Wednesday Noon, September 17th: Irimi-nage, Kote-kaeshi, Kokyu-nage


For new visitors, this is primarily a working site, letting students know what we covered in case they have to miss a class. We are a very unique Albuquerque Aikido school in that we combine both Zen and Aikido training into a single curriculum - integrating zazen into every Aikido class. You are free to look around. If you are absolutely new to Aikido, check out the About Aikido page. Note that we only accept new students four times a year and our next window for enrollment will be the winter session starting in mid-November. Aikido is a great martial art ... combining Zen and Aikido is the ultimate. If you can't wait until November to start your training in Zen and Aikido, here are several other Albuquerque Aikido schools that you may want to look into. Always happy to answer any of your questions, see the Contact page. You are certainly welcome to observe a class. You can also e-mail me to request a spot on the waiting list for the winter session. Jim

Warm-ups

Continued rolling ...

Aikido Instruction and Practice

Irimi-nage
A two-handed throw, the lead hand creating the banana, the rear hand generating the actual throw. As the attacking partner in this self-defense move, be sure to stay alive. As the defender jumps behind you, be sure to turn and follow. Of course, never lose sight of the fact that this is a martial art, and that you will be needing to roll fairly quickly.

Kote-kaeshi
Pins require special attention on disengaging. Even when finishing a pin, treat your partner as a continued threat to attack. Always move toward your partner's feet, away from his head and hands.

Kokyu-nage
I call this a back shoulder throw. As you circle your partner, notice how this throw sets up with your partner on the opposite shoulder from irimi-nage ... the beauty of aikido - it's not terribly important where you are in relation to your partner.

Zen Instruction and Practice

3 Bells, 23 minutes of zazen, 1 Bell

Comments
Incense can be a powerful 'present moment' magnet. Be sure to use it appropriately. Do not judge it good or bad, pleasant or unpleasant - just realize that it's scent is an opportunity to regain this moment.

Special thanks to …

Casey

Tuesday Evening, September 16th, 2014: Irimi-nage, Kote-kaeshi, Kokyu-nage


For new visitors, this is primarily a working site, letting students know what we covered in case they have to miss a class. We are a very unique (and independent) Aikido school in that we combine both Zen and Aikido training into a single curriculum - integrating zazen into every Aikido class. You are free to look around. If you are absolutely new to Aikido, check out the About Aikido page. Note that we only accept new students four times a year and our next window for enrollment will be the winter session starting in mid-November. Aikido is a great martial art ... combining Zen and Aikido is the ultimate. If you can't wait until November to start your training in Zen and Aikido, here are several other Albuquerque Aikido schools that you may want to look into. Always happy to answer any of your questions, see the Contact page. You are certainly welcome to observe a class. You can also e-mail me to request a spot on the waiting list for the winter session. Jim

Warm-ups

More rolling ...

Aikido Instruction and Practice

Irimi-nage
You will come up with your own little memory pegs, but one that is helpful for me is 'two steps out, one step back'. Also, remember to roll the grabbed arm to aid in breaking your partner's grip. In a self-defense situation we need the confidence to let an attacker grab and continue to grab, and we need the ability to break grips anytime we want.

Kote-kaeshi
In getting your partner to his / her belly, remember to walk with your partner's elbow in front. (What we don't want to do is turn and pull our partner by walking backward.)

Kokyu-nage
I call this a back shoulder throw. It's one of the few times where our partner is closer to the center of motion, and the defender is moving around that center. (In most throws, the defender is at the center and the attacker is chasing from the periphery.

Zen Instruction and Practice

3 Bells, 20 minutes zazen, 1 Bell

Comments
Keep a watch out for 'judging.' Judging shows up in many subtle ways ... 'Why can't I stay focused', 'Wow, my mind is wandering like crazy', 'My zazen wasn't very good today', 'Zazen was great today!', etc. Remember just to return to this moment - your breath, your posture, the dojo (with it's sounds and smells and the sensation of your butt on the cushion). That is all (that is enough).

Special thanks to …

Paul M, Paul V, Paul R, Mial, Dale, Ken, Rich, Derek, Simon, Lochlin and Dave

Monday Noon, September 15th: Irimi-nage, kote-kaeshi


For new visitors, this is primarily a working site, letting students know what we covered in case they have to miss a class. We are a very unique, independent Aikido school … combining Zen and Aikido training into a single curriculum, integrating zazen into every Aikido class. You are free to look around. If you are absolutely new to Aikido, check out the About Aikido page. Note that we only accept new students four times a year and our next window for enrollment will be the winter session starting in mid-November. Aikido is a great martial art ... combining Zen and Aikido is the ultimate. If you can't wait until November to start your training in Zen and Aikido, here are several Albuquerque Aikido schools that you may want to look into. Always happy to answer any of your questions, see the Contact page. You are certainly welcome to observe a class. You can also e-mail me to request a spot on the waiting list for the winter session. Jim

Warm-ups

Review rolling

Aikido Instruction and Practice

Aikido throws can be divided into two categories - nage waza (throwing techniques) and katame waza (pinning techniques). In throwing techniques, the defender completely disengages from the attacker. This is very, very important in multiple attacker martial art, self-defense situations, where you cannot get caught up in devoting any extended attention to any one attacker.

Irimi-nage (entering throw)
Irimi-nage is the quintessential Aikido throw - never seen in other martial arts. It is often called the 'Ten Year throw' due to the amazing amount of subtlety required to do it powerfully, gracefully, fluidly. Understand the principle of the throw (how to create a banana) and relax, relax, relax.

Kote-kaeshi (wrist turnout)
In katame-waza like kote-kaeshi, the techniques are taken all the way to a submission pin. Kote-kaeshi is finished with a '3 Palms' pin.

Zen Instruction and Practice

3 Bells, 20 minutes zazen, 1 Bell - Timekeeper: Casey ... Gassho (sincerest thanks)

Comments
In the zendo, in the dojo, zazen is a group exercise. We are always encouraged to sit close to our fellow students to remind ourselves of our commitment of silence and stillness to both ourselves and to them.

Special thanks to …

Casey and Chris ... and Chris' boys Christopher and Donovan

Thursday Evening, September 11th: Irimi-nage, Kote-kaeshi


For new visitors, this is primarily a working site, letting students know what we covered in case they have to miss a class. We are an intentionally small school … combining Zen and Aikido training into a single curriculum. You are free to look around. If you are absolutely new to Aikido, check out the About Aikido page. Note that we only accept new students four times a year and our next window for enrollment will be the winter session starting in mid-November. Aikido is a great martial art ... combining Zen and Aikido is the ultimate. If you can't wait until November to start your training in Aikido (with us), here are several Aikido schools that you may want to look into. Always happy to answer any of your questions, see the Contact page. You can also e-mail me to request a spot on the waiting list for the winter session. Jim

Warm-ups

Continue with rolling.
In any multiple attacker, martial art, self-defense situation, the ground is both your friend and 'not' your friend. It is your friend when your attacker has landed hard and is no longer willing to continue the attack. It is not your friend when you are on it.

You must be very familiar, very comfortable with going safely and quickly to the ground and just as safely and quickly back to your feet. Be convinced that to resist a fall is to waste energy and sacrifice balance, both of which are at a premium in a multiple attacker self-defense.

Aikido Instruction and Practice

Irimi-nage
Remember the footwork ... slide back, slide in, two-step turn and step back in to finish. (You can very easily practice this at home!) Attacking partners, don't expect your partner to pull you around and have to manhandle you. I call that being a bag of wet sand. As the attacker, you must be alive and responsive - relaxed and with nice smooth footwork.

Kote-kaeshi
This throw, along with irimi-nage are 'sister techniques'. In any martial encounter, the defender can try to take advantage of the attacking weapon (a fist or elbow, grab or kick) or the defender can try to take advantage of an exposed head or face. The ultimate 'sister techniques' are ones where the defender can evade the initial attack and then choose either technique depending on the circumstance.

Zazen Instruction and Practice

3 Bells, 20 minutes zazen, 1 Bell

Comments
Be sure to take some time to settle in before the timekeeper strikes 3 bells. A very common practice is to rock the whole body side to side, a little back and forth. And then tilt the head side to side, and a little back and forth. And then finally stillness.

Special thanks to …

Mial, Dale, Ken, Paul M, Paul R, Derek, Simon, Lochlin, Rich, Dave, Cecil

Wednesday Noon, September 10th: Irimi-nage, Kote-kaeshi


For new visitors, this is primarily a working site, letting students know what we covered in case they have to miss a class. We are an intentionally small school … combining Zen and Aikido training into a single curriculum. You are free to look around. If you are absolutely new to Aikido, check out the About Aikido page.

Note that we only accept new students four times a year and our next window for enrollment will be the winter session starting in mid-November. Aikido is a great martial art ... combining Zen and Aikido is the ultimate. If you can't wait until November to start your training in Aikido (with us), here are several Aikido schools that you may want to look into.

Always happy to answer any of your questions, see the Contact page. You can also e-mail me to request a spot on the waiting list for the winter session. Jim


Warm-ups

Continue with rolling, including 'flat rolls' which are a prerequisite for breakfalls.

Aikido Instruction and Practice

Irimi-nage (entering throw)
Start with some practice. Remember that irimi-nage is a two arm throw, with one arm generating the curved back (banana) and the 2nd hand at the neck is generating the downward action.

Kote-kaeshi (forearm / wrist reversal)
Kote-kaeshi will have the exact same footwork as irimi-nage. The real difference between the two is that irimi-nage will focus on the head area, while kote-kaeshi will focus on one of the attacker's hands.

In a martial arts, self-defense scenario, this is a very typical pair of techniques, where with nearly identical footwork, the defending partner can threaten both the attacker's head or the attacker's hand / arm. In most cases, the attacker can only protect one or the other, but not both. Whichever the attacker chooses to defend, the Aikidoist will obviously take advantage of the other.

Zen Instruction and Practice

3 Bells, 20 minutes zazen, 1 Bell

We always return ... return, return, return. Our main 'magnet' is our breath. Breathing is always a present moment activity. In every sense, you cannot follow a breath that is in the past or the future. Remember to return to the breath, but not control it.

Tuesday Evening, September 9th: Nikyo, Irimi-nage


For new visitors, this is primarily a working site, letting students know what we covered in case they have to miss a class. We are an intentionally small school … combining Zen and Aikido training into a single curriculum. You are free to look around. If you are absolutely new to Aikido, check out the About Aikido page.

Note that we only accept new students four times a year and our next window for enrollment will be the winter session starting in mid-November. Aikido is a great martial art ... combining Zen and Aikido is the ultimate. If you can't wait until November to start your training in Aikido (with us), here are several Aikido schools that you may want to look into.

Always happy to answer any of your questions, see the Contact page. You can also e-mail me to request a spot on the waiting list for the winter session. Jim


Warm-ups

Started forward rolls. Note ... please do not try forward rolls at home quite yet. The carpet in your front room, the grass in your backyard or at the park are not as soft as you might imagine. Until you feel very, very comfortable with rolling on the rolling mat and then are comfortable rolling on the training mat, please only practice your rolls at the dojo.

Aikido Instruction and Practice

Nikyo:
We've added the pin to the nikyo technique. This pin is familiarly called the '3 Palms Pin'. As with the ikkyo pin, think of this as another '5 points pin'. 1.) Cradle your partner's shoulder between your knees. 2.) Cup your partner's palm and wrist in the crook of your elbow. 3.) Lock your partner's elbow to your abdomen with your wrist. 4,5.) On your toes!

Irimi-nage:
Irimi-nage is the quintessential Aikido throw. Most other martial arts and self-defenses have throws that resemble ikkyo and nikyo, sayu-nage and shiho-nage. But irimi-nage is really only seen in Aikido. Remember, that each Aikido throw is a response to a unique set of circumstances that the attacking partner is trying to generate correctly. As you slide back and in, your partner will push your hand up, allowing you to step to the rear and throw. Relax. Relax. Relax.

Zen Instruction and Practice

3 Bells, 20 minutes zazen, 1 Bell

We will always turn off the fans for zazen. Be sure to realize that too much white noise can 'override' all the wonderful 'present moment magnets'. Sweating is a great present moment magnet, as are birds chirping, the traffic noise on Juan Tabo, etc. Remember that zazen is the continuous activity of returning to this moment, and we will take advantage of everything that brings us back.

Monday Noon, September 8th: Nikyo, Irimi-nage


For new visitors, this is primarily a working site, letting students know what we covered in case they have to miss a class. We are an intentionally small school … combining Zen and Aikido training into a single curriculum. You are free to look around. If you are absolutely new to Aikido, check out the About Aikido page. Note that we only accept new students four times a year and we will not be accepting any new students until the winter session starting in mid-November. Aikido is a great martial art ... combining Zen and Aikido is the ultimate. If you can't wait until November to start your training in Aikido (with us), here are several Aikido schools that you may want to check out. Always happy to answer any of your questions, see the Contact page. You can also e-mail me to request a spot on the waiting list for the winter session. Jim

New Warm-ups

We have started on forward rolls.

Aikido Instruction

We have finished instruction in Nikyo (2nd Option, controlling the bent elbow through a wrist compression). This technique finishes with a submission pin, often called 3 palms pin. When you look down, you should see 3 palms. This is another '5 points' pin, with the 5 points being: 1.) shoulder cupped between your knees. 2.) Your partner's elbow being controlled by your wrist. 3.) Your partner's wrist being controlled in the crook of your elbow. 4,5.) On your toes.

In a martial arts, self-defense situation, submissions and immobilizations are often vital in defusing a situation. When an attacker realizes that there is no place to go, there is a chance to reassess. Reassessment is a good thing - it derails the single-minded attack train of thought.

We completed Irimi-nage - the classic Aikido throw. Most martial arts, most self-defenses have instruction and practice in most the the techniques that you find in Aikido. However, irimi-nage is truly an Aikido original.

Aikido throws can be divvied up many ways, depending on the point you want to make. One grouping looks at whether the throw is created using one hand (arm) or two. For example, sayu-nage (left-right throw) is a one hand (arm) throw.

Irimi-nage is a two-hand throw (or two-arm throw), where one hand (arm) creates the 'banana' and the 2nd generates the 'down' direction that actually causes the attacking partner to fall backward to the mat. There may be a tendency to try to turn this technique into a one arm throw, similar to the old 'clothes-line tackles' in football (no longer allowed).

Zen Practice

3 Bells, 20 minutes zazen, 1 Bell

Thursday Evening, September 4th: Nikyo, Tenchi-nage


For new visitors, this is primarily a working site, letting students know what we covered in case they have to miss a class. We are an intentionally small school … combining Zen and Aikido training into a single curriculum. You are free to look around. If you are absolutely new to Aikido, check out the About Aikido page. Note that we only accept new students four times a year and we will not be accepting any new students until the winter session starting in mid-November. Aikido is a great martial art ... combining Zen and Aikido is the ultimate. If you can't wait until November to start your training in Aikido (with us), here are several Aikido schools that you may want to check out. Always happy to answer any of your questions, see the Contact page. You can also e-mail me to request a spot on the waiting list for the winter session. Jim

New Warmups

Warmup instruction is complete. Paired time is so precious that we will not be spending much more time on better understanding the warmups. You can watch the video below. Also, realize that you will be seeing this instruction again in the next class (which will come very quickly). But most importantly, you must ultimately learn to be comfortable with some level of uncertainty throughout your time studying Aikido.

Aikido Instruction

Continuing on with Nikyo. Again, realize the Nikyo is a very powerful technique that early on must be done slowly and carefully. While I have personally never seen anyone injured doing Nikyo in 25 years, I have seen many knees buckle and eyes pop out. And there are always stories of someone resisting Nikyo and ending up with a broken wrist.

In a self-defense, martial arts situation, Nikyo can be a great equalizer against an attacker with size and strength. But realize that Nikyo is not a 'finishing' move. I call it a 'shortener'. You can take bigger, stronger attacker and essentially bring them to a knee, where they can then be more easily thrown In the next class we will take Nikyo to its conclusion - another submission pin.

Last, we reviewed Tenchi-nage (heaven and earth throw). Remember that, for safety sake, some of these throws will only ever be done at 60 - 70% speed. An actual chin strike at full speed does no one any good. To that end, as the attacker - relax, relax and let your partner understand the rhythm of the throw.

Zen Practice

3 Bells, 20 minutes zazen, 1 Bell

Wednesday Noon, September 3rd: Ikkyo, Nikyo, Short Review


For new visitors, this is primarily a working site, letting students know what we covered in case they have to miss a class. We are an intentionally small school … combining Zen and Aikido training into a single curriculum. You are free to look around. If you are absolutely new to Aikido, check out the About Aikido page. Note that we only accept new students four times a year and we will not be accepting any new students until the winter session starting in mid-November. Aikido is a great martial art ... combining Zen and Aikido is the ultimate. If you can't wait until November to start your training in Aikido (with us), here are several Aikido schools that you may want to check out. Always happy to answer any of your questions, see the Contact page. You can also e-mail me to request a spot on the waiting list for the winter session. Jim

New Warmups

Finished the last of the warmups:

Wrist Crossing Low
Wrist Crossing High (on one foot)
Tenkan (pivot and step back)

Aikido Instruction

See the discussion for the Tuesday, Sept 2nd class.

Finished Ikkyo to the pin
Started Nikyo
Short review of Ude-nage A (cutting like a sword)
Short review of Sayu-nage (left-right throw)

Zazen Practice

3 Bells, 20 minutes zazen, 1 Bell

Tuesday Evening, September 2nd: Ikkyo, Nikyo


For new visitors, this is primarily a working site, letting students know what we covered in case they have to miss a class. We are an intentionally small school … combining Zen and Aikido training into a single curriculum. You are free to look around. If you are absolutely new to Aikido, check out the About Aikido page. Note that we only accept new students four times a year and we will not be accepting any new students until the winter session starting in mid-November. Aikido is a great martial art ... combining Zen and Aikido is the ultimate. If you can't wait until November to start your training in Aikido (with us), here are several Aikido schools that you may want to check out. Always happy to answer any of your questions, see the Contact page. You can also e-mail me to request a spot on the waiting list for the winter session. Jim

New Warmups

Last of the warmups ... Back Pivot

Aikido Instruction

We finished up the submission pin for Ikkyo. Remember to think of Ikkyo as '1st Option', controlling a straight elbow. In a self-defense situation, a straight elbow can be used to influence an attacker forward, left or right. Every martial art has pins ... for this pin, think of it as a 5 points pin - (1) knee to the rib area, (2) hand clamping the elbow to the ground, (3) hand compressing and rotating the wrist. That's 3 points, with the last 2 points being 'on your toes.'

We started the technique called Nikyo. Think of this as '2nd Option', controlling a bent elbow through wrist compression. When trying to control an attacker's arm in a self-defense situation, you will never know if that arm will be bent or straight, if the wrist will be bent or straight. The beauty of Aikido as a complete martial art is that there is generally a technique for every possibility. We will be learning a new submission pin with this technique as well

Zen Practice

3 Bells, 20 minutes zazen, 1 Bell