Are you hurt or are you injured?

G.I. Jane is a 1997 American action film directed by Ridley Scott. There is a line in the movie that got me thinking about Aikido Training. “Are you hurt or are you injured? If you’re hurt, we’re just carry on but if you’re injured we’ll stop and get you medical attention.” Of course, it’s not…

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“You have nothing to prove to anyone.”

Thought of the day: “you have nothing to prove to anyone.” ~ Sensei Jonathan Weiner said that to me today as I was having a crisis of faith. My crisis was this: I love Aikido – it’s the only physical endeavor that even comes close to fulfilling me since I stopped racing a bike 10…

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Big Top Aikido

Recently, I took the family to the circus. It was a fun time and the feasts of athleticism are always impressive. About midway through the show the Tuniziani Troupe came out to dazzle the crowd with their flying trapeze act. They were using a net (which I always appreciate–no need for the “no net” acts).…

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Aikido Proof Marks

When participating in an Aikido class, you should expect to be corrected a lot. It’s part of the learning process. Both training your body and muscle memory to do it right, and to train you to be humble in your practice of Aikido. A long time ago, I had a teacher that would tell us…

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The Value of Open Mat

Open mat has been one of the most important parts of my Aikido journey so far. It’s a predetermined time (outside of normal class times) when a Sempai takes time out of his life to open the dojo and give a motivated Kohai the opportunity to rehearse. 2 important observations about open mat: Use the…

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Learning Aikido is like learning a musical instrument

For me personally, the best analogy for how I’ve learned Aikido has been that Aikido is like learning a musical instrument. When you start out learning an instrument, the piano for example, the very first thing you learn is how to sit at the piano; the correct posture, the way to hold your hands. In…

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6th Dan Promotion!

We are pleased to announce the promotion of our Chief Instructor, Sensei Dennis Main, Shidoin to Rokudan (6th Dan) from Yoshimitsu Yamada Shihan, 8th Dan, President of the United States Aikido Federation. Main Sensei has been studying and teaching Aikido since 1970 directly under Shihan Andy Demko, 7th Dan, USAF Technical Committee and Chief Instructor…

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Practicing Aikido in a Throng

With the holiday season over, I want to relate a trick that I found useful for passing the time during shopping doldrums. Generally speaking, many of us will not experience close quarters combat with a lot of frequency. In order to learn more about how people move and behave in such scenarios, I’ve been finding…

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Attention, Attention, Attention

As part of my training I spent a year in a neuropsychology clinic administering test batteries to patients presenting with various neurological problems.  The most common reason for patients to come in to the clinic was what they described as memory impairment.  “I can never remember where I put my keys.”  “I keep forgetting my…

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I am an empty cup.

Last week my son gave me the opportunity to impart what I believe to be one of the most important lessons that the martial arts can teach: the lesson of The Empty Cup.  He had just taken his first Tae Kwon Do class, and he was sooooooo excited to tell me all about the new…

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