One does not need buildings, money, power or status to practice the Art of Peace. Heaven is right where you are standing, and that is the place to train

- Morihei Ueshiba

Remote Aikido Dojo

When there is nowhere else to train

The Art is Not the Method

Friday, 13 March 2020
The Art is Not the Method

There has been a large amount of conversation on social media over the last number of years about the ineffectiveness of aikido as a martial art. This has been caused by numerous factors ranging from...

That thing advertised as self-defence? Yeah, that's not self-defence.

Sunday, 9 February 2020
That thing advertised as self-defence? Yeah, that's not self-defence.

There is an elephant in the room and it’s time to acknowledge it. Let’s discuss self-defence for a bit. How many advertisements for a martial arts class have you seen that do not mention self-defence,...

Choosing a course

Friday, 10 January 2020
Choosing a course

There is a question that I get asked on occasion which tends to have a fairly standard answer, “How do you chose which courses to go to?” I am asked this because the people that know me are aware that...

Quotes that need to die #1

Sunday, 10 November 2019
Quotes that need to die #1

There are a lot of quotes in aikido and in martial arts in general. They get tossed around like candy and often there is little consideration of them. I think that some of these quotes need to die. There...

The Future of Aikido

Monday, 7 October 2019
The Future of Aikido

Another question that has come up on social media recently was, ‘What would you like aikido training in the future to look like?’ Again, this was an interesting and thought provoking question that prompted...

But Really, It's a Business

Tuesday, 10 September 2019
But Really, It's a Business

A question came up on social media recently that I answered but thought it was important enough to expand on that answer in a different forum. The question was lengthy but essentially boiled down to,...

Learning to get hit

Saturday, 10 August 2019
Learning to get hit

There is an interesting conundrum in aikido that is simply neither acknowledged nor talked about. It’s actually built into the fundamental training method of the art and, in my opinion, is a bad thing....

Teach the Ukemi

Wednesday, 10 July 2019
Teach the Ukemi

I’ve come to believe that aikido has a serious problem that the vast majority of people aren’t even aware of.
It’s a pretty simple one and to find out what it is let’s consider the standard aikido...

The Swimming Coach Problem

Monday, 10 June 2019
The Swimming Coach Problem

Let’s take a moment to consider the job of a swimming coach. Swimming coaches have a problem that seems a difficult one to solve and that provides them with numerous issues when coaching their athletes....

A Revamped Grading System

Friday, 10 May 2019
A Revamped Grading System

The last post was on the concept of grade inflation and that it has led to overly high standards in non-japanese dojos. The big question though is whether or not there is a way to actually solve or at...

Grade Inflation

Wednesday, 10 April 2019
Grade Inflation

I have previously alluded to a consequence of having high standards in our gradings. Standards that are higher than what they should actually be. That consequence is grade inflation. I’m not referring...

A Better Way to Teach

Sunday, 10 March 2019
A Better Way to Teach

Let’s consider for a moment what the standard aikido teaching looks like. It’s a fairly uniform thing and I’ve genuinely never seen anything different to this. For the record I’ve trained in at least...

"It takes how long? But you said it wasn't important."

Sunday, 10 February 2019
It takes how long? But you said it wasn't important.

There seems to be a strange paradox in the world of aikido. Actually there seem to be many but one in particular that will be focused on here. The specific one I’m thinking of is how long it takes you...

Stand Up Straight

Monday, 10 December 2018
Stand Up Straight

One of the most difficult things that aikidoka have to do is maintain their structure. In this post I'm specifically going to focus on the importance of being upright. There are many aspects to having...

Pay Attention

Saturday, 10 November 2018
Pay Attention

Last month I attended a course in Holland hosted by Ruud Van Ginkel and the Aikido Centruum. The visiting instructor was 8th Dan Shihan Shimamoto Katsuyuki. This is an annual course that is worth every...

Pressure Testing?

Wednesday, 10 October 2018
Pressure Testing?

There is an idea that keeps cropping up in aikido at the moment. I’m not sure how long it’s been rumbling along for, but it seems to have come to the forefront of social media in recent times. The argument...

Finding a place to train

Sunday, 9 September 2018
Finding a place to train

A question that I get asked a lot is, ‘How do I find a new dojo?’
On the face of it that seems like a bad question to be asked. It sort of implies that my students can’t stand me and want to go...

The false division

Friday, 10 August 2018
The false division

The martial, the philosophical, and false division
Over the last number of years I have come to realise there is a fundamental division amongst aikidoka. It’s an interesting one and very easy to...

That really painful lock? Yeah, it doesn't actually hurt

Tuesday, 10 July 2018
That really painful lock? Yeah, it doesn't actually hurt

There’s a really common idea in aikido that if it doesn’t hurt, it doesn’t work. I can understand where this sentiment comes from. If somebody applies a nikkyo lock to you then it’s usually accompanied...

My Doctor doesn't get it

Friday, 8 June 2018
My Doctor doesn't get it

We’ve all been there. Sitting in a Doctor’s office due to some random injury trying to explain to them that aikido is not like judo while they tell us not to train.
That would be fine except for...

Don't poke your uke's brain

Thursday, 10 May 2018
Don't poke your uke's brain

For this months topic we’re going to take a look at one of the more advanced concepts of aikido. This is likely to be much more of a style relevant subject. Some styles for instance seem to go out of...

Observe the Line of Attack

Saturday, 14 April 2018
Observe the Line of Attack

There is a well known concept in aikido that it’s almost impossible to be unfamiliar with. Chances are that you came across it during your first lesson. That concept is usually referred to as the ‘Line...

Beware Uke's Elbow

Saturday, 10 March 2018
Beware Uke's Elbow

Kaiten nage is a fascinating technique. There are many lessons to be learned while performing it but I think one of the most important is very often missed. It takes place during the uchi form but not...

Proper Entry in Irimi Nage

Saturday, 10 February 2018
Proper Entry in Irimi Nage

This means that a fundamental part of the technique requires nage to enter behind uke. What amazes me is the sheer number of aikidoka that don't actually enter when doing irimi nage. This is one of the...

Finger Placement in Kote Gaeshi

Wednesday, 10 January 2018
Finger Placement in Kote Gaeshi

There are numerous aspects of Kote Gaeshi that can cause it to go wrong for nage. First among these is the placement of the fingers on uke’s wrist. This is something that you see frequently and no matter...

Blog Archive