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…

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…

Most Experienced Aikido Charlotte Dojo

Reflecting upon my first Aikido Seminar

Reflecting upon my first Aikido seminar that first thing that came to mind was how refreshingly familiar the experience was. I enjoyed the way class was conducted, it was similar to how we practice in our own dojo. I enjoyed working with other students and learning their thought processes and how they execute certain moves. Everyone…

Recovering from an Injury

A fact in the life of every active person is the inevitability of getting injured. While the circumstances that surround the actual injury or how serious the injury is are important that’s not what I want to focus on. I want to focus on a method that will help you recover and get back on…

The ever-elusive concept of “ki”

Throughout my study of aikido, I’ve had a number of curious friends ask me “is that ki stuff for real?”. I usually respond that “it’s absolutely real – it’s just not what you think it is”. Here in the West, I find that it’s pretty easy for people to get hung up on the “ki”…

A Beginner’s Mind

While recovering from this weekend’s seminar with Demko Shihan, I reflected on how little I know about Aikido. In Zen Buddhism there is a concept called Shoshin or “Beginner’s Mind.” One goal of Zen practice is to cultivate Shoshin, even in advanced practice. Its application to Aikido is not an admission that you know nothing…

There is Never Nothing Going On.

Dan McMillan is a former world champion gymnast and collegiate coach turned best-selling author and motivational speaker. He is also a Shodan in Aikido. His first book, The Way of the Peaceful Warrior, while not specifically about martial arts, is well-known amongst Aikidoka because many of its central themes are central themes in Aikido as…