sealed with a Keppan
(Blood Oath). Not everyone is suitable. Those that are not
accepted should not feel insulted. They can re-apply at a
latter date. It is a very close relationship, great willpower is
required in the training.
The reward is exceptional skill, cherished unique abilities
and attitudes for the rest of your life for all who adhere to the
program.