Evening, August 28th: Ikkyo


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

Wrist Crossing, low
Wrist Crossing, high
Arm Swinging, left and right

Aikido Instruction

Reviewed Sayu-nage (Left-right throw)
Started Ikkyo (1st option, controlling the straight arm)

Finally with Ikkyo we are introducing the explosiveness that will come to define many self-defensive responses to strong grips. In the next class we will introduce the concept of pinning. Most martial arts learn and practice pins. In Aikido, we have two types of pins - immobilizations and submissions. Immobilizations can keep an attacker from moving, but do not necessarily cause enough stress for the attacker to 'tap out.' Submissions do require the attacker to tap. As we will soon see, many Ikkyo techniques result in immobilizations, but we can quite easily move to a submission pin.

Zen Practice

3 Bells to start, 18 minutes zazen, 1 Bell to finish

Video

Noon, August 27th: Tenchi-nage, Ikkyo


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

Boat rowing exercise
2 step turn

Aikido

Reviewed Ude-nage A (Arm throw, cutting like a sword)
Added Tenchi-nage (Heaven and earth throw)
Started Ikkyo (First Throw)

Zen

3 Bells, 17 minutes of zazen, 1 Bell

Final Words

No class on Monday, Labor Day, see you on Wednesday the 3rd.

Evening, August 26th: 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

Boat rowing exercise
2 Step Turn

Aikido

Reviewed Ude-nage A (Arm throw, cutting like a sword)
Introduced Tenchi-nage (Heaven and earth throw)

Tenchi-nage is an excellent self-defense throw to counter a Strong Arm Grab and kick to the groin / abdomen. The attacker is already pulling slightly preparing to kick. By sliding in and to the side of the attack, you will naturally create an opening for the chin strike and throw.

Zen

3 Bells to start, 16 minutes of zazen, 1 Bell to finish (We're getting there!)

Video

Evening, August 21st: Review First 3 Throws


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


Welcome to Simon (from the noon class).

Aikido Warm-ups

We covered the following new warm-ups … (You can find a video of warm-ups here):

  • 8-Way Exercise
  • Left-Right Exercise
  • Left-Right Exercise with Stepping

Aikido Instruction

We reviewed the first three throws (You can find a video of our ten basic throws here):

  • Ude-nage A (Arm Throw, Cutting Like a Sword)
  • Shiho-nage (4 Way Throw)
  • Sayu-nage (Left-Right Throw).

Zen Instruction

We worked on some zazen and class-ending etiquette

  • 3 Bells to start zazen
  • 1 Bell to finish
  • Bow (to break the zazen posture), stand, stack zafus, line up, bow out, clear mat and mop … all in silence.

Next Class

The next class will be Tuesday, August 26th and will cover a new throw … Ikkyo (1st Throw). Starting with week 3, we will be videoing classes for student review.

Noon, August 20th: Sayu-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


It looks like Dru will need a few more days, Casey, Chris and Anitra and I carried on. Get well, Dru.

Aikido Warm-ups

Moving on, we covered the following new warm-ups … (You can find a video of warm-ups here):

  • 8-Way Exercise
  • Left-Right Exercise
  • Left-Right Exercise with Stepping

Aikido Instruction

We moved on to our next throw (You can find a video of our ten basic throws here):

  • Sayu-nage (Left-Right Throw).

Zen Instruction

We worked on some zazen and class-ending etiquette

  • 3 Bells to start zazen
  • 1 Bell to finish
  • Bow (to break the zazen posture), stand, stack zafus, line up, bow out, clear mat and mop … all in silence.

Next Class

The next class will be Monday, August 25th and will cover a new throw … Tenchi-nage (Heaven and Earth throw). Starting with week 3, we will be videoing classes for student review.

Evening, August 19th: Sayu-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 Zen and Aikido training 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. Also, consider e-mailing me to put your name on the waiting list for the upcoming winter session Jim


Welcome to the last of the new students for the fall session – Rosie and Dave and a returning student Paul V. So now, both our noon and evening Zen and Aikido classes are set … and onward!

Aikido Warm-ups

With Rosie and Dave in their first class, we dropped back a bit and reviewed the following … (You can find a video of warm-ups here):

  • Rolling Back and Forth
  • Wrist Stretches
  • Raising and Cutting
  • Front and rear exercise

Aikido Instruction

We then reviewed our first throw Ude-nage A and covered our 3rd throw Sayu-nage (You can find a video of our ten basic throws here):

  • Ude-nage A (Arm Throw, Cutting like a sword).
  • Sayu-nage (Left-Right Throw)

Zen Instruction

Last, we reviewed basic sitting:

  • Three Pillars of Zazen

Next Class

The next class will be Thursday, August 21st and will be reviewing our first 3 Aikido throws – Ude-nage, Shiho-nage and Sayu-nage. Zen instruction will focus on posture and breathing.

Noon, August 18th … Welcome to Casey and Simon


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 Albuquerque Aikido schools that you may want to look into.

Always happy to answer any of your questions, see the Contact page. Jim


Neither Chris nor Dru could make the noon class, but it worked out. We had two new students … Casey and Simon and Nitra dropped in from the evening class and so we had a very productive workout.

Aikido Warm-ups

With Simon and Casey in their first class, we covered the following … (You can find a video of warm-ups here):

  • Rolling Back and Forth
  • Wrist Stretches
  • Raising and Cutting

Aikido Instruction

We then covered the first two throws (You can find a video of our ten basic throws here):

  • Ude-nage A (Arm Throw, Cutting like a sword).
  • Shiho-nage (4 Way Throw)

Zen Instruction

We started up with more zazen instruction:

  • Three Pillars of Zazen

Next Class

The next class will be Wednesday, August 20th and will cover a new throw … Sayu-nage (Left-right throw).

Last class to enroll for the fall session

Here at Both Hands Clapping, we teach classes in 13 week blocks. This includes all of our classes:

  • Zen And Aikido
  • Aikido Weapons
  • Advanced Aikido

We do this because we are very, very dedicated to teaching spontaneous, dynamic Aikido.For the first 9 weeks of each 13 week session, all students receive and practice about a dozen throws for the attack being studied. (In this fall session, we are studying two hands grabbing one arm.) Starting with week 10, we begin 3 weeks of freestyle practice. Here, defenses are unscripted and students will get a chance to really understand and practice dynamic Aikido. They will draw upon their Zen training … moving to the place of inner silence and responding appropriately to each attack – one after another after another after another. A great workout for both the body and a chance to really understand the workings of the mind.

To that end, we only accept new students in the first 3 classes of each new session. That is, it would be unreasonable to have a student start at week 8 and then be expected to do freestyle practice at week 10. So, as the fall session started last week, the last day to sign up for the noon class will be Monday, the 18th. The last day to sign up for the evening class will be Tuesday, the 19th. For more info, follow this link.

As a note, the winter session will be starting in mid-November.

I am happy to answer any last minute questions and you may want to subscribe to our weekly newsletter and class notices. See our Contact page – Jim

Zazen Reminders


For new visitors, this is primarily a working site, designed to keep students informed of the current state of training. 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, coincidentally, we are accepting new students for a couple more days. If any of this interests you, now is the time to act. Last, I am always happy to answer any questions. Jim

The cutoff for new noon-time students is Monday (the 18th) and for new evening students is Tuesday (the 19th). The next ‘window’ for new students will be mid-November. For more info, follow this link.


We’ve covered this in class, I thought I’d take a moment to post it formally. I like to think that there are three pillars to good zazen:

  • A stable, comfortable base
  • An elongated torso
  • An energized center

A stable, comfortable base.

Always, always, always make sure you have a stable, comfortable base to do your zazen. Play around with this a while if you have to, but make sure you can rock side to side and front to back without feeling like you’re going to tip over. A good indicator for you will be how firmly your lower legs and knees are touching the mat. If you don’t feel rock solid, if your keens are up, if you get very sore in a short time, these things must be taken care of first. There are a couple things to try:

  • A taller zafu (meditation cushion)
  • Pad or pads under the lower legs, knees
  • Sitting in seiza, with a cushion between your legs
  • Sitting in a regular chair.

And find that combination that allows you to build up to sitting pain-free for 30 minutes. Now there may be some discomfort that last couple minutes, (the body is not well-designed to sit that still for that long) but no serious pan!

An elongated torso.

Natural breathing is so, so vital to zazen, and you will never fully experience it slouched over. Play with the image of holding up the ceiling with your head, tipping your chin down slightly.This lifts your upper carriage, makes plenty of room for your diaphragm and lower belly to freely move up and down, in and out. Your eyes are soft and looking out about 6 feet (when seated on the floor). Never close the eyes. The torso will probably be tipped forward ever so slightly. This is natural.

An energized center (hands and arms).

I call it the 3 energies. 1.) Energy in your hands as you make a nicely rounded, almost delicate mudra, held up off your lap. The thumbs are touching lightly, where a piece of paper between them could be pulled out, but would not fall out. 2.) Energy in your forearms as you keep your thumbs from rolling back to your abdomen. 3.) Energy in your elbows as they are held slightly away from the body, but not thrown out dramatically. (As if holding eggs in your armpits.)

Final Thoughts

Zazen (seated Zen meditation) is the main tool in a formal Zen practice … with other tools being chanting, work practice and the tea ceremony. And formal Zen practice is a pivotal part of our Zen and Aikido classes. While ‘thinking’ is fine for learning Aikido throws, it is ‘not fine’ when it comes time to freestyle practice. And understanding the nature of ‘thinking’ is the primary goal of Zen practice.

Evening, Zen and Aikido August 14th: Shiho-nage


For new visitors, this is primarily a working site, designed to keep students informed of the current state of training. 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, coincidentally, we are accepting new students for a couple more days. If any of this interests you, now is the time to act. Last, I am always happy to answer any questions. Jim

The cutoff for new evening students is next Tuesday (the 19th). The next ‘window’ for new students will be mid-November. For more info, follow this link.


Welcome to Paul R and Lochlin F.

Aikido Warm-ups

For those of you who will be catching up, we covered the following new warm-ups (You can find a video of warm-ups here):

  • Front and Rear Exercise

Aikido Instruction

We then reviewed our fist throw (You can find a video of basic throws here):

  • Ude-nage A (Arm Throw, Cutting like a sword).

And we completed our second throw:

  • Shiho-nage (4 Way Throw)

Zen Instruction

We finished up with more zazen instruction: Returning to your breath.

Next Class

The next class will be Monday, August 18th (the last day for new students).