Training: Week of 8 April

Hi Spirit Aikido students and friends!

Just to remind you, there will be no aikido classes at the Tower Barracks Physical Fitness Center this week. I am leaving in the morning for Spain on the first “Heidi & Me only” trip we’ve had since our honeymoon, pre-children family visits excluded.

As always, I strongly encourage practice on your own where you can. Strikes, footwork, and ukemi (falls and rolls) are all foundational parts of aikido that you can work on without a partner. Use a mirror for your strikes and footwork. It will show you where you need work and you can usually see without needing to shift balance too much. Even though I won’t be there, stop by the gym and use the mats to practice falls and rolls… It’s going to get interesting when I get back as we’re reaching a place where we will will be doing more throwing. Which also means we’ll be doing more ukemi.

Another good way to practice outside the dojo is YouTube. I started aikido well before the dawn of YouTube. In fact the whole internet thing was quite young at the time. When there were times that I couldn’t attend class due to injury, sickness, or work, I would often watch martial arts films, particularly those of Steven Seagal, to see the action sequences and try to break them down in my mind. How fortunate we are now to have streaming videos of your choice just by tapping your phone in a few key places at key times. Just be aware… while there are some great martial artists out there producing videos, there are also some that I wouldn’t watch a second time (and even regret watching a first).

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