Assembling a Defense

As we learn the techniques and applications of Nihon Goshin Aikido or any other art, we begin by breaking them into parts. While this teaching technique (known as “chunking”) facilitates learning for both adults and children, it also causes students to develop hesitations in their movements. At first, students pause at the end of each “chunk” (in both application and technique) to allow their brains to catch up and tell them what comes next. After some time practicing, they simply have the ingrained habit of stopping at that point in the movement, and find that they have a very difficult time moving smoothly past these transition points.

While I don’t know of a way to avoid     [Read more…] “Assembling a Defense”

Selecting a School

As with many instructors and experienced martial artists, I am often approached for advice in selecting a school, art, or instructor for training in the martial arts. While I can’t effectively answer this question in an article (for reasons which will be explained in a few moments), I can provide the basic framework of an answer. It is up to the individual student to use that information as a part of the selection process.

What are you looking for? This is a question many new students     [Read more…] “Selecting a School”

Evaluating a Dojo (by Bill Witt)

Please see the end of the article for information about Mr. Witt.

Over the years one of the most commonly asked questions by prospective students is, “How do I evaluate a dojo?” To someone who has no experience in martial arts this is a somewhat intimidating task.

For me the task was easy. I was in Tokyo and the first person I saw, when I walked in the dojo, was O-Sensei.     [Read more…] “Evaluating a Dojo (by Bill Witt)”

A Swing and a Miss (by Tom Quinn)

When faced with someone intent on doing you bodily harm in the street, or when training in the dojo, the ability to avoid being hit is a skill well worth developing. There are four basic ways to avoid being hit that are used by virtually every martial art, sometimes and stand alone techniques, but most often, used in combination with one another.

Blocking is the act of stopping an attack from reaching its intended target. When done properly     [Read more…] “A Swing and a Miss (by Tom Quinn)”