Aikido training: a guide for the perplexed

All sports have their traditions, whether it’s rules of play, training costumes, or expected standards of behaviour. In that respect, aikido is no different.

However, since aikido is rooted in Japanese culture, it can be difficult to understand for people who are unfamiliar with traditional martial arts, at least in the beginning.

This is not something to worry about if you are thinking of starting. Everybody should figure out the basics of what aikido is about after a few training sessions. However, if you want to know more, here is a short explanation, based around two key concepts, kihon and ukemi.

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Reflections on training in the Aikikai Hombu Dojo, Tokyo

Over two days in August 2013 I had the chance to do some training in the Aikikai Hombu Dojo in Tokyo. I visited the dojo after a week-long work trip, when I had just a few free days. It wasn’t my first time at Hombu. I had made another short visit during a brief stay in Tokyo in 2002. After such an interval I could only recall a few vague impressions (e.g. Doshu’s extremely busy 6.30am class, the explosive power of Yasuno shihan). And since my own level has progressed since then I hoped I could take something more from this experience.

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