English Dragon School

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Zanshin, Martial Art Concepts No.1

1392587687756Hi to all Aikido heads, martial artists, those interested in Japan, Budo, physical movement and development :)

Eiryukan Lincoln is the home to a colorful array of experiences and activities, we aim to excel in every area and value your contact and feedback.

As 2014 is a big step forward in the club on many levels I felt it a good time to kick start the web content with quality images, stories, ponderings and anecdotes.

I found this informative link with an array of ideas to explain the term Zanshin and a tale at the end about Ueshiba Sensei which I have not heard before.

When I was training in Japan I was told that Zanshin, meant awareness, a strong focus particularly at the end of a technique showing readyness with an alert stance for further attack. The phrase “When the battle is over, tighten your chin strap” which is found in the fighting arts.com article above really resonates with me and summerises what I heard first hand succinctly. As you train keep this idea in your mind to guide you into more focused and ultimately more enjoyably aware performance. Let us know about you results :) Stay on the path and see you soon. Osu

 

A Forgiving Martial art, Aikido

What difference a month makes. From cold and dark to warm and bright, it only takes a moment. March has been a challenging month for many and a lot of important lessons have been learnt. Many have tried the way and fallen by the wayside but a few continue to forge ahead. Its easy to be complacent and forget our place when we strive however some make it look easy and never shout out about what they deserve, perhaps they know that it will be given anyway.

“The meek shall inherit the earth”. Matthew 5:5

As a beginner we should look to forgive the impatience of youth, the brashness of strength and best of all forgive ourselves.

http://www.aikidojournal.com/article?articleID=424

A Warrior of Light is Never in a Hurry

 

It was with great pleasure that I presented a 6th Kyu award to Julie on Wednesday. She has trained diligently over the last year and made a tremendous start on her Aikido path. Already a 3rd Dan in the art of Karate, Julie has a vast wealth of experience behind her and like all true artists her efforts to develop have been unflagging. She has taken her time in exploring the subtleties of Aikido, dedicated herself to attend a variety of classes and in helping others in their training. This has all been alongside her own teaching, work and personal commitments. A very big congratulations to you Julie.

Lao Tzu says of the warrior journey ‘ The Way involves respect for all small and subtle things. Learn to recognise the right moment to adopt the necessarry attitudes. Even if you have fired a bow several times, continue to pay attention to how you position the arrow and how you flex the string. When a beginner knows what he needs, he proves more intelligent that an absent minded sage.’

Flow in to Aikido, Martial Arts and Relaxation in Lincoln (November 2010)

What an eventful month of fluxuation and change October has been. Now the first day is upon us once again ! I am very grateful to have been joined by two wonderful people this early morning to delve into the tremendous topic of Aikido. My feeling summerised is that relaxation in movement and creating a tight axis to pivot upon were the two main themes arising, with a heatlhy dose of harmonising, thrown in for good measure !

A quote from Ueshiba Sensei’s, The Art of Peace, springs to mind,
“When attacked, unify the upper, middle and lower parts of your body. Enter, turn and blend with your opponent, front and back, right and left”.

Im sure todays participants will instantly get these words due to their diligent efforts already polished today !

Now that I have had such pleasure from training Aikido today I can once again disregard the doubt at the back of my mind which, goaded me to miss the class due to a chesty cough and a lack of sleep from an otherwise successful camping expedition over the weekend. That is what makes a black belt, constant dedication and progress over a significant time frame. I always liken the black belt process as an olympic effort, at least four years in the making and then some. I really look forward to the day when an Eiryukan student has made that grand achievment. I wonder what it will feel like ?

There really is no substitute for experience and as Shioda Sensei said, if you have any intrigue about Aikido or any subject just dive in there and try you will surely know whether it is for you in a flash ! So whether you try at 6am or 7pm either way you will know for yourself. Just like a bite of watermelon will outstrip any description. So, go on this month, I challenge you to take a taste of something, anything a little bit different that you havent before. You never know you just might find something you really want to get your teeth into after all :)

Master Aikido In October Inspired By An Emperor

The 10th month of 2010 has dawned upon us ! How did you start it off ? Myself and another student made the 6am class today and I am infinitely moved when anyone makes the effort to jump out of bed and shake off the cobwebs so thoroughly !

When I started training with Ando Sensei my work schedule meant that if I intended to train in the presence of an Aikido Master I had to get up at the crack of dawn to attend his class at 6am. In retrospect once I found my love for the subject waking up became a simpler process, that purpose and place to go and do was waiting, I just had to beat my way past the duvet first. Once I got to the class the miniscule warmth of the bed was long forgotten and the spring in my step which followed the training gave me more motivation to do it again the next day. Along the way momentum kicks in and what seemed like an impossible feat in my university days became a mere flick of the wrist.

Before I started reading about Asian philosophy I took solice from ideas formed closer to home, the wise words of a Roman Emperor may just inspire you to join us in November !

The Real Value of Work – Marcus Aurelius

When you have to drag yourself out of bed in the morning, keep this in mind: Im getting up to do the work of a human being. Why be dissatisfied if im going to do the things I was brought into this world to do ? Or have I been made to loll back in the warm sheets ?

‘It is more pleasant.’

Is your existence only for pleasure and not for activity or work ? Dont you see the little flowers, the birds, ants, spiders and bees working together to put in order their own bit of the universe ? Are you unwilling to do the work of a human being and not rush to do what your nature commands ?

‘But it is also necessary to take rest.’

Yes, its necessary, but Nature has fixed limits both to eating and drinking, and yet you go well beyond these limits, past what is needed. But with your actions this isnt so, since your efforts fall far short of your abilities. So clearly you dont love yourself, for if you did you would love your nature and its will.

Those who love their own talents exhaust themselves in working at their skill unwashed and without food, but you value your own nature less than the carpenter values his woodwork, or the dancer her dance or the greedy man money, or the boastful man a bit of fame. And such people, when they have a strong affection for something, choose not to eat or sleep rather than to perfect the things they care for.