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Sunday, November 22, 2009

Upgrading and seminar

It was a fine weekend to do a seminar + upgrading. Kids upgrading was load of fun. Most of them work hard for the upgrading and it shows. It's quite a revelation to see how much these kids grow over the years.The seminar was a success. So many people attend that we had to work with limited space but it was worth it.Congratulations to all!
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Short aikido article by Yusuf Sensei - 3

This is the third article in this series [part1][part2]

"Aikido" is comprised of three characters: ai-ki-do. Whether we approach this concept from either a historical or philosophical standpoint, correct understanding of those three words within the ideal Aikido system is essential.

Let us consider the concept of ki. Right from the beginning, the notion of ki was deemed to be of utmost importance in the traditional martial arts and ways of Japan and East Asia. Ki was researched intensely and extensively by all schools, much like a Zen koan, a riddle that had to be pondered deeply before it could be solved. In every ancient transmission scroll or philosophical treatise, the concept of ki is discussed at length. Ki words pervade the Japanese language: shiki (spirited); seiki (vital); genki (healthy); kisei (ardor); kihaku (vigor); kiai (spirited shout); yoki (cultivation); iki (disposition); shinki (mind); konki (patience); kiryoku (vitality); kisoku (breath); tsuyoki (powerful); the list goes on. It would be very difficult to have any kind of conversation in Japanese without some word or phrase that has a reference to ki in it.

Let us now look at the concept of ki as presented and explained in two transmission scrolls that have a direct relation to Aikido: the Kito Ryu Densho Chushaku and the Yagyu Shinkage Ryu Heiho Kadensho ("The Life-Giving Sword"). The Founder Morihei had training in both martial art systems and he adopted and incorporated certain elements of each system into Aikido.

Here is the excerpt from the Kito Ryu Densho Chushaku:

Ki fulfills the body. When ki arises, it is called yang, when it is suppressed it is called yin. In this system, we employ ki in the instruction of all the techniques, but ki is not a manifest object. If the body is not set aright, ki cannot be brought forth. Within everyday life, when one is in a sitting position, vigorous ki flourishes, and one becomes stable and secure. However, when techniques are executed with gestures to the right or left, it adversely affects the ki equilibrium of everyday life. Ki pervades the body. Therefore, to set aright the body and correctly perceive ki everywhere is the tradition of our system. "Correctly" means through proper physical forms. The secret teaching of our system is this: continually polish your ki, do not be captivated by worldly objects, and keep firmly to the fundamentals. Do that, and when you execute the techniques, following the dictates of original ki, you can utilise ki and conduct yourself freely, right and left, back and forth. This is true for all aspects of life, stand, sit, move, remain still in a state of natural ki. Heaven calls this Unshakable Wisdom.

From the Yagyu Shinkage Ryu Heiho Kadensho:

Ki (opportunity) equals ki (vital energy). Perceive your opponent's ki, pre-empt his ki, neutralise his ki, and seize the opportunity. This is the same function as zenki; complete and concentrated control. Discern what is hidden and hard to discern, seize the opportunity and function totally. This is called the "strategy of seizing the initiative".

Here is a related excerpt from a book entitled Budo Hiketsu: Aiki no Jutsu:

The most marvelous things in this world is the art of aiki. The art of aiki is a mystery, the secret to all the martial arts of this sacred land. A kiai projected with aiki is so powerful it defies all definition. The most marvelous things cannot be explained with words, nor be measured with a ruler. Learn the secrets of kiai, make progress, and stride single-mindedly and with confidence through he world.

Ki as a Vehicle to Overcome Mental Obstacles

From these excerpts we can see how important the concept of ki is in East Asian life and thought, and how it is related to yin and yang, the source of the Oriental view of the universe. From life and death experiences on battlefields, our predecessors learned the nature and quality of life power, spirit poser, integrated body/mind power, meditative power, self-controlled power, ordinary power, and so on. In short, they learned about the functioning of "mental potential energy". All those qualities are a functioning of ki. Ki is the source of all activity.

In the old days, the quality of one's ki was tested on the battlefield, and thus was cultivated on the most practical levels. Those methods were used to control rebellious enemies. However, the real purpose of Budo is to defeat the enemies within one's own mind. Drawing on the wisdom of ancient philosophies based on yin/yang world view, our predecessors developed mental potential energy systems. From the concept that gentleness controls toughness, based on life and death battlefield experience, the notion that an "ordinary mind" is the key to free-flowing, liberated movement arose, in that state of ordinary mind it is possible to develop ways to perfect the human character. All of this, as our venerable predecessors indicated, is derived from ki.

In regard to the teachings of the past, the Founder Morihei said: "One's ki, mind and body must be linked harmoniously to all phenomena through the marvelous functioning of universal ki" In regard to ki, Aikido maintains and expands upon the venerable traditions of the past.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Short aikido article by Yusuf Sensei - 2

AIKIDO: a Continuation and Perfection of Japan's Traditional Martial Arts and Ways
The first article can be found here

From a historical perspective, what is the place of Aikido within the context of the traditional martial arts and ways of Japan? Are there any traditional forms and attitudes from the old-style martial arts and ways that are still preserved in Aikido? To be sure, Aikido is a modern martial way founded by Morihei Ueshiba, but he was influenced by many traditional martial arts and in his new system he incorporated, and breathed new life into, many technical and philosophical aspects of those venerable traditions.

For example, if we consider the technical side of Aikido, we can see many elements - striking, punching, grappling, pressure point attacks, binding, seizing, jujutsu arts, throws, weapons and so on - taken from the old-style martial arts but selected and refined according to Aikido principles. There is also a clear influence of the Tenjin Shinyo Ryu and Kito Ryu Jujutsu systems, and the swordsmanship of the Yagu Shinkage Ryu; traditions in which the Founder Morihei trained. Thus, it is safe to say that many elements of the traditional Japanese martial arts found new life within the context of Aikido. Furthermore, on a philosophical level, many ancient concepts - yin/yang, hard/soft, physical power/breath-power, body/mind movement, and the like - were adopted into Aikido thought. In this manner, and from any perspective, it can be said that Aikido is a continuation and perfection of the traditional martial arts and ways of old Japan.

Next article...The Concept of Ki..

Monday, November 16, 2009

Short aikido article by Yusuf Sensei - 1

The following is a first article in a series of mini articles written by Yusuf Sensei inspired from the book 'The Art of Aikido - Principles & Essential Techniques' by Kisshomaru Ueshiba.

Aikido is a modern Budo founded by Morihei Ueshiba after he had mastered many traditional Japanese martial arts and engaged in profound spritual training.

Master Morihei Ueshiba once explained the true mind-set of Aikido by saying: "In true Budo, there is no enemy. True Budo is the function of love. It does not contend and destroy but rather fosters and nourishes all things. A martial art solely concerned with winning and losing is not true Budo. True Budo is masakatsu, agatsu, katsuhayabi - "True Victory is Self-Victory, Victory Right Now!" This is an absolute victory, absolute because it does not contend with anything. Victory is to thoroughly rid the mind of contention and conflict within ourselves."

"Nothing surpasses daily training in Aikido" - Kisshomaru Ueshiba.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Our demonstration at INTAN the other day was great!. The turn up was overwhelming. Unfortunately not many of us were able to participate. Anyway, good job team!
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Friday, November 6, 2009

Upgrading and demonstration


Hear ye! Hear ye! Myaikido will be conducting an upgrading session for adults and children. Pograms are as stated:

Tarikh: 21 November 2009 (Sabtu)
Sesi Kanak-kanak
0830-0900 Pendaftran
0900-10.30 Latihan Intensif & Ulang Kaji
Sensei Suzalie, Azrul Hasni & Azalie
1030-1100 Rehat
1100-1200 Ujian Aikido 10th, 9th & 8th Kyu (Examiners: Sensei Suzalie, Naim Sensei, Azrul
Sensei & Nik Ibrahim)
Sesi Dewasa
1330-1400 Pendaftran
1400-1515 Latihan Intensif (The 5 Fundamental Pinning Techniques)
Sensei Suzalie & Hairul Hafiz
1515-1530 Rehat
1530-1630 Latihan Intensif (Throwing Techniques)
Sensei Yusof & Sensei Muhammad Hafiz
1715-1815 Ujian Aikido 6-2 Kyu (Examiner: Sensei Suzalie, Sensei Yusof & Hafiz)
Mohon dimaklumkan kepada semua calon yang berkelayakan.

Aikido Demonstration

We will also be conducting an aikido demonstration at the following location on the stated date/time.

Demonstrasi Aikido INTAN, Bukit Kiara
Penyelaras : Khairul Azalie & Nik Ibrahim
Lokasi : Institut Tadbiran Negara, Bukit Kiara
Tarikh & Masa : 10hb November 2009 (Selasa) & 5.30-6.30pm
Jumlah Peserta : 300 orang Pegawai Tadbir dan Diplomatik

Demonstrasi Aikido, Putrajaya
Penyelaras : Hairul Hafez Abu Bakar
Lokasi : SMK Presint 8, Putrajaya
Tarikh & Masa : 20hb November 2009 (Jumaat) 9.00-9.30am
Jumlah Peserta : 500 pelajar sempena Hari Kokurilum Sekolah

What To Train In Yudansha

To those who pass their Yudansha the other day, these are some words of wisdom from Mitsugi Saotome:

By Mitsugi Saotome
Written ca. 1986 For an ASU Newsletter

Yudansha ranking is given for many reasons, not just technical ability. Just because a person receives a certain yudansha rank does not mean that he or she has attained that ability at that moment. It means that I feel the person is on the threshold and will grow into that rank with the pressures of added responsibility.

Of course, receiving a promotion to any yudansha rank presupposes a certain technical proficiency. But this alone is not enough. My eyes see differently when I watch a student practice. I see that student's personality as well as his or her growth. I often know what kind of special difficulties the student has had to overcome. I have a good idea how much that person has done for his or her group, how much responsibility has been shouldered and how much he or she has done to help others. I know that person's social and spiritual growth and leadership abilities.

I've been asked many times how a student should train and with what goals in mind for each yudansha level. Most of this cannot be put into words and must come from the individual student's heart as he or she grows in understanding; but I can give you a little guidance.

To train for Shodan:
You are training to become a beginner, no longer just a guest in the dojo, but a student with very real responsibilities. One must study the basic technical form and basic physical principle until the correct movement is automatic and feels natural.
To train for Nidan:

The power of movement must be emphasized and developed. The functional reality of technique must be explored and an understanding developed of what really works and why.

To train for Sandan:

The student must develop an understanding of Aiki principle and begin to break out of technique.

To train for Yondan:

The student must discover the philosophy of Aiki principle and how it relates to technique. The technical form must be deeply refined according to this understanding and the student must seriously begin to develop the art of training others. Personal training is not enough. The student must understand social responsibility.

To train for Godan:

One must make Aiki principle a direct part of his or her life, developing an awesome spirit, leadership qualities and the spiritual and social application of Aiki principle. A complete spontaneity of technique must develop which is no longer technique but the principle which underlies technique. There must be, at this point, a complete dedication to the art and a great social and spiritual growth. A growth which produces not a narrow local concern for one dojo or one area, but an active concern for all students and all people of the world. Throughout all these years of training, your physical, mental, social and spiritual understanding and power must steadily progress. The spontaneous application of Aiki must progress. If you stop training on any one of these levels, your Aikido will no longer grow.

Just putting in your time has no meaning. The quality and intensity of your training, the discoveries you make each day, these things have meaning. You must train hard and discover the answer for yourself.


Some pictures on the 17 Oct

Some pictures on the 18 Oct
The seminar was a great success. We had an awesome 2 day seminar. Pak Haji Haneef Sensei with his mix style is on top of his game. Yusuf Busra Sensei also astonishing with his quick yet controlled moves. The tatami was full and some of us had train on the floor, but it was well worth it!.

Yudansha was also successfully conducted. Yours truly,Hairul Hafeez and a few other aikidokas managed to pass our shodan. Yusuf Sensei and Hafiz Sensei managed to get their nidan with flying colors. All and all, congratulation to all! Our collective backs were soaring with pain after the seminar but it was nothing compared to the knowledge and ukhuwah we forged! Go Myaikido! Go Aikikai Malaysia!
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