The new year, First Wakikai Practice of 2011
A few days ago we had our first Friendship Exchange Practice of the new year. This is a group of Aikido schools in Colorado that get together and share our practice and Aikido together. This going forward we are calling Wakikai Colorado. Wa is Harmony, Ki is energy/power, and Kai is group. Currently this is comprised of (Tanshinjuku, Kiryu Aikido, Doushinjuku, and Aikido of Colorado). Once the group creates a site to explain more about the group we can post a link on this site, and the parent site.
For this practice the group came to my dojo, Kiryu Aikido, on Saturday 1/8/11. We had about 23 people show up. With all these people we had great energy just starting the class. I started with Kiryu basic warm-ups and I taught Ryotedori (two hand grab) techniques. With these we did a few different versions of Tenchi nage and tried to focus on to power of keeping the lower and upper hand(s) extended in the right angle and power. Then we worked on foot work and how to feet and hips were the keys to moving our partners.
Izawa sensei taught the second class. He continued on with with Ryotedori, and explained about the important concept of “Ki Shoh Ten Ketsu” (起承転結). He explained was Ki -Introduction/Attack, Shoh – Receive/Blend with Attack , Ten – Turn or Twist/Change the Energy, Ketsu – Ending or wrapping up the technique (musubi). The idea explains that we need to really keep the whole technique, from dealing with the attack, flowing together, technique finish, as a whole unit. I try to think about this on all our of Aikido techniques, espessially when breaking it down the techniques into their individual components. This to me is what you see in the great Aikido practitioners.
Izawa sensei then worked his dynamic techniques. These started with basics and then moved into more flowing and complex movements. Everyone was challenged and really looked like they enjoyed the process. Unfortunately we did not get a lot of photos of Izawa sensei’s class as he was the photographer. Next time!
At the end of the practice Izawa sensei talked a little bit about a Japanese proverb “i no nakano kawazu, Taikai wo shirazu” (井の中の蛙、大海を知らず). This translated is “the frog in the well doesn’t know the sea”. This really relates to our Wakikai Colorado group, and that we need to expose ourselves to the greater Aikido world. This is to really help us grow and change as Aikidoist.