Switching to the Aikido Jo has been difficult this week. There are many videos on the internet of Aikido demonstrations, but the Jo/weapons techniques are more specialized. Once I found Jo lessons, many were demonstrations and not what I was looking for. For someone who is as uncoordinated as I am, following along is painfully difficult. I did manage to find a series of videos that had a Kata broken down into small pieces, which was great. The only problem is that it’s annoying having to replay the video every minute or so. Below are the two videos I’ve been working on.
I went to my second Aikido class this weekend, and thoroughly enjoyed it. The class buoyed up my spirits, as some of the techniques used in class were the same as the video. Of course, class had more strikes and blocks to confuse me, but it was good to have teacher and student input. I also enjoyed the partner work, as it’s best to practice with an opponent. Below is a video of my first Aikido strike and block.
In my search on the internet, I found an excellent website discussing the importance of weapons in Aikido. On the “Weapons in Aikido” page. the website emphasizes that weapons improve stances, timing, judging distances and puts both opponents on an equal footing. It also discuses the different types of weapons used in this martial art. According to Phong Thong Dang and Lynn Seiser in their book “Aikido Weapons Techniques” they explain that weapons promote greater understanding of Aikido practice, “wooden weapons can enrich all aspects of your practice, helping you to understand both basic and advanced Aikido technical tactics as well as conceptual strategies and skills”.
This week I’ve looked for Aikido online communities and found an online Aikido Journal they publish weekly articles, and archives are organized monthly and go back as far as 2002. This is an excellent resource to find other like-minded people.
I also found other like-minded people on the Aiki Message Board: The Source for Aikido Information it is somewhat overwhelming. I’ve never visited a message board before, and it looks like a ton of information has been squished into a small space. The board says it’s home to over 22,000 Aikido practitioners from around the world and registration is free. This looks like it’s the main message board for Aikido. I also found Gamefaqs which is also a message board but, I don’t like the tone of the people who have posted here and wouldn’t recommend it.
When I looked for Aikido online communities, I found websites that promoted the Aikido philosophy and also themselves. I assumed an online community was a place we could gather, talk, and learn new ideas. In the article “What Is An Online Community?” it suggests I do understand what an online community is, but I couldn’t find one.
Then in Twitter I found something exciting. I’d previously tweeted #bowstaff, and had no results, and #martialarts which brought up all martial arts and none in my niche area. However, I did have someone comment on my last weeks posting, from the martial arts community, which was thrilling. When I tweeted #Aikido I found the IAF Aikido (International Aikido Federation). They have posted photos of students from all around the world which is where I found #AikidoWomen. #AikidoWomen celebrates women learning Aikido. How exciting! At last it looks like I’ve found myself an online community.