Yearly Archives: 2015

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Aikido Workshop Ubud Bali

Every year I make the trip to Bali for our Australian Winter for 3 months.  Being an avid surfer, this makes sense and as an Aikidoka there are great options for training Aikido in Bali.  Aikikai has dojos in Denpasar, Seminyak, Jimbaran Bay, Canggu and now Ubud.

An expat student from Europe with a passion for Aikido and a love of staying in the Ubud area has managed to establish a new Aikikai dojo there under the tutelage of Robinsar Sibarani (4th Dan).  To help promote the new dojo, a workshop was staged (with great marketing mind you) last weekend on Saturday and Sunday.

It was super successful and over 20 new people attended each day.  People were introduced to basic rolls, basic kokyu drills and a few simple techniques.  It was extremely well run and left the people there wanting more.

The video above is a quick composite of the activities.  More videos on the Ubud Dojo FB page. Enjoy!

And if you’re ever headed to Bali, check out more info here for Robinsar’s Dojos.

Seminyak Dojo

Jimbaran Dojo

Ubud Dojo FB Page


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Being an avid fan of all falling types and in an effort to source great inspiration, I give you A.Podoynikov A. (5 dan ).

His background is Yoshinkan, so demonstrates break falling as well as feather (soft) falling. But his ukemi is quite polished and he seems to be quite at ease demonstrating the falls.

A must watch for inspired Uke’s.

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Learning something new is an interesting challenge and is fraught with frustration (a point at which I like to think that breakthroughs are happening).  What is more interesting is to watch people who are learning a new movement from a similar starting point (position eg. Hand grab) and watch to see the uptake of change.

Neuroplasticity is an interesting animal.  Are you slightly damned having already learned something one way only to have to change the movement or are you better learning from scratch.  I am certainly nowhere near an answer but I can give you some observations.

More recently on significant stylistic changes due to sensei passing, we have had to source out a new organisation to follow.  Fortunately, a long time student of our founder (Mochizuki) appeared and we began the process of changing over this organisations structure.  The basics approach was very different as it was closer to the style Mochizuki was doing closer to his death.

Whilst it has been a difficult transformation, it has allowed me to observe the uptake of new movements by well-trained students with varying degree of experiences.

learn-aikidoFortunately we also have a number of entry level students who have not had the benefit of years of training in other forms/styles, so they are pretty much a clean slate.  Their ability to pick up the new movements has been astounding compared to the higher level and they usually can perform the sequences better than higher grades.

I must qualify this by saying they are still quite young, so this probably will factor into it as according to popular opinion neuroplasticity decreases with age.

However, many of the higher grades now, whilst struggling more to perform these new movements, once achieved now seem to be performing them much better.  Obviously it is harder for them to breakdown their existing movements but once achieved there is a significant acceleration in performing techniques.

So damn if you do, damed if you don’t.  It seems clear to me whilst the wrestle with change is greater for experienced people, in the end they can assert some of their learing on top of the new movement.

The corollary of this is learn many styles/types of martial arts and bring them to the fore.

This doesn’t account for the “Freaks” for whom kinestetic intelligence is high and whilst being older may mean a slower process, there is obviously a breakthrough moment.

Here is a great video about Neuro-Plasticity and breakthrough moments learning a new technique.

I think I prefer having the knowledge…

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Wow Robert Nadeau describing learning Aikido is something else.  I appreciate his communication of thoughts.  But he is on a whole other level of thinking regarding his Aikido…

I can appreciate his thinking though.  As one progresses through stages in Aikido, the kinesthetic feel changes and you begin to disregard the person on the other end as irrelevant to how you perform techniques.

To quantify in words is almost impossible and I have discovered that no matter how much you will someone to understand what your doing, they just have to go through the repetition before they understand their body enough.

Great interview but his understanding is way beyond mine.  Soon though…Soon!

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A great interview with Jo Thambu Sensei.  I had the pleasure of attending a day seminar with Jo and he is as good and as humble as you see in this video.  Even if your style is not Yoshinkan, you will thoroughly enjoy a seminar from him.  Particularly if you like your Aikido a little more martial.


There is a longer version of this video, click here…


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A great video of Christian Tissier doing his thing.  With all the talk about the Aikikai system and its lack of martial qualities it would seem many Aikido Sensei are looking to resurrect some of the martial qualities of the art.  In this video, Tissier can be clearly seem showing how atemi can be applied during technique and even shows some very quick karate like movements on some of the entries.

I like this direction Aikido has taken in recent times, so please enjoy this video (12 mins).


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Moving away from Basic Aikido

I love the how to videos.  Well shot and well lit camera work (note to aspiring aikido video makers – more light).

In this video Mikey Jones performs Aiki-Otoshi from various attacks always starting the basic.  It is a great technique to teach people about good posture and how to break balance and many techniques can be performed after this entry.

What is most important to remember when doing this technique is not to compromise one’s posture as it tempting to bend at the waist to lower yourself into position.  You must maintain your centre otherwise Uke will have the advantage.

A great technique to challenge students as you have to pay strict attention to principles of Aiki.  Enjoy!

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