Purposes of my class on Wednesday in Terrebonne
There are several purposes of my Aikido classes, these include
An opportunity to practice even if you are not comfortable with more athletic or aggressive styles of Aikido.
Practitioners who can’t take breakfalss (‘ukemi’) because of their physical limit tend to avoid the practitioners who demand high falls of uke, and vice versa. In my class, students don’t need to be skilled at ukemi. In my classes falling is not necessary because the goal of each technique is to connect with the partner, not to throw him/her.
To prepare the very beginnersfor taking aikido class at St-Jérôme and Ste-Agathe.
- greeting ceremony (how to bow etc.)
- warm up exercises (sotai dosa),
- shikko, tenkan, attacks (shomen, yokomen, tsuki),
- the footwork of each technique,
- immobilizations of ikkyo to yonkyo, kokyu tanren ho,
- cool down exercises (shumatsu dosa),
- And other basic techniques and etiquettes for dojo practice. This provides you with a solid platform of understanding and skills that you can then take to classes at our other dojos.
A goal of Aikido is to makeyou and your practice partner happy. This is a core value for my class.
Personally, I don’t deny combative style aikido, or aikido as a fighting art, but in my class, aikido is not about fighting.
O-sensei said that aikido has no enemy. In that sense, your partner is not your enemy but your precious practice partner. In this sense, your goal is not to cause him/her any pain, both physically and mentally.
Nage’s goal is to harmonize with uke, not to defeat him/her, and nage has the whole responsibility of the security of uke. During the practice, students care for each other.
Caring for the partner is the core of practice in my class. The first step to care for the partner is to understand how they are feeling. Feel your partner, just like you are trying to feel how your beloved one feels. Aikido in my class is a physical method to practice how to have empathy with others.
Although the aikido techniques can be fatal if you execute them in a certain manner, they can also be executed to make the uke feel good.
Humans have the nature of feeling good when they harmonise: harmony of sounds, voices, colours, movements, sentiments, ideas, and so on.
is the art of harmonizing your body, mind, and soul with that of your partner, so
it has an inherent ability to make practitioners feel good. Yes, aikido makes you
feel good, even when you are thrown to the air! It’s the same feeling a child experiences when taken in the strong arms of parent; completely relaxed and enjoying the feeling of harmony. No hostility involved, just a sensation of care.
Some people practice aikido to defeat their enemy. While receiving their techniques as uke, you can clearly feel their intention to defeat you. They are projecting the ki of menace (sakki). Their techniques never make their partners feel good, and they have never imagined that aikido techniques can make others feel good. I don’t deny these styles, I just wonder what kind of joy these styles of aikido can bring to you? After practicing with those people who severely grab, twist and floor my body, of course I don’t bear any grudge over these treatments, but I can hardly feel any kind of joy, either. For those who like aggression, there are numerous other dojos of a variety of martial arts that search for efficacy. My class is for those who don’t want to be exposed to sakki.
Even among the people who handle their partner with care, there are those who are still projecting sakki. Unfortunately, that only induces blocking. Because the nage is radiating the ki that says, “I will kill you!”, the uke reacts, quite naturally, “I don’t want to be killed!” and blocks the technique unconsciously. A skilled aikidoka may break the block and execute the technique anyway. But in this case, where is the harmony? In what part of the technique does the art of harmonization take place?
I have never felt sakki from Pierre sensei. I am absorbed to and controlled by the power of Sensei before trying to block it, even before feeling the need of block. Sensei receives my attack as if he is receiving a gift from me. That gives me the feeling of being accepted, not the feeling of sakki. And my attacks don’t bear any sakki, either. I am initiating the series of actions with which Sensei makes harmony to control my center of gravity.
No fighting. No menace. No torment.