Top 3 Traits of a Shodan

Most Experienced Aikido Charlotte Dojo

As a dedicated yukyusha on the path to Shodan, I think it’s fair to get hung up on technique or ukemi or simply the physical movement since after all we are practicing a martial art. But I wanted to share some of the responses from several black belts in the USAF on what they feel…

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Recovering from an Injury

A fact in the life of every active person is the inevitability of getting injured. While the circumstances that surround the actual injury or how serious the injury is are important that’s not what I want to focus on. I want to focus on a method that will help you recover and get back on…

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The ever-elusive concept of “ki”

Throughout my study of aikido, I’ve had a number of curious friends ask me “is that ki stuff for real?”. I usually respond that “it’s absolutely real – it’s just not what you think it is”. Here in the West, I find that it’s pretty easy for people to get hung up on the “ki”…

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A Beginner’s Mind

While recovering from this weekend’s seminar with Demko Shihan, I reflected on how little I know about Aikido. In Zen Buddhism there is a concept called Shoshin or “Beginner’s Mind.” One goal of Zen practice is to cultivate Shoshin, even in advanced practice. Its application to Aikido is not an admission that you know nothing…

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A sword like this retains the soul of its dojo

Before class yesterday, I was putting my hickory bokuto up on the rack in our new dojo. There was no room left on the rack, so Main-Sensei suggested I take down one of the old red oak training swords which are available for any student’s use. I did, but as I started to carry it…

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Who are the Core Students?

At the heart of any organization are the people that make it run. We often casually refer to these people as being a part of the Core team. But what does it really mean to be a part of the Core Team that makes an organization function? In our work lives, there are people you…

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There is Never Nothing Going On.

Dan McMillan is a former world champion gymnast and collegiate coach turned best-selling author and motivational speaker. He is also a Shodan in Aikido. His first book, The Way of the Peaceful Warrior, while not specifically about martial arts, is well-known amongst Aikidoka because many of its central themes are central themes in Aikido as…

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CodeYellow

In all aspects of our lives, it’s important that we care for our heads. It’s the origin of such phrases reminding us to keep our head “in the game” and “out of the clouds.” They’re good reminders of the importance of remaining focused on the task at hand. Most of the time, it’s for mundane…

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Hakamas and their significance.

In Aikido, Hakamas generally are associated with ‘Yudansha’ or Black Belt Ranks. In the United States Aikido Federation, especially at major seminars, you will only see Black Belts in Hakamas. It is a sign of experience. It is a symbol of proficiency in your nage skills but more so in your ukemi skills. And when…

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Precision.

Tonight, we really focused on ‘precision’ in our techniques both as nage and uke. It’s human tendency to want to speed up, rush, hurry and get to the finish line but when you slow down and focus on specific details and work on being precise in your attack, your technique, the direction, the speed, your…

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