Inside Nihon Goshin Aikido ~ #61
5 April 2018
Inside This Edition:
Happy Easter. What a holiday ~ the best holiday of the year in my book. If you're curious, send me an email and I'll explain why.
Also ~ I wanted to give a special shout out to the known, but unnamed individual, who gifted me his signed, personal copy of "The Black Belt Master Class in Nihon Goshin Aikido." I do appreciate it, and I cherish the information the rare tome details as well as the gesture. Many thanks and much respect.
Now if I could only locate my own personal copy of Sensei Giorgi's “Integral Aikido”....I think I may have loaned it to someone... but who?
The Perceived Value of a First Impression
There was a great Seinfeld episode in which a presumed Asian named Donna Chang gave particularly sound advice over the telephone to George's mother. It turns out that Donna Chang had faked a Chinese accent and wasn't Asian at all. The rest of the episode deals with how George's mother attempts to reverse or "undo" the otherwise sound advice that her "not so Asian" confidant had given her.
On a related front, there was once a 'personal trainer' who sent me some information. He promised to make me stronger and more muscular than I had ever dreamed possible. He wrote very informatively and convincingly on the value of pause reps, super sets, time under tension, progressive loading, periodization, deloading, min/max, all with the incorporation of steady state cardio. His "secret sauce" was the exclusive use of kettle-bells in his workouts. (A kettle-bell essentially being a glorified solid ball of heavy lead with an attached handle).
The plan sounded legit, and I was intrigued, so I requested more information. He sent me a link to a video on youtube that I unfortunately can not find any longer..... Anyway, it was a video of him doing a few of the kettle-bell exercises he recommended.
Actually, it's probably best that I couldn't find the link. You see, the video turned out to be the biggest "anti" sale possible because he was one of the most frail individuals I have ever seen in workout clothes. You mean, "I can be as strong as you if I try your workout plan?" Thanks but no thanks partner. The guy simply did not look the part he claimed to play ~ and I wasn't interested.
Had he looked like this (see pic left), I might have reconsidered.
Certainly appearances are something to consider, but should we base all of our decisions on this initial visual perception. Maybe... maybe not. I'm reminded of Luke Skywalker's first encounter with Yoda in "Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back." Luke is shocked to discover that an old, 2 foot tall, green hermit could be the Jedi Master he was looking for. It turns out Yoda actually had the goods.
A similar parallel can be drawn from the more recent movie "KungFu Panda" in which an otherwise unassuming, overweight, and out of shape panda becomes the long awaited Dragon Warrior (ahead of many more visually "qualified" disciples).
So what do we take from all of this? As martial artists who seek to expand the audience of what we are doing in Nihon Goshin Aikido, what is the goal? What part are we playing in the salesmanship of the art? What does a sound self defense template look like?
I think the answer may be found in our earlier references to Yoda and the KungFu Panda. Namely that regardless of your body shape, Nihon Goshin Aikido has a place within its ranks for you.
The astute student can see built in body shape accommodations within the 50 Classical Techniques themselves as they progress thorugh the ranks.
Are you tall? If so, you will love sending uke's flying across the dojo with Elbow Chops, Whip Throws, Cross Body Wrist Throws. You will be capable of destroying ukes with devastating Arm Over the Shoulder techniques. Your Unbendable Arm and Shoulder Throw will have the capacity to send an uke into shallow earth orbit.
Are you short? Awesome! Your Mugger's Throw is capable of sending a would be attacker to Dante's 7th ring of Hell. Your Over the Back and Pivot Over the Back Throws as well as your Pivot Take Down and Body Block will be amazing ~ and inherently natural. Your Come Along Throw will be simply dangerous for any tall uke without a quick response to your downward lead; especially should you decide to pin rather than throw.
Neither Tall or Short: ~ It's all good. There is something for everyone. Best of all, every one of the techniques work regardless of your inherent strength ~ though I submit that having strength has ample lifelong benefits to be explored.
The message that size does not matter in our art is eventually delivered to the NGA student ~ but might we stress the point sooner? Namely that "a prospective student does not have to "look like his or her instructor" to find excellence in the art of Nihon Goshin Aikido and its 50 Classical Techniques." Excellence in the art is obtainable to all who would simply commit to training with us.
Thoughts? What say ye?
Mystery Articles of Interest
Let's meet together on the mat ~ and soon!
All the best,
These are not the Ki techniques you are
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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.
Want a Solid Arm Bar?
1. Ki Finger of Gripped hand Extended
2. Shuto Driving Fulcrum Just Above Elbow
3. Power from Tenkan Hip Pivot Driving Uke Off His Base and to the Ground
Maybe I Will Try Kettlebell Training Afterall......