Friday, June 11, 2010

What is each aiki rank about?

A student was telling me a while back that he'd been reading a book by a BJJ instructor and that the interesting part of it was that author had characterized the different ranks as each having a different thematic focus. White belt was spent developing one particular set of principles and qualities, blue belt another, and so on...
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That student asked me if this sort of thing applied to our aikido or judo. Does each rank have some particular focus?
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Sure it does! Our way of teaching aikido mostly goes something like this...
  • yellow is about fundamental motion and evasion - the aiki brushoff, etc...
  • green is about atemi - attacking uke's center and driving him directly off of you if you aren't able to evade - shomenate, etc...
  • brown 3 is about moving with uke using his elbow to control his motion - oshitaoshi, wakigatame, etc...
  • brown 2 is about moving with uke using his wrist to control his motion - kotegaeshi, kotehineri, etc...
  • brown 1 is about floating throws - particularly otoshi timing - maeotoshi, sumiotoshi, etc...
  • black 1 is about refining all previous material to integrate the floating throw concept - also introducing guruma motion.
  • black 2 is about variations in maai, attacks, and timing
  • black 3 is about weapons and also honing that light aiki feel
  • black 4 and beyond are primarily about time-in-grade, teaching, and service to the art
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Patrick Parker is a Christian, husband, father, martial arts teacher, Program Director for a Cardiac Rehab, and a Ph.D. Contact: mokurendojo@gmail.com or phone 601.248.7282 木蓮
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