Uke, Nage, and the “what if” factor

In Aikido, our practice is primarily done with a partner. In a typical Aikido class, the teacher will demonstrate a technique, call out the attack and the students will pair up. “Uke” plays the role of the attacker. “Nage” plays the role of the person responding to the attack. Usually, uke will attack times and…

Dire Straights – How Aikido Saved Jean Maggrett’s Life

Although Jean Maggrett does not practice Aikido anymore, she frequently sits on our testing boards. At 81, Jean has practiced Aikido for 30 years. She is a student of Bob Nadeau, and a contemporary of my Sensei, Bob Noha. I have had the wonderful benefit of her perspective and guidance on both my second and…

Shomen uchi

In Aikido, a basic sword strike is called Shomen uchi. It is performed by raising the sword directly up above the head, and then striking down directly in front of you. There are many other arts that have a similar strike, kendo being one of them. Our Sensei relays a story about a friend of…

The Inevitability of Gravity

One of the things I love about the Aikido dojo I attend is how Sensei relates certain themes and weaves them into several different classes. Lately he’s been working with a theme he calls “dimensionality”. The process is as follows: We do a technique to establish a baseline. After we perform the techniques a few…

Road to 1st kyu is complete

Originally uploaded by markdeso And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing. – 1 Corinthians 13:3 For the past 10 weeks our dojo has been helping two of us prepare for our belt tests….

Road to 1st Kyu – the final stretch

Originally uploaded by markdeso This has been a whirl wind couple of weeks. We have been really busy at work and I did not have a chance to train this weekend. I am taking advantage of the classes yesterday, tonite and thursday before my test. I had an interesting revelation last nite. I don’t really…

Road To 1st Kyu – Week 8 day 1 – With open arms

Originally uploaded by markdeso I’ve been thinking about some of our techniques that we do. They are truly unique from other arts. Most grappling arts concentrate on joint lock manipulation and pain compliance. Aikido, having transcended from Daito Ryu ju jitsu has many similar techniques. This evening, we worked on suwari waza (more knee techniques)…

Road to 1st Kyu – Week 7 Day 1 – The Dojo Hath Conspired…

Originally uploaded by markdeso Oh my my… I’ve been sick. I don’t think I’ve been this sick in a while. I had a brief reprieve last weekend, but relapsed for the next week. Aside from 2 hours at an Aikido seminar last sunday today was the first time I have trained in 2 weeks. Normally,…

Road to 1st Kyu – week 6 Day 1 – if you can still inhale….

…I will keep on practicing, not for the prowess in self-defense, not for rank or prestige, not even for the wonderful and life-changing lessons that flow from this art. I will practice Aikido for the sheer, unmitigated beauty of it. – George Leonard, Way of Aikido OK, I’m sick. My son brought home a cold…

Road to 1st Kyu – Week 5 Day 3 – all caught up

Originally uploaded by markdeso “The purpose of training is to tighten up the slack, toughen the body, and polish the spirit.” – Morehei Ueshiba I seem to be playing catch up this week. Last nights post was for Thursday. Today’s post is for our Saturday class. We worked katate dori shiho nage, both the omote…