Schnuppermonat

Image credit: Bryan Pocius

Mo. 07.45-08.55, Weiglgasse 19, 1150
Di. 19.15-20.45, VS Märzstr. 178, 1140
Do. 18.30-20.00, NMS Torricelligasse 50, 1140
Sa. 11-13, Schule Koppstr. 110, 1160 (2x Monat)

Alle ab 14 Jahre willkommen. Keine Vorkenntnisse notwendig.

Der Weg des Nichtkämpfens – ohne Wettbewerb.

Burton (UK) Report

Burton-on-Trent (UK), 15-17.11.2019*.

Bericht in deutscher Fassung (Übersetzung: B. Boll)

“I’ve been waiting for the bus since 2001 and it hasn’t come”.

The flight from Vienna arrived punctually Friday afternoon into London Heathrow. From there I travelled by car to the Midlands with family. Then, as predicted, the wild and mystical travel lottery that is rail travel in the UK could begin in earnest. The train I’d planned on taking from the small town of Market Harborough to Burton, changing at Leicester and Derby, was cancelled. My enquiry at the ticket office as to my options was met in a relaxed, nonchalant tone of “I think Burton is still flooded and no trains are running”. Not convinced and having already followed proceedings closely on the website from the car, I waited for him to check the system and then confirm that it may be possible after all. With (only) one hour delay, in two packed trains of mostly “keep calm” styled Britishness, a dark and gloriously dingy Burton, immediately identifiable from the station surrounded as it still is by its Victorian and contemporary beer brewing topography, had been reached. I say ‘only’ as, not only would I make the training on time as scheduled, but the favourable delay (as opposed to potential Armageddon) presented the opportunity, most properly, to imbibe a local institution and whet the senses with a swift half in the delightful Coopers Tavern that just happened to be on the way. One of the weirdest and most interesting pubs I’ve ever seen, and visited later that evening, greets guests of the central Travelodge hotel in which a few of us stayed. A historic elongated single storey building, it is now indiscriminately located in the middle of the hotel car park! But that’s another story.

On the meaning of Do () or, “I’ve been waiting for the bus since 2001 and it hasn’t come”

Despite the warnings and calls for action, starting with the Club of Rome (Limits of Growth, 1972), and the downward turn in the global economy in recent decades, no new international arrangement has been made to determine a new direction. It showed that “…it is impossible for everyone to agree on the same thing.” Older people living today have lived through these major changes and thus have the possibility to understand how the world has changed. Yet, generally, people 40 or 50 years ago could see improvements and a better life on the horizon. What about young people today? “What should we do when the future looks negative, when life is going down?”…

One value of martial arts is trying to understand life without sentiment, emotions and psychology. For example, when someone acts in an aggressive manner it is only important what you do, not what you ‘feel’. This is the justification for the emphasis of meaning on what you do (act), and not what you feel or necessarily think. It brings life perception into being: Not in past time, but the next second. That is the basis. In other words, for the question of creating future life and this world, it is not so much useful to compare the future path to the past, but rather perceive and act from the position of what can be done now (in the smallest perceptible time frame or span).

This raises the question: what is positive and negative? Positive is (potentially) when one’s mind is in the future and if one’s mind is in the past it is (potentially) negative. Doshu’s definition avoids the teleological trap (that a “positive mind” necessarily creates certain positive outcomes by design) through considering “potential” outcomes. I will forego a lengthy discussion on philosophical issues in favour of suggesting that readers reflect on the meaning and consequence of this concept for themselves.

Do your best to create a better future. Not only people in general, but also Aikido masters have difficulty to grasp this idea. For example, if you think that something is positive when it allows or helps you to feel good. It is not reducible to feelings and emotions. Making the future better is clearly a social question predicated on relationships and not a simple matter of “doing what you like”. This may sound similar to a utilitarian philosophy, but it is quite different. Sensei has remarked that “Aikido is like a joke”. A joke can be many things and although it may have a use, it is not useful in the sense of having a clear function or purpose. If you only learn techniques, whether in science, medicine, architecture, or aikido, then usually you want to apply those techniques. For “point mathematics” based pursuits based on hard materials this has meaning and value. For example, in building a safe bridge in an appropriate location. But still it can’t tell us if it is good or positive for the whole society (is it a good allocation of funds? Does it benefit the people and wildlife living close to the bridge? Etc.) Clearly in the context of the arts and daily life this is an important question. On the other hand, “form mathematics” is the study of life and relationships. Aikido and arts fall into this category and should seek to express and develop the human and social condition.

Good ol’ times? If the future looks bright, you can compare past with future because it is improving. But if the future looks bleaker than the past then clearly a comparison is unpleasant. During such times, it is all the more pertinent to ask what can be done. Since around the year 2000 the world has been getting poorer. Most people are either less well off, or remained poor. Doshu expressed that “the world is getting old”. Just like humans, it can become old and weak. The baby boomer generation is a special generation. They lived through remarkable change. Economic miracles, etc. Now young people today don’t have that prospect. Their future looks bleaker and poorer.

The only thing left is for each person to find their own way = Do. This is the value and meaning today of (Aikido) practice. Do is defined as a way, lived step-by-step. In other words, it is a path which one walks. In this way, it is always possible to alter course. The way of investments, train and air travel on the other hand doesn’t allow this: Wait, invest (time, money), travel straight ahead in time. It is difficult to change course once the plane or train has departed. Therefore, there is a clear distinction between Do as a continual process of leading one’s life and the industry and technology of the modern petrol and energy based economy.

In real or daily life Do can be many things. It can be jogging, for example, or anything which seeks to improve life in one’s environment. Aikido is just one Do, however, we can suppose that it is an advanced practice. Do is not uniquely Japanese. It simply has a clear association through a cultural and artistic tradition (Chado, Ikebana, calligraphy, pottery, etc). In any case, it seems that the concept encompasses both the individual (for its own sake) and as part a social relationship (for the sake of improving social life).

A note on language

The Japanese language is not like Chinese at all. It is a different language group. The fact that the Japanese language adopted Chinese characters does not mean that it adopted the same meanings and expressions. For example: Do (道) is related to the Chinese word (Tao/Dao), but the real Japanese expression is Michi (みち). Michi means the continuation of something (in an unknown future). We should always consider the meaning of something and be able to understand or create new meaning. The forms of Kenkotaiso and Aikitaiso are registers of meaning for Aikido. One example: Ikkyo tenshin. What is the meaning of this exercise? Which hand is most important when changing direction, hanmi or gyaku hanmi? Consider the attack from behind and the meaning of gyaku hanmi.

Forms and symmetry. One way of conceiving practice.

What is possible from which form? Consider groups of techniques based on the similar/same form of Uke. E.g.
– Katatekosadori kokyunage tenshin (open hand) and irimi (close hand)
– Katatedori kokyunage I and II (lose hold), throw it away and make a movement upwards which also protects the face from a possible use of the arm or hand.
– Katatedori Shihonage (Shihonage – the elbow should not be higher than shoulder – don’t push up, but make the knees bend). All start from the same form of Uke. This can be explored much further.

Symmetry. E.g. from koteoroshi to ikkyo/sankyo by turning in one direction or the other. There are many possibilities for working with symmetry. Turning (this way or that) is one way to imagine and practice.

Participants came from England and Wales and thanks to the initiative of Linda Gale, a few people also attended from other Aikido organisations. The next UK seminar will be held in Burton again in April (17th-19th) 2020.

Burton-on-Trent

(Ryan Jepson, 13.12.19)
*The author attended Friday evening and Saturday only.

Shihan Boll (Praha, 2019)

Bernhard Boll Shihan, Prague, 08-10.11.19

Start with practice. New theory follows.

Theory helps and is behind everything, but does not replace practice. There are two ways to practice: start with theory and practice accordingly or start with practice (situations, settings) and develop (new) theory based on one’s own practice. Through this notion of reflexive practice theory can be re-established, improved, questioned, etc. which was emphasised during the seminar. The importance of self-discovery and enquiry (which is also reflected in the name Ki no Kenkyukai) is clearly embodied by Shihan Boll and the seminar organiser, Hayek sensei and the open format of the seminar.

Every since I met Hayek sensei at a summer seminar in the Swiss mountains in 2010 and my subsequent move to Vienna in 2013, Prague – the southern distict of Libuš to be more precise – has become a perennial and special place of learning and practice. A community centre and infant school at the centre of a suburb of former communist mass urban housing, “Klub Junior”, and its surroundings are serenely quiet on the weekends of the seminars. Hayek sensei’s accommodating and generous nature is coupled with the enthusiasm of school caretaker Pani Vankova who greets us heartily, provides us with a sleeping quarters and has often contributed to the Sunday tatami picnic with the best potato pancakes (Bramboracky) imaginable. This time she was preparing for a knee operation and sadly couldn’t join. A small familial atmosphere has been built since the annual seminars with Anne and Bernhard were initiated several years ago. This time, along with the Libuš students (Jana, Mikulas, Theresa, Sabi) a regular contingent from Nürnberg also made it (Christian, Claudia).

We arrived with a delay by Regiojet train from Vienna, but still made it punctually for the opening Friday evening class at 8pm. After Kenkotaiso we were immediately tested with Zagi Handachi which was explored in detail. It is impossible to describe exactly how this relationship and how this exercise works. As he said, there is nothing more important than practice. To simplify, a somewhat interesting allusion was made to T’ai Chi wisdom and the “three types of hands”:

(1) Stupid hands – useless force and resistance;
(2) Intelligent hands – leading without forcing;
(3) Magic hands – highest expression of ki.

The intensity remained high in the evening as we worked through Tsuzukiwaza 4 (Ryotedori).

Bernhard masterfully elaborated and technically demonstrated a variety of martial forms and theories whilst never failing to be up-to-date on Doshu’s teachings. He began many decades ago with “Ki-Jutsu” and later Aikido in the German Aikido Union (Deutscher Aikido Bund) before Shin Shin Toitsu Do and Ki No Kenkyukai International were established in Europe. This diverse experience is fruitful for understanding the current contradistinction and development of “Aikido in the dojo” and “Aikido in real life”. Swift shocks of realism for all Uke are par for the course, and always instructive and well-meaning. Moments of humour and hilarity are expedient and frequent. It is fitting that Saturday lunch is traditionally held in a nearby gastropub called “divine comedy”.

The programme also included Tsuzukiwaza 1 and 2, Bokken 1, Bokken with Jo 1 and Kenkodo.

We hope to meet Bernhard and Yvette again in February at his former dojo in Hechingen where a date is still to be set. Thanks to Dojo Libuš for organising another seminar!

Bernhard is also the creator of http://www.toitsu.de and m.toitsu.de, useful and updated resources for ki no kenkyukai aikido students and teachers, including exam programmes, the tsuzukiwaza and a language glossary of relevant Japanese terms in multiple languages.

DE: Bernhard Boll Shihan, Prag, 8. bis 10. November 2019

Mit der Praxis beginnen. Die (neue) Theorie folgt.

Theorie hilft und steht hinter allem, ersetzt aber nicht die Praxis. Es gibt zwei Möglichkeiten zu praktizieren: Mit der Theorie beginnen und dann entsprechend deduktiv üben oder mit der Praxis anfangen (Situationen, Rahmenbedingungen) und  die (neue) Theorie entwickeln, basierend auf der eigenen Praxis. Durch die Praxis kann die Theorie aufgestellt, verbessert, hinterfragt usw. werden, was während des Seminars betont wurde. Die Wichtigkeit der Selbstfindung und des Forschens (was sich auch im Namen Ki no Kenkyukai widerspiegelt) wird von Shihan Boll und dem Seminarorganisator Hayek Sensei auch mit dem offenen Format des Seminars deutlich umgesetzt.

Seitdem ich Hayek Sensei 2010 an einem Sommerseminar in den Schweizer Bergen kennengelernt habe und 2013 nach Wien gezogen bin, ist Prag, genauer gesagt der südliche Bezirk von Libuš, ein steter und besonderer Ort des Lernens und Übens geworden. Klub Junior ist ein Gemeindezentrum und eine Schule im Zentrum eines Vororts kommunistischer städtischer Siedlungen. Die Gegend ist an den Wochenenden der Seminare ruhig. Die zuvorkommende und grosszügige Art von Hayek Sensei ist gepaart mit der Begeisterung der Schulleiterin Pani Vankova, die uns herzlich begrüsst und uns ein Schlafquartier zur Verfügung stellt. Sie trägt auch oft zu dem sonntäglichen Tatami-Picknick mit den besten Kartoffelpuffern (Bramboracky), die man sich vorstellen kann, bei. Diesmal bereitete sie sich auf eine Operation vor und konnte leider nicht teilnehmen. Hier ist eine überschaubare familiäre Atmosphäre entstanden, seit die jährlichen Seminare mit Anne und Bernhard vor einigen Jahren begannen. Diesmal hat es neben den Libuš-Studenten (Jana, Mikulas, Theresa, Sabi) auch ein Stammkontingent aus Nürnberg geschafft (Christian, Claudia).

Wir sind mit Verspätung mit dem Regiojet aus Wien angereist, haben es aber noch pünktlich zur Eröffnung der Freitagabendklasse um 20 Uhr geschafft. Nach Kenkotaiso wurden wir sofort mit Zagi Handachi getestet, was detailliert untersucht wurde. Es ist kaum zu beschreiben, wie diese Beziehung und wie diese Übung funktionieren. Wie er sagte, gibt es nichts Wichtigeres als Übung. Zur Vereinfachung wurde eine doch ganz interessante Anspielung auf die Weisheit von T’ai Chi und die „drei Arten von Händen“ gemacht:

(1) Dumme Hände – nutzlose Kraft und Widerstand;
(2) Intelligente Hände – führen ohne zu zwingen;
(3) Magische Hände – höchster Ausdruck von Ki.

Die Intensität blieb am Abend hoch, als wir Tsuzukiwaza 4 (Ryotedori) durcharbeiteten.

Bernhard erarbeitete meisterhaft und demonstrierte technisch eine Vielzahl von Kampfformen und -theorien, ohne dabei die Lehren von Doshu zu vernachlässigen. Er begann vor vielen Jahrzehnten mit „Ki-Jutsu“ und praktizierte Aikido im Deutschen Aikido Bund, bevor er sein eigenes Dojo innerhalb von Shin Shin Toitsu Do und Ki No Kenkyukai International in Europa gründen konnte. Diese vielfältige Erfahrung ist fruchtbar für das Verständnis der gegenwärtigen Unterscheidungen und Entwicklungen von „Aikido im Dojo“ und „Aikido im wirklichen Leben“. Kurze Schocks von Realismus für alle Uke sind selbstverständlich und immer lehrreich und gut gemeint. Momente des Humors und der Heiterkeit sind zweckmäßig und häufig. Dazu passt auch, dass das Mittagessen am Samstag traditionell in einer nahe gelegenen Gaststätte mit dem Namen „Göttliche Komödie“ stattfindet.

Das Programm umfasste auch Tsuzukiwaza 1 und 2, Bokken 1, Bokken mit Jo 1 und Kenkodo.

Wir hoffen, Bernhard und Yvette im Februar in seinem ehemaligen Dojo in Hechingen wiederzusehen; der genaue Termin steht momentan noch nicht fest. Vielen Dank an Dojo Libuš für die Organisation eines weiteren Seminars!

Ryan Jepson, Wien

Herbstlehrgang mit Aleš sensei

Bei Schönwetter haben wir wieder ein sehr lehrreiches Seminar-Wochenende mit Aleš in Wien verbringen dürfen (25-27.10.19). Auswärtige Teilnehmer kamen aus Slowenien, Kroatien, Deutschland und Tschechien. Unsere Dojo-Mitgleider waren fast vollzählig dabei und alle haben sehr gut mitmachen können, obwohl der Lehrgang auf Englisch abgehalten wurde. Danke, lieber Aleš, und hoffentlich bis zum nächsten mal!

Herbstlehrgang (25.-27.10) – Sensei Aleš

Zum zweiten Mal erwarten wir Sensei Aleš zwischen dem 25. und dem 27. Oktober in Wien! Es kommen sicher wieder einige Aikidoka aus dem Ausland – wir freuen uns sehr darauf. Anmeldung erwünscht: kiundaikido@gmail.com. Das Programm sowie ein Bild vom letzten Jahr ist angehängt:

September

Ab dem 3. September 2019 sind wir für Anfänger und neue Interessenten wieder geöffnet. Im ganzen Monat laden wir zum kostenfreien Schnuppertraining ein. Männer, Frauen und Jugendliche ab 12 Jahre willkommen. Am Anfang reichen T-Shirt und lange Hose völlig aus.

Di. 19.15-20.45, VS Märzstr. 178, 1140

Do. 18.30-20.00, NMS, Torricelligasse 50, 1140

Bitte 10-15 Minuten vorm Beginn ankommen. Wer möchte kann uns eine kurze Mail/SMS vor dem Training schreiben.

kiundaikido@gmail.com / 06602390924

Selbstverständlich kann man bei uns jederzeit bei den regulären Trainings mitschnuppern.

Menschlichkeit zum Üben

Wenn man Techniken trainiert, ohne menschliche Beziehungen zu beachten, könnte dies dazu führen, dass man sich wie eine Waffe oder wie ein Roboter verhält. Unbewusst meint man, dass man eine Technik dazu einsetzen sollte, um zu kämpfen, so wie ein Mann der eine Pistole zum Kampf verwendet oder eine Regierung, die die Armee oder den Geheimdienst einsetzt, um einen Krieg zu gewinnen. Wenn man aber eine gegenständliche Waffe im menschlichen Leben anwendet, wird diese Waffe das Schicksal der Menschen bestimmen. Dies wird letztendlich zur Zerstörung von Menschlichkeit und menschlichen Lebens führen. Der Weg des Aikido-Trainings dagegen erhält die Menschlichkeit als Grundlage der Welt. (Doshu)