- 1 context
- 2 board
- 3 ukemi and commentary
- 4 postscript
one day, patty saotome sensei wanted to award yudansha on the spot, then the dojo stepped in and wanted to do the formality of a test (it was heard in the other room while in the house’s kitchen). there are reasons for this. this is the path of aiki. these are the most grounded, centered, and finest aikidoka on the planet. never, ever complain about uke, not one bit, besides, the resistance is either fruit of karma or collateral damage, so continue training with great sincerity.
location and time
合気道聖武館道場 aikido shobukan dojo, 2008
while in residence at the dojo
aikido shobukan dojo, dojo cho
pete was inviting when first visiting the dojo, then staying weekends to help ivan and janet, then upon moving in. forever in debt. he also was responsible for the job sustaining some cash flow by asking for help developing web applications for the american board of hospice and palliative medicine.
baltimore aikikai, dojo cho
charlie’s laughter and smile is by far, charming, and his expressions fit for hollywood film. a gentleman, a real gentleman during unexpected falls.
i am really glad chuck returned to aikido, after stories from robert. he’s amazing, fantastic, and if you really give him an attack (sans anger), it’s quite a joy to train in that space, and weapons, oh, what joy! chuck can manifest conditions to allow for [redacted] curves to be experimented with. so attack him!
aikido of northern virginia, dojo cho
jimmy was a favorite, because he punches, and shuto’s, and echoes. if it wasn’t for jimmy’s body echoing, the path to takemusu aiki would have been slower to progress.
ukemi and commentary
very humbled, then and now that these uke, strong, fast, stealthy, and wry were here this day.
座り技 suwari waza
the uke grip was strong, so strong, like shobukan grips. back when “looking down” was a courtesy not to convey arrogance, “real aikido,” as sensei said, “not on the mat”. the solution is to work on self-view, rather than making less efficient reminder-crutches to look up. this was also back when the irimi tenkan “screw” was operating. be cautious with screw ikkyo, the neck of uke can whiplash as seen here, so tame it even if the practice is locked out.
suwari waza, back in Alaska, spent several years in suwari training in a children’s aikido dojo, that was all that was available. lots of koshi nage there, lots! try doing koshi with children, and when they fly… they can’t stop asking for more.
半身半立ち hanmi handachi,
一 教 ikkyō
idris is in good company, and has a feel like no other. he can move like smoke, and condense every particle to concrete. it’s lovely to feel, and difficult to crack, so why fight concrete? he is a representative of the united states, so, work with it, not against.
eugene, he’s quick below, and there’s alot to learn. always enjoy the pace with eugene. so the kotegaishi, this was a variation that was discovered and mike rosario helped with confidence to just go do it with the seniors. so it was revealed here to everyone. the tenchi-nage feel’s principal is compressed into a more vertical spear, and the natural tension of uke’s wrist, forearm, elbow, bicep, shoulder, and back muscles to avert compression waves, is exploded in a brush stroke heaven to earth by inverse aero-braking, in what could be called, “climbing the heavenly stairs” (however imitation only results in over-simplification, though there was some success transmitting to a certain student).
when the technique fumbles, collapse, and raise the spear. ushiro chokes, it’s like gambling, probabilities, some options however are left aside in this format, like using the heel on the top of a foot, though the back displacement works which is in a frame or two here. on a battlefield, this speed and intensity is increased, and you don’t have time to play with one uke. work with what is given, not with what you wanted to be given.
that first ikkyo! still remember, he just came right in, was refreshing, used some aerobraking to dissipate energy in waves. this was back when experimenting with [redacted] plate tectonics, a subducting ikkyo. slip fault ikkyo is great, but tore up uke shoulders, so switch to convergence, and subduction, though requires uke to really come at you, otherwise, the energy is more static, so the input energy is released in slip faults, and yep, damage. mike stabile is great! the waves in stabile’s body are narrow, so it requires higher perceptive ability, and wider volumes of intra-echo-ability in the [redacted]. there is so much to comment on in here.
warning on sankyo, this can crush fingers, hence the slowing around this corner.
there was one technique in here that unraveled, and a slight kuzushi was generated, openings abound, it was let go. the other was the irimi nage that had a henka to tenchi-nage, the waves spun out in arcs, and were not collapsed in the proper orientations, lost the triangle. there’s also a great gear wave in this section, and for years, i never wanted to show this, because, it felt like a secret, big deal, bigger secrets now.
absolutely great to train with, that one takeaway with the “awkward” movement, still remember this, and when watching the stills, still remember the wave pulse to adjust out of the square’s corner pinch points. remember that the wave-fronts of the jo are the issue, so basically robert is standing where the jo tip is, and work with that. weapons translate physical momentum, and inertia to another location in space, and the side effect of that affine transformation is an isomorphic-map, it’s quite interesting.
robert’s jodo practice makes for very difficult penetrating entries, so another valence post-this-demonstration had been discovered post-meditation. be sure to turn-press, bujinkan influence, to wall uke from releasing grip and snapping an achilles tendon with a shuto. this is why freedom (without form) in falling is critical, for strikes on the way down.
thank goodness nick is here, when that shinai comes down, it’s glorious, and when he allows people to fall for real, and enjoy it, and share in the benefits of that, it brings a huge smile; that’s how i learned… those koshi’s over and over again… these original shapes, that seem damaging, there’s a reason for it, and it shows up in the randori…
george “bee” meyer
bee-george’s ukemi is always a blessing, that tenchi-kote-gaishi was most likely created out of practicing with bee-george. he’s amazing, and those knife attacks, fast. calm abiding is key, otherwise, that second attack is always at the ready. george would always attack close with tanto in classes, and that second attack, would come quick. very useful keiko, mushin, mushin!
that technique that henka into koshi, still remember, was a wedge throw.
robert deppe, justin smith, jim “wrath of god” palmer
呼吸投げ kokyūnage etc.
justin, mathematician; the wrath of god, jim, both from morning class. they are great to train with, and jim would really come to grab you. robert, of course, will come in to smash. we practiced randori every class in alaska, and were allowed to experiment without too much “do this”, “do that”. everything sensei talks about is true, it’s very similar to battlefield orchestration and fluid operations.
in alaska, we threw us into each other, no hesitation, it was uke’s job to get out of it, yes some bumps and bruises, yet we learned how to move, and this is why falling for real is important. when jim hits robert, he falls, and note that the breakfall is compressed, the shape of the breakfall keeps him safe. perhaps randori, being thrown into each other, might help point out why ukemi was the way it was, because that’s battlefield technique.
started a little rough, however the energy was lower, “the slow blade penetrates the shield,” dune reference from the movie, rather than the book.
組杖 kumi jo (separate film),
組太刀 kumi tachi (separate film)
mike is a shobukan deshi brother, and there’s much to thank. he is peerless. his mannerisms, his drumming, his music, the guitar. we saw all forms of weapons, and practiced patience, everyone taught weapons over the duration, and everyone was different. everyone had reasons. seniors, visitors, guests from japan, ikeda sensei, and sensei… after a while it was just as o-sensei said, just cut and stick, and sensei supported it, he knew what it was like in japan, so he nodded, it’s in the practice, not the technique…
mike’s a professional at using two sticks, use the arm to drum, not the hand, syncopation… and yes… i still practice single, double, triple… paradiddles. he taught me basics about drumming and it was and still is, liberating.
glad this was filmed, and you can hear mike rosario laughing on the film next to mike stabile, we never really talked about this other than, “patty wanted to just promote you… no test…”. this is rare footage, and am really happy to share it with commentary.
this is from 2008, and since the walkabout period, and arriving at proper misogi, the speed, impact, and insulation of this body has only increased as style, that bridge, evaporates beyond even clouds…
practice with sincerity…
never complain about uke;
it goes so much further than this!
and yes, it will hide until self-view and other-view is resolved, as dan harden said,
“you will be found out,” and that’s where initiative comes in.
it’s not me,
may this be of benefit to all beings…