Aikido for children: how young is too young?

We get a lot of enquiries at the dojo for kids classes and for increasingly younger students. It seems parents are looking for classes for kids to help fulfil a need or aspiration. Benefits for kids The study of traditional martial arts has a lot to offer kids. At a physical level there is the development of strength, coordination and… Read more →

aikido gorilla

Oww… dude, don’t grab my wrist so hard!

I think we have all had that experience of the dojo ‘gorilla’ striking to injure or grabbing our wrist so that our hand turns red and then varying shades of purple! It’s discouraging and we wonder if we are really learning a martial art when it’s so difficult to perform the technique we are meant to be practising. So what’s… Read more →

No-touch aikido, yes it’s real!

This month Sensei is focusing on the kokyu (breath power) techniques of aikido. These are techniques that, at the highest levels, do not require physical contact with your training partner (or assailant). Kokyunage, one of the six pillars of aikido, is one of the more famous categories of aikido techniques and comes under intense scrutiny, particularly from other martial arts.… Read more →

Violence doesn’t discriminate

Violence doesn’t discriminate, and nor do we. If you need to protect yourself or a loved one from unavoidable violence, it’s nice to know that the physical universe has your back. The laws of physics (and the principles of TFT) work for everybody, regardless of sexuality, gender identity, genetics, socialisation, culture, ethnicity, spirituality, size, age, health, wealth and dress sense. There’s only… Read more →

Every woman has the right to:

feel safe and be safe at home, at work and on the street; live, work, travel and socialise without harassment; and hospitalise anyone that attempts to restrict these rights through physical assault! On International Women’s Day 2017 we affirm every woman’s right to learn to use the tool of violence to save her own life, or the life of someone she loves, in a… Read more →

Six pillars and three grounds

O-sensei spoke of the six pillars of aikido: osae waza, shihonage, iriminage, kokyunage, kaitennage and ushiro. But on what do these pillars rest? As we work to define Great Ocean Aikido, I’d like to propose three “grounds” — aiki body, aiki physics and atemi jutsu — as a way of describing our approach to aikido. Aiki body refers to building the engine that… Read more →

Oak tree or bonsai?

Would your aikido survive in the wilderness, or is it a beautiful abstraction that requires a controlled environment? In this possibly postmodern age of aikido, it is important to take time to unpack our practise and approach. Here is a reflection from Danny James Sensei. Many of us studying aikido and other asian martial arts are familiar with bonsai, in which… Read more →

Disability, bullying prevention & aikido

Young people get bullied at school and online. Those most vulnerable are children with disabilities. Today, 2 December, is the International Day of People with Disability. To acknowledge the day and recognise the diverse needs of people with disability, we are honoured to host a blog from Alex Diaz-Granados of cerebralpalsyguidance.com highlighting the challenges of bullying faced by children with a disability such as cerebral… Read more →

How will you react to unavoidable violence?

“These situations not only left their scars but also taught me a few things…” My Dad was an SAS officer. He tried to teach me and my brother a few ‘self defence’ moves, although they were a little extreme for the playground. Later he enrolled us in judo, which we both loved and continued to train into our late teens. Like most… Read more →

Radical therapy for a Good Girl

I was attacked one day during my first semester in Berlin… I’m learning how to render an attacker non-functional. This is a cleaner way of saying I’m learning how to break joints, rupture eyeballs and testicles and do whatever else it takes to stop someone who is intent on killing me or my loved ones. It turns out it just doesn’t matter that men… Read more →

Violence is rarely the answer…

…but when it is the answer, it’s the only answer! Learn to use the tool of violence to save your own life, or the life of someone you love, in a single weekend. Our next TFT Live Training in Sydney is the weekend of 5–6 November. A participant at our last weekend commented, “I woke up on Monday morning knowing I had a skill I didn’t have… Read more →

How to survive the most critical 5 seconds of your life

In 16 hours over two days you will learn how to save your own life or the life of someone you care about in a situation of unavoidable life-or-death violence.  Next event Sat 5 – Sun 6 Nov (register by 22 Oct for early bird and buddy rates) Date: Saturday 3 and Sunday 4 September  Time: 8.30 am to 5.30 pm each day Place:… Read more →

Spring workshop schedule

Great Ocean Aikido Community Spring Workshop Schedule Saturday 3 October to Monday 5 October 2015 Aikido in Sydney, Camperdown dojo Schedule Day Time Session Saturday 8 to 10.30 am meditation, aiki body (solo), weapons 11 am to 2 pm aiki body (partner), aikido 4 to 5.30 pm tft Sunday 9 to 10.30 am meditation, aiki body (solo), weapons 11 am to 2 pm aiki body (partner), aikido 4 to 5.30 pm tft Monday 8 to 10.30 am… Read more →

Pinky peel back – why Aiki Kids walk tall

I started teaching martial arts for kids in 2005. But I never wanted to be a kids instructor at all – I had been actively avoiding teaching kids aikido for years! A couple of things changed my mind. Firstly, my own son had been bullied in primary school a few years earlier. A boy in his class, let’s call him Joey, was struggling with a messy parental break-up.… Read more →