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!!!
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.
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
Akemashite omedetou! (Happy New Year) After 3 weeks away, I bet you’re eager to get back into the dojo – I sure am!
Classes are back on as in 2015, from Sunday, Jan. 10.
(Children’s classes are back on Tuesday, Jan 12.)
Go to this link if you’ve forgotten the times.
Yes, the end is nigh, so make sure that you come as often as possible while class is still on.
There will be a break of approximately three weeks and we’ll be starting up again Jan 10.
Invitations to grade will be issued to those who have completed their progress sheets.
Roby Sensei is freshly returned from World HQ in Japan and told me that he has a lot of new things to share with us!
The thrust of the seminar is going to be ‘Connection & Focus.’
He said that the master teachers at HQ wanted us in Australia to correct our Aikido techniques much more. This is great news, because we know that the effectiveness of our art relies in correctness – the small details are the ones that make HUGE differences!
To be sure, changes in hand position, body movement and timing etc. are important, but for proper Aikido, one must be CONNECTED with the mind of the other – this is true for both Nage and Uke. It’s very spiritual-sounding, and is a great insight to be applied into daily life, but it is especially true for dangerous situations.
I’m going to be writing down some technical ‘suki’ or opportunities for uke to wiggle out of a pin or throw and thus becoming an opening for them to start fighting with us.
Most of the classes will be devoted to this aspect, but Sunday morning we are thinking of doing Sokushin no Gyo – otherwise known as ‘bell misogi’ . Sokushin no Gyo involves everyone chanting in unison.. AT THE HIGHEST DECIBELS… it is an ultimate Ki Development Method and leaves you feeling charged and refreshed. Once, I felt encased in concrete up to my one point afterwards – totally unified.
We don’t have a dojo set of japanese style bells, unfortunately, so we’ll have to make do with only our minds, bodies and voices.
On Sunday we’ll also be looking at weapons forms – the jo and bokken – including newspaper cutting! Oh yeah, it’s easy to do with a razor sharp knife, but how about with a bokken?!
I do not know all the details of what Roby Sensei has in store for us, but that is the fun of a seminar.