Recently, an book on Tomiki aikido from 1966 came across my radar on the Study Group Tomiki Aikido FB page. The title is “Aikido: A Dialogue of Movement” and it was written by John Wilkinson. I didn’t have time to properly digest the post (like most of the things I see on Facebook…) so I put the title on my reading list and moved on, noting with disappointment that the title was not available on Amazon, and wondering how I would find it.
Well the wondering is over. This afternoon I happened to look at the post again, and realized that the link to the book included scans of EVERY PAGE! The link WAS the book!
I’ll put the link here for anyone who’s interested that: a) isn’t in S.G.T.A. on Facebook, or b) is a moron like myself.
Thanks to John Wilkinson (I assume) for making it available, and Eddy Wolput for bringing it to our attention!
Other materials appear to be available at http://www.aikido-aid.com/, including a book by Senta Yamada and Alex Macintosh.
RMR 2013 DVD update: After sorting out a few compression issues with the Dai San sequence and a couple of wonky menus, I believe my work on the DVD is done. I’ll be sending the DVD out to a drop-shipping service today and hopefully it will be ready to ship sometime next week.
I was a little disappointed with the way some of my (AVCHD) footage compressed down to SD, especially with the constraints of having to fit everything onto one disk. Still, it’s instructional material, and I think the instruction comes through very clearly. If you’d be interested in a Blue-Ray disk rather than a DVD let me know. If there’s enough interest I could convert it over.
Next up I’ll be doing subtitles for the Sata 2-dvd set. That will be available at some point from the TAA, but don’t hold your breath.
Just came across this on the Tomiki Aikido FB page, posted by Mark Walsh. Well said sir.
I’m starting to work my way out from underneath my backlog of local video work, which is allowing me to turn my attention to a couple of aikido DVD projects which I’ve kept postponing. For those of you who have already contacted me about getting a 2013 RMR DVD, and especially to those of you who have already given me money, I appreciate your patience! I hope to have something ready to ship soon.
I am also in the early stages of putting together English subtitles for Tadoyuki Sato Sensei’s DVD which will be available through the TAA. (Sean, I’m trying to get to it as quickly as I can!)
In putting together the titles for the RMR DVDs I always like to have the correct names for kata and drills. This may not matter much to most people, but I like to get these things right. I’m not bothering with kanji this year like I did for 2010 and 2011, but I am at least trying to get the names correct. This leads to the occasional google search when I’m unsure, which brings me to today’s topic – the Hiji Mochi no Tsukuri.
The Hiji Mochi no Tsukuri is a set of drills put together, fairly recently I believe, for tanto randori by the JAA. I don’t remember practicing these drills when I was a student at Vassar, I think my first exposure was at the Shodokan or perhaps Yamagata sensei’s practices in Ono. Of course these drills are standard fare these days in Japan and I always felt silly fumbling my way through unfamiliar material that was part of the kyu curriculum at the Shodokan.
Due to time constraints, we don’t spend much time on drills at our practices, but on occasion I have tried to cover the Hiji Mochi no Tsukuri. Oshitaoshi, which Dziubla sensei introduced at the RMR, I can remember. The one I would always have to slowly reason my way through is the third – tenkai kote gaeshi.
So I was quite happy when I came across the video below with Sakai sensei presenting the hiji mochi no tsukuri. Enjoy…
I just got back, exhausted, from a David Farrell seminar in Portland. It’s always fun to visit different dojos and attempt new techniques, or familiar techniques in new ways. I have to admit though – hanmi always confuses me. Ukes are always trying to read which hand I want them to punch me with by which foot I have forward, but of course I don’t know, so I’ve just picked a random foot – hoping to sort it all out once the action starts. Sometimes I try standing in shizentai and letting them choose, but that just confuses people even more…
I don’t know how they all keep track.
David Farrell’s aikido looks very different from a lot of the stuff we’ve been doing recently, but of course, as with any good aikidoka, the principals are all there. He’s certainly connected, and he’s certainly working the edges of techniques.
I think the primary difference with Farrell sensei’s aikido is that he (along with most Aikikai practitioners I see) likes to put the jiku in different places than I am accustomed to for various techniques. Farrell sensei works with the jiku in the shoulder a lot, although there is a fair amount of switching back and forth from the wrist to the shoulder and vice versa. By contrast Kono sensei almost exclusively uses the first point of contact (usually the wrist) as the jiku, and I think we occasionally use the elbow in Tomiki aikido, something the Aikikai folks don’t seem to do.
Speaking of jikus and edges, here is a series of videos we shot this Monday covering some principals we were playing around with. As per usual, we shot these videos before perfecting any of the techniques, so take them with a grain of salt – and don’t hesitate to give us feedback or criticism in the comments. Yoroshiku!
My thinking has actually evolved a bit since we recorded this video a week and a half ago, but I’m going to post it anyways. (I think when done properly, the connection should probably go up AND down the spine in BOTH versions. However, I still think one version should be primarily up and the other down, so you may find it interesting food for thought.)
My next video will probably explore the idea of simultaneously employing opposite approaches in a single technique.
I’ve been having a good time here at Henry’s seminar at Ida’s. The weather was terrible almost all the way down from Maine, but things cleared up nicely in Southern Pennsylvania and it’s been beautiful ever since. I missed half of the session on Friday evening, but I did arrive in time to catch this:
The theme for me today has definitely been to STAY OUT AT THE EDGE! On a couple of separate occasions Henry came up and admonished me that I was moving from the back rather than from out at the front. In one case in particular I was watching uke coming in and trying to anticipate what their move was going to be. This lead to me getting way out in front of uke with my turn. What I should have been doing is using my hands as an antenna and letting the sensitivity of my fingertips lead my feet. (Much easier to say than do!) Besides better timing, being out at the fingertips allows you to loosen everything else. On one occasion Henry pointed out to me that the reason I was having trouble making a turn was because my shoulder was tight, and my shoulder was tight because I was moving from the back, and not from my fingertips. So the lesson is: keep your attention on the center and move your feet!
Another note from the easier to say than do department, and something I’ve told my own students more than once, is that many times I needed to stop wanting to do a technique, take one more step back, and allow uke to turn herself.
One thing I’ve been thinking a lot about on my own today is the feeling of connection I want to feel. That feeling, first introduced to me by Eric last winter (or the winter before?) was initially the faintest flickering sensation. Over time I’ve learned how to cultivate it, until now it sometimes feels like a steady stream, and the more of it I feel, the more I know how I want to feel it. It’s never a constant level, which means there is always a level that I’ve caught a glimpse of, but is just out of reach, tantalizing me.
It’s an electric feeling. There is a power to it, but there is an equal measure of vulnerability. Taken together, they make you feel ALIVE.
Things are still hectic here, I was supposed to leave earlier this afternoon on a 2-day leisurely jaunt down to northern VA to another seminar with Henry Kono, but I couldn’t get things wrapped up in time and instead find myself still at home. Now the plan is to head out early early tomorrow morning and drive all day tomorrow. I’m crossing my fingers that there isn’t sleet tonight.
We shot a new video for the first time in a while this Monday (some thoughts on gyakugamaeate), but there hasn’t been any time to deal with it. Luckily I have something else to post, thanks to Kate Wang’s archive.
Here are a few more videos she took at an afternoon practice at Waseda University a week or so after the 2009 internationals in Kyoto.
In these videos Shishida sensei shows us a couple of different variations on sumiotoshi.
One of the things Shishida sensei was focusing on was timing the throw with the movement of uke’s foot – and how to manipulate uke’s foot. We may have been approaching sumi otoshi differently recently, but there is a big common denominator. Whether you’re trying to glue uke’s foot to the mat or trying to get uke to take a step, you still have to be connected ALL THE WAY TO UKE’S FOOT to have it work properly.
There’s probably a lot more wisdom that could be gleaned from these clips, but I have to get to bed.