Road to 1st Kyu – Week 2 Day 4 – Onegai shimasu


Originally uploaded by markdeso

“The true martial way halts violence with virtue and love.” – Master Onisaburo to a young Morihei Ueshiba.

Today we worked on test format techniques, starting with shomen uchi ikkyo both from standing and kneeling positions. Ikkyo, “technique number one” is usually one of the first techniques we learn when we get on the mat.

Sensei once told us about a ninth dan Kendo teacher giving a seminar a few years ago. A young student heard about the teacher and wanted to see what secrets he could glean from the teacher so he came early to try and watch how the teacher prepared. To his surprise, he saw that the teacher was preparing for the seminar by doing the first sword strike you learn when you start Kendo. No tricks, no magic, just that one first strike over and over again. I appreciate how we start the testing preparation. We start with Ikkyo, “technique number one”, “the first technique”.

In Japanese, “Onegai shimasu” means many things. There is a good explanation on aikiweb here. We say this to our partners before we practice a technique. “Onegai shimasu”, translated loosely into “let us begin.” O’ Sensei says that everyday is new, and so we are new everyday. So we start anew with our testing preparation, with the first technique. Let us begin…”Onegai shimasu.”

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