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Updated: 16 hours 48 min ago

Not Sure About this One!

Sat, 05/27/2017 - 18:18
"There is nothing more uncommon than common sense." - FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT

In Japan, I got to experience Aikido in a way that very, very few people around the world get to. I am so thankful for that, but the cost was very, very high.

I was a bit of a fanatic back then, I'd make the morning practice, and then usually the evening practice and I wasn't even an uchi deshi.

I enjoyed the mornings because Kisshomaru Ueshiba would usually teach. I met the most amazing people. It was funny because you'd enter the dojo, and the "Old Timers" with the most experience would always line up at the far left, then you had your hot shot, big ego guys on your far right, right next to the entrance. The guys on the left were always way too intense for me, and the guys on the right...well, I just wasn't there to compete. I'd tend to stay in the middle.

But then one night, one of my Aikido friends, he actually saved my life once (for real), introduced me to a man that always sat way, way on the left, and that changed my life.

I really didn't believe in Aikido until he threw me (you know Aikido would never work in an MMA match. ) After training with him for over 10 years (until we parted ways), again, I feel like I got to experience Aikido in a way very, very few people get to, and again the cost was very high.

I guess being independently wealthy has it's benefits...

Anyway, to get back to my point in all of this, never settle for less than the best no matter the cost, and value what's most important to you in life. To me, it's Faith, Love, Perseverance, Friendship, Honesty, Truth, and most important, God. These things will make your Aikido most powerful.
Categories: Aikido

Placid Acheron

Sat, 05/27/2017 - 00:05
Placid Acheron

I stand by the ferry
Waiting, waiting my turn
The quay is always crowded now
And Charon is so busy!
But I am patient
The deep abyss of Tartarus
Can wait a little longer
Quiet, placid Acheron
Mother of Styx and Cocytus
Can ferry me to the underworld
Anytime, anytime - the dead
The dead have no need of timetables
My comrades and I stand easy
So many battles we fought together
There is no rush, no hurry
And Charon is always fair
He has eternity on his side
As now, do we

Please take some time this Memorial Day weekend to remember our military service members, past and present!
Categories: Aikido

Are We Really Learning to Fight?

Thu, 05/25/2017 - 22:36
I've heard it said many times, "the enemy is not of the flesh." Something so hard to understand. We train ourselves in Aikido to protect ourselves from someone, an enemy, attacking us.

But that person isn't really our enemy, "the enemy is not of the flesh," so in Aikido not only are we taught to protect ourselves, but also the person attacking. He or she is our brother or sister.

Yea, sometimes we really want to hurt someone, but isn't that because we're hurting on the inside. Something to think about...
Categories: Aikido

Punching your way out of a paper bag

Sun, 05/21/2017 - 15:56
It has been said many times that Aikidoka cannot punch their way out of a paper bag.

So I tried that.
I put my self in a paper bag and tried.
My first attempt didn't work because I wasn't relaxed enough.
My second attempt didn't work either because the paper bag didn't offer a sincere attack
My third attempt didn't work because the bag knew what I was going to do
My fourth attempt...
My fifth ...
My ...

Erik doesn't matter
Categories: Aikido


Fri, 05/19/2017 - 20:04
I'd like to start this blog off apologizing in advance. My intention is not to offend anyone or point the finger at anyone, just something I've been focusing on for a while now.

Aikido is a martial art and as one, one of the foundation of it is physical. That means you need to be in shape. I see way to many aikido sensei's that are over weight, that smoke or drink...they get up in front of the class and set the example, and it's not a good one!

On one occasion, I went to a seminar, and the first thing the instructor did after class was to light up a cigarette and invite everyone to drink. I watched an aikido demonstration, on another occasion, the the instructor was just way over weight!

Can you do 100 pushups or a 100 pull ups, jog 3 miles comfortably? Being in shape is a very important factor in our health and in our ability to perform the techniques of Aikido effectively.

If you're not in shape, Aikido is a wonderful tool to get into shape, as long as you're not the teacher...because most of the time they're just walking around telling everyone else what to do...

Consider most importantly your diet. What you eat is very important for overall health. Alcohol consumption, caffeine, sugary foods, these are not your friend.

Please comment below, What are you doing to become healthier, stronger and better at Aikido?
Categories: Aikido

Aikido is so SIMPLE!

Mon, 05/15/2017 - 19:39
Aikido is a very simple and easy art to learn. I believe that you can learn all the techniques in one day.

Let's see, Ikkyo through Gokkyo are pretty much exactly the same except for the ending. Iriminage and Kotegaeshi are exactly the same except for the body part that the technique is being applied to. Then, you have shihonage, Kaitenage, which are a little bit different, but not by much. then kokyu nage and tenchi nage's difference as so slight, dropping one are on the latter.

Koshinage, that's in every technique...

OK, so I strongly believe that you can learn every technique of Aikido on one day! BUT, learning the techniques, and being able to apply the techniques to an attack, now that's a totally different monster. That might take a bit longer. And I think that getting your black belt, definitely doesn't mean that you can do that...

Why do we make things so complicated......
Categories: Aikido

With a Pen

Sun, 05/14/2017 - 02:41
With a Pen

With a pen
I brush the scent of life
I pluck meaning here and there
I speak of clouds, of trees, of wind
I speak of far mountains
Covered in drifting mist
Still, what is my role here?
There is no meaning beyond me
My words separate me
So, putting pen aside
I sit, just sit, absorbing all
My paper remains empty
But, is it?
Categories: Aikido

Aikido Doesn't Work for Real!

Sat, 05/13/2017 - 20:50
OK, so a friend called me up and said that he saw this video on youtube that proved that Aikido doesn't work for real.

Can you believe that! Aikido doesn't work. Darn, I've been doing Aikido since I was 20 years old, martial arts since I was 5 years old, and to find out that I've wasted 26 years studying Aikido because it doesn't work.

Well, like I tell my students all the time. The art doesn't make the man, the man makes the art. So, ask yourself (if you're studying Aikido, that is), "Does Aikido work for me?" and if it doesn't, what do you need to do to make it work!

Anyhow, though Aikido is a martial art and should be an effect tool for self defense, it's also for physical and spiritual development, that means that you may be using it as a tool to grow spiritually, so then, it works for you.....

So, here is the second video to our Day 2 Aikido Demonstration at the Japan Festival:
Categories: Aikido

2017 Japan Festival Demonstration

Fri, 05/12/2017 - 18:09
Last weekend we had our Japan Festival Aikido Demonstration. I was lucky enough to get the demonstration video taped. Please enjoy:

Japan Festival 2017 Aikido Demonstration Day 1

We gave demonstrations on both days. I'm working on getting day 2 uploaded....
Categories: Aikido

Good Aikido

Sun, 05/07/2017 - 22:35
Good Aikido

Good aikido is fun aikido
If you are not enjoying the moment
Something is wrong
Whether as nage or uke
Defending or receiving
Joy is there
If you are nage
And your defense works
If you are uke and
Your receiving provides its
Very own, unique solution
Whatever, enjoy the moment
Good aikido is fun aikido
Categories: Aikido

Aikido Challenges

Mon, 05/01/2017 - 22:49
I'm giving an Aikido Demonstration at the Japan Festival this year and decided to have all of the students give a quick speech answering the question, how does Aikido Challenge you. I guess I'll have to give a small talk about that as well....

Aikido challenges me to take a deep look at myself, my shortcomings, my weaknesses and work on them. What I am doing and how am I moving? How is that movement affecting my uke? What am I doing wrong?

I find that when I'm getting frustrated with uke, it's really me that needs work. I think it's only taken me about 20 years to figure that out!
Categories: Aikido

Great Doubt

Sun, 04/30/2017 - 06:04
Great Doubt

The great doubt fills me
Fills every inner part of me
Annihilating all my certainty
Thus clearing the path for clarity
Categories: Aikido

Already There

Sun, 04/23/2017 - 06:19
Already There

How can he be faster than me
If I am already there?
Don't worry about time and space
With your opponent
Or how fast he may be - or you
Occupy your center, find his
Feel that tension - unify it
Now you are one
Feeling that flow, guiding
He orbiting your center
Regardless of technique
Completely at your mercy
Categories: Aikido


Sun, 04/16/2017 - 06:00

Seagulls sport over the parking lot
Screeching and cavorting
Fighting over discarded scraps
How low they have come
So, so far from any waters
And their original natures
Children today wonder why
They are called seagulls?
Categories: Aikido


Sun, 04/09/2017 - 05:50

I say Hi! to the rock
And give it a name:
You are rock.
No response from the rock
I say Hi! to the wind
And give it a name:
You are wind.
No response from the wind
I say Hi! to the moon
And give it a name
You are moon.
I talk to and name many things
But I am ignored
Phenomena is complete within itself
It does not need me to mediate
If I just sit and watch and listen
Communication is there
Categories: Aikido

Long Time no Post

Sat, 04/08/2017 - 01:09
It's been a while since I visited Aikiweb. I've been enjoying a recent resurgence of training, which has felt wonderful on many levels. There have been days where I wasn't feeling great, but I trained, and that gave me a very nice sense of accomplishment. I've struggled off and on with depression since I was 9 years old, and while there have been many ups and downs, I am pleased to say I feel better than I have in a long time. Adapting to life in increasingly improved ways has created a positive momentum, and as always, what training I can manage contributes as well. My sons are growing strong and smart, and are a constant pleasure. We practice together best we can given their ages of 5 and 7. It's more play than serious training, but that's developmentally the way things work. Little by little they make progress and the play takes on a more formal appearance while staying fun.
...The arc of life is always fascinating to me.
Recently I got to watch a father and son who train at our dojo take their first test together. They move really well and train all the time and it was such a cool thing to see them put on the spot and perform. Yesterday I got to see them training in hakama, and learn how to adjust to the new layer that has been added, literally and metaphorically. I remember the feeling when I first wore hakama and how it added a new feeling to the practice. Good times!
I'm looking forward to more learning and witnessing the unfolding of time. I could blather on for a long time, but I'll just end by saying I appreciate the many voices I've been able to listen to here and express a general sense of gratitude for all the things in my life. It wouldn't be what it is without them.
Be excellent!
Categories: Aikido

Long Drives

Sun, 04/02/2017 - 06:39
Long Drives

Sometimes, late at night
I go for long drives
With a full moon, low, and

Bright on the horizon
I drive towards it
I never reach it, of course

I know this
But, I drive and drive
Relentlessly, I drive
Categories: Aikido

Empty Streams

Sun, 03/26/2017 - 01:28
Empty Streams

Do empty streams
Cascading over jagged white rocks

Rushing towards the great sea
Really need you or me?
Categories: Aikido


Mon, 03/20/2017 - 22:38
Just smile.

Erik doesn't matter.
Categories: Aikido

go to class when you want to be a couch tater

Mon, 03/20/2017 - 16:46
Uke is a positive role. It is not just waiting to be nage. Aikido is not about overpowering each other but learning, together, how to resolve unrest, conflict and disorder.

Uke provides nage with the opportunity to feel another person’s energy, physicality and essence. Nage provides uke with the opportunity to let go in a controlled environment, to not have to be in total control and to give a gift of energy.

Aikido happens when uke and nage work together to resolve the conflict or attack of the moment. Being as in the now as one can be makes the experience so fun and educational.

By being the best uke or nage we can be in each moment we provide earnestness.
Earnestness is defined as: sincere and intense conviction. It is such a sacred gift to give to each other. In this world where really being seen and heard by others is rare and fleeting we come together in the dojo to see and feel each other deeply as we strive to become safer and more comfortable in the world.

Everyone can’t be a wildly athletic uke or a smooth polished nage. Yet we can start right where we are and do our best. That is all earnestness requires of us. We just be who we on any given day.

Some days I feel totally healthy and happy. Other days I feel grumpy and sore. I have practiced when I was limping because of an injured knee from carrying too much weight for my frame. I got to practice from a revolving armless office chair that was actually fun when I got over my ego. I had a chronic back injury for years that is finally fixed by a super intuitive physical therapist and now I can sport freely in all realms. I lost weight and my knees have healed completely.

What I learned through that 10 year process was that I had value on the mat anyway; whether I was perfectly healthy or not. I do have way more fun when I am healthy. But all practice is valuable. So challenge yourself to go to class when you want to be a couch tater.

We love to see you. Yes, even if you can’t fall. Even if you are just watching. You matter. As do we all.
Categories: Aikido