The Fearsome Rear Bear Hug! Know What To Do? No – That’s Why Bullies Do It.

Being bear hugged from behind is a very severe attack – that’s why bullies and nasty folks like to do it!

Yes, yes, it is possible to stamp on their feet, elbow them or throw your head back into their face, but what if they are prepared for that or just plain tough?

Strength is not much use against even a person your own size when they get a good hold on you.

You need to know how to make some room, take their balance and lead them into a forward fall!

This can really only be done with correct focus and ABSOLUTE relaxation.


Yes, but not the kind of floppiness most people think of – real poise and grace.

Here Richard is tossing Angelo around for his 2nd Kyu grading in August, 2014.


Strength Did Not Avail Her, but Relaxation Did

In this video, my helpers are holding me with a great deal of strength to stop me from getting free of their grip. First, I show how it’s impossible to escape with strength alone. Indeed, without any momentum to work with, I can’t even get started on doing a throw.

Then, using Aikido properly with completely relaxed mind and body, I show how the technique can be done. It is always hard to see how much strength the attackers are using because they are not meeting with resistance! I can assure you that they were holding me in the exact same way as before, when I was using my own strength.

Want to be able to throw off stronger or even multiple attackers? You absolutely cannot learn it properly without a coach who is experienced – so this video is a demonstration to inspire you to get to class!

I have read that children who stand up to bullies and defeat them WITHOUT hurting them earn more respect from peers and teachers than those who fight fire with fire.

One 8 y.o girl student of mine, Maggie, started Aikido painfully shy, tense & bullied by a boy in her class.

Since she was learning to relax and move freely, the boy soon found that Maggie was not so easy to intimidate anymore, but a few months later, he upped the ante and determined to really scare her.

He enlisted two other boys to ambush Maggie and hold her arms so that he could punch her in the belly.

This is a serious attack, and Maggie had not learnt the rather advanced throw here, but she knew how to relax and go WITH rather than AGAINST their superior strength. Also, and most importantly, she had learnt to not STOP HER MIND.

With a simple move that she had practised over and over in class, she flung off one boy and then the other. Then, she shoved the main bully to the ground. As he went to pick himself up, no doubt surprised and embarassed, she shoved him down again. He tried again to regain his feet, but Maggie would have none of it and pushed him down a third time!

The main bully realised that they were no match for little Maggie and shrugged to his buddies, “C’mon guys, let’s go..” They stalked off.

This is one of my favourite Aikido action stories and I was very proud to have helped Maggie accomplish this for herself – how empowered she must have felt!






How to Handle Zombies


Screen shot courtesy of “The Walking Dead”

VITAL – Share this with your loved ones if they are worried about zombies. Yeah, you know the type.  Some poor mug  has become infected with the virus and is shambling around alone or in a mob trying to bite the living.

Ok, fans of zombie movies will know all the gruesome details of how to dispatch these undead with weapons, but what if you were unarmed and even outnumbered?

We tried out a few things last night in adults class and found that Ki and Aikido training gives one distinct advantages in this survival situation.

Want to know how to save your skin? Reading about it is fun, but of no practical worth. You’ve got to get your carcass into class!

Action Shots from Rye Back Beach!

On Belts and Hakamas at Our Dojo

Aikido Melbourne Western Suburbs (1)

We follow the Japanese Ki Aikido tradition of mudansha (those who have not yet attained first dan or first level black belt) wearing only white belts, not coloured belts.

There are some other schools within our organisation even in Australia who do use a coloured belt system, but it is just an ornamental difference, and all the dojos teach the same curriculum and have exams with the same criteria.

Our mudansha students may all be girt in white belts, but of course there are differences in ability levels. One person may be a real newbie and another may have several years of practice and be on the verge of going for their black belt!

Also, people get to wear the hakama, the pleated, VERY baggy, skirt like samurai pants when they reach black belt. This is good motivation to work hard for your black belt – the hakama looks extremely cool and feels even better.



FAQ – “How big are the classes?”

Aikido Sydenham -  (100)

Good question. There are some absolutely HUGE martial arts franchises out there, sometimes with hordes of students. Perhaps their teaching quality is good, but then again Macdonalds is all over the world but the main thing that has made them flourish is their business nouse, not the quality of their food.

We on the other hand are a boutique dojo with classes with about 6 – 10 people on the mat at any one time. We do not accept just anyone with a wallet, but make sure that our students truly want what we offer. This guarantees that we have classes full of people who know and encourage each other and treat each other with respect. They all really enjoy Aikido practice and learning how to use its principles for real results in their lives.

Furthermore, we have several senior students with whom you can train and they will be very calm and patient as they help you perfect your technique and hone your mind & body. Geisner Sensei oversees the training and works his way around the class, helping people at all levels of expertise with direct, personal instruction and feedback. You will even get to train with him every lesson and he is very friendly and open to discussions at the end of class. At some big franchises you’ll be lucky as a beginner if your instructor knows your name or even cares.


Super Ukemi Training at Rye – July 13

rye back beach no. 16

Okay, you know I’m joking, right? This picture is what is going to be in the BACKGROUND, as we practise on the soft sand.

The idea is to spend an hour or two at least finding a beautiful spot and exploring a bit and then getting into weapons practice, meditation, breathing etc. Maybe we will do some ukemi, too, if you don’t mind some sand on you!

It’s been years and years since I went to Rye back beaches, situated near where Tasman Drive and Browns Road meet, not far from the hot springs. I was so impressed by the rocks and pounding surf mixed with patches of soft sand, that I knew that one day I would be bringing my students here for Aikido and Ki training!

You’ll need to bring suitable shoes, your uniforms and weapons and anything else for the beach. I hope that it won’t be TOO cold, but then again, a bit of nip in the air didn’t deter the warriors of old from training.

We’ll be taking many photos down there, too.

More later.



Drive In Experience July 13 – $16

At the end of our day down on the Mornington Peninsula, you’re invited to come along to the Dromana Drive-In! Not sure yet what they’ll be playing, but there will be 3 screens going, so I’m sure we’ll find a movie for us to see! Tickets cost $16 for adults.

drivein 2

$30 – Reserve Your Place Now For July 13!

Everyone, I called the hot springs and got some info. We’re going down there in the early morning on Sunday, July 13 (by 8 am) and taking advantage of their ‘early bird’ offer. It’ll cost $30. They said that we MUST book ahead of time, because it is peak season and the weekend. Do this for yourselves ASAP – use their internet link under the photo.

We can stay there all day after that if we want, but Eva & I went there last year and 2 hours was a satisfying length of time to try out most of the different pools and saunas.

Hot Springs Reminiscence

Wow, do I miss Japan’s famous onsen or hot volcanic springs! Gee, I wish I could take my students to one of those; …. (to people in background yelling excitedly) “Hey, can ya keep it down back there?!) Yeah, then we’d go to a lovely beach and practise Aikido and weapons and meditation.. “C’mon guys. be quiet, will ya? .. What’s that? There’s a hot spring complex on the Mornington Peninsula and a string of dramatic beaches nearby?… Heck, what are we still here for?”