The following are the elements
of training in the different components that make up the
art of Aikido. Your Sensei will impart instruction in the
actual technical details of these elements both in class
and through specialized seminars.
UPS AND PREPARATORY EXERCISES: For maximum benefit,
warm up individually before the beginning of class.
At times an organized group warm up may be led by a senior
student or the Sensei himself. Warm up exercises are to
be done dynamically but relaxed, always coordinating your
breathing with the exercise. The techniques of Aikido themselves
can provide an adequate warm up when performed at a lower
Ukemi (literally "catch your body") is the art
of safely receiving the force of the techniques applied
to you; including rolling and falling techniques. Ukemi
is often neglected by beginners, who find it difficult and
prefer to practice the techniques of self defense failing
to recognize that Ukemi is training in self defense. Ukemi
is the ability to survive any technique. It must be remembered
that without good Ukemi skills, Aikido dies. Without the
ability to safely practice Ukemi, we cannot train. Devote
your energy to mastering good Ukemi. It is invariably found
that the student who is a skilled Uke (person receiving
the technique and falling) also has the skill to become
a skilled Nage (thrower) by feeling the dynamics of a technique
applied to you, you will learn to apply the techniques to
others more effectively.
PRESSURE POINT TECHNOLOGY: The use of pressure
points in the school are inherent in all the techniques.
They are used by practitioners to facilitate the momentary
unbalancing or controlling of an opponent. On the other
hand, pressure points are also used to bring the body back
to its natural balanced state. New students are required
to participate in the introductory pressure point seminar
which outlines the basics of the art.
AIM-TAISO: These "Aiki Exercises"
are designed to teach proper body alignment and use. Their
usefulness, if practiced correctly cannot be overestimated.
They should be practiced in a dynamic and spirited manner.
TAI-SABAKI: These body movement exercises
can be practiced alone or with a partner and provide the
foundation of your technical training. Practiced correctly,
they will give you the ability to move freely and naturally
in any direction when attacked. Techniques cannot be applied
if Tai-Sabaki is insufficient or timed incorrectly. When
practicing Tai-Sabaki, maintain your complete concentration
on your opponent at all times, during and in between movements.
Allow no gaps in your awareness or opening in your posture.
Move irresistibly and immediately control your opponent's
center line, matching his or her timing. Tai Sabaki Ho will
include both Tai Sabaki Toshu, or empty handed exercises,
and Tai Sabaki with Bokken (wooden practice sword). You
should immediately see the relationship between these two
when practicing them. The school has organized a series
of Tai Sabaki exercises which are to be practiced throughout
one's lifetime and are the core study of the beginning student.
WAZA: Waza are the formal techniques of
Aikido. It must be remembered that all waza are ideal attacks
and defend situations; they are the vehicles through which
Aikido is transmitted from teacher to student. It is up
to the student, however, to give life to these forms and
ultimately transcend them. They are not rigid rules of combat-they
are guidelines which will bring the student after extensive
training to his or her own Aikido. No two students are exactly
alike, and so everyone will naturally develop an Aikido
that suits them. O'Sensei is reported to have said, "Aikido
has no techniques." One meaning of this is that the
student must not destroy Aikido by limiting it to this or
that form; rather, the student should seek always to grasp
the internal principles of Aikido, and to manifest them
moment to moment. Through the diligent practice of form,
grasp the ultimate principle of going beyond form. This
can be said to be the ultimate goal of the martial artist.
Your study of Aikido Waza will include:
Fundamental or basic techniques
Nage-Waza: Throwing techniques
Katame-Waza: Locking and pinning techniques
Aikijudo-Waza: Techniques of harmony/gentleness
Ushiro-Waza: Defense against attach from
Atemi-Waza: Techniques of striking pressure
Kaeshi-Waza: Methods of countering an
Henka-Waza: Methods of freely switching
from one technique to another
Oyo-Waza: Advanced techniques
Buki-Waza: Weapon techniques
The above are further classified
according to circumstance as:
Suwari-Waza: Seated techniques
Hanmi-hantachi Waza: Seated technique,
defending against standing attacks.
Jiyu-Waza: Freestyle technique
to the methods of attacking in Aikido which are closely
related to striking in the performance of technique. When
you train with your partners you must have the ability and
the skill to attack fully-otherwise, your partner will never
gain the ability to defend against true attacks. The 2 components
of successful Kogeki are: Attaining proper attacking distance
(Maai) and being hones with the attack. Honesty does not
mean speed or power. It simply refers to an attack reaching
its intended destination. It is possible and desirable (specially
with beginners) to go slow and be honest simultaneously.
Kogeki prepares the student for any attack, from any direction.
Randori literally means to "seize chaos". This
is the practice of defense against multiple attackers for
which Aikido is famous. Randori is the ultimate test of
your understanding of Aikido principle, and especially your
Tat Sabaki. The strategies for Randori will be imparted
to you by your instructor. It must be stressed here that
Randori must be practiced safely: both Uke and Nage "must
hold back slightly" to avoid injury. This means that
Nage will throw or move in such a way that the Uke will
be able to jump up to return and attack continuously. It
also means that Nage will tire at this "endless"
supply of attackers, and must eventually fail: HOWEVER,
Nage's state of mind must always be one of survival. Both
Uke and Nage must take care to not injure each other carelessly.
They must both appreciate the kindness they are showing
to each other, and take full advantage of this excellent
Buki-Waza is weapons technique using the three traditional
weapons: the Jo (4FT staff), the Bokken (wooden sword),
and the Tanto (wooden Knife). The AJK school also features
the stick (referred to as the "Aiki-Sticks") for
its practicality in teaching principles and for actual self
defense. The skills learned in weapons practice-timing,
distance, dynamic movement, focus, intensity, and energy
extension, etc. are invaluable to empty hand technique.
As you train you will see the close relationship between
weapons and empty hand training. Do not neglect weapons
practice because it seems difficult or outdated. Its benefits
are beyond measure, and is part of Aikido tradition. Weapons
training must always stress safety, a wooden training weapon
can injure or kill as easily as a live blade. Always treat
the training weapons as if they were real, and take pains
to observe proper etiquette of handling and use. This will
also help you to develop and attitude of seriousness and
purpose in your training. Weapons training for the Jo, Bokken,
and Aiki-sticks will include:
methods of holding
Suburi: Also striking practice
Kata: Prearranged forms
Kumi (Jo, Bokken sticks): Paired forms,
weapon against weapon
Dori: Unarmed defense against weapons
or defending with the weapon against unarmed attack
TRAINING: Refers to the practice of Ki tests, breathing
exercises (Kokyu-ho) and meditation (Meiso-ho), as well
as the practice of Kokyu-dosa. These training methods are
meant to cultivate the psycho-physical attributes necessary
for the practice of Aikido as a Budo, martial way. The practice
of these internal training methods is of utmost importance
in Aikido training.
Ki Tests are methods of testing your postural and mental
stability, degree of tension and relaxation, and understanding
of basic Aikido technical principles. These tests may be
given at any time; usually prior to an AJK promotion test.
They are administered during the performance of Aiki-Taiso
exercises and the demonstration of basic Aikido postures.
You will find these in your Promotional Test Requirements
under the heading of "Ki Tests".
Kokyu-ho includes the following:
the breathing practice which involves deep, prolonged
exhalations form the hara (abdomen) and controlled inhalations
through the nose.
the practice which involves explosive exhalations form
the hara with vocalization
the practice which involves explosive exhalations from
the hara without vocalization
is a practice of meditation through which the student
develops mindfulness and joriki, or the power of focused
concentration. This method involves techniques of developing
a deeper awareness of mental processes. There are many
types of mediation, but in order to have an application
to Budo, the method you use must stress wakeful awareness
of yourself and your surroundings, rather than the development
of trances of sleep-like states.
is an exercise in which you will sit in seiza facing your
partner and extend your arms. Your partner will grasp
them, and attempt to resist your efforts to unbalance
him or her. This exercise calls for the proper use of
the hara and breathing, and will also help develop proper
use of the body, breath and energy. Another variation
of this is Renzoku Kokyu-dosa, which involves continuous
HEALING ARTS: Without
a doubt, man's natural state is one of health. When an imbalance
is created withing the mind or body, it results in disease.
While all martial artists are interested in self defense,
rarely do they consider defending themselves against the
factors that could bring them poor health. The school believes
that as part of a complete integrated approach, students
should learn how to take responsibility for their health
and how they can assist the body's process of natural healing.
While we do not intend to make healers out of anyone or
replace medical care, we do educate our students on the
basic theory and practice of preventive health maintenance.
For the martial artist, optimal health and fitness should
be a given. It should be a natural by-product of their training.
However, today that is hardly the case. While many people
turn to the martial arts for fitness, participation a few
times per week will not keep them at their best. Hence,
we introduced Aiki-Fitness: The Art and Science of Mind
& Body Fitness. This component of the curriculum teaches
students how to exercise to improve their Aikido, how to
eat for optimal performance, how to recuperate from daily
activity and in general, how to go beyond mere average health
status into a state of optimal health and performance.
About Chendokan Aikido
Categories of Attacks
Training with Injuries