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Doubleheader: Shomenate and Kono sensei seminar

by on July 5, 2012

There was some discussion in the comments of my last video that began with tori’s hand placement and also touched on footwork. In my mind, any entry with the hand needs to be matched by sufficient entry of the front foot. I said I would record a video on the topic, and here it is:

But wait, there’s more!

I’m currently on a bus heading South to Boston. I’ll be flying from there to Philidelphia, and from there on to Ireland, where I will be attending a week-long seminar featuring Henry Kono sensei.

This is my first time to this annual shindig, and I’m very excited.

For those of you just tuning in, Henry Kono is an aikidoka who studied at the honbu dojo in Japan with Ueshiba sensei in the 60’s, and who has a very different way of understanding aikido.

Kono sensei’s aikido is very soft and subtle, and lies pretty-much on the opposite end of the spectrum from the Tomiki aikido that I learned initially. (or does it?…) Some people might be tempted to criticize one style or the other. I was very critical of “soft” styles of aikido myself in my first few years studying. I’d like to think I’m past that now. To me, most of the aikido worth learning lies at the intersection of “hard” and “soft”, “big” and “small”. When I hear two viewpoints that appear contradictory, the question I want to be asking myself is not “which one is true?” but “how can they both be true?”

In preparation for this week with Kono sensei I’ve finally edited together a piece I shot months ago about a drill I learned from Kono sensei in October 2010 in Burlington, Vermont. The drill is simple, but I’ve found it’s a very powerful way to relax and prepare to feel uke’s energy.

Finally, here are some highlights from the 2010 seminar:

I can’t wait to get started!

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