JSR Spring 2014 Syllabus Supplement, January 6, 2014 through May 5, 2014
PED 137-83DT (56513) Martial Arts I MoWe 2:30PM - 3:20PM Rm B31, DTC Jan 6, 2014-May 5, 2014
Instructor: Tim Sheldon, Fifth-Degree Black Belt, Aikido of San Francisco, Iwama Dojo, Japan, Bryan Park Aikido, Richmond, Va. BA , MFA, University of Virginia.
Text: Aikido and the Dynamic Sphere: An Illustrated Introduction Paperback, by Adele Westbrook and Oscar Ratti.
Supplies: A white practice uniform will be required. It's a white judo or karate gi and can be purchased from any martial arts supply outlet o from the instructor for $40.00 (exact amount in cash, please).
Training requirement: Students are not allowed to practice if they do not arrive on time or are not wearing the required training uniform.
Based on attendance and class participation.
School Guidelines on Attendance:
In accordance with the general guidelines of J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College, students are expected to attend all classes and to notify the instructor when absences are necessary. Students are expected to arrive at class on time. When a student is, or expects to be, absent from a class, he or she should contact the instructor immediately.
Call Tim Sheldon at 804-477-4533 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you want to be on the email list for Aikido updates, just send me an email request and I'll add you to the list. I've sent you an email to your @email.vccs.edu address, which you might want to check. It includes a link to the syllabus.
Two phrases you'll hear a lot:
"Onigai shimasu" - pronounced O-ni-gai-shi-MAS ... Means "If you please." Is said when bowing in at the beginning of practice and bowing to a another student during practice.
"Domo arigato gozai mashita" - pronounced Do-mo a-ri-GA-to Go-zai ma-shi-ta. Means "Thank you very much." Is said when bowing out at the end of practice.
What Is Aikido?
Aikido is a martial art which emphasizes a way of harmonizing with the energy of the Universe. It was founded by the Japanese martial arts master, Morihei Ueshiba (1883-1969) and is a gift from the Founder to us. An Aikidoist moves in harmony with the movement of an opponent rather than in conflict with it. Ideally, the structure of conflict is changed to a structure of harmony, and the conflict can be resolved without anyone getting hurt.
There are two components to the structure of an attack: you and the attacker. If you realign your position in relation to the attacker, the structure of the attack will collapse and the attacker will fall. You cause the attack to change structure by co-operating with the attacker, but that does not mean acquiescing or giving up. You are moving in unison with the movement of the attacker and control the center. Co-operation in this sense means to move in unison with the attacker and command the center.
"Ai" means harmony. "Ki" means energy of the universe. "Do" means way or path.
Harmonizing with the Energy of the Universe can be a complicated subject, or it can be as basic as keeping your mental and physical balance. The key is to be aware of the fundamentals and practice constantly. You can follow the path of Aikido to attain this harmony or some other discipline such as Karate, Tai Chi, Yoga or Gardening. There are many paths, and martial arts is one of them. Among the martial arts, Aikido is an excellent path. Choose the way that suits your personality and interests.
Aikido is a very good system of self defense for smaller persons, because it relies more on foot work and technique than on physical strength. "Small" is a relative term, and in a given situation each of us will experience being small. Aikido is useful in daily life, as well, because the same principles can be used in verbal and nonverbal communication. In Aikido, you convert a pattern of conflict into a pattern of harmony.
The Proper Attitude
We follow certain ground rules during practice in order to benefit from and enjoy training, create an atmosphere of mutual respect, and maintain safety.
Summary of Aiki Communications Theory
Aikido is an excellent means of self-defense, but it is equally effective in daily communications. You may use Aikido in a physical confrontation, but the chances of that happening are minimal. You can, however, use the principles of Aikido in daily communications on a constant basis. The Founder, Morihei Ueshiba, had this in mind when he developed Aikido.
The fundamental energy patterns of Aikido are represented by the triangle, circle and square. When you are using one of these energy patterns, it is important to operate from your center; otherwise, you will be off balance, both physically and mentally.
The triangle represents moving forward, entering into the space of an attacker. A person who becomes a centered triangle is direct and candid, takes the initiative and seizes the moment. An uncentered triangle, however, can be obnoxious, jarring, encroaching, bullying and arrogant. Use the triangle mode to assert yourself effectively, when you are in a situation where you have to take the initiative and express your concerns.
The circle represents turning and blending with an attacker. The centered circle is able to move with a force without being overwhelmed by it, to turn and see the other person's point of view. The centered circle is flexible, can accept force, sees all sides, is fair, surprising, humane, reasonable and accepting. The uncentered circle, however, is flighty, duplicitous, can be rolled, is impressionable, a pushover, tricky and cowardly. The person who keeps his or her center while being circular can move more easily with any force, can see anything from all sides. You can perceive anything coming at you from any of 360 directions and still blend. You can be a centered circle, for instance, when diffusing criticism.
The square represents stability. It plays from strength, is solid, grounded, stable, dependable and takes a stand. The uncentered square, on the other hand, is stodgy, stuck, boring, unable to move and numbskulled. The centered square is calm, and it is your stability as a centered square that allows the other person to be calm and at ease. It fact, a centered square may enable an entire group to remain relaxed and at ease. A centered square listens and does not commit unnecessarily.
Rules of Self-Defense
Points Covered in Class:
Third Point - The attacker may be strong in a limited direction between two points, but you can take his balance by moving him to the third point, where he has no stability.
Blending - When the attacker enters, you can turn off the line of attack and see the attacker's point of view. Then you can control the center and move the attacker in the direction you choose. In daily communications, you can blend with a verbal attack by paraphrasing what is said and then moving the attacker to an appropriate solution.
Centering - Our physical center is located two inches below our navel. It is our physical center of gravity. If we initiate action from this center, it also gives us mental balance. Physical and mental balance emanating from this center results in mind-body harmony.
Use of Space - Respect is spatial, as well as mental. Our distancing from others is always significant, and if used properly it will result in harmony with others. Improper use of space can result in mental or physical conflict. Arm's length is a good distance for basic communication. If we're careful with our use of space, we'll avoid conflict.