Aikido in Kyoto with Okamoto sensei!

17 07 2014

A very nice video documentary about Aikido in Kyoto with Yoko Okamoto sensei by Guillaume Erard:

Check Guillaume’s page anyway for so many more amazing videos!

And if you happen to be in Kyoto and want to visit sensei, check the dojo homepage!





Excess of flexibility

14 07 2014

Last week I went to a local physiotherapist suggested by the Aikido instructor to have my elbow checked: it is now more than 2 months that I suffer from what I thought it was a sort of “tennis elbow” applied to Aikido. A constant pain to the elbow area that intensifies every time I try to grab or lift about anything with my right hand (thank god that for most activities I am left handed!) ;-)

Unfortunately I had tried my Chinese left overs remedies and since the pain was more during the working hours than the practice time I had hoped to be able to cope with it and eventually wake up a day and find the elbow again at its 100%.. but it did not happen!

The pain had started the 3rd of May during the session I attended of Tissier sensei seminar in Amsterdam: after a quite tiring shomenuchi nikyo ura with a very advanced partner who was recovering form the jet lag of returning from Japan the day before (so his technique was oscillating between quite heavy locks and very soft, his usual, and effective control), I felt a sudden pain in the right arm, propagating from the elbow. It was about 5 minutes before the end of the session, so for the last technique I chose a beginner for partner and tried to slow down and do not force on the elbow/arm.

From that day, the pain has been almost constant/increasing, especially when I had to grab anything at work (the device I service as technician weigh less than 5 kg each, but already grabbing the battery packs was giving me jolts of pain). Saying I did manage to control the pain, changing a bit the way I perform the job (using more the left side) and using the above mentioned remedies, together with Voltaren and Ibuprofen, I however realized it was not enough for getting rid of the problem.

My year highlight will be the trip to Indonesia in October where the first week is fully dedicated to Irie sensei, therefore too important for getting there already injured!

Therefore I finally went to the physiotherapist that with my surprise said it is not a “tennis elbow” pathology but an inflammation due to too much flexibility of the arm! The muscle did not protect properly the elbow from everyday stress/work, so that it started suffering. The therapist was actually surprised how flexible my wrists/elbows/shoulder are, respect to.. normal people! And I do not think myself as very flexible in the body, when compared to my Aikido models!!

Clearly I must get more balance, in the muscle structure as in other things. I must probably take some decisions about the place where I want to live in the near future in order to get more of the Aikido I need, for my mental balance as well, given I do not want to change job/country anytime soon!

So from today I will work on the muscle around the elbow and soon they will evaluate if the problem improves. As said, my “deadline” is beginning of October, but a seriously good test will be Marc Bachraty sensei seminar in Stavanger at the end of August. And still planning some September activities.





Aikido vs. football

3 07 2014

I know several Aikido people will/would laugh at this post, laugh at me and think I am stupid probably.. or whatever, but it is not that I really care what people think of me, otherwise I would not have a blog ;-)

Among the majority of my Aikido close friends I cannot identify many that enjoy also team sports, either watching or practicing. In particular basketball, football (soccer!), rugby or, more on the side, volleyball (since I know a very good friend, Jacqueline Aikimama was a top volleyball player, but it is not really a team sport of contact, except the occasional smash on the face!).

I do not want to generalize to the whole Aikido world of course, but from my personal experience among the people I have met, usually Aikido people do not like team sports for one (or both) of the following reasons:

  1. They do not like/understand the spirit of competition, they often classify it as the “evil feeling” that you do not want to have when you practice Aikido, therefore wrong in any other appearance.
  2. They have always been, as children at school, awkward when doing team sports. Never been able to kick a ball straight or shoot at the basket, and since anyway there were several other classmates enjoying that much more, they ended up on the side of the field (or bench) watching other people doing something they never really understood where the enjoyment was.

Just thinking among the closest group of my Aikido friends, active Aikido friends I mean, I can find a few that are extremely good at solitary sports (skiing, snow boarding, skating, skate boarding, tennis, etc.) but.. nobody (except the above mentioned Jacq and my good friend Peter in HK, a very good basketball player with whom I had fun, if only once) with a past in team sports (beside when they were obliged at school).

I started playing basketball when I was 8 years old (1981) and I continuously played in teams until I started Aikido, in 1995, and overlapping that for 1-2 years (the terrible AVHI basket team in Trondheim!). After I quit basketball for a few reasons (the level was so low that I started getting worried to destroy my knees, ankles, joints) I did experienced a few times dreaming about playing again! No, not wet dreams.. but almost!

Even if I never played officially in a team, I also played a lot of volleyball during the years, and more than occasionally football, as goalkeeper: maybe because I always enjoyed falling and throwing myself on the ground I became so dedicated in learning a good ukemi:-)

Thanks to this team sport past I have met several people that have then become close and best friends.

Also I do not regret or try to forget the competitive feelings and spirit typical in basketball competitions: the maturity is keeping those feelings in the appropriate field. I admit in my youth I failed in doing so, from time to time. But I have never had problems in Aikido: I have never risked to mix the spirit for competition with my martial art practice. Maturity? Common sense? Cannot really say, but for sure, for me, Aikido and team sports can live together!

Furthermore, for how much I enjoy to watch Aikido videos, I like much more to watch live sports on TV! Since my youth, I have always enjoyed almost any sport on television (except golf, sorry..). But then the commercial TV started buying rights for sports event and less and less team sports were available on the free TV channels. So for a long time no live events, or streaming on laptops with not always stable connections.

Now it’s world cup time, and I am really enjoying watching football again (even if Italy was rightly humiliated and sent home). I do not find it boring, and since I am also living in a city where there is no dojo or teacher close to the Aikido I love the most to practice, I have had not many mental troubles to skip practice in order to watch football. This will be met by harsh words, comments and laughs by the Aikido friends!

Of course I would have never planned a trip to Japan or Stockholm during a major sport event like this one, but I have not avoided seminars because of football, if some of you are wondering. Endo sensei, still among my 2-3 favorite teachers, will be in Slovakia this week but I could not go there because of lack of holidays.. not because of football on TV!!

Do not worry, I am still one of the first and biggest Aikido freaks! It is just I live again in a non-perfect (for me) Aikido place.. but among the people with a regular job and not the typical Scandinavian flexi-time freedom I am still one of the most trip active!!

No regrets as well ;-)

One more week of football then I can focus on… something else! Hopefully in enjoying the summer ;-)

..and then Stavanger trip for Marc Bachraty sensei!!!





Amazing Yasuno sensei!

30 06 2014

For your start of the week I want to post the video Nagai sensei posted on Facebook, from the classes Yasuno sensei held in Kyoto in 2011, when I had also attended his seminar (as I did in 2013 and I will most probably do next year!):

Great inspiration for a Monday!

Happy start of the week you all!

REMINDER: Yasuno sensei will be in Pavia, Italy, the 4th-5th October, seminar organized by Urakasumi dojo.

 





Philippine’s Aikido beauty & brain

27 05 2014

Why would a brilliant astrophysicist leave her promising career in the US to come back to ‘Pinas? Reina Reyes, one of this year’s Fun Fearless Awardees, will inspire you to give back. Get to know her on p. 162 of the May issue featuring Angel Locsin on the cover.

Aikidoka Reina Reyes on Cosmopolitan Philippines Magazine May Edition

And, apparently, among her qualities, she is also practicing Aikido in the Philippines!





Hello Stavanger, I’m back..

23 05 2014

…even if only briefly!

This weekend I am back for the Aikido seminar with Roberto Martucci, 6.dan, at Jushinkan new dojo.

I left Stavanger April 1st, 2010, directed to China, after 4 years there and lots of life experiences on the work, friend, Aikido, love sides:

4 years ago in Stavanger...

Now I will be back, a little more than 4 years after, for one short weekend dedicated (almost) entirely to Aikido. With the flight I could get there will not be time for anything else..

Funny that I will travel through Frankfurt airport: in the past months I have been quite a few times in Frankfurt, but it is ages I do not pass by the airport!! Hope in no delays (today and Sunday), that the Germans will be… Germans!!





Trondheim, I’m coming!!

9 05 2014

Finally today I will be on my way back to Trondheim, even if for only one weekend, but I really miss the place!

Last time was Fall 2010, for Jorma Aikido seminar, exactly like this time!

Missing so much the place, the sky, the friends, the feeling up there.. and happy to see Jorma and the other Aikido friends again!!

Trondheim - Nidaros domine cathedral

Trondheim - sky

Trondheim - 07/2006

Trondheim








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