Archive for April, 2009|Monthly archive page

Sensei Larry Wadahara Seidokan Aikido Seminar

Last week Larry Wadahara sensei held a seminar at our Jerusalem aikido dojo. Larry teaches along with Joe Crotti sensei at the main Seidokan dojo in L.A. I thought I would write a little about it, mainly for myself.

After this seminar, I feel that beforehand I did not really do Aikido. Larry stressed keeping the one-point, and a feeling of unification – with the attacker, or with other objects around us. As an attacker, once Nage connects with you, this feels as though you’re moving as one piece, without quite understanding why. The touch is very light – not relaxed-collapsed, but rather just ‘there’.

I notice this is very hard for me to do, as while blending with Uke I already lose my one-point by ‘trying’ to blend – pushing and leaning on Uke.

Something else to remember is the feeling of control from the first move – from the first touch and beforehand. In order to do this we need to keep the body’s structure – Larry used the analogy of holding a large (and later small) rock, and staying relaxed, holding the feeling of ‘one’ with Uke. Then when moving, again we need to move as one – not to start by moving the leg or hand, but rather moving it all as one piece, so that Uke does not feel separated from you.

This reminds me of something Haim once said Dan Kawakami said – when training, not to blend too quickly, not to ‘fool’ the Uke into not holding you. With good aikido, Uke can hold you as best he can, and you should still be able to blend without a feeling of effort (being felt by Uke OR Nage). Skipping this step is what I’ve done so far, which results in Aikido that may look alright, but misses the essence – truly accepting Uke, yet keeping your own and merging the two into harmonic motion.

A main difference between Seidokan and Aikikai aikido, is in talking about the principles and Ki. With Larry, one can feel the essence of it, with or without performing a technique. The Way – Do – continues..

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