Pure Aikido

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.


Pure Aikido

Aikido Tabi-Ji

Exhibion flyer 1 Aikido Tabi-Ji PDF refducedAikido Tabi-ji is a series of images taken from my upcoming book. Please feel free to attend the opening or come and see it over the following week. Details below.
Marcus Encel

Pure Aikido

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

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
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
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
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

Pure Aikido

Gabe Ung becomes first Pure Aikido Soto Deshi

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

Pure Aikido

New Morning Classes

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.

Pure Aikido

Mass Video upload!

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


Pure Aikido

Australia day Seminar

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.

Marcus Encel

Training recommendations

Morihei Ueshiba said, “Training is not real because nobody dies or is injured.”

As it should be, Personal power resides in being true to promises you make to yourself. Morihei Ueshiba exemplified this sincerity of purpose in his life and training. If you want to be like him, it’s not going to fall from the sky by a wish, or be bestowed by copying his beard. You will have to expend the same amount of energy, sincerity, hard work, both physical and mental, the same austerities, the same singularity of purpose, the same integrity..

Lasting success only comes to those who know how to persist.Nature does not understand resting on laurels, such as certificates, belts, name droppings (what lineage you think you may come from) and the like. Once you cease training, you start to downslide.
Your only true and real qualification is to be found in the barometer of practice. This varies from day to day in a cyclic manner, but persistence does add to a gradual ascension.

“This old man must keep improving and training..” said Morihei Ueshiba when caught training on his last day on earth.

Unfortunately, too many people believe that life should be a movie, where instant gratification is possible after waxing on and waxing off in about three five second clip edits. Not in this galaxy folks. And probably not in any other.Lest we forget, Aikido is Budo! Nothing less. Only the major purpose is the winning the battle within oneself, Masagatsu Agatsu Katsu Hayabi, a far more meaningful and consequential enterprise than accumulating debt and death in the killing fields of futility. Matter, by its very nature is subject to entropy. If energy does not act upon it, decay then sets in and random particles return to original substance as happens to organic bodies after they die.

Most humans don’t know how to directly affect or modify sub-atomic source particles. Or their products such as atoms, molecules etc. However, we can evoke change by the use of mind and will to generate purposeful, skilled activity on a regular basis. The nature of the universe and natural evolution being as it is, this will bring about transformation.The average person knows but a fraction of themselves. The yogi, meditator and Aikidoka has within their grasp, the tools to become cognizant of, and also to activate a considerable part of themselves which would otherwise remain dormant and unconscious.
Marcus Encel

End of Year 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.


2010 weekend retreat

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.

Marcus Encel


2010 weekend retreat