Aikido reportage

aikido-moves.jpg“Aikido is a Japanese martial art developed by Morihei Ueshiba, known as  “O Sensei’ or ‘Great Teacher’. Aikido focuses not on punching or kicking opponents, but rather on using their own energy to gain control of them or to throw them away from you. It is not a static art, but places great emphasis on motion and the dynamics of movement.” (From the Aikido website, here.) Aikido is also a martial art practiced by my friend Neil. I went with him recently to the school where he trains, Long Island Aikiki. I drew while the class (mostly men) practiced in pairs – one man is on the offense and one is on the defense. It’s a lot about figuring out your opponents energy and moving with it to defeat him, rather than pushing against it.  I had a ball drawing these guys throwing each other and flipping on to the mat. The philosophy of aikido is all about energy and movement, things that I deal with all the time in drawing — it’s called body language! Well, these guys had a ton of body language and were fun to draw. The hands seem to be very important – placement and precision of movement is key…aikido-hands.jpg Hagihara Sensei (sensei means teacher) was the coolest. A small Japanese man who commanded the attention of all the students; he would watch from the side and yell out instructions. Like Yoda with attitude. The best part was when he demonstrated something to the students. He would casually walk by one of them and reach out with one hand and FLIP them like a pancake. No effort – he didn’t even look at them. Now THAT’S style. hagihara.jpg  This class was rather special, as it was also Hagihara Sensei’s birthday and there was a party after the class. I would love to be able to move and flip people like that now, never mind when I’m in my 70’s. Pretty suave, sensei! 


Comments (8)

  1. Greg Betza

    Great reportage Ron. The body language is perfect. You MUST have had a great time.

  2. Veronica Lawlor

    Thanks Greg, it was body language heaven! – Ron

  3. Dino

    I especially love that drawing of the hands, but “Yoda with attitude” is my favorite part of this entry.
    Hope you’re doing well, Ronnie.

  4. admin

    Hi Dino – thanks for your comment. I’m glad you like the drawing of the hands – see, I practice what I preach!! And you really would LOVE the sensei – – – I’m doing well, hope you are staying warm! Ronnie

  5. Aikido Man

    Wether we learn Aikido for our daily life, as a self defence, or just as a traditional martial art is for each individual to decide, I have added it to mine…
    this is a good addition to the aikido presence online.

  6. barry jackson

    these are absolutely fabulous drawings!

  7. Dave Norton

    Great drawings! I’m a student of Hagihara Sensei. It’s interesting to see how people outside of aikido see aikido. Especially an artist. Gives us a reminder that it is a martial ART.

  8. Martial Arts

    Well to me Martial Arts means respect and discipline.
    I have trained in different Martial arts now for much more than twenty
    years. I have seen tons of people appear and disappear but one thing that
    I have noticed happens to be the respect and discipline
    which has changed those peoples perception of life.

    Little ones that have started which have been on the wrong side of the tracks, always
    in trouble and no idea how to respect other kids. Put them in
    a controlled environment with discipline and fighting and
    they soon start to understand.
    Martial arts is a great technique for teens and adults to
    get rid of their aggression without hurting or bullying

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