Page 13

So how do you improve? From a low Kyu grade to the most advanced Aikidoka in the world if you sit and watch any class it is possible to see major faults, you can see from an early stage how the whole class seems to be doing differing techniques to what the Sensei shows. It is obvious to you but not to them. At the higher levels one may even lean over the mat edge to the nearest pair and give them pointers but it rarely works and though kindness wants to help and prevail it is frustrated. What can we do when we cannot see into our own selves to improve? I suggest you consider filming yourself for a class at least once or twice a year, whether you are a Kyu or Dan grade as it does not matter. It will put you in the same observation position as when sitting off the mat and being a spectator. Take this and work on it to improve your quality in body posture and technical improvement. Be aware this may take months or even years to finally go deep into the body and make it second nature. Each time you film you will see if your Aikido has improved or not as we often think we have fixed it but that’s all it is . . . in the mind. If you are devoted to your Aikido as part of your life this will be the best teaching aid you can have because you are the very best teacher. You will accept criticism from yourself if not from others; except of course, your own teacher’s criticism. You should be grateful as they are trying to correct a weakness.

We all need a teacher if we are to remain humble students. Saito Sensei was the Dojocho of the Iwama dojo after the founder had passed. O-Sensei left him to continue his teachings which are now our undertaking. Photograph courtesy of Sensei Richard Thomson 89

Takemusu Aikido: A Martial Artist's Journey of Discovery in Aikido  

A selection of pages from "Takemusu Aikido: A Martial Artist's Journey of Discovery in Aikido" by Tony Sargeant

Takemusu Aikido: A Martial Artist's Journey of Discovery in Aikido  

A selection of pages from "Takemusu Aikido: A Martial Artist's Journey of Discovery in Aikido" by Tony Sargeant

Advertisement