After each seminar I go to, I try and remember at least one thing that I learned that made that seminar worthwhile for me. It might be what the focus of the seminar was, it might be an offhand remark that sensei made, but I try and make sure I go home really remembering at least one thing that can help with my aikido.
Every now and then I go through my kyu booklet to try and make sure I still remember what I learned, which is probably a lot easier for me than for people who have been doing this for 20-30 years, but in case I ever forget, here's the list of things that I picked up and what seminar I picked them up at.
|Sensei||Date||My take home|
|Paul Muller||March 15-17, 2013||He focused on the link between empty handed techniques and weapons work. He demonstrated how some techniques are more or less exactly the same movements if you're holding a bokken or empty handed.|
|Laura Jacobs Pavlick||October 5-6, 2013||She said at one point that aikido has linear movements and circular movements. Techniques can either use one or the other, but you should never mix them within the same technique. She also pointed out that it's easier to free the wrist with small circular movements, and easier to throw with large circular movements.|
|Christian Tissier||February 15-16, 2014||He said early on in the seminar that there should never be any ambiguity in your aikido. If at any point you stop a technique, and there's any ambiguity about who's in control, it means you haven't taken the uke far enough to their limit.|
|Massimo Di Villadorata||March 22, 2014||I've been to enough of Massimo's non-seminar classes that nothing he said at this seminar came as a complete surprise, but he spent some time talking about how you need to know if you're going over, or under the uke. For instance, nikyo you need to be over them, sankyo you need to be under them. Shihon-nage you move under to off-balance the uke, then over to throw them.|
|Donovan Waite||April 11 and 13, 2014||Uchi techniques. Bring your hand to your forehead, pivot, and then cut down. It's surprisingly effective.|
|Paul Müller (again)||July 12-13, 2014||Udekiminage (with a sword): instead of trying to pull them out to off balance them, as they grab your wrist cut across their chest (with one hand on the blade), then cut down to throw.|
|Robert Zimmerman||September 13-14, 2014||If you stop half way through a technique and uke can stay where they are for a long time, it means you haven't taken their balance enough. They should fall on their own if you stop.|
|Claude Berthiaume/Robert Saad/Massimo Di Villadorata||October 11-12, 2014||Once you make connection with an atemi to the face, maintain that connection as you move to the wrist, don't let yourself get disconnected|
|David Goldberg||November 15-16, 2014||Sword basics: Bring the sword directly up the centre line, not diagonally. Make sure you have kuzushi, even with a sword|