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Aikido Kanji

Shobu Aikido of Boston Fall Seminar

Hiroshi Ikeda Shihan

October 11-15, 2000

Home > People > Katherine Derbyshire > Aikido > Hiroshi Ikeda Fall Seminar 2000
This review was written for the BuJin Design online newsletter.

Shobu Aikido of Boston's Autumn Seminar began at 10:00AM Wednesday morning, October 11, with a small class of intrepid students taught by William Gleason Sensei (6th dan). Two more classes (3:00PM and 6:00PM) on Wednesday, three on Thursday, and two on Friday enjoyed a relatively uncrowded mat and instruction by Gleason Sensei and senior student Gary Small (4th dan).

Friday afternoon's class was especially interesting. Gary emphasized the "flow" of kokyu nage--the feeling of drawing uke in before sending him back out again.

Attendance jumped up for Friday's third class, taught by Hiroshi Ikeda Sensei (7th dan) of Boulder Aikikai (Boulder, CO). Ikeda Sensei continued the kokyu theme, describing the throw as extension (to meet uke's energy), followed by relaxation (to draw uke in), and then extension for the throw itself.

Let the sword fall"Big people don't need aikido," Ikeda Sensei said, because superior muscle can win a head-on conflict. Aikido allows smaller people to avoid fighting (and probably losing) such a direct conflict by moving to a position where uke is weak. Much of the weekend focused on the need to change the angle between uke and nage to find uke's balance point. Tiny, almost invisible movements, such as a slight rotation of the wrist, can change uke's balance enough to make the technique work.

At the same time, small movements pose a paradox. "Small" does not mean "tense," Ikeda Sensei emphasized. The idea is to manifest a "big" feeling in a small space, not to do technique with a "small" feeling. To generate power in a short distance, the hands, body, and legs must all move together. Gleason Sensei made a similar point while teaching a sword class Sunday afternoon: he explained that the sword should be allowed to fall of its own weight. Power comes from free, relaxed movement, not from trying to "hit harder."

BeerwazaOne dan test closed the seminar on Sunday afternoon (October 15). Congratulations, Laura, for a fine accomplishment after a five-day aikido marathon.

Off the mat, the sometimes fickle New England weather delivered a perfect fall weekend. Sunshine and blue skies made a perfect backdrop for spectacular foliage, and perfect weather for enjoying Brookline's many restaurants. The ravenous horde descended on The Village Fish Friday night. Only three blocks from the dojo, the restaurant is used to such invasions by now: the huge portions were more than even hungry aikidoka could manage. Saturday, Gary and Ania Small hosted a potluck party at their home.

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Photos Copyright © 2000 by Hiroshi Ikeda. Used by permission.

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