I went for an Aikidoseminar in Torsby!
2017 08 12
I have not practice  aikido on a regular basis the last year so it was a small adventure to be on the tatami again. But it worked out pretty good. Due to bad knees and neck there are some limitations but I  can live with that. I was not the only one with knee-problems though. Both Lasse and Mark suffering with the same problems so that is no excuse for not training at least one day! And with so many understanding practitioners to work with!!! Very nice bunch of people at these seminar as always.

So was there anything new to take home? Maybe not so many things this time at a first glance but after some time and a not so good night sleep I will try to pick out something during the day, so come back!
Mark talked about his Aikido and from which period he studied in Iwama. That is good to know because there are "variations" of a technique during the years. Lasse visited Iwama  the first time in 1972, I met Saito-sensei the first time in Stockholm 1977 and made the first trip to Iwama in 1982. Mark met Satio-sensei in the -90ies.So it is a long period we can look upon and see some differences in how we do the techniques. And the difference is not only based on the period you met sensei, but you have to consider the age of the instructor. We all change during life, and our bodies tells us what we can do nodays. Yesterday is long gone. Endo-sensei says in his first DVD, the only thing I know is that my Aikido will look different in ten years from now. I think that is good to keep in mind when we practice.
From this seminar I take with me a piece of the 5 kumi-tachi. The blocking the attacker does after the first cut. To turn around quickly and block the sword from the defender, reminds me of a part of a kata in Karate. A block from a roundhouse-kick and at the same time counter-attack with a tsuki. I will work on that the next week and se what comes up from that. The way Saito-sensei taught O-senseis Aikido, gives a very solid basic and from there it "easy" to pick up variations from other schools and make them work in our curriculum.
I think that the kata is a way of transmitting knowledge from one generation to the next. And it is up to each generation to study it and try to explore what´s in it and adding new knowledge!

2014 07 06
A seminar in  Torsby with Shibata 7 dan, Mark Larson 6 dan and Lasse 6 dan have just ended.
This was the first time for Shibata-sensei to visit Sweden and I almost did not recognise him. Last time I saw him he was double the size today. But that doesn´t matter, he did a good job trying to teach us some Iwama-aikido, and it worked well.
Lasse is the one that met Saito-sensei first of these three, and that is something to remember. There is history in these seminars. It covers the -70,-80-90 and the last decade of senseis life. So you can find many "stories" about what Iwama-aikido is. To bad Mark had an accident before coming to us that made it impossible for him to teach on the mat. Some of us did though get some advise from ringside, that will help to sharpen up the techniques, I guess.
Mark larson talked about his time with Saito-sensei and his duty to preserve the  Aikido he have learnt from him.This is a big responsibility for the future!
How long can we preserve it and when do we not do that? Preserve or conserve, there is a distinction between these terms I think. One is to keep "status quo" and the other is to continue develop the leagacy.  What is it that we want to keep from Saito-sensei? A curriculum of techniques? Or is it the way he tought Aikido? For me I think that the last statement is what I would like to do. Techniques will change during your lifetime whether you like it or not. Your body will "tell you that" sooner or later. Trust me, I know. With two bad knees, your are forced to do things different from what you use to do. That is not a big thing. The main thing is to keep the intention and structure of his Aikido. From this you can find out many ways of doing aikido-techniques and if you intergrate them in the whole concept of Iwama-aikido, then there is no limit what you can add or do! Mark, believe in your knowledge, that is "all it takes".