Aikido is a Japanese martial art founded by Morehei Ueshiba ("O Sensei"). Its roots stem from the brutal art of Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu. As with all Aikido techniques, we blend with our partner's energy and redirect that combined energy in a circular motion around our center. There is great emphasis devoted to learning how to roll and fall properly and an even greater emphasis on feeling the effects of techniques through repetitive practice. In a typical class, you will practice Aikido techniques with random partners over a hundred times. You will fall and roll at least that many times. Every roll or fall toughens your body to the point that you will eventually be able to roll or fall on almost any surface. Every bruise is a badge of honor. Every step towards progress is a victory. The beginning techniques are very simple and demonstrate basic movements. As you progress up the ranks, you will work on more sophisticated techniques, some combining more than one technique or giving you choices to deal with any situation. You will have many questions about Aikido and you will discover that the more you learn, the more questions you will have.

My Aikido journey: classes 1-100, 101-200, 201-300, 301-400

May 7, 2018 - classes 301 and 302 with Roderick Johnson - 7 students. We practiced Suwari Waza Yokomenuchi Kotegaeshi Ura, Yokomenuchi Kotegaeshi Ura, Yokomenuchi Kotegaeshi Ura with a tanto, and Yokomenuchi grab under wrist, spin uke around, atemi to the face, atemi to the ribs Sankyo with a tanto. In the black belt class, we practiced Yokomenuchi Udekeminage, Yokomenuchi Kaiten Shihonage, Yokomenuchi Kaiten Udekeminage, and Yokomenuchi Kaiten Kokyunage wrap around Ikkyo (an "Irv Faust special"). I have a theory that the reason why I'm getting all the bruises I have on my hands and wrists after an Aikido class is because I'm resisting strongly and that causes blood restriction at the point of contact.

May 14, 2018 - classes 302 with Roderick Johnson - 9 students. We practiced Kosadori Kotegaeshi, Ushiro Tekubitori Kotegaeshi, Ushiro Tekubitori Ikkyo Nikyo Omote (Ikkyo up and step back to bring uke's arms above and in front of you), Ushiro Tekubitori Ikkyo Nikkyo Sankyo, Ushiro Tekubitori Ikkyo Nikyo Sankyo Iriminage, and Morotetori Kotegaeshi.

May 15, 2018 - classes 303 with Ken Harris - 5 students. We practiced Tai No Henko, Katatetori Ikkyo, Katetori tenkan Shihonage, Katatetori tenkan Shihonage Iriminage, Morotetori Kotegaeshi, Morotetori Iriminage, and Kokyudosa.

May 15, 2018 - classes 304 with Roderick Johnson - 10 students. We practiced Suwari Waza Katatetori Shihonage Ura, Katatetori Shihonage Ura and Omote with and without a jo, and Katatetori Kokyunage with a jo. Rather than turn and circle the hand inward, we were taught to sink the hand down with a tenkan to break uke's balance. I practiced the final jo variation with the two daredevils in the dojo, Keith and John.

My Aikido journey: classes 1-100, 101-200, 201-300, 301-400

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