On Thursday night, we had four recognition ceremonies (this is what they really are, more than ‘gradings.’)
Christian, Benedict and Onel, a.k.a. ‘Neil’ demonstrated in front of parents and their fellow Aikidoka that they have attained Shokyu – the beginning level in mind / body unity and 5th kyu in Ki Aikido. Their efforts, particularly in the last month or so, led to polished performances and they should be congratulated on their efforts.
‘Progress comes to those who train and train.’ – Osensei
Sten also showed us that he has earnt the next level of mind / body unity known as ‘Chukyu.’ It had been a little over a year since his 4th kyu recognition, but this reflects the complexity of the various locks and pins required for 3rd kyu. Sten joins the elite ranks as the 7th person in the dojo’s history to attain these ranks – halfway to black belt.
Richard Sempai did a fine job as Sten’s uke and we had to put out extra mats for him to roll, so that Sten could do the big zenpo throws.
Congratulations everyone and you know what it means, don’t you? …. More practice!!!
Well of course it has to be Star Wars!
Everyone at Inaka dojo and the Brookside class and their families are invited to join us this coming Sunday morning, Dec 24 to watch this blockbuster, originally infused with much wisdom from warrior and mystical traditions right here on Earth, and in particular from Japan and the Samurai.
The movie starts at 10 am, so let’s meet in front of the Reading Cinema, inside Melton’s Woodgrove shopping centre at 9.45.
Tickets are $10 each.
After the movie, we are likely to go have lunch together nearby, so come and join us for this casual social event.
2017 could easily be called “The Year of the Teenager” in our dojo’s twelve year history.
More than ever before, we have had a cohort of keen adolescents join up and decide they really like Aikido and tomorrow night is going to be their first grading night – I think ‘Recognition Ceremony’ is a better word for it, as people who present have already proven their dedication and prowess in the lead up to the night.
I have approved them to proceed onto stage and am sure they are meeting the criteria for their level.
Christian, Benedict and Neil (Onel) will be demonstrating Shokyu (novice level) in Mind / Body Unity and 5th kyu in Ki Aikido.
And Sten (one of the older, dignified gentlemen) will be going for his Chukyu level in Mind / Body Unity and 3rd kyu in Ki Aikido. 3rd Kyu is often one of the more technically demanding gradings as there are many joint immobilisations and pins, and Sten has had to practise them over and over with feedback from me, Richard & Mark Sempai’s.
All family and friends are welcome to come along and take pictures and celebrate their progress.
Unlike the photo above however, coloured belts are only given to children in Aikido for motivation… Belt colour comes from a white belt becoming greyer through hard work over time until one completes their journeymanship and is awarded a black belt.
22. Ki Tests
The mind is an imperceivable thing that has no colour, smell or form.
However, the mind and body are one and so one can know the state of the imperceivable mind by testing the perceivable body. This is Ki testing.
Ki tests are not tests that dispute strength and weakness. It is essential that the one giving the test first unifies mind and body, gives it correctly and makes the state of their partner’s mind known to them.
21. Teaching the Way
Among selfish people there are none who realise the great Way.
If one knows the principles of the Universe and has grasped its great Way, then the Universe gives one the duty to make them known to the wide world.
Do not say you are without the power to save others.
One who learns for a day can already teach that day’s learning. The world is teeming with those who have lost their way and suffer from sickness of the mind.
I shall dedicate all my powers and teach correctness for the sake of others.
Gradings will be taking place on the last training day of the year, December 19.
That means it’s time to start intensive practice!
Treat each and every class as if you were going for the grading that day.
Students will be given their progress sheets, which break down all the criteria I will be using to assess your performance. You need to come to as many classes as possible and get all those criteria ticked off before being allowed to perform on the day – that way you and I and your uke will know that you are competent enough.
This term, Brookside College invited me in to conduct an initial 5 week program for some of their students in years 4,5 & 6.
I’ve just gotten all the responses back and we will be continuing the program in Term 4 with ALL students back on the mat! We’d also like several more Brookside students to join us.
The eight children were very excited to practise evading my wooden sword strokes in an imaginative game, rocking and rolling on the mats and of course, learning how to blend with attacks and lead their partners off balance and to the floor.
There is an alternative to fight or flight! Aikido is active and assertive, insisting on harmony. The more one practices, the less there is need to use force or violence to protect oneself.
What’s more, they learnt how to calm and focus their minds at their “One Points” (at the very bottom of the abdomen) and their partners applied pressure tests to make sure they were doing it properly.
When the mind is focussed in this way, we return to our natural state where mind and body are one.
Not only is it an essential human learning for a life of calmness and resilience, it also makes our bodies very balanced and solid! Aikido’s power comes from being in this state.
Due to the growth of our dojo population, we are going to be having an extra class each week on Thursday night, 6.30 – 8.00pm.
This class will be aimed at fundamental practice, making it ideal for beginners, although all levels are welcome.
Topics that we will be looking at:
- The Principles of Mind & Body Unity
- The Principles of Aikido – Both Throwing & Receiving Techniques Safely
- Ki in Daily Life
- Ki Meditation & Ki Breathing