International Aikido Seminar Switzerland 2004, Tetsuro Nariyama

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The summary of Ryuichi Sato Sensei ‘s report

I thought the participants were very eager to learn Aikido from Nariyama Shihan.
Although the seminar was held in Switzerland, people from many different countries gathered to take part. Because the participants were so eager, almost all of them
could do the basic warm up practice by themselves and they could do the basic pair practice with some difficulty. However, even for those who train in Japan, it is difficult to absorb all the minor points of the pair practice.

I felt that the participants, because they don’t have the chance to practice in Japan, used this opportunity to learn the Tomiki Aikido practice system in an effort to make Aikido better in their own country and/or for themselves. I was impressed with that. But I felt keenly that both the instructors and students have to make an effort to level up.

High-level waza like Koryugoshin-no-kata, bukiwaza (waza with weapons), and so on were included in the seminar. I thought that the participants’ levels were high and that is why, in order to fulfil the needs of the students, Nariyama Shihan was able to include these contents.

A seminar for refereeing was held after the normal aikido seminar. I felt that the time past in an instant, even though it lasted about 3 hours.
Participants practiced judging and gestures, and they asked so many questions that they could not be answered in the short time allotted. Some participants, who were referees of the 5th international tournament in Leeds that was held in 2003, were happy about the outcome of this seminar.
The seminar for referees in Japan also needs some devising I thought.

Summary of Shinnosuke Sakai Sensei’s report

The seminar was held the same as seminars are held in Japan. The seminar started with the warm-up exercise, the basic practice by oneself (unsoku, tegatana dousa), and the basic practice for pairs (from teganata awase, to go no sen no kuzushi).
The practices’ characteristics include important elements of Aikido waza.
Even if you try to only copy the movements of a waza, you cannot actually do the waza correctly.
You need to learn the basic practice in order to understand important elements of doing waza, like the way of defence, posture, timing (shouki), and so on.

It’s not enough to explain Aikido kyougi (competition) as a system that only includes both
Kata and Randori. Basic practices include elements of Kata and Randori, as well as a practice system for tsukuri for Atemi waza and Kansetsu waza. These are also important characteristics to point out concerning Aikido kyougi. This kind of seminar should be held both inside and outside of Japan.

When you play a game, you will win or lose, and the results will restrict your consciousness. For some, the result causes one to devise and develop techniques in order to win. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but one shouldn’t forget about keeping to the basic principles of Aikido. By doing so, our style of Aikido can be better understood by the general public.

I feel that each club/dojo should learn and understand the basic practice, as well as the theory that has been established by JAA, more actively.