Shoshin Aikido, Stockport
Sensei Riley had been invited to teach at Shoshin Aikido Dojo, a part of the Lancashire Aikikai, so one evening in early March a number of us travelled over to Stockport to train at the Tuesday evening class. Sensei Sam Wilson and all his students made us feel very welcome on the night, with some good techniques highlighted by Sensei Riley, from ukemi to tai no henko, and some good tai sabaki. We had an extremely good session and had the obligatory beer after the training session… it would have been rude not to! A big thank you to all who came on the night.
Ki-Shin-Tai, Northern Ireland
At the beginning of the year Sensei Jackie Beaumont was travelling to Northern Ireland, and so took the opportunity to teach at Ki-Shin-Tai dojo run by Tom Campbell and his son Gavin. As usual when anyone from the White Rose travels to Derry/Londonderry everyone at the dojo shows them tremendous hospitality. This time it was Sensei Beaumont and her friend’s turn, and apparently she returned the favour by demonstrating how effective Aikido can be when it is carried out by even a very small woman (who just happens to have arms like steel rods!) Possibly harsh, but fair! The visitors also found time to see the sights and sample the local brew.
Cutting Edge Teachings, March Course
Tachi-dori: ‘The danger of being struck by a Bokken or Katana, either of which is eminently capable of spoiling one’s day’. However, without an element of real danger, the practice of tachi-dori would be pointless. The real risk is not with tori’s Bokken or Katana’s execution, but one’s own fear of being struck, (your personal feelings).
This was the focus of the recent White Rose course held in Dewsbury in March; and the importance of timing, mai-ai, self-belief, balance and practice, (not necessarily in that order) were considered and developed, all of which were sliced into well demonstrated segments throughout the day.
Joining us on the mat in March was Sensei Sam Wilson and a few of his students from Shoshin Aikido, Stockport.
Broadland Aikido Club
Six students and Sensei from White Rose Aikikai attended a seminar with instruction from our very own Shane Riley Shihan on 5th/6th April hosted by Broadland Aikido Club, Lowestoft. Arriving on Friday night we received a warm welcome from Frank Burlingham Sensei, (now known as “Uncle Frank”). Following a misunderstanding about the start time of the seminar Shane Riley Shihan was trying to throttle Uncle Frank during the Friday night Chinese meal (in a kindly way I think?) but fortunately for Uncle Frank the consequences of the photographic evidence saved him. The weather in Lowestoft was fair to good but the seven hours of training on the Saturday prevented the team having any time to even get a sniff of sea air or ice cream. A good mix of students and Sensei from other Aikido clubs and styles attended the seminar. Following Saturdays brief (not meant as a dig at Uncle Frank of course) training session Sensei and Students experienced a lovely formal hotel dinner. Plenty of relaxed chatter combined with a little alcohol made an enjoyable evening for all. A further few hours of training followed on the Sunday with a different mix of students. During the course of the day one of our students from Durham, Gary, who earlier had been given the cool nickname of ‘The Rock’ was finally awarded the dubious honour of a special final nickname from Shane Riley Shihan. So……congratulations Gary ‘fourfingers’ Elphick!
Annual Weapons Course, Dewsbury
May 18th saw an extended weapons class at Dewsbury instructed by Sensei Riley, supported by Sensei Derrick.
During the class Sensei taught kumitachi – partner exercises with a sword or bokken – following the Iwama style set out by Saito Sensei. He explained how, like many other weapons practises, practising kumitachi helps to develop or enhance several core aikido principles including ma-ai, blending, extension, timing and precision of movement and body positioning. Sensei used these exercises to highlight why it is important to be smooth and fluid when moving and how practising with weapons helps this. He also explained that he was teaching these exercises in the traditional manner that he was first taught, why he teaches them in this manner, and how this manner compares to other variations which he has seen during his aikido career.
Thank you to all the students who supported the association by attending the class. Thank you to Sensei Riley and Sensei Derrick for sharing some more of their aikido knowledge and reminding us the importance of weapons practise in aikido.
Kyoto dojo gradings.
Although it has only been going for a matter of months the dojo in Kyoto is growing, and Sensei John Pryce has already held his first gradings. So congratulations to everyone who was successful, and we hope that they will continue with their training and that these achievements will be the first of many.
June course at Durham.
In spite of the weather, Father’s Day, several students being on holiday and the fact that it was the first match of England’s World Cup campaign……….(!) there was still quite a reasonable turn out for the White Rose course held at the usual venue at Durham in June. Those who did manage to attend were given the benefit of Sensei Riley’s practical knowledge in understanding the differences between a traditional and realistic approach to mune dori and also to ushiro kubi shimi attacks, and got to practise solutions to what can sometimes be difficult situations. One grading also took place during the day under the watchful eye of Sensei Maloney; so congratulations to Andy Besford on gaining his 3rd kyu. A number of students who had travelled up from Yorkshire stayed for the evening, and apparently were persuaded to have a couple of drinks afterwards. (Have you noticed a trend in this Newsletter yet?)
Singapore, October 2014.
Finally, it is not too late to join the intrepid band of students who are travelling with Sensei Riley to Singapore in October this year for the 5th International Friendship Seminar. Speak to those students who attended the seminar in 2011 to find out what an exciting, enjoyable and worthwhile trip it was for everyone, and a photographic album of the adventure is still available on the website which should give you a flavour of what is to come if you are considering joining us.