Making Shodan

I was very fortunate that at the seminar where I was recently promoted to Shodan, I got the chance to see one of my teachers having his shomenuchi ikkyo technique being corrected by his teacher’s teacher. He very respectfully knelt as he listened to the correction, accepted it in earnest, and then attempted to put…

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…

Growth mindset

As I just got back from Florida Aikikai’s Winter Camp, I wanted to reflect on a few things as they relate to what I feel is a major mission in aikido training.  And that is growth.  Growth in your practice, in your technique, your ukemi, your relationships on and off the mat, and growth in…

How to fold a Hakama

How to fold a Hakama

  How to fold a Hakama Hi, today we’re going to talk a little bit about Hakama folding in Aikido, and more particularly about Hakama folding here at Aikido of Charlotte. It’s very much a part of our culture. Hakama folding is something that you are encouraged to learn how to do early on in…

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…

What makes a good Aikido student great?

What makes a good Aikido student great? As I approach my 20th year studying Aikido, I find myself reflecting back on the journey. When I started, I really had just one mission: Be a good student. As time passed and I learned from my teacher and many others, I started to observe certain training habits,…

Taking Ukemi for Sensei

Taking Ukemi for Sensei One of the most fun, exciting, nerve-racking, and honoring feelings in Aikido is when you are called up to uke for the teacher. Whether it’s in class or a seminar — as someone who has done both for many Shihan over the years, I wanted to share some of what I…

slight-edge

The Slight Edge

As a 52 year old 5 year aikido beginner I have observed a few things regarding consistency. • When I started I didn’t have endurance to be mentally present, so I had to develop endurance. I did that by breathing. ALOT. Learning to exhale at the most extreme part of the movement took time but…