Saturday, August 18 Training

Koichi Tohei, 10th Dan. Aikido, Founder Ki-Aikido. 1920 – 2011

Sensei Harry, Steve, and FS did the Saturday noon class. Dubbed the “Frankie, Stevie, and Harry show” (or any variation of the order), these three are usually called upon to take classes whenever JWS and NSS are not present.

First up was Steve; a 3rd Dan. Today his portion focused on reversals. It was kind of fun just doing them. My only quip would be that, given the instruction that I’ve received from NSS, you can’t really practice reversals. Okay sure you can, but not without centering yourself and being present, which I didn’t hear from him today. Oh well, I can’t expect master teacher status from black belts, and Steve is not exception. I do enjoy his teaching style and company on the mat, so no complaints there.

The second teacher in the 90 minute class was Frank, aka FS here. It seems as of late (*knocks on wood) that he’s opening up to me being his uke. Something different something new; nothing really to brag about – just still surprised at the change of heart that he’s having at the moment. Anyway, I’ve always known Frank as a very Koichi Tohei inspired aikidoka. A lot of his classes often included “weight underside” – a concept that is one of the center pieces of Ki-Aikido.

I’ve always found his lectures to be somewhat out of place in what is technically a “Aikikai” affiliated dojo. Frank himself is an ex-Marine from the late 50s (once a Marine, always a Marine right?) and appears to have been in a few street fights in his lifetime. So hearing him talk about Ki and Ki-extension is odd. Maybe it’s just me, I have a need to be grounded in reality – whatever reality is. Anyway, so all this Ki stuff can warrant a raised eyebrow from me. I guess I’m more aligned with how NSS and JWS express their Aikido – I can count on my two hands how many times the two Sensei have mentioned “Ki” in the past 4 years of instruction.

So Ki isn’t the best way of going about Aikido here. Other than that, Frank Sensei is always a little interesting given his personality.

Next up was Harry Sensei, the same one that led the class on Friday noon. Same thing, I swear he doesn’t really deviate from his usual routine. Again, nothing too bad with him since he is a friend, but sometimes I wished there was some deviation with each of these guys. Call me the harsh creative type, but when I teaching the kids class I was always attempting to bring in new ideas and new ways to give them both fun and functionality.

Today’s Sunday morning and is my day off from Aikido and from my job at the retail store. Monday I will be at another meeting with my master teacher and hopefully that will go well. Till next time.


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