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Hold Your Breath

Focus, Intention, and the Value in the Pause. “Breathe in,” Sensei said as he raised his sword to the sky, aligning it with his midline as if it were a lightning rod. “Imagine drawing energy down this line, to concentrate it here,” the sword sunk into a ready position, held at the hara, the physical…

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Don’t Be a Destroyer

Practicing peace amidst conflict

There is another way. Recently, I was introducing Aikido to a student who came to try out the Kids Aikido class. While practicing our basic tai no henko, he looked at me and asked, “and then do you break their arm?” He was not joking, nor did he show any hint of malice. It’s not…

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The Fight That Will Not Be Won

White Rose in Glass

Last week a longtime friend and supporter of our dojo, Celia Nachlas, passed away. Mother to Miriam Lippe and grandmother to Larissa and Hannah Lippe, Celia has contributed much to the wide family of people who knew her. I appreciate the time she spent here. “I know this glass is already broken, so I enjoy…

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Clearing Cobwebs

Seedling Blowing In the Breeze

More than any other chore, I enjoy dusting and sweeping. It’s simple, relaxing, powered only by my body and a simple hand tool. No spraying or scrubbing, no loud noises. That doesn’t mean I do it more often. Dusting never seems as urgent as dishes, or laundry, so I tend to neglect it. This week…

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Hope Blooms

Tree with bright yellow flowers

Darkness has risen in the world. Maybe it was always present. Most likely, you have some sense of what I’m talking about. That’s good, because I’m not going to explain it. It is likely we would diverge on the specifics, and peering into the abyss is not the purpose of this piece. Whoever fights monsters…

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2017 Aikido Kids Summer Camp | Open Registration

Laura and Aikido Kids

Aikido Summer Camp is a great opportunity for your child or teen to learn Aikido as well as deal with conflict. AIKIDO is a Japanese word that joins three ideas: AI ‐ unite, harmonize, or join KI ‐ energy, mind, or spirit DO ‐ a way, or a path Aikido moves in harmony with forces…

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Taiko Drummers Coming to Sarasota October 22

Taiko Drummers

We’ve never done anything like this before, and we want you to come enjoy this free event in Sarasota. Taiko Drummers, playing a traditional percussion instrument of Japan, put on an awesome show. Best of all, their performance is an immersive experience that invites everyone to participate. October 22nd, 2016 12Noon – 1:15PM Traditional Aikido…

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Key Elements Underlying Aikido

Keiko - Training in Aikido

The 3 forms of keiko (training) include Kihon, Yawarakai, and Ki no Nagare. 1. Kihon is rock solid, or diamond. One idea is if nage can deal with this, moving energy will make other forms even more manageable. 2. Yawarakai is flexible, like “flowing bamboo”. Not fast, but rhythmical. 3. Ki no Nagare is flowing,…

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Seiza & Zanshin

Bowing in at Aikido Class

When sitting in class (at the beginning, end, and during instruction), a student should sit in the Seiza position – this is a formal Japanese sitting posture. Some call this “sitting like a samurai” as you want to be focused and attentive. If this is not physically comfortable because of injury or limitation, cross-legged sitting…

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Three Techniques That Have Everything

Goto Sensei Giving Aikido Instruction at a Seminar

O-Sensei once said that a student could learn all the basics of Aikido if he practiced just three techniques tai-no-henko, morotedori-kokyuho, and suwariwaza-kokyuho. Given the seemingly endless number of different waza and their variations, techniques? Morihiro Saito-Sensei begins his “Takemusu Aikido” (Vol. I)instruction book with these same three techniques. There is something special happening here. The three principles of…

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