Australia Day Grading – Everton Hills

There are many ways to celebrate Australia Day. We at Everton Hills decided that a grading was the way to go. On reflection, it was probably a risky proposition given the long weekend and the bad weather. Notwithstanding, we had a good turnout. Big thanks to all those who braved the elements to support their Aikido mates as ukes and in other roles, including those who came from other dojos.
Thom Hansen Sensei and Rod Nixon-Smith Sensei (Everton Hills Dojo Cho) comprised the grading panel. Thom Sensei guest instructed at the Dojo a number of times in 2012 and it’s always nice to have him drop by once again and give us his support and insights.

pete-276x300Pete (6th Kyu)

Pete started with us last year and is one of those students you just love getting through the door. He is a committed student, always working on getting his technique right. I don’t think I can recall a Saturday morning class where I haven’t walked in and not seen Pete working on his ukemi or some other aspect of his practice. This Saturday was no different. Being first up on the mat at a grading day is never easy. In Aikido we make it doubly hard by insisting the least experience amongst us go first. Pete performed this task admirably and did a fine job. As to be expected, Pete’s grading was focussed on getting the principles right. What I particularly liked about Pete’s technique is that he stood up straight throughout and remained centred. This is sometimes a challenge for all of us, but when you stand a good 30cm taller than everyone else, like Pete does, this can be even more challenging. Well done mate and we all look forward to working on your 5th kyu with you.

susan-300x278Susan (2nd Kyu)

Susan is one of those people you just like having on the mat. She is dedicated, upbeat, enthusiastic and always happy to help out. Susan has been training for this grading over the last couple months like an Olympic athelete, both on the mat and at home. All these efforts really showed on the day. How did Craig Sensei put it – “it’s like watching Wonder Woman out there”. Susan’s grading was characterised by plenty of zenponages (projections) and technique variety. As everyone knows, 2nd kyu is a long grading with a lot of taninzugake. One of the best parts of Susan’s grading was that she maintained a consistent pace, didn’t get flustered and was calm throughout. Her weapons kata was precise and similarly well-paced. Congratulations Susan on an excellent grading.

gary-300x221Gary (2nd Kyu)

Gary has been with Everton Hills for quite a while now. He’s a dedicated student who gives his all at every class. Gary focuses a lot on making his Aikido “real”, which is something I really respect. Gary’s grading was dynamic and fast paced. His uke’s worked hard for their money (pizza in this case) and their ukemi was at times really tested. There was also a good variety of techniques covering a broad spectrum of the syllabus. I also liked the way Gary used the entirety of the mat to his advantage and really put on a show for the crowd. Well done Gary – fantastic job.

zac-300x233Zac (2nd Kyu)

Zac was last up for the day and provided a fitting finale for our grading day. Relaxed and consistent paced execution was the name of the game and Zac’s techniques really benefitted from it. While I’m not sure if Zac broke into a sweat, I can vouch that his ukes did. One of the notable things about having Zac on the mat is that he is always eager to experiment with new techniques in his taninzugake. It may have been his grading, but today was no different. Earlier in the class Rod Sensei decided to teach an old-school “Hammer of Thor” technique. Needless to say, first technique in Zac’s taninzugake was a “Hammer of Thor” technique on roids. Looked great on video, although I must say I would have enjoyed it more if it had been someone else’s head other than mine! Zac’s taninzugake was both dynamic and varied. His weapons kata was also excellent. Congratulations Zac on a well deserved 2nd kyu.

Round-up

A big thank you to all those who worked behind the scenes to make the morning a success. David and Michelle – the pizzas really hit the mark. Thanks also to Craig Sensei for recording the event. I should have the DVD’s for those who graded ready in the next 2 weeks. Finally a round of applause for all the ukes – without you the grading could not have happened at all. Congratulations to all those who graded.

All the best,
-Ian

The Everton round up!

Aikikids-at-Everton-Hills-dojo1-300x198On Saturday the 15th we had Sensei Thom Hansen, (one of the most senior instructors in Brisbane aikido) visit and he delivered another great class, which included Tenchi Nage , and also some back to basics on “Moon Shadow”. We had a great turn out and there was plenty of opportunities to train with different people, was also great to see a few others from Nathan come along Narelle, Michael, Lachlan, and Gary (did we see Gary & Thom negotiating for Thom to visit Nathan dojo perhaps at some future date?) Going forward we intend to get Sensei Thom at Everton once a month, so stay tuned for the next date.

Also on Saturday, the PCYC had its birthday celebrations and open day so we did a public demonstration, so a big thanks Sensei David Shepherd who organised this, ran & spoke at the demo. Also a big thanks to all who came along, and also for your patience as we had a surprise last minute rescheduling.

Monday the 10th, was also David’s first class as an instructor. We have also had in recent weeks with Sensei Rod’s extended holiday, Sensei Michelle Roderick & Sensei Sylvie Lacherez out in front of the class, leading it for the first time. Well done guys and I know Rod is proud of each of you making this next step in your Aiki journey.

-Craig

Shukan News 23rd July 2012

BEGINNERS COURSE

When: Tuesday, 7th August 2012
Where: Nathan Dojo
Time: 6.45pm
Please wear comfortable clothes.

AUGUST GRADINGS

When: Saturday, 25th August 2012
Where: Nathan Dojo
Time: 10.30am
Please bring a plate to share.

1. Mansfield/Mt Gravatt Dojo – Wednesday class cancellation

Unfortunately circumstances beyond our control have resulted in the inability to hold the Mansfield/Mt Gravatt classes this week, 25th July 2012. All kids and adult classes will return to normal again from 1st August 2012. We will advise again via newsletter and on our website when we will be holding the Ladies Only class. We apologise for the short notice and any inconvenience caused.

2. New Aikikids website

We are excited to announce that the official launch of the new Aikikids website is almost ready! You can preview everything we have done thus far as follows:

Its all coming together very nicely however we would love to have any contributions of photos, videos or testimonials if you would like to send them our way.

If you contact Nat on admin@aikidokidsbrisbane.com.au with testimonials. Photos and videos can be uploaded via our Facebook Gallery page and if you have a YouTube channel already, you can forward videos to us that way. Alternately, if you have photos/videos sized under 50Mb, you can use a free service called YouSendIt – https://www.yousendit.com/litesignup?s=4001173&cid=si-4001173 (you have to sign up but it costs nothing).

Just to assure everyone that the privacy and online protection of our Aikikids is of utmost importance. For this reason we have taken every precaution to ensure that children remain as anonymous as possible including regular monitoring of posts, photos and video uploads, requesting that if children are referred to, that only their first name is used, and disabling of the ability to ‘tag’ photos on our Facebook sites. The taking of photographs and videos will now be a regular occurrence in every dojo so that we can keep updating all of our internet sites. If at any time you don’t want your child involved, please let us know immediately.

We invite you to become an active part of our online community by ‘liking’ photos and videos, sharing them and links with your friends and family, and of course contributing electronic content as above-mentioned. Kids should get great enjoyment from seeing themselves online, and its a great thing they can share with their friends!

Also, an Aikikid-only mailing list has now been created and a newsletter will be sent out at minimum monthly, dedicated to Aikikids, their achievements, latest dojo news, upcoming events and the like.

Your feedback and suggestions are very welcome as we want these sites to be a place of interest and resource for you all. We look forward to bringing you heaps more Aikikid action from our dojos in the near future!

3. Thought of the Week

“The are only two ways to handle tense situations: you can change them, or you can change the way you look at them. There is enlightenment to be had in changing the way you look at things.” … from The Little Book Of Calm” by Paul Wilson (1996)

Shukan News 16th July 2012

1. Mansfield/Mt Gravatt Ladies only class

Mansfield/Mt Gravatt dojo will be running a ‘ladies only’ class on Wednesday 25th July. If you have never tried Aikido and feel uncertain or lack the confidence to start out in a mixed class then this class may be for you. As with other martial arts Aikido does require physical contact so this can be somewhat daunting for females, especially as martial arts tend to be male dominated.

Aikido is for everyone, male and female, young or old and it’s ideal for females as it is an art that relies on calm mind and relaxed body, rather than size and physical strength. We have many females train with us at Griffith Aikido of various ages and ranks, so for an effective self defence come along and give Aikido a try.

There will be a female instructor for the class too. Adults class time: 6.30 – 8.30pm

Link as follows for directions:

http://www.griffithaikido.com.au/BAC-dojo-launch-flyer-printable.pdf

2. Gozo Shioda Sensei Article

It Had to Be Felt #10: Shioda Gozo: “A Wonderful Feeling”

Here is a very interesting read on Aikiweb of two first hand experiences with Gozo Shioda Sensei, the founder of Aikido Yoshinkan and student of Morihei Ueshiba.
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=20998

Read more

Shukan News 9th July 2012

Monday 9th July 2012

 

1. Sneak Peek at the Thursday’s training

In the 11 June edition of Shukan news we featured some spectacular vision of
Aikido master Christian Tissier. Mike Nash will be exploring some aspects of
Tissier’s style at this Thursday night’s training. Please review this video in
preparation for Thursday’s class. Mike will go into the finer points and explore
this version and our own version of Kokyu Nage. Yes, it’s a first homework….
for Aikido

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QHi-iRmx-dQ

Also for those who attended training last thursday it appears that Steve
Mitchell Sensei may have been channelling Tissier. Look about half way through
the below vision of Tissier where he demonstrates some of the shoman techniques

2. Mansfield/Mt Gravatt Dojo

A reminder to all that both kids and adult classes recommence this Wednesday,
11th July. We look forward to seeing our regulars and anyone new who wants to
come and join us!

3. Thought for the week

“Learn from the mistakes of others. You can’t live long enough to make them
all yourself” Eleanor Roosevelt

Shukan News 2nd July 2012

1. Mansfield/Mt Gravatt dojo cancelled class

We apologise again for the sudden cancellation of the Mansfield/Mt Gravatt kids and new womens class last Wednesday. Circumstances beyond our control, and of which we were only informed upon getting to the dojo just prior to class caused the inability for classes to be held. Energex were putting in a new transformer on Broadwater Road resulting in loss of power to to all primary school buildings including the daycare and Student Centre at Brisbane Adventist College. The college have apologised for miscommunication which resulted in us not being advised of this work and the subsequent loss of use of the Student Centre.

Classes at Mansfield/Mt Gravatt are not on this week either, but will resume as normal with both kids and adults classes on 11th July 2012.

2. Next Beginners Course

Read more

Shukan News 18th June

1. Mansfield-Mt Gravatt dojo wants you

Steve-MitchellIf you didn’t know, Mansfield-Mt Gravatt Dojo is now running children’s and adult’s classes on Wednesdays. Two kids classes run from 4pm to 6pm. Adult classes run from 6.30pm to 8.30pm. Children’s classes have been steadily building since beginning in April, with a very handy word-of-mouth advertising having great effect. Both classes currently have about 10 kids each, and will continue to grow.

Adults classes started this month. We haven’t quite had a chance to do traditional advertising so classes are still small. The members who have come have received some very individual and focussed training. If you’ve thought about trying training on Wednesday night, or you have to miss Tuesday or Thursday night training for some reason, or you just want to check out the club’s new dojo, you are absolutely welcome. It’s not hard to find.

Read more

Shukan News 4th June

Beginners course starts Tuesday 5th June – all welcome!

If you have any contribution for the Shukan News (story, photograph, video), please send it via email to gary@garyweigh.com

1. Adults Classes Now At Mansfield-Mt Gravatt Dojo from Wednesday 6th June

Brisbane-aikido-mansfield-dojoWe have now locked down class times for the kids classes, which allows us to lock down a time for the adults class (see below). The mats the club ordered to allow the Mansfield-Mt Gravatt Dojo to begin, have now arrived. Nathan now has brand new 14 metre mats and the current front mats at Nathan have now gone to Mansfield-Mt Gravatt Dojo. The 10 metre mats which have been on loan have been returned to Nathan, so Nathan now has all its mat space back. Many thanks go to Nathan Dojo for going without the back mats for several weeks to allow Mansfield-Mt Gravatt Dojo to start.

Adults classes start at Mansfield-Mt Gravatt Dojo from this Wednesday 6th June. Time will be 6.30pm – 8.30pm. Classes are included in the monthly fees currently paid at Nathan. That is, it will not cost you any extra to train at Mansfield Mt-Gravatt dojo if you pay monthly mat fees.

Read more

Shukan News 28th May

Beginners course starts Tuesday 5th June – all welcome!

If you have any contribution for the Shukan News (story, photograph, video), please send it via email to gary@garyweigh.com

1. Club grading last Saturday

It was a great day. Eleven of our members graded on Saturday. They all showed once again that there is no substitute for hard work and repetitive practice.

aikido brisbane6th Kyu

Jessica, Warwick and Catherine were wonderful. They all have a very good grasp of basic technique and showed some good footwork. There were some good early signs of Aikido understanding.

Even though Catherine was obviously very nervous before she started, she did a great job. One of the fundamentals of Aikido is relaxation. It also makes future gradings far less stressful.

Rod4th Kyu

Two of our more mature-age students, Rod and Peter have been training regularly since the day they started. Both have a wonderful attitude towards their training. Decades of upper body strength are fast disappearing from both of them. Week by week, month by month they become softer and more flowing with their technique. This was evident on Saturday as they moved much more freely. Both did a very good job with their demonstration techniques and , like most older blokes, were never in a rush.

Brenden3rd Kyu

With the mat to himself, Brenden was the centre of attention for his green belt demonstration. He was calm, cool and relaxed and his technique was soft and flowing. He didn’t rush and was in control from start to finish.

Brenden travels from Gatton every Saturday to train with us. he has done a remarkable job. Well done Brenden, welcome to the senior grades.

Bartek1st Kyu

The future of our cub is looking as though it is in capable hands if these five first class hakama gradings are any indication. For Bartek, Rick, Matthew, Danny and Kylie, this was the penultimate demonstration ahead of their Shodan grading in a year’s time.

No matter how much practice is done, this grading is still a challenge on the day. Like all senior gradings, it is less of an instructor-set test and more a test of the self. These five club stalwarts all worked very hard to get here, and all are great examples for those coming behind them.

Matthew21Every one of these dedicated students has had their own personal challenge to deal with. To their credit they all met their individual challenges and passed their own tests with flying colours. This was exemplified by the look of complete and utter relief on Kylie’s face as she knelt to bow out of her weapons kata.

For the onlookers it was a great spectacle to watch as they calmly guided their ukes around the mat. It just never ceases to be entertaining. It is also wonderful for instructors to see students emerge into the realm of calm effortless and confident Aikido.

It is just as gratifying to see the same students rolling effortlessly as Ukes, knowing they have skills for life that will stand them in good stead outside the dojo.

Congratulations to our five new 1st kyu students who will go on to meet their next challenge on Tuesday night of standing, moving and rolling in their new hakama. I wouldn’t miss that test.

Rick3   Kylie2-300x285   Matthew   Rick4   Danny   Danny3

Thank you to all the other seniors who have helped out in recent weeks as assistant instructors and ukes as all 11 students prepared for their grading.

2. Modern Aikido: Moves and Meaning

Here is an interesting article called ‘Modern Aikido: Moves and Meaning’, authored by Tom Koch and published on the Black Belt Magazine website.

http://www.blackbeltmag.com

Ueshiba_aikido2“Forget the politics that have divided the founder Morihei Ueshiba’s aikido into a half-dozen communities, all calling themselves aikido. There are, in truth, only two aikido camps today: one mostly hidden, some say forgotten, and the other ascendant.

The first is a fearsome martial art cobbled together from older Japanese styles, resulting in a pattern of off-balancing entries, devastating throws and effective joint locks. That was the system Morihei Ueshiba, also known as O-Sensei, used in 70 matches when adepts from other styles came by to ask for a “lesson.”

The second is a noncombat-related practice in which aikido moves are taught to advance Morihei Ueshiba’s social philosophy, one in which effectiveness is at best secondary to goals of personal balance and communal harmony. That is hombu aikido today, the discipline that’s advanced by the founder’s grandson, Moriteru Ueshiba, the current head, or doshu, of the style. That doesn’t mean the aikido moves he teaches are ineffective, only that martial excellence is, for him, a secondary concern.” …

Click here to read the entire article on the Black Belt magazine website.

http://www.blackbeltmag.com/daily/traditional-martial-arts-training/aikido/modern-aikido-moves-and-meaningpart-1/

3. Thought for the week

“If you can dream it, you can do it.” Walt Disney

Griffith Aikido Brisbane Shukan News 21st May

Griffith Aikido Brisbane – now at Nathan, Everton Hills & Mansfield

1. Grading at Nathan dojo Saturday 26th May

please-noteAll of that hard practice over recent weeks will be on show next Saturday at the Griffith Aikido grading day. Held at Nathan dojo, there will be a variety of coloured belt gradings plus several 1st kyu demonstrations. If you want to see Aikido in action come along next Saturday. Adult gradings start at the usual class time of 10.30am. Members please bring a plate to contribute to the post grading celebration. If you are unsure what to bring, please ask Narelle at the front desk.

2. Aikido is more than physical technique

Technique is for the dojo. Aikido is for life!

Maruyama-Sensei-Goshinkan-2011

Courtesy Spiral Photography

Whilst technique is important, there is so much more to Aikido than being able to throw or immobilize. For example, Jim Nicholls Sensei from Byron Bay Aikido club gives a wonderful lesson in verbal Aikido. There is no physical contact involved. The only obvious links between defender and aggressor are voice and body language. It is a subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) combination of tone, volume, expression and posture.

Of course, voice and body language are merely the outer forms. The inner form is the spirit. In other words, what is really driving the voice and the body’s posture as a self defense mechanism is a positive mind, self confidence and a strong extension of internal energy. Although invisible, there is a real connection made at this level.

As O Sensei said, “Your spirit is the true shield.”

Verbal Aikido employs all the same principles of Aikido but without the physical contact. This is very relevant to everyday life because not every action in this world requires a martial response. In fact very little does. Outside the dojo, we always have a choice of how we respond to people. For example, using Aikido terminology, we can choose:

Irimi or tenkan – enter or turn? Atemi or taijin – strike or retreat?

The threats we deal with on a daily basis are statistically unlikely to come in the form of an armed attack or random violence. They are most likely to come in the form of frustration and anger arising from skirmishes at home, at work, out shopping, and while driving.

So while it is technique that is learnt inside the dojo, it is the underlying principles that are applied outside. Most of the time, these must be applied without any physical contact whatsoever.

3. Sanja Festival this weekend in Tokyo

959Sanja Matsuri (literally “Three Shrine Festival”), or Sanja Festival, is one of the three great Shinto festivals in Tokyo, along with the Kanda Matsuri and Sannō Matsuri. It is considered one of the wildest and largest. The festival is held in honor of Hinokuma Hamanari, Hinokuma Takenari and Hajino Nakatomo, the three men who established and founded Sensō-ji, an ancient Buddhist temple located in Asakusa, Taitō, Tokyo. Ity is Tokyo’s oldest temple.

Sanja Matsuri is held on the third weekend of every May at Asakusa Shrine. Its prominent parades revolve around three mikoshi (three portable shrines referenced in the festival’s name), as well as traditional music and dancing. Over the course of three days, the festival attracts 1.5 to 2 million locals and tourists every year.

people104Like many Japanese festivals, Sanja Matsuri is a religious celebration. It is a weekend-long Shinto festival that is dedicated to the kami (spirits) of three men. It is believed that two fishermen—brothers named Hinokuma Hamanari and Hinokuma Takenari—found a statuette of the Bodhisattva Kannon caught in a fishing net in the Sumida River on May 17, 628. The third man, a wealthy landlord named Hajino Nakatomo, heard about the discovery, approached the brothers and converted them to Buddhism. The three men then devoted their lives to the Buddhist faith and consecrated the statue in a small temple. This temple, now known as the Sensō-ji, currently houses the Kannon statue and is the oldest temple in Tokyo.

The Sanja Matsuri appears to have many forms that date back as early as the 7th century, as well as several names such as “Kannon Matsuri” and “Asakusa Matsuri”. Sanja Matsuri’s present day form was established during the Edo Period. In 1649, shogunate Tokugawa Iemitsu commissioned the construction of Asakusa Shrine, a Shinto shrine dedicated to the three kami. The existence of this shrine helped to solidify the festival’s importance as well as its current structure and organization

Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sanja_Matsuri

4. Thought for the week

“Success is going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.” Winston Churchill