Training: Week of 24 March

Aikidoka…

Kids may be on spring break from school, but we are still training at Spirit Aikido. This week will be one you don’t want to miss as many will have the opportunity to learn a new technique. In fact, the technique we learn this week is very possibly the most-used and most versatile technique in any form of aikido. If you search YouTube for aikido, it’s unlikely that you won’t see this technique demonstrated. When I tickle-train with my daughter, this is her go-to technique.

The technique I’m referring to is the Front Wrist Throw, or “kotegaeshi” in Japanese. Literally translated, it means wrist twist. I’m excited about teaching this technique as it is the first one in our curriculum that is actually a throw, and as such, it requires a fall (ukemi). With the front wrist throw, what we do on the mats will certainly be recognized by anyone who is familiar with any style of aikido. Don’t miss out… Grab a friend to bring with you and come to class. We’ll have fun!

In the meantime, here are a couple links to YouTube videos that you might find useful:

The Side Fall: In case you need to brush up on your side fall, this may be a good view for you. The one thing I might change in the demonstrator’s ukemi is how he does not brace his chin into his shoulder.

The Front Wrist Throw: This will give you opportunity to see the technique and a couple applications before we begin class this week. Sensei Carter performs the technique very quickly (0:29 to 0:32) and then addresses some great applications to the technique.

Additional Note

Some have asked about gis (karate/aikido uniforms). Since we are a small club, I don’t keep any on-hand. Additionally, there is a great variety of styles and materials to choose from. There are numerous vendors to choose from. Some pretty good vendors include:

Asian World of Martial Arts

Century Martial Arts

Martial Arts Mart

Amazon

Some of my thoughts on the gi…

First, I don’t recommend a lightweight gi under 7.5 oz. Because aikido is a throwing and grappling art, a lightweight gi may not stand up to our training.

Second, depending on the fabric of your chosen gi, it may shrink upon washing. This is particularly true of canvas and very much the case in the single- or double-weave gi (like I generally wear). Regardless of the gi, check with the seller or in item specifications to see if the gi is pre-washed/pre-shrunk. If not, you may want to order a size up.

Third, regardless of your gi size, it may require some alterations simply based on body size and the like. Since we work a lot around the wrist, I have my sleeves shortened so they don’t extend to my wrist. By doing this, I can more easily demonstrate techniques, but more importantly, I ensure safety by knowing that hands aren’t going to inadvertently get caught in my sleeve during a throw.

Finally, most gis come with a size-matched white belt. When we come to testing and promotions, a new belt will be required as well as a Spirit Aikido patch to be worn on the left lapel. These are the only costs associated with training with Spirit Aikido. With regard to the belt, you can choose to purchase one and give to me to present upon promotion or I can purchase and you can reimburse. Patches are available for $5.00 each.

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