Wednesday, October 05, 2016

The aikidoka and the light bulb

How many aikidoka does it take to screw in a light bulb?  A dozen - one to screw the thing up and eleven to tell him, "That's not how we do it at our dojo."
When I was preparing for my recent gig at Windsong Dojo teaching Yon kata, I perused the videos online of various folks doing the thing and some of them I posted with commentary because I thought they illustrated a point that I might want to make when I taught the thing. I did not post the above video because, even though the aikidoka are obviously talented and precise, it just didn't look like what I was going to talk about.  I didn't think they were doing the Yon kata that I was thinking about.
Well, after I recuperated from my epic roadtrip and whirlwind teaching gig at Windsong, I did a YouTube search for Koryu Dai Yon again, and this was the first video that popped up, so I watched it again, and WOW! It looks just like what we were working on and talking about at OKC last weekend!
I think if you put the "We don't do it that way" part of your brain on hold and watch this thing again, you'll see a lot of similarities between what we were doing and what Fielding sensei is doing here.  In fact, I think the only major difference I see is Fielding is using a more dynamic uke, whereas we were working with more static ukes.
I have vastly benefited from the opportunity to lead an exploration of Koryu Dai Yon at Oklahoma last weekend!  This exercise has been my least favorite, most frustrating part of aikido for the past 25 some-odd years - my worst enemy!  But this past weekend has turned it into such a fascinating exploration of kuzushi that I think I could probably spend a LOT of time playing in and around this thing profitably!
Thanks, Nick and Windsong guys for teaching me this thing that y'all claimed I was teaching you!

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Patrick Parker
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