Archive for IronFistEagleClaw

Four Principles of Aikido

Posted in Aikido, Internal Development, Martial Arts, Philosophy, Training with tags , , , , , , , , on February 21, 2011 by Combative Corner

Keep One Point
Relax Completely
Keep Weight Underside
Extend Ki

These principles are very important in Aikido training. Since not all styles of Aikido being taught today emphasize these principles, I feel very fortunate to have had teachers that taught and believed in the coordination of the mind, body and spirit.  As time goes by, I realize more and more the importance of not only training the body to perform techniques but training the mind and spirit as well. The mind is a very powerful tool that we can continue to develop as long as we live. While the body ages with time, the mind, with proper training, can remain fresh and alert even to an advanced age.
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“How do I train my mind?”
The answer is always the same. You simply take control of your thought. When the mind begins to wander and flip-flop from one thought to another, take command of it and bring it back to the task at-hand (or whatever it is you are trying to accomplish).
The key here is practice.
The more you do this, the more effective you’ll become.  This forces us to live in the present moment and increases our awareness. When one lives in the past or the future it considerably weakens the power of the present moment. Understand that how we do things in the present affects the outcome of the future.
Awareness is the number one rule in all self-defense situations and it is also the number one rule in living a strong and successful life. Numbers 1 and 4 are rules of the mind. Numbers 2 and 3 are rules of the body. The four basic principles to unify the Mind, Body and Spirit are the path to a true understanding of Self and your relationship to the world as a whole (AND you as a part in it!). When you have found your center, it’s then that you are starting to see the true spirit of Aikido.
Four Winds Aikido

The Four Winds

Posted in Aikido, Internal Arts, Martial Arts, Styles with tags , , , , on January 15, 2011 by Combative Corner

The Aikido I teach is much different then most main line Aikido. In my Aikido system we strike and kick. We apply Aikido to every situation I can come up with so that the student from day one is learning a real combat effective art. But our goal is peace.
Aikido Is a way of life. And the best way to understand Aikido at the higher levels is to study nature. There comes a point in your training when you no longer have to think to control an attacker. You can call out the attack and control from the first move.  Own the situation by extending Ki, keeping your center, keeping weight underside, and relax completely.
Weapons are very much a part of our system as Aikido is based on the sword. We train many weapons. Not just the Jo(Staff), Ken(Sword), & Tanto(Knife).  There are many influences in my Aikido system.  I have trained in many different martial art systems my whole life and those things that work I keep and use. Those that do not, I throw away.
A large goal with my students is that they learn Masakatsu Agatsu (True victory is victory over Oneself).  This is a high goal, and I expect all of my students to strive for it each and every day… not just in the dojo, but in daily life. We do this so that we spread peace where ever we go, and to represent the true spirt of Aikido.

Robert Lara Shihan

His Combative Profile

Roundtable Discussion 001: Knowledge

Posted in Roundtable Discussion with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 1, 2010 by Combative Corner

In regards to the martial arts –

“What do you know NOW that you wish you knew THEN?”

VAUGHN :  This question had me scratching my head for a couple of hours but I finally came up with an answer. It’s not so much what I wish I knew, but what I wish I had and that’s confidence. I wish I had the confidence in my martial arts abilities. That is the one thing that has grown by leaps and bounds since I was younger. No matter how well I did in class or how often my instructor told me how much I was improving I always had that little seed of doubt in the back of my head. I couldn’t help wondering, “Will this stuff really work?” “What if the bully tries to hit me, could I really defend myself?” I was even hesitant to compete in tournaments when I was younger because I was afraid that I wouldn’t do well. Now after years of participating in what I’m sure have been hundreds of classes, test, sparring matches, and self defense drills I now have a good idea of how I will react in a real confrontation. Like my current instructor says I’ve finally developed that switch that I can turn on when I need to. I’m not saying that I can easily dispatch an army of crazed ninja without a scratch, but I’m pretty sure that I can hold my own.”

KUO :  “Every technique works, and every technique doesn’t work.” One of my buddies and I had this discussion one day when we were reminiscing on our training journeys and discussing the martial arts flame wars we see arise in discussions. We came to the conclusion that there is no such thing as an ultimate move or unbeatable technique. Sometimes person A can use a technique on person B, but fails to use it on person C. Yet, person B can’t do the technique on person A, but has no trouble using it on person C. If the movement were the only factor, then the the technique should work universally.

There are several factors determining whether a technique will actually work: the physical ability to execute the movements, understanding of the interplay of forces, timing, distance, and most importantly, the ability to recognize the conditions (in real-time) that allow the technique to work. The success of the technique depends on conditions and understanding.”

DAVIS :  “I began Brazilian (Gracie) Jiu-Jitsu without much prior knowledge of the style and therefore without my previous Hapkido based goals in mind. I was hooked; Jiu-Jitsu just spoke to me, as they say. Its training required me to be an athlete, a scientist, and an inventor all at the same time. I realized, then, that there are innumerable styles of martial arts and any one of them with proper instruction and dedication will lead the practitioner to be an effective fighter. This left the only variable in the martial arts to be me and my only criteria for choosing a style to be how much I enjoyed the training. In my mind I still wanted to be that same style of fighter I was working towards in Hapkido but with Jiu-Jitsu I saw that I could be just as effective a fighter while enjoying my training more than previously. This newfound attitude positively expressed itself not only in my demeanor while training but also in the rate of my learning because I simply wanted to train more. I found myself going to class four or five days a week in Jiu-Jitsu rather than the two classes a week schedule I previously maintained in Hapkido. Today I consider myself in love with Jiu-Jitsu and, as is the true nature of love, it is something I must work at relentlessly to maintain but do not feel overly burdened by my efforts. This love, based purely on the fun and enjoyment of training, is that which I wish I had known of when I first began the martial arts. Now that all the emotional stuff has been said; drop the ego, the preconceived ideas, and the expectations; find the style that fits you, not that you want to fit you; and go have some fun.”

JOYCE :  “Like many of us, ‘What I knew then’ wasn’t very much.  All I knew was that I was in love with the combative sciences – from shaolin monks breaking walnuts on a student’s head, watching a boxer find the reserves to stagger back to his feet, dig in deep and come up with the victory, to the old shadow boxer performing ‘step back & repulse monkey.’  Therapists sometimes talk of a stifling love – of loving something so intensely that it’s unhealthy, harmful, or deadly.  When I came into the martial arts, I wanted to ‘climb the ladder’ and succeed beyond my instructor’s belief.  The problem came when I’d be standing knee-deep in a waterfall doing one-inch punches against the granite, or purposely falling onto my upper back only to try my hardest to spring back like a ninja.  I had an unbelievable amount of get-up-and-go attitude, but was too ambitious for my own good.  Once I went to college, got my degree in sport science, later became a licensed massage therapists, read stacks of books on proper exercise training, (not-to-mention gotten older & wiser) did I understand where I went wrong and why my body continued to hurt more year-after-year.  Nowadays, I listen closely to professionals and I am in no rush to out-perform anyone.  My happiness comes from my personal expression of what I’ve learned and as a coach, the thought of my students learning to joyfully express themselves.”

Nothing.  Growth in knowledge and wisdom is possible from not knowing.  The beauty of life is in not knowing.

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