NGAExperience® Nihon Goshin Aikido

Inside Nihon Goshin Aikido ~ #54

September 5, 2017

In This Issue:

Inside this Issue:

1.  Thoughts On The Occasion of My 50th Birthday & “The Man Card Test “

2.  The High Bridge Counter:  An Easy Way To End Up On the Bottom of the Fight

3.  Dojo Sub-Flooring Solutions

4.  Articles of Interest

5.  A Call for Input

So my 50th birthday passed without much fanfare, and a great triple layer yellow cake with chocolate icing.  I also grilled my trademark ribs and chicken for which I'm semi-famous.  (Two of the secrets are  to "never lift the grill lid, and cook on low heat for as long as possible").  Anyway, during this 75 minute chicken and ribs cooking endeavor, my Dad, my brother, my best friend, and I were talking about how big of a man card we would have today, if we could only do the things we used to do when we were younger.  Our conversation inspired the theme for this month's newsletter.  

The Man Card Test (Pass/Fail):

Scenario 1:

I can remember my Grandfather cutting a tree down with my dad still 30 feet up in it.  "He's taking too long to get down" ~ was my Grandfather's reasoning as he looked over his shoulder to explain his actions as he applied chainsaw blade to tree trunk.  So, my dad hung on at the top of a pine tree, and rode the tree to the ground as it fell.  When the tree was just a few feet off the ground, he jumped, did a perfect parachute landing fall, and got up with the biggest smile on his face.  Pretty much immediately following that, my two uncles began fighting over who would get to be next ~ as we were removing 5-10 trees that day.

I was only 8 though, and not allowed to participate.  It was the first time I ever fell victim to the rule: "You must be "this tall" to ride this ride."

Grandad:  Pass

Dad:  Pass

Uncles:  Pass

Me and my Brother:  Fail

Scenario 2:

A couple years later, we were installing an Oak Wood stove fireplace insert in our home.  Basically, a fireplace insert is a steel box the size of your fireplace, and it is heavy.  My Dad figures it weighed about 250 pounds.  Anyway, my brother and I had one corner, my dad had the other corner, and my Grandfather had the opposite side.  There was a ridge around the bottom of the steel box that made carrying the thing quite painful.  After getting it off the back of the truck and around the side of the house, my fingers were giving out.  My little brother was already done, and he just dropped his half of our corner, claiming, 'my hands hurt!' ~ we were just 15 feet from the door and another 10 feet from the fireplace.  My Grandfather did not want to put it down in spite of my 9 year old brother's "weaknesses", but it was too late, as I was already giving way.  My corner dipped and it all went south.  

My Gradfather, a retired 25 year enlisted infantryman with a  Combat Infantry Man’s Badget with 1 star, a Bronze Star for actions in Viet Nam, combat tours in the Korean Conflict and the Vietnam War, and a classic case of PTSD was not impressed with our lack of intestinal fortitude.  In fact, there is probably still to this day a cloud of profanity hovering above the spot of the dropped fireplace insert.  Thankfully his tirade was cut short by pure frustration with weakness.  He dropped down into a full low squat (butt on heels), hugged the stove insert as best he could, and simply stood up.  We stood there in amazement, until he smarted, "Don't just stand there, open the damn door!"  It was insane how strong he was ~ even approaching 70 years old.

Grandad:  Pass

Dad: Fail

Me & my Brother:  Fail

Scenario 3:

Your dad drives you to the Snug Harbor Bridge that crosses over Lake Murray, and proceeds to do a handstand on the bridge's rail while the cars drive by.  He holds the handstand for about 5 seconds, and then pushes forward into nothing, slicing through cool water Acapulco Cliff Diver style a few seconds later.  From the water 25-30 feet below, he encourages us, "Alright your turn." ~~~ My brother and I declined the invitation, and ran back to the truck.

On the way home, we got a lecture that I will title, "A good time will not come to you unless you are willing to take risks."

Dad:  Pass

Me & My Brother:  Fail

Scenario 4 (Pass):

Before my kids were born, I was an avid white water kayaker, and traveled all over the south east running class 3-5 rivers.  My favorite river was the Pidgeon River (we used to call it "the Dirty Bird" ~ because of pollution issues it one had.).  Of all the styles of kayaking, I liked "play boating" the best, and somewhere there are some cool photos of me doing cartwheels at the Popup Hole in the middle of the Lower Saluda River accessed off the Riverbanks Zoo parking lot.  I loved it, but it was a relatively short lived hobby.  Soon after my kids were born my paddle buddy gave up the sport (too many near death experiences for him), and I lost interest without the social safety net he provided.

Earlier this summer, my dad found a picture of me in my kayak, and said, "I'm glad you quit doing that.  I figured you'd eventually drown if you kept it up."

Me:  Pass

Scenario 5:  (Pass)

After church one Sunday soon after achieving my black belt in Nihon Goshin Aikido, my dad asked "What exactly is Nihon Goshin Aikido?"  So I showed him an a video of my test (see link on the left).  He watched the video which featured an attack by two people with knives, and asked, "Remind me to never try to stab you with a knife!"

Me:  Pass

Scenario 6: (Pass)

Bodybuilding.  Enough said, when you have a set of abs at age 50 that you can wash a load of beach towels on, you have a man card.

Me:  Pass

2.  The High Bridge Counter:  An Easy Way to End Up on the Bottom of the Fight

Last night my training partner and I spent some time exploring techniques and counters.  The attack was a double jacket grab, and the technique was the High Bridge, where you step back and around and take a knee.  It is a great technique, but it has an easy and really natural counter.  To counter the technique, all the uke has to do is maintain the jacket grab and "pull on it" as he is taking the fall.  Uke will easily pull nage off his base, and on top of him, but the momentum of nage's fall will usually allow uke to continue the roll and uke will wind up on top of the fight in a modified side mount position.  

In the clip to the left, you see a similar technical idea relative to the High Bridge from the pitcher.  Look what can can happen when uke does not let go like he does in the dojo.  This is an example of why learning to fight on the ground is vital if your aim in your self defense studies is actually self defense.  Are You Prepared for All That May Happen?

3. Dojo Sub-Flooring Solutions

What about pallets? I was driving through the back parking lot of The Home Depot last week, and saw several stacks of discarded pallets.

There were about 10 pallets in each stack, and probably 50 pallets total. They were by the trash bin, so I assume they were to be thrown away.  I bet they could have been secured free of charge.

Lay them on the floor. Attach a half inch sheet of plywood over them, and a 1x2 to serve as an outside boarder to lock your mat in place. Tadaahh! ~ instant aikido subfloor, that preserves mat speed and adds additional compression potential which would be unavailable when the same mat is laying on a concrete floor.

4.  A call for input

So, I have been holding the NGAexperience website down mostly solo for quite some time.  If you have an article you would like to submit for publication, please submit it to me at

5.  Articles of Interest:

Using Chokes As Fight Enders

Ground Fighting Essentials

Random Inside Nihon Gosihn Aikido Back Issue

Fun With the Spin Around

Let's meet together on the mats, and soon.

All the Best,

Jonathan Wilson

PS:  Please forward this link to your Nihon Goshin Aikido training buddies and ask them to subscribe to our free monthly newsletter.

Unless otherwise stated, the author’s views, musings, and opinions do not necessarily reflect the attitude of leadership within any of the various Nihon Goshin Aikido associations, or unaffiliated Nihon Goshin Aikido dojos.

“Hokkaido 2020”

Let’s establish a Nihon Goshin Aikido Dojo in Chitose, Hokkaido Japan

by 2020.

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

NGA Organizations

Dojos and Study Groups


Start an NGA Study Group



T-Shirts & Other Clothing

Gi’s and Hakamas

Training Weapons

2014 - 2021

Parallel Aikido History

Your Dojo Pictures Here

Ukemi Central

The Soft Ukemi Revolution

Real Fight Breakdowns

“Hokkaido 2020”

Let’s establish a Nihon Goshin Aikido Dojo in Chitose, Hokkaido Japan

by 2020.

The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago.  The second best time to plant a tree is today.  

Click here for a list of Nihon Goshin Aikido Dojos ~ and begin training with us today!

This is a picture of Aikido Center of Atlanta’s sub floor.  

You can see the 2x4 support frame closest to the ground.  

The thin middle layer is the 1/2 inch sheet of plywood that the mat sits on.  

The mat is framed in by the outside border which is a 1x2 on top.  It keeps the mat in place and connects the individual plywood frames together so they stay in place.

Randori Headquarters Here


Randori Headquarters Here


Real Fight Breakdowns

Real Fight Breakdowns

Real Fight Breakdowns

The Irimi Movement Is The Process of Motion that Takes You To The Place Your Attacker Never Expects, or Wants, You to Be.  Namely in the Middle of Destructive Things!

Click Here to Read Our Article On The Irimi Movement!

Any Given Weekend At My Granddaddy's House.

These images did not involve us... But they easily could have ~ as things like this happened like this every weekend we were up there.  Many Man-Cards were issued on weekends with my Granddad.

That’s Not Me Doing Cartwheels in the Popup Hole on the Saluda River, but It Could Have Been.

comments powered by Disqus