Aikido on Howcast – Feature & Commentary, Part Eight

Principles of Aikido

Role of Uke in Aikido

Can Anyone do Aikido?

Women in Aikido

Commentary:

Blend, extend, and lead. These are true, but I would add body-mind connection to the mix. The Principles of Aikido are hotly debated and just adding to what Mike Jones Sensei said might set off some opinions. Now I trust that my fellow Aikido folk are the less-egoistic types (not holding my breath though), so I’m going to continue. There are many, many interpretations of what “Aikido” is – and from I’ve heard and experienced it really depends on that Sensei’s approach to the art itself. Many claim what they know is the “true” Aikiodo. Very few learned it from O’Sensei, and even fewer had conversations with Morihei Ueshiba O’Sensei himself regarding the art that he created. At the moment, I’m blessed and lucky to have two Sensei would are attempting to delve into what O’Sensei tried to teach his students.

Like the principles of Aikido, there are many explanations and viewpoints. And like another other martial art that diverge away from what their founders had intended, it’s not easy to pinpoint what exactly is the role of the uke in Aikido. Fortunately, Mike Jones Sensei explains very briefly what the uke represents, does, and why an uke would do the things that they do. I’d add to his speech that because Aikido is noncompetitive, the practitioners would still need to have a way to engage themselves to better themselves. If not a noncompetitive environment, then a willing partner would do. Everything else is correct, save the feel that his explanations were rather rushed and superficial, though that has been the theme this whole series. I would like to have him though emphasis on the connection with partner, namely how to have the physical connection.

Can anyone do Aikido? Physically yes; Pimsler Sensei is correct. At my dojo there’s an 85 year old grandfather who can do rolls better than men half his age. When I read the title I was thinking martially. If that’s the question that people are asking, then my personal response would be not every martial art is fit for everyone. However here, anyone can definitely do Aikido – it’s just a question of is it fit for you.

Women in Aikido is a very interesting topic to go into. I remember doing a few posts in my old blog at about the topic. Are women “better” in Aikido? No necessarily (as in any martial art); however what I have noticed that women given their biological and psychological differences from men do have differences in their movements and presence. For example in the technique irimi nage , I’ve noticed that experienced women have a “pulling the rug from under you” feeling that most men don’t/can’t do. I don’t know how to explain it but those tiny differences are what set women apart from men. It’s an interesting aspect that – for fun – is worth keeping an eye out for. Other than that, as Claire Keller Sensei has indicated, there is almost no real difference. Sure, it’s us men who tend to go a little rough on the edges, but that’s just the fellas.

This is the second to last post on this series. I’ll have my final thoughts and commentary in the next one! Till next time.

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