Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Basic Terms you Need to Know to Survive Aikido

Your head is filled with all sorts of new words you cannot put into order? 

You are not sure if someone is being rude to you or just explaining a technique? 

Here is your rescue! 

I have already talked about the huge amount of new words you learn when starting aikido in a previous post. Here is now a lexicon that can make your life easier. All the terms an average aikidoka would need in and out of dojo from Aiki-Doh!-ka to Zanshin. This is the creation of the inventive and humorous Kevin Love with illustrations by Jon Oaker. They have kindly sent me a copy in the PDF format to review. I am pretty sure that I will go through it again and again and laugh a lot. Because yes, finally, this is a humorous interpretation of aikido terms, and a more laid back and informal approach to aikido. 

© Copyright 2008 by Kevin Love and Jon Oaker
All Rights Reserved

So you might be wondering what Aiki-Doh!-ka is. If the picture was not expressive enough, here is one of the brief but to the point definitions you can find in the Lexicon:

Aiki-Doh!-ka: A clumsy Aikidoka who can usually be found in the opposite stance necessary to perform a technique, holding his Bokken upside down, etc.  They are often Aiki-Broke-a as well, and sometimes wear a medical alert bracelet.

I would like to add that this is a definition and that any similarity to reality is purely coincidence. However, each aikidoka out there has at some point taken some pain killers or used some sort of cream to make the pain go away. Therefore the definition hereunder:

Aiki-Dope-a:  All Aikidoka  for at least the first  three months of training. 

I remember someone telling me they call pain killers aiki-candy. Furthermore, pain can be inflicted by spaces you would never have suspected they could. I am pretty sure all aikidokas out there have performed at some point a toe nage, see definition hereunder and picture for reference.

© Copyright 2008 by Kevin Love and Jon Oaker
All Rights Reserved

Toe Nage: Any kind of a throw effected when you catch your toe in a crack between mats, even if you throw yourself.  With practice, the expletive that comes out of your mouth can be disguised as a Kiai.
After a while the aiki-something-ka combinations can become a bit boring but the authors made sure to include some fun concepts with unexpected meanings to keep the reader entertained as the example above or this following innovative view on Sensei:

Sensei:  The person at the front of the Dojo who is always interrupting your practice and telling you what to do.

Remember that this is a Lexicon. Nobody reads a Lexicon from beginning to the end. It is a book that you keep on your shelf or Kindle that you can take in your hand again and again and have fun with. And you can also learn new concepts with this book. The authors sure have a lot of fun, but there are a lot of witty definitions also. 

Atari: O Sensei’s home planet.

So I went out there and looked up what Atari means and got the following information:

There is a stickiness that uke must strive for in order to feel the ki of nage. The connecting point where uke and nage meet is the atari point. Only by maintaining this point can center and ki be transmitted to one another. This is not to say that this point is fixed or static. It can move up and down your body, it can be maintained with the hands, arms, shoulders, hips, even the head. This connection point shifts and moves during practice and it keeps the two as one unified body.
There are also aikido reinterpretations of concepts you never thought you would look up in a Lexicon:

Ears:  Located strategically on the sides of your head to block Yokomen Uchi, Bokken strikes, etc.

So yame everyone! Seiza and Mokuso!

Mokuso: Close your eyes: concentrate.  While you are doing this, Sensei is making faces at you.

 Relax: Advice often given by Sensei.  Hard to do when people aretrying to pummel, stomp, or bonk you over the head with a Bokken.

© Copyright 2008 by Kevin Love and Jon Oaker
All Rights Reserved

I am pretty sure this short post has risen your interest for this great book. If you also enjoy the funny side of aikido you have the following options to grab yourself a copy:

You can buy the book as a PDF file to download.
You can also have a print-on-demand book on Lulu.com

You can find it also as Kindle eBook

Make sure you also visit the site website of these goofy aikidokas. They are fooling around on Facebook also.

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