|The right moment for physical
training is in the morning, on waking, when the mind and
body emerge fully receptive after a nights rest.
The morning practice of any physical activity is a good way to start the day, and the technical acquisition is definitely more important than the one gained from training late in the evening.
Abdominal (diaphragmatic) breathing is the typical breathing method of certain philosophies or martial arts from the Far East. Its practice allows the materialization of a centre where all the energies and lines of force gather.
In the West, this centre corresponds to the centre of gravity of the body, whereas it is considered in the East as the emotional centre of the sensitive, creative, and rational life.
In actual practice, breathing downward with the diaphragm lowers the intestinal mass, and, therefore, the centre of gravity, thus enhancing the balance and stabilizing the "centre" where all the efforts will rest. (Alain Floquet)
The dress - The Aikibudoka wears a white (judo type) jacket and white trousers. This uniform is not called kimono, but rather keikogi (training outfit). It also includes a white belt. The practitioner who does not hold a black belt grade is a kyu. Once he has passed the 1st dan, he becomes a yudansha and wears a black or dark blue hakama (traditional trousers).
The techniques - The techniques are numerous, and can be performed to counter a variety of attacks, which multiplies the number of possible combinations. When starting to learn the art, the practitioner first learns how to move (tai sabaki) and to fall (ukemi). He then studies techniques that will lead him to accomplish a few simple backward projection movements. Forward projections techniques are learned later. The practitioner is expected to rapidly memorize the Japanese terms commonly used in Aikibudo.
principles - There are
three main principles to make the partner fall:
1. The first, and most common, is to put a lock on one of the partner's joints, which leaves the partner with an only action to escape the pain, which is to fall.
2. The second, which is less common and more difficult for the beginner, consists in unbalancing the partner and then accentuating this unbalance until he falls. This unbalance can be achieved by interposing one's own body (a judo-type hip movement) or by a simple pushing or pulling maneuver (an arm, a shoulder, etc.).
3. The third technique, which is mainly used by experienced practitioners, is a more specific application of the second principle. The practitioner unbalances his partner by holding on to him and falling to throw the partner over. This motion is called a sutemi (body sacrifice).
The dress - The Kobudoka wears the keikogi up to the 2nd kyu. Once he has passed the first kyu, the practitioner wears a dark blue hakama. Upon reaching the 1st dan, he also wears a blue vest.
The techniques - This school teaches Japanese sword (kenjutsu and iaijutsu), staff (bojutsu) and spear (naginatajutsu and yarijutsu) techniques, as well as the use of numerous other weapons. The teaching is designed as a series of kata, a sequence of fixed movements between the teacher and the student. The teacher always uses a wooden sword (bokken or bokuto); the student learns to use all the other weapons.
The beginner first learns to do maki uchi, a sort of strike which he will repeat a countless number of times throughout his learning. He also learns basic guard positions (kamae). He then learns a first training kata (ken no kata) in order to practice basic striking techniques.
Once this phase has been completed, the Katori's study really begins. The school's teachings are so extensive that they can take a lifetime.
Return to Main Page