New Schedule and Location for 2016


I'm doing a new thing -

Martial Arts are not the only thing I do! I know - hard to believe. Like the rest of ya'll I juggle a few other activities like family and scouts and travel and sports and work.

For some time now I’ve felt that Mokuren Dojo’s niche was too limited. Not enough people are all that interested in aikido or judo or jodo or even martial arts or self defense in general. I’ve been wanting to write to a wider audience about a wider set of topics.

So check this out - I'm doing a new thing!

My wife and I have started a new blog called Roaming Parkers – so that we could make even more new friends and talk about things like hiking and conservation and travel and ecology and camping and sustainability and adventure – as well as martial arts!

I plan to be posting martial arts thoughts on the Roaming Parkers blog mostly on Martial Mondays, so come over there to keep up with that!

I will also continue to maintain Mokuren Dojo so you can come back to your favorite articles in the archives, and I figure there will be occasional bursts of activity here on Mokuren Dojo whenever I have too much densely martial material for the general audience at Roaming Parkers.

So, THANK YOU ALL for your love and support and attention during the past eleven years of Mokuren Dojo and please, come join us at Roaming Parkers to see what the next decade or two hold in store for us all!

Removing commas

I heard an interview on the radio today that was really interesting.  The subject was a fellow who translates Haruki Murakami works into other languages.  The interviewer asked him, "When do you know that a creative work is done?  That is, when do you stop fiddling with your translations and adjusting and fixing things?"

The translator quoted Murakami as saying, "When you get to the point that all you're doing is going through the manuscript and taking out commas and then going back through and putting them back in.  That's when you know you're done."

I thought that was interesting...  in a martial arts sense...

Want to discuss this blog post?
Come find me on Facebook at my Mokuren Dojo FB group

Patrick Parker

Aigamaeate by the numbers

Lately in class we have returned to an emphasis on kihon - that is (IMO) making sure that you get all the steps in and making them as distinct as possible.

Aigamaeate is the second of the kihon that we practice in aikido - and for novices it goes something like this (similar to the first variation  shown in the video above).
  • kuzushi - tori uses uke's arm to tilt him between his toes perpendicular to the line of uke's feet, as if tori were attempting oshitaoshi or ikkyo.  This is the beginning of the kuzushi action.
  • tsukuri - As uke recovers backward from the initial offbalance, tori steps into a position outside uke's feet close enough that he can lift uke's chin.   This is the completion of the kuzushi action started earlier, and it is the tsukuri action. 
  • kake - Tori strides by uke, pushing his face for the kake phase.
Note this has a forward/down then back/up feel similar to shomenate.  The lifting of uke's chin coincides with the peak of the back/up motion.  In fact, this is largely identical to shomenate except tori strides through the outside of uke's feet instead of directly between them.
Also note that shomenate and aigamaeate (the first two techniques) effectively demonstrate the two primary directions you can get an offbalance on an advancing uke - that is, parallel to his feet and perpendicular to his feet.

Want to discuss this blog post?
Come find me on Facebook at my Mokuren Dojo FB group

Patrick Parker