Category Archives: Announcements

Upgrading to be held on the 27 April 2013

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An old upgrading picture of the Gan siblings :D

Our next upgrading shall be held in a month’s time on the 27 April 2013. If you are interested to upgrade, please contact an Instructor and let us know. We will also give an indication if we think you are ready or not though you are free to of course still sit for the exam.

Train hard in the next month or so!

In the exam we are looking for the following:

Lower Grades (5th kyu to 3rd kyu)

  1. Technical knowledge of the techniques and movements and good familarity with the basic pins and throws.
  2. Good kamae (stance)
  3. Safe ukemi / falling techniques
  4. Consistent attendance
  5. Good attitude in training

Higher Grades (2nd kyu onwards)

  1. We assume technical knowledge already and are looking more for whether the student understands the mechanism of the technique.
  2. Smooth flow/fluidity of technique with minimal use of strength.
  3. Usage of timing and blending techniques.
  4. Ability to take hard falls/fliips safely.
  5. Good ‘randori’ with the ability to use techniques as the situation arises
  6. Zanshin (remaining aware and maintaining posture after completing technique)
  7. Ability to lead juniors and serve as role models.

The higher grade tests are much more serious as these are potential black belts and therefore held to a much higher standard.

40th Anniversary of Jun Yamada Shihan in Malaysia

In conjunction with the celebration of Jun Yamada Shihan’s 40th Anniversary in Malaysia, Academy Aikido Jyuku is hosting this year’s Aikido Fellowship – South East Asia (AFSEA) seminar in Malaysia. Seishinkan Aikido Dojo, as an affiliated dojo of Academy Aikido Jyuku has been invited to participate and we highly recommend this to our students.

Among the guest Shihans who will be conducting the seminars are:

Motohiro FUKAKUSA Shihan, President of Aikido Association of Thailand & Chairman of the Aikido Fellowship-South East Asia

Toshiyuki ARAI Shihan, disciple of Founder Morihei Ueshiba, Chairperson of the Gunma Aikido Federation & Director of the All Japan Aikido Federation

Seminar Details

Venue: Wisma Olympic Council Malaysia

Sat, 20th October 14:00 Seminar begins
15:30 Seminar
17:00 Seminar

Sun, 21st October 09:00 Seminar begins
10:30 Seminar
13:30 Seminar
15:00 Demonstration
19:00 Dinner Party
(Time of seminars is subject to change)

Participating Fees:

RM200 (includes Seminar Fee and Dinner Party)
RM100 for primary school students (includes Seminar Fee and Dinner Party)
RM200 for Observers (includes Seminar Fee and Dinner Party).

Please contact Desmond or Reuben should you be interested in participating as soon as possible.

What does a Sho-Dan mean?

Congratulations to Zachariah to achieving his Sho-Dan rank!

I would just like to quickly share my thoughts on this. Many students, after reaching the level of sho-dan, decide that it’s the end of a journey from there and they are now experts in Aikido. At least in our dojo and under Shihan Yamada, this is not the case, it merely indicates an understanding of the basic techniques and movements of Aikido. In other words, the pure physical aspect, which is why under the Aikikai Hombu grading system, there is only limited randoori (free-style) for the sho-dan test.

When I got my sho-dan in 1999, I was told by Shihan that this was just the beginning. It means you are now a beginner and this is where your real journey starts in Aikido and I couldn’t agree more. My Aikido has a long way to go before I see myself as truly proficient but only after I achieved my sho-dan was I able to start exploring what Aikido was to me beyond just going through the techniques. In fact, I had to relearn much of my Aikido.

After sho-dan, you explore balance, how techniques flow into one another and each technique’s use and place. One of the pinnacles of Aikido is to achieve a level where you no longer think of doing a technique but it just flows out according to the circumstances without thought but merely out of a body reflex developed from many years of training. I think all of us at Seishinkan are still learning and striving for this goal.

Of course there are dojos in the West that see Sho-dan as an expert level belt which is what the common perception of a black belt is. Therefore some of these dojos have testing requirements are a lot more stringent with their 3rd kyu tests being similar to Aikikai Hombu’s Sho-dan test. The gap decreases between the two as the dan ranks go up but the sho-dan disparity is probably where it is the greatest mostly due to the perception of what a black belt is in the west. There is nothing wrong with either approach either but it’s worth making the distinction between the grading system adopted by Aikikai Hombu and others.

At the end of the day, we reiterate that at Seishinkan, we are not too concerned with belt ranks hence why we adopt an only two color belt system (white, black)( which has the added benefit of saving money in buying a belt after every upgrading and reducing the risk that the belts leak funny colors out on your gi! :P) The upgrading system is there as a benchmark and for those who wish to achieve recognition but it’s by no means the only indication of true understanding of Aikido. For example, I feel Desmond’s understanding of Aikido is better than mine, and my new rank of san-dan does not change any of that. Even now, I’m constantly learning new things even from my ‘juniors’ and I think it’s important to realize that everyone can teach you something regardless of rank.

This doesn’t detract from the achievement Zachariah has achieved today and we all wish him a big congratulations. We look forward to seeing you on the mats :P…or else…we’ll implement a ‘rite of passage’ just for you!

PS: This doesn’t mean we should stop bugging Desmond to go for a long overdue upgrading.

 

Saturday classes have resumed

We have resumed Saturday classes from 1pm-3pm. Although this class is aimed for Swinburne students, we welcome those who wish to get some additional practice in at no additional cost. The first few classes will be focusing more on fundamentals and Aikido basics so this would be a good opportunity to brush those skills up.

Gi Price Increase

Our Gi (uniform) prices have been increased from RM65 to RM70 per Gi. Prices from our supplier have gone up so we’ve had to increase our price too! Sensei Desmond has already placed the order nevertheless.

We apologize for the inconvenience caused. Students are of course always free to source for their own gis as well as long as there are no markings on it.