August 2018 Update
Another year and once more some of our Club members as well members from other countries (United Kingdom, Canada – Ontario and BC, France, Netherlands, Australia, United States) gathered in Mark, Sommerset (England) at the Ki Federation Headquarters for two weeks of Ki Aikido and fun with friends.
It was a great week of learning. A full set of pictures can be found at the Ki Federation website post here.
We also had the unique opportunity to listen to Sensei Williams give a talk about Ki Aikido and its history. A brief history of Ki Aikido by Sensei Williams can be found on the Federation website here.
Some of our youth and junior attended summer school. They have agreed to give us a feedback of their experience. We really appreciate their experiences who besides attending summer school have volunteered to serve as Ukeme for a kyu grading.
“While I was in summer school for Ki Aikido I had such a great experience as I learned many new things. This summer school was my second time going as I had been too young to attend beforehand but was encouraged to watch. Both of my experiences in summer school were absolutely brilliant as the Sensei’s who taught not only showed you the move but taught you a life lessons while doing it. All the people practicing Ki Aikido during summer school are extremely friendly and kind. As a youth participating in this event I was treated just like all of the other grades. I had so much fun practicing Ki Aikido. Ki Aikido is very useful in daily life as well as during practice. If ever I feel anxious or stressed I always think of my one point to calm my self. From going to summer school I learned that everything comes with time. My Sensei Alfredo once told me to live in the now and not to worry about what the future will hold. From that I have learned to take my time in whatever I do and know that everything will turn out fine in the end.” Youth, Aged 13
“Practicing Ki Aikido in summer school is an amazing experience, and year after year it gets better, as I grow throughout the years my understanding of the lessons grows. I have gone to summer school 4 times, each time for a week, and already I have learned so much. I hear stories and learn from the experiences of others. During this summer school specifically, I found I learnt a multitude through speaking to some other students who have been practicing for some decades. They told me stories of friendships and travels, how Ki Aikido can bring two people together and how it promotes a positive outlook on life. My favourite time to hear stories is when a Sensei is teaching a movement, and relate it back to a memory of theirs, giving us real life examples of when they used the principle behind the movement, which allows us to understand why we are learning the movement. These explanations also allowed me to step back a view how learning Ki Aikido has changed my life. Practicing Ki Aikido does not just occur on the mat; it is integrated into my daily life, allowing me to be softer in my movements, whether it be walking with lighter feet or focusing my Ki to gain someone's attention. As a ukeme I am constantly learning and growing. The most important lesson I learnt was how to follow properly. This one skill has taught me to be softer, and how a movement can become efficient and painless if one follows without resisting. When I follow as a uke, I learn from the nagi's Ki, no matter the age or belt they are. As a result, this makes me a better nage, as I have become more aware of the position of the uke and how the movement feels on both sides of it. When I first started practicing, I found Ki difficult to understand. I used my practice as a uke as stepping stones to understanding Ki, in all its entirety. During this past summer school, I practiced with a few dan grades, and as I took the place of uke, I could feel the differences in their Ki, how one was soft and gentle, and the other was sharp and felt powerful, yet both of their Ki held the same amount of power. Not only did I learn from the higher grades, I also learnt from someone who was an orange belt, which is a belt lower than mine. I volunteered to do the ukeme for his grading, where I felt the simplicity of his Ki as opposed to the strong force that people who have been practicing for decades have. This showed me that throughout the years, one's Ki can only get stronger, but the feeling of the Ki will always be and should be gentle and soft. In my life, practicing as a uke has helped me to take things in stride, following the ride that is life, not by resisting when things change, but by following and changing with them.” Youth, Aged 15
“This year’s trip to summer school taught me a multitude of different things, the most important of which being how to fully apply concepts of Ki Aikido learned in classes to our daily life. For example, we were taught how the fluidity of an exercise does far more than make the exercise look smoother. Rather, it teaches us that life is nothing more than a fluid movement that is continuously moving. One cannot simply stop in the middle of life, similar to how one shouldn’t stop in the middle of an exercise. Similarly, when practicing with another partner, it is essential that we give everything we have when being a uke to create a more realistic situation to ensure ourselves and our partners are more prepared to deal with the hardships of real life. Ki Aikido is far more than a form of martial arts, it is a lifestyle. Through my practice, I’ve learned how to incorporate the principles of Ki Aikido into my daily life. Ideas such as performing with confidence and thinking of my one point have enabled me to be more successful at school. For example, if I can’t remember an answer to a question on a test, I think of my one point to calm myself down and figure out the answer. Under that same light, the notion of performing with confidence has enabled me to push the boundaries and expectations of what I can do. All in all, it is important to take away that Ki Aikido is far more than a japanese martial art, it is a way of life. Summer school this year has really helped open my eyes to just how much one’s life can really be impacted by Ki Aikido and that I am eternally grateful to be able to practice it.” Youth, Aged 17
Summer school is also a good time to grade, both Kyu and Dan grades are held at the end of the first week. Let’s start to say congratulations to all the students who graded and continue on their journey, this includes our own students:
- Cecilia – Congratulations for achieving Brown Belt
And so our Summer Break comes to an end. Quick reminder that classes will resume back to their normal schedule Next Wednesday August the 29th.
Now, if you’re interested to come and join us, please do come. Ki Aikido is for everyone. We leave here also a link to Sensei Walter’s video of why Ki Aikido is for everyone, independently of age or physical capabilities.