Road to Sandan

I was telling some friends about my upcoming Sandan test a few weeks ago and they asked me a question that I had never honestly thought about, “Why are you testing for Sandan?  What do you get from it?”  To really answer that question, I need to start from the beginning – discuss why I…

Rank promotion

Rank promotion in Aikido Rank promotion in Aikido, as in any martial art, is a solemn and special occasion and there is an etiquette to receiving a promotion certificate. It’s important to realize that your Sensei is recognizing your hard work and effort with a promotion and at the same time, give them thanks for…

Talk Less. Do More.

Talk Less. Do More. In the dojo, we often make the point that there is only ever one instructor on the mat. It is never appropriate to offer your own instruction, unless directed by the instructor of the class (or if your partner is unknowingly doing something unsafe). Keeping that in mind, there is also…

Vigorous Training in Aikido

Vigorous Training in Aikido

Vigorous Training in Aikido. The first goal of Aikido training is to be safe. After that, the goal is to maximize your returns…and that means repetition. Ideal training should happen at as vigorous a pace as possible, to get as many correct repetitions in as possible. As we develop, that pace increases. It’s important to…

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…