Introduction to Aikido for Karateka

by valerielwang

Approach

Focus:  Integrate karate striking capabilities with Aikido techniques to enhance scalability & efficiency.

Goals:

  • Intermediate & advanced Karate students gain a hands-on introduction to Aikido.
  • Learn techniques that enhance student ability & self confidence in situations that are ambiguous or require scalability.
  • Taste Aikido principles in practice, for use in martial arts & in life.

This class will cover applications/use of:

Taiso – Body Movement

Ukemi – Proper falling

Blending with the attacker for maximum efficiency

Integrated atemi (striking) for distraction and to open up tactical possibilities

The approach will differ somewhat from a typical Aikido class. Each lesson, you will practice the taiso you need + the ukemi you need + the atemi you need…for a particular technique variation.

Background:

O’Sensei: Founder of Aikido, referred to even by non-aikidoka as “O’Sensei” or “Great Teacher.”  O’Sensei combined traditional sword, spear and bayonet arts with Daito-ryu aikijiu-jitsu to develop fundamental aikido techniques. Profoundly spiritual, O’Sensei declared that “The true nature of budo is in the loving protection of all things,” and that to intentionally or maliciously harm one’s attacker is to harm oneself, all of which is contrary to nature. He was recorded on film performing near-mystical feats of martial prowess.

Sensei Suenaka:  Roy Yukio Suenaka Sensei, founder of Wadokai Aikido, is one of contemporary budo’s most experienced practitioners and best-kept secrets. Born in Honolulu, Hawaii, Suenaka Sensei’s martial instruction began under his father, Warren Kenji Suenaka, who taught his son budo basics and carefully selected his primary martial tutors. These included such legends as Kodenkan Jiu-jitsu founder Henry Seishiro Okazaki, Kosho-ryu Kempo’s legendary James Masayoshi Mitose, judoka (and later, aikidoka) Yukiso Yamamoto, and celebrated kendoka Shuji Mikami, from whom Suenaka Sensei received a nidan (2nd degree black belt).

Suenaka Sensei began his aikido study upon Koichi Tohei’s 1953 visit to Hawaii, and continued his study directly under Founder Morihei Ueshiba O’Sensei at the Aikikai Hombu for eight years, beginning in 1961. That same year, Suenaka Sensei received an aikido menkyo kaiden (master-level proficiency) teaching certificate from O’Sensei, and became the first person to open a successful aikido dojo in Okinawa. He also commenced eight years of private study with renowned Matsumura Seito and Hakutsuru Shorin-ryu Karate-do Grandmaster Hohan Soken, receiving from him the rank of rokudan (6th degree black belt). In addition, Suenaka Sensei continued his judo and jiu-jitsu education at the Kodoakan under famed Meijin Kazuo Ito, who personally sponsored Suenaka Sensei’s promotion to sandan (3rd degree black belt) in judo and jiu-jitsu.

In 1972, Suenaka Sensei relocated to Charleston, S.C., where he served as Southeastern U.S. director for Koichi Tohei’s International Ki Society until 1975, when Suenaka Sensei resigned to form the American International Ki Development and Philosophical Society (AIKDPS)™. Suenaka Sensei currently teaches Suenaka-Ha Tetsugaku-Ho Wadokai Aikido™ and Matsumura Seito Hakutsuru Shorin-ryu Karate-do. He is author of the best-selling Complete Aikido, and in 2003 celebrated his 50th year of aikido study.

Etiquette:

  • Bow: On and off the mat, before beginning to practice with your partner (say: “Onegashimas” – “It is an honor to practice with you”), and when you finish practicing with them (“Domo Arigato” – “Thank you”). Always return a bow politely during class, and otherwise unless there is a very good reason not to. To not return a bow is extremely rude.
  • Excuse me: (“Gomenasai”). Say “excuse me” when you bump into someone or they bump into you.
  • When you feel the pain of a lock, tap yourself with your free hand where your partner can hear it. If neither hand is free, tap with your foot. There is no merit in being injured and unable to practice because you waited too long to tap.
  • When your partner taps, immediately let up on the lock, choke, hold, etc. Your partner is lending you their person for you to practice with so you may improve – respect that courtesy.

Homework:

As the class will only meet once per week, students will receive the curriculum, vocabulary lists, and things they can practice if they have a little time between classes. Learning this material will help you learn more efficiently and enjoy the class more.