FINALLY.

Hitohiro Sensei book

I can’t wait.

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INTROSPECTION.

I was recently asked a few questions regarding my thoughts and beliefs on Aikido. The result of which was that I felt the need to write out, at length, a personal account of what has been going on in my head this entire time. By that I mean, how I even got into Martial Arts, and what has been on my mind when I’m training, and when I’m not training. I want to share with you Part Four of my Introspection. Please read at your own discretion. These are my own highly personal thoughts, and I have no intention of defending them to anyone. Discussion on my thoughts, all day long.

Part Four: Maybe I’m not good enough for Aikido.

I have met some very convincing Aikidoka. By that I mean I found something so remarkable about them, that I wanted to somehow emulate that quality in myself. At such times, I feel like a wannabe. I have to look at other people doing things that I wish I was doing, and I have to look from the outside in. It’s entirely awkward, because I have so much, if not too much regard for my own autonomy. That’s a statement I make against the higher powers that be. I’m so sick of the fact that for some reason, a person that has “only done Martial Arts for 20 years” has little if nothing to say in matters, since the 50, 60, and 70 year olds have laid down the law. At times I find it dehumanizing. I have to withdraw my concern for anything that they do, and work on my own shit. Yet, I still have so much respect for the fact that they are there, authentically as such. I don’t envy them, and I would not trade places with them, I just find that the power and respect differential in the culture of Martial Arts hierarchy to be disturbing at times. Still, I think about Ueshiba, and what he must have went through in his life to provide what has been almost the singular activity in my life that I love completely. Aikido has hard standards that I find unbearable at times. Whether it’s just learning and training the waza, the techniques, or the reading, the studying, the protocol, the culture…all of it, at times, drives me insane. I refer to this as being in the state of having a “fried brain.” My little brain can’t take it at times. So many times, I have thrown my black belt, hakama, weapons, gi, what have you, under the bed, in a closet somewhere, and just left it alone. At least I would try to. It calls to me. It says, “Autrelle. Autrelle. Au-trelllllllle…hey. Psst. Psssssst. Pssssssst. PSSSSSSSSSSST!!!! Remember us, your gear? Come on, come over here, you little guy, you. There you go, pick up the Jo first. Oh yes, YESSSSSS. Remember that feeling? Now the Bokken. Oh yeah. Remember how you used to take us to the parks in the early mornings by the river? You would swing us around, and thrust, and yell in such a fantastic manner with each stroke! Just take us out for some air. No one has to know. It will be our secret. You don’t even have to wear the gi, today. Just take us out for some air…”

I swear to you, this really happens. My fucking weapons talk to me. So I give in, I oblige them. Just for that day. And the next. Then, dammit, a month has gone by, and over lunch, my weapons and I will be having a conversation:

Jo: Hey Autrelle, you know what we haven’t done in a looooong time?

Me: Don’t start…

Bokken: Oh! Jo, I was just going to say that…

Me: Both of you fucking knock it off, I’m not in the mood.

Jo: But Autrelllllllllllle!!!! Come on!!!! It’s so much fun!

Bokken: You know you want to. You KNOW you want to.

Me:: Fuck both of you. You both make me fucking sick, and I should turn you each into firewood.

Bokken: YOU WOULDN’T!

Jo: He joking, Bokken. He loves us. He’s just pissed because we’re reminding that he’s not doing what he really loves, and this is his way of lashing out. It’s not about us. Don’t be so sensitive.

Bokken: Well, what do you think? We could go see Dee and the guys there, go old school? Maybe Leo in Orange Park, catch up on, you know, the federation you’re a part of. Oh! Or James! He always sends you messages and invites to train. And we all know how badly you want to train with Perry…

Me: Seriously, fucking quit it. Just knock it off.

Jo: (Stares at me) You’re being a bitch right now.

Bokken: (Winks at me, bats lashes, pouts) Please Autrelle, please??? Just take some ukemi. You love that the most, you know that.

Me: (Sulking) Fine. If it will make you two happy, fine. Fine.

At this point, the weapons exchange a knowing glance at each other. They know that they have me. It’s sad really. I feel at times that I can barely live up the the ideas of inanimate pieces of wood. My Aiki-Psychosis has given them a voice that berates me for not training when I try to back off of it for a bit. They provide encouragement and support for what I want to do, even when I don’t feel like doing it, or I feel like no one cares at all. It’s wonderful. At times, it’s all I need.

AIKI KEN: HERE WE GO.

Since it’s the 1st of June, I thought I would go over the “Ichi’s” of Aiki Ken, as an introduction to my notes on Aiki Ken.  If you’ve been following my blog at all, you should have seen this coming.

Ichi no Suburi

In Aiki Ken, since there are only seven forms in the suburi, they are simply numbered and not given a descriptive name.  The first suburi is done standing in place in Migi Hanmi.  Raise the ken straight up over the head and slide back a bit, rotating your hips.  Slide forward as you cut back down and be sure to settle your hips as you twist them forward to cut.  This arm, hip, and foot movement is the most basic practice in Aikido, armed or unarmed.

There is a Suburi Awase practice also.  Both partners face each other and practice the suburi together at the same time.  This will develop a very basic skill of moving as your partner moves.

Ichi no Awase

In Aiki Ken, the first awase is a counter to the firsts suburi.

  • Uchitachi: From Migi Hanmi, slide forward and strike with Ichi no Suburi, Migi Uchikomi
  • Uketachi:  Slide forward in migi hanmi and cut at uchitachi’s left wrist, OR slide to your left while moving to hidari hanmi and cut uchitachi’s right wrist

Moving like this with a partner is the most basic practice in Aiki Ken, and also forms the basis for the Tachidori techniques.

Coming up next: Ichi no Tachi, Henka no tachi, Ninin Awase, and Tachidori.

Take THAT 😉

SELF DEFENSE CLASS: WE SHALL BARTER.

The one question that I have had the hardest time answering is how much I will charge for classes. i have decided that, in the spirit of wanting to share our diminishing resources, that I will accept barter as the primary unit of payment for classes. So if you are interested in classes, please consider what you are willing to barter per hour of instruction wanted.

Here is a list of individual courses that I currently offer:

Aikido, Taijutsu. The unarmed techniques of Aikido
Aikido, Kenjutsu. The sword techniques of Aikido
Aikido, Jojutsu. The staff techniques of Aikido
Kali. A Filipino martial art that teaches you how to use and protect yourself with any weapon, and also includes empty handed techniques.
jeet Kune Do. A set of principles based on your own personal abilities that draws from several martial arts.
CCQT: Civilian Close Quarter Tactics. A system I developed when I was a member of The Guardian Angels to train the volunteers for safety patrols.

Expect to train outdoors and one on one. Expect to train during the day, with some afternoons/evenings available for a slightly higher barter fee. Sundays all day available for a slightly higher barter fee.

As far as what to barter: Be creative and show my your talents as well. We all have resources and talents at our disposal, and I’m willing to listen to any idea you may have.

Spread the word and let me know.

Cheers!

Autrelle Holland

PLEASE DO NOT BURN DOWN MY HOUSE.

I’m not really the Anti-Christ.  I just said those things so that people that thought Obama was would leave him alone.  Obama is not the Anti-Christ, either.  There is no such thing.  Get over it people.

On a side note or two:

  • I miss you took, Branden.
  • I’m feeling a lot better, but I’m still going to miss out on all of the fun this weekend.
  • Bloc Party finally released the final version of INTIMACY this week.  Be sure to check it out.
  • It’s about to be Ken season.  Look out kumitachi, here I come.
  • I’m deejaying not one, but two weddings next year.  Oh snap!
  • I’m not dressing up this year.  I’m not dressing up this year.  I’m not dressing up this year…