Gabe has taken the challenge and joined the Soto Deshi prpgram. He already trains very hard and brings a great deal to the table. Already he is conducting very successful morning classes 6am Tuesday and Thursday. Welcome on board its going to be a wild ride
We have commenced morning classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays. They will be instructed by Gabriel Ung one of my foremost students. He brings a huge amount of energy and commitment to the mat. He has a focuses on helping people achieve their personal goals in the art and is also a fitness fanatic. He will bring that knowledge to the mat. For those wanting basics and fitness this class is for you. Join Gabe for thoughtfully planned and executed classes that cater to individual needs.
We have uploaded videos to our youtube channel – demonstrating skills and techniques. Demonstrated by Marcus Encel and students at the Pure Aikido dojo.
Check out the Pure Aikido Youtube channel here
On Australia Day myself (Marcus Encel), and four students, Rama Cronin, John Quinn, Gavin Liddle and Duncan Eves went to New Zealand for the Aikido Institute of Auckland’s annual seminar. Much fun was had by all. Duncan Francis the head of Aikido institute was a magnificent host, and a professional singer. we were treated to many great evenings there. He is a consummate practitioner of Ukemi (breakfalls) and we were delighted by his demonstrations. I would also like to thank Sensei’s Tony and Greg for fascinating conversation and new friendships made.
Another great year for Pure Aikido. We had several people achieve Dan ranks this year they were Rama Cronin Nidan, Shannon Owen, John Quinn, Gabe Ung and Gavin Liddle- Shodan. I was very proud of all of you. I didn’t go easy. We also had our yearly award ceremony with Student of the Year going to John Quinn for all his hard training and helpfulness with never a grumble or complaint. He always just keeps going strong. Because he is so self reliant one can forget to show appreciation for the great work put in.
Gabe Ung got the Budo spirit Award for carrying on under adverse conditions, And Armin Fuenror was awarded beginner of the year for great improvement and dedication shown. Lastly Sarah Sabandeja was again given an award this time for Grading of the Year. Sarah is amazing. We are looking forward to an even better year as the dojo grows and the depth of talent grows deeper.
In our basic training we focus on how to apply basic Aikido in real world scenarios and environments. That is not to say we are not interested in the spiritual dimension of Aikido, we are. It just means that the insights of Aikido are gained from expertise in martial art application. Character is built on the border between life and death. It has been said that “the way of the samurai is death”. That is not a depressing negative implication it is just an understanding and familiarity with the nature of combat and our ultimate demise.
At Pure Aikido spiritual training is focused by real self defence skill. Ki training is an extension of that. Real combat knowledge makes sure we don’t float off to some ki netherworld that has no basis in reality. All O’sensei’s amazing ability came from being an exert in applying his Budo. His Ki training was based on that and the teachings of Omoto. Seemingly magical things become logical when you know how to do them.
The higher levels of Aikido, like being able to diffuse killing intention and turn it around or diffusing killing intention and transforming it into something positive are derived from these skills. The more esoteric aspects of Aikido are also. The message is train basics well. Be nurturing to your training partners especially those less able than you, and learn to fight so that turning the other cheek is not fear but an expression of ability and confidence and also an understanding of consequence and what combat really means in its extremes.
Training is fun and positive but also serious.
By Marcus Encel
I wrote the following in answer to Maestro Marcus, one day out of the blue (as he is apt to do), asking me how I knew I had learned things in aikido. I would very much like to hear from readers if any of my reflection resonates with their own experience of learning aikido or if they have other perspectives on the matter.
Learning Aikido is a complex process. Partly this is because it is about educating the whole person and it involves teaching and learning in physical, spiritual and mental realms. This learning typically occurs within a group-training context where the student is part of a community of practice focused upon self-development and ultimately upon a care for nature, humankind and society.
How do I know I have learnt to respect and demonstrate gratitude for:
- I arrive at the dojo and calmly prepare myself, bow onto the mat, train in a positive manner, bow off and help clean the dojo. I maintain my focus and concentration on my practice. I experience pride and satisfaction through my practice, efforts and contributions.
• My teacher?
- I listen to his instructions. I care about what he is trying to teach me. I reflect on what he says and does. I make time to discuss things with him. I try to assist him in appropriate ways. I feel gratitude towards him.
• My fellow students?
- I greet them in a cheerful way and maintain a positive attitude towards them. I train with them in a way that matches them and their level of development. I feel gratitude towards them.
• The space we practice in?
- I clean the dojo, sweep and wipe its floors. I feel grateful that we have such a great place to come to and train in.
• O-Sensei and the ancestry of Aikido?
- I bow to the shrine area of the dojo and feel deep gratitude for those who created our wonderful practice.
How do I know I have learnt to execute Aikido techniques correctly?
I watch my teacher demonstrate a technique with his partner. I observe and attempt to remember the details of the physical movements and the energy transactions. I listen to his comments and advice. I picture the movements and relate them to other aikido movements I have learnt in the past. I practice what has been demonstrated and spoken about. I investigate the techniques with my partners, collaborating with them to reach a better understanding of each aspect of the techniques. I reflect on all of the above and continue to repeat the cycle including private and group times of reflection. Eventually I build up my knowledge, skills and ability to apply the techniques.
I know I have learnt the techniques when I can lead/control/pin/throw my partners consistently, and effectively with a degree of ease; my teacher is satisfied with my performance; I can remember the techniques, perform them at will, or with a little research or prompting; and I can successfully show and explain to other students how to do them.
By Daryl Pellizzer 2010
How do I know I have learnt a technique correctly?
I observe my instructor demonstrate the technique with his uke (attacking partner) I pay close attention to the placement of the feet and the movement of the hands. This forms the basic pattern of the technique in my mind. I then pay close attention to crux of the technique, the energy transfer and where the centre is position. While I make the above observations I relate what I have observed with other aikido techniques I have learnt in the past to assist my understanding; I visualise the technique I have just observed in my mind, this helps my body prepare just before I practice with my partner.
I know I have learnt the technique when I can repeatedly execute the technique effortlessly on demand and do so with control. I know I understand the technique when I can teach a technique to my fellow students quickly in simple to understand terms, and they are able to reproduce the basic form of a technique in a short amount of time.
I further my learning by exploring the technique with my fellow students when training at the dojo I continue my learning with individual training outside the dojo.
By Gabriel Ung
Do you recognize when someone doesn’t know but thinks they do know? and how do you come that realization about others and yourself?
As a student I try to be open to even a raw beginner’s offers at least to start with; sometimes I gain a new perspective from this. But if the aiki isn’t there, if I my attitude is clear yet I think my partner is blocking our training, I try different approaches.
Ideally I aiki those blocks, i.e. I keep my intentions positive, I Iook to myself, my partner and what we are trying to do together. I might call on our teacher to clarify. How will I harmonize?
If my partner is blocking, I will train with them as best I can. I will not be eager to train with them again. I will certainly not try to share my knowledge with them through words. I will try to execute the prescribed techniques as well as I can and then bow in respect to them as sincerely as possible.
As teacher I think I use a similar yet more sophisticated and perhaps less tolerant approach.
By Daryl Pellizzer 2010
It’s close to the end of the year and I am thinking about what has been accomplished at the dojo this year. It’s been great with some fantastic new students. We have allot of depth in the club now and I have been able to do allot of advanced training. The beginners are blessed with many experienced practitioners who are very generous with their time and knowledge. This has enabled our newcomers to develop fast.
In the last six months I have focused my instruction on technical excellence. There are many pitfalls for the long term student to fall into and resting on ones achievements is at the top of the list. Incorrect technique can become a great hindrance to one’s practice. This is made worse when a student can achieve results with bad technique so in their mind it becomes good technique. This is proven to them by the fact that they can get away with it in practice. This is erroneous thinking. Two of the things that separate Aikido from other martial arts are the use of the “path of least resistance” and “constant improvement”, both of these require good technical ability.
Excellence in basic technique is evidenced in self defense when an Aikido-ka is injured and technical ability sees them through, their defense remains solid. It is also evident in their ability to change strategy in an encounter, to also adapt and make the necessary adjustments in a difficult situation.
In those circumstances when one faces someone larger stronger and faster technique is vital. On the mat everyday training should be a learning experience and constantly striving to better ones technical ability and mindset. This is a cornerstone of our practice. Part of Aikido is aesthetic and good technique is beautiful to behold and the same time is effective. Good technique is nothing less than the most economical method of using ones movement and energy and is the epitome of effectiveness.
The annual awards look at the qualities we admire and reward those that typify this spirit.
Thanks too all our students for making it such a great year.