Frequently Asked Questions
What Style of Aikido do you practice?
I tend to describe it as a western style of traditional aikido, ki aikido but without the ki, or simply just traditional. The aikido I practice has been passed down to me from people who learned the art towards the end of O'Sensei's life.
Western Style of traditional aikido:
This may sound strange but I believe in concentrating on both the martial effectiveness and the philosophical aspects of aikido. While I truly believe that no aikidoka should ever be in a fight and I consider myself a pacifist I also recognise that there are times when civilisation fails and that you have to take a stand. While it is recognised that Japan is a very safe society where you are unlikely to ever require your martial training, most other places are not. As such the "western" aspect of my style is primarily aimed at making sure you are safe, uke is off-balance and you are blending correctly. This can be explained quite simply by the following statement, 'If uke can hit you, then your technique is wrong somehow'.
Ki aikido without the ki:
Most of my sensei have strong links with the style of aikido towards the end of O'Sensei's life, or with Koichi Tohei. Our style is heavily influenced by this so that it is soft, yet powerful. Ki is, for many people, something that does not exist. However, the principles of Ki, as explained by Tohei, lead to great body mechanics and a style of aikido that can be done when you are in your 80's. What others call Ki, I call body mechanics/physics.
The sort of aikido that O'Sensei was performing as an old man, but crucially, we perform it as if we were young (because we are).
Can you provide advice relative to my style?
Certainly. Depending on how different your style is though the level of advice will vary. Think of it in a similar vein to Word, Wordpad, Notepad and Scrivener. These are all types of word processing software but they are all very different. The underlying principle and goal though is the same. It has to be, otherwise they would be in different categories of software. So it is with aikido, whether you practice modern aikikai, iwama, yoshinkan, tomiki or something different, the underlying source will have been the same.
In the event that advice cannot be provided no money will be charged.
My sensei says you're wrong
It's entirely possible that I am. Without actually feeling the technique we may miss some subtle mistakes. Of course, there is also more than 1 way to do aikido. I am not arrogant enough to think mine is the only way.
How long does this take?
Hopefully not too long. I try to get things turned around within 48 hours but it depends on how busy I am. If you have an urgent need for an analysis (e.g. you have a grading tomorrow) I'll make an extra effort to turn it around quickly for you.
How do I submit my video?
Currently this is taking place through Dropbox. Full details will be provided upon contact
What grade are you?
Can I come and train at your dojo?
Certainly! If you are in the area feel free to drop in
Can I book you for a course?
Of course you can. Get in touch through the contact form and we'll try and arrange something.
Do you have any instructional videos?
No. I may provide some of these in the future, or record them for special requests, but in general I believe there is enough of that cluttering up YouTube at the moment. I also find it generally uphelpful unless you are already moving past Shodan. At that level you have the ability to discern good from bad, and what is a stylistic difference that can be incorporated in your own training style. All too often I find my students attempting something they saw on YouTube but unable to make it work simply because they don't have these skills. I would like to spare people that frustration
Who are you affiliated with?
Currently 2 different organisations. The Aiki No Michi and the Independant Martial Arts Sports Association (IMASA).
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
When there is nowhere else to train