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 →

A question of Style

There are today almost as many styles of aikido as there are other martial arts. And the variation between styles can seem quite large, so much so that many ask: what is the real aikido? It seems every dojo you visit claims to be doing the most authentic aikido. It all came about because the founder of aikido developed his art… Read more →

What’s the hurry?

David Lynch Sensei has had a long and remarkable career in aikido—55 years and counting. He’s also an accomplished writer and he has given me permission to reprint some of his editorials from the magazine Hakama, which he published for the aikido community in New Zealand between 1995 and 2005. On reading them it struck me how little issues in training change… Read more →

Engaging the core: “zip up and hollow”

Engaging your core muscles is essential for aikido and aiki body training. Below is a description that I found really helpful. Core muscles work optimally when engaged no more than 25–30%. This is really important. If you do more than this you recruit additional muscles and will no longer be doing this exercise. It should feel like no more than a gentle squeeze. The following… Read more →