What I’ve learned about Testing

Having taken 5 Kyu Tests and training for my last Kyu test (1st Kyu) sometime in the future, here are some pointers I wanted to share with my Kohai. In Martial Arts, especially Aikido these are the guidelines you want to follow: 1. You never should ask to be tested or when is my next…

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We all have a little ‘Rudy’ in us

I don’t know what it is about the 1993 movie ‘Rudy’, for those that haven’t seen it, I highly recommend it. Click Here for Plot. It’s one of the few movies that I get choked up and emotional at the end. Some of us have a hard time relating. I was a Varsity Starter in…

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Aiki movement is highly efficient in daily life.

After practicing Aikido for a while, you learn something interesting: Aiki movement is not just an effective martial arts tactic, it’s also highly efficient in daily life. This occurred to me recently while moving through doors in my office building. I became aware of how inefficient it is to open doors the way I always…

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Q&A Series with ‘Nick-san’

Dojo Cho: “Why did you start training in Aikido?” Nick-san: “I started training last year at the age of 25. I was two years out of graduate school and was without organized sports in my life for the first time since kindergarten. I knew something was missing, and I had some general interest in martial…

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Slow is Smooth…Smooth is Fast.

One of the hardest obstacles beginners face is the ability to slow down. I mean slow down not stand still. Slow down the end of of your throw. Slow down your ukemi. Slow down your mind.Slow down your Reio. Slow down your desire to get it right not fast. And as a teacher, my biggest…

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Passing my 6th Kyu Test!

After passing my 6th Kyu test on Monday, I remarked to Weiner Sensei, half in jest, that it felt good to have successfully attained the lowest possible rank in Aikido. Weiner Sensei corrected me, saying that unranked (Mukyu) is itself a lower rank, and even that is an achievement beyond someone who has not yet…

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Q&A Series with some Top USAF Instructors!

This is a summary of the Q&A Blog Series with some high ranking Aikido friends in the USAF & in Europe. My guests include: Andy Demko, 7th Dan, Shihan, USAF Technical Committee; Steve Pimsler, 7th Dan, Shihan, USAF Technical Committee; George Kennedy, 6th Dan, Shihan, Joe Nemeth, 6th Dan, Shihan, Penny Bernath, 6th Dan, Shihan,…

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Don’t overthink it.

Advice to students beginning in Aikido (Under 5 years experience) when having trouble with a technique, just practice it, over and over and over. You will get better. It will feel more natural. It will start to appear effortless. Remember no amount of talking about it, reading about it, watching videos, etc. can replace the…

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Q&A Series with Michelle Feilen, 6th Dan

Today, one of my favorite European Aikido teachers, Michelle Feilen, 6th Dan joins us. Dojo Cho: “Why did you start training in Aikido?” Feilen Sensei: “I started practicing Judo when I was 10 and stopped at the age of 18. At that time my mother was practicing bokken and her teacher was also an Aikido…

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