Posted by: Eddie deGuzman | February 15, 2009

Back to Basics

by Eddie deGuzman

Just when I thought I was starting to understand aikido and its secret inner workings, I run smack into a wall. The same wall that floored me when I was introduced to this aikido dojo ages ago.  This wall has a name and is a stickler for posture and form.

Everthing was wrong: tenkan, stance, shuto, cut/throws, seated kokyu and seated yonkyo, not to mention ikkyo, nikkyo, sankyo and shihonage.  The sad thing is that what he said was true and I felt the difference. Repeatedly.

Aikido is deep and wide.  It is not a martial art that consists of one skill, but many.  And these involve a multitude of sub-skills.  It seems I’ve been focusing on one area of aikido while neglecting another.  So, it’s back to basics and a reassessment of everything.



  1. I went to a couple of krav maga classes once, and literally threw up because it was so intense. Anyway, I think it’s cool that you have an opportunity to reassess what you’ve learned.

  2. Yep! As has been pointed out by others, we always feel that we are at the same level. Our skills increase but as our understanding increases so too do our expectations.

    I saw a sixth dan aikidoka who I deeply respect recently being thrown about by seventh dan who deeply frightens me. When the older fellow wandered away, the sixth dan was left scratching his head wondering how the throws had worked. I recognized his expression — everyone who deals with that particular 7th dan wanders away feeling the same way. This is a guy who is so much further beyond me now than I am from when I started and HE doesn’t get certain aspects of Aikido. There is always room to grow.


    the krav maga class sounds very intense. I used to train hard when I was younger. I train slower, but longer now. 🙂 I think it’s good for us all to assess where we are in our training, where we were, where we should be and where we want to go. It’s just what we “think” doesn’t always mesh with what “is”. As it was shown to me yet once again.

    Eric Holcomb,

    Without a doubt, there is a large spectrum of knowledge and growth when it comes to aikido. And I’m not frustrated, in fact, I’m a little glad about it. It keeps my ego in check. I met the head of Okinawan White Crane style karate a number of years back. He told me that people tend to train with their favorite techniques and practice their favorite kata. Mostly the things they do well. But he said that we don’t have to practice those things so much because we already do them well. We should practice the things we don’t do well. This makes a lot of sense to me.

    Not everyone knows everything. and there’s always someone faster, stronger and better. But isn’t it nice sometimes to see those above us tossed about like rag dolls every now and then. It helps so much with perspective. 😉

    Good training to you both!

  4. Hello,Eddie.
    I will practice aikido today.
    uh,,, about twenty minutes later.
    By the way, I saw the picture that you took.
    Some of them have downloaded.
    Eddie, I heard you go to other schools.
    But, don’t need to worry, because you have your blog, and I have my blog, too. This is my blog.
    If difficult to understand Japanese, I’m sorry.
    In other words, they can talk at any time.
    I hope that you can enjoy in other school.
    See you next time.

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