Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Video selections demonstrating jodan, chudan and gedan

Week 2 of our Winter Intensive focuses on iriminage and kotegaeshi; jodan, chudan and gedan variations from katatedori gyaku hanmi and ai hanmi. Here are a few helpful videos for your study.

In this video Didier Boyet Sensei demonstrates katatedori gyaku hanmi iriminage jodan

If you have trouble viewing the embedded video you can view it on youTube via this link:

Here, Patti Lyons sensei demonstrates katatedori ai hanmi kotegaeshi chudan:

Link to view the video on YouTube:

In this video Boyet sensei clearly shows the chudan opening motion. The attack is ryotedori however it applies just as well to katatedori gyaku hanmi.

Link to view on YouTube:

Kate Savoca demonstrates katatedori gyaku hanmi kotegaeshi gedan. Note her opening motion. For testing at our dojo I'd like to see you do a tenkan as you apply the kotegaeshi.

Link to view on YouTube:

Monday, January 9, 2017

shomenuchi ikkyo from suwari waza : video selections

In this video from 1988 Chiba sensei offers instruction on suwari waza shomenuchi ikkyo.

Here is Chiba Sensei again in 2011 demonstrating suwari waza shomenuchi ikkyo. As he slows down to show the initial contact, note that both hands make contact together at uke's elbow:

link to view on Youtube::

Phillip Vargas Sensei demonstrates suwari waza shomenuchi ikkyo and clearly shows the placement of hands together at uke's elbow. Note how his entrance is compact, elbows down and close to his body. Which knee moves in as he performs the cut down?

link to view on YouTube:

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Shihonage omote demonstration from katatedori gyaku hanmi - suitable for 5th kyu test

Why we do the opening footwork the way we do for shihonage omote (from katatedori gyaku hanmi).

Note Chiba Sensei is attentive to where he steps relative to uke's foot. Note his use of the shikaku angle in taking uke's balance.

In this video Chiba Sensei relays a story about how the Shihonage technique of O'Sensei evolved after an encounter with a Judoka at a seminar.  Video shared by aikipath on YouTube.

Recorded 2008. Uke in this video is Robert Savoca Sensei.

If you have trouble seeing the embedded video you can watch it on YouTube via this link:

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Lorraine Dianne Sensei demonstrates ryotedori tenshinage

In this video Lorranie DiAnne Sensei demonstrates ryotedori tenshinage, also known as "heaven and earth throw." Note how her initial motion effectively takes uke's balance.  As she takes the final step in, she comments "come in low!" She makes the point that many people step in without sufficiently lowering their center and their attempt to throw is ineffective.

If you have trouble viewing the embedded video you can watch it on YouTube here:

Friday, January 6, 2017

Kagami Biraki - New Year training

Kagami Biraki

Happy New Year!

Kagami Biraki  is a traditional Japanese New Year celebration. It literally translates to "Opening the Mirror" (from an abstinence) or, also, "Breaking of the Mochi. In martial arts dojos a special Kagami Biraki practice marks the beginning of the year. It is both a celebration and a time to reflect. 

Multnomah Aikikai celebrates Kagami Biraki 
on Tue January 10, 2017. Join us for class at 6:15pm.

excerpt from Aikido Today Article*:

The symbolism of the mirror, which is central to Kagami Biraki, dates back to the original trilogy myth (along with the sword and the jewel) of the creation of Japan. By the 15th century Shinto had interpreted the mirror and sword to be important symbols of the virtues that the nation should venerate. They also symbolized creation, legitimacy and authority of the Emperor and by extension the Samurai class itself as part of the feudal system.
Amaterasu, the Sun Goddess, emerging from the cave**
The mirror enabled people to see things as they are (good or bad) and thus represented fairness or justice. The mirror was also a symbol of the Sun Goddess — a fierce spirit (the light face of god).
Swords had long been given spiritual qualities among the Samurai. And their possession contributed to a sense of purpose and destiny inherent within the Samurai culture. So legendary were some swords that they were thought to posses their own spirit (kami).
Considered as one of the Samurai’s most important possessions, the sword (and other weapons) symbolized their status and position. Firm, sharp and decisive, the sword was seen as a source of wisdom and venerated for its power and lightning-like swiftness, but it was also seen as a mild spirit (the dark face of god).
Taken together, the mirror and sword represent the Japanese In and Yo, or two forms of energy permeating everything — the primeval forces of the universe from which everything springs — the source of spirit empowering the Emperor by extension Samurai class who was in his service.
It was from this time (15th century), it is said, that the tradition of Kagami Biraki began. It developed as a folk Shinto observation with a particular class (Samurai) bent.
*Read the entire article on Aikido Today:

Monday, January 2, 2017

Fold a Crane for the New Year! Origami event for Children and Adults

 Jan. 4, 2017 - Origami crane folding activity

Fold a Crane for the New Year!

  Fold a crane for the new year!

Origami crane folding activity 
for adults and children at 
Aikido Multnomah Aikikai.

Paper and instructions provided.
Hosted by Suzane Sensei. 

Wednesday January 4th, 2017
4:45pm- 6:15pm


Friday, December 30, 2016

January 2017 Winter Intensive Training

January 2017 Winter Intensive Begins!

There is a tradition in the Japanese martial arts of training intensively for a period of time in the coldest part of the winter (winter keiko). 

What’s “intensive” about the January  “Winter Intensive?”

At the dojo, we like to cultivate a sense of training seasons throughout the year. Winter Intensive is a time to focus in on a training theme, experiment with a teaching approach or try out a new class on the schedule. This year we are poised for all three.

The theme this January is proficiency with the 5th and 4th kyu curriculum. This month, teachers will focus classes on the techniques found on the 5th and 4th kyu Birankai test guidelines. We are working together to give you a focused experience of these techniques week by week. One of our goals is to cover all the techniques on the 5th and 4th kyu curriculum over the course of the month. Attend classes consistently in January and you will have the opportunity to build your confidence with performing these techniques well. At the end of the month we will conduct kyu testing.

If you are not yet 5th kyu, we encourage you to bring your mettle to training this month and set a goal to test at the end of the month. If you are 5th kyu and already preparing for 4th kyu, train diligently 3-4 times per week and you will be ready to test at the end of the month. You can do it! We will equip you. Sign up for either Jan 31 or Feb 1 and make the commitment to test on that date.

If you are currently above 4th kyu, then this is your chance to take your art to the next level by infusing familiar forms with a whole new level of centeredness, connectedness, wholeness, liveliness and openness (Chiba Sensei’s five pillars of training). Work the forms, embody the principles.

Bokken and Jo training will be offered on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7:30pm, respectively. The relationship between body arts and weapons work is germane to our art. In January we will focus on the fundamental weapons forms as outlined on the kyu guidelines.

This January we’re also trying out new, added practice sessions:
  • Wednesdays, 12:30pm, Greg Corbin will host a practice session with a focus on test preparation help.
  • Wednesdays, 7:30pm, Oliva Sensei will lead zazen sitting practice.
  • Saturdays, 11:45am,  Van Amburgh Sensei will host a practice session where you can bring test prep questions, get feedback on your technique and practice your ukemi.

Will the new practices sessions continue past January? It will largely depend upon the level of member support and enthusiasm through January. On reflection, in a previous year we tried out a new monday evening class during winter intensive - it was well received and we’ve continued the class as a regular part of our weekly schedule. Similarly, last January we tried out a new 12:30pm class and it too has continued with enthusiastic support.  Your participation shapes our future class schedule.

This January we have several special events lined up for you.

Special events in January:
Jan. 2, Mon, first class of the new year. Resolve to Train!
Jan. 3, Tue, Overview for the month’s intensive (First Tuesday open to all levels this month, all members encouraged to attend)
Jan. 4, Wed, 4:30pm: Fold a Crane for the New Year (public event for adults and children - concurrent with children’s class)
Jan. 8, Sunday, 1pm-4pm, intensive training session
Jan. 10, Tue, Kagami Biraki
Jan. 31, Tue Kyu tests part 1
Feb 1, Wed, Kyu tests part 2

Dojo party (date to be announced)

Note: Children's program has special practice sessions scheduled on Sundays in January 10:30am- noon.

The new year is an excellent time to renew our commitment to training, look in the mirror (kagami), break our old habits (biraki) and resolve to improve ourselves. We invite you and challenge you to step up your training, focus in on a defined set of techniques and hone them.

Aki Fleshler, Suzane Van Amburgh, Jon Paul Oliva and Sean Sheedy