Shukan News 13th June

Monday 13th June 2011

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700_386621. What’s news?

  • A huge ‘thank you’ to Lenore, Neil and Lachlan for hosting our committee meeting on Saturday afternoon. It made a wonderful change from the spartan conditions in the dojo and it was so lovely to be spoilt for 3 hours. Your hospitality was very much appreciated.
  • In response to feedback at our recent planning meeting, Howard Petersen Sensei was our guest instructor on Saturday morning. Howard is a very experienced Aikido practitioner. He is a former member and instructor with Griffith Aikido who now lives at
  • Mt. Tamborine. We extend our warmest thanks to Sensei.
  • We have invited Murray Loader Sensei to hold a weekend seminar at our dojo around the end of July. He is a very experienced practitioner and teacher; and Head Dojo Instructor at Aikido Yuishinkai Canberra. The exact date has yet to be confirmed but we hope to release full details in a week or two.
  • It was also great to welcome Bruce Tranter back into our dojo over the past week or so. Another former member, Bruce now lives in Tasmania. He is training with us while he is in Brisbane on sabbatical leave for a few months.

2. For the sake of a few coins at Narita

There was a great story in the Travel Section of The Australian on the weekend before last, about a traveller’s experience at a duty free shop at Japan’s Narita airport.

It is one of many wonderful human experiences that often go hand in hand with travel in Japan.

Read the full story For the sake of a few coins at Narita

3. Pairing up in class

700_3923There is no doubt that one of the best ways to learn is to pair up with someone at a higher level. So it should stand to reason that the last people to pair up would be the most junior ranked students in the dojo. Not always!

Sometimes it is one of the most senior ranked students who is standing alone; one who is most able and willing to pass on their knowledge.

People pair up with each other for practice for a variety of reasons. It is fun to practice with friends; some students like to practice with those around their own level; and some boys like to have boy’s fun and often ignore the girls. In addition to that, students who don’t take ukemi well can be overlooked, as are those who can be are a little too rough in practice.

It is common that some higher ranked students consider their own training to be on hold if they have to pair up with a junior. Nothing could be further from the truth.

First, you still get to practice the technique even though you will have to adjust a little for the experience of your partner; and there are always things to work on.

Second, you can help your junior partner learn the technique; and this is not always done with words. More often it is by demonstration and feeling. Demonstrating and explaining is harder than it looks and often requires senior students to undo some bad habits of their own and to relearn the technique.

IMG_4103-1Many students hate being the centre of attention. Their dread is apparent the first time they are asked to do the warm ups or teach under the supervision of a higher ranked student. It is a tough gig. Usually the student involved is happy to see the end of it and return to the anonymity of the class group.

Regardless of whether you are in a formal teaching position or not, watching and helping others is a great way to learn what to do and what not to do. Sometimes you can recognize your past mistakes in others. Sometimes it is like holding up the mirror to the present.

Give it a go! Next time you are sick or injured come to the dojo and watch from the side. You will gain a new perspective on Aikido and your interpretation of it.

Teaching is a continuation of learning and learning never stops. You don’t have to be a regular class instructor to teach, and you don’t always have to be on the mat to learn. However, being selfless and helping others in any capacity will develop your own deeper understanding of Aikido.

4. Thought for the week

Osensei“If your opponent strikes with fire, counter with water, becoming completely fluid and free-flowing. Water, by its nature, never collides with or breaks against anything. On the contrary, it swallows up any attack harmlessly.” O Sensei Morehei Ueshiba