NGAExperience® Nihon Goshin Aikido

Inside Nihon Goshin Aikido ~ #62

5 May 2018

Inside this Edition:

Recently, I had the opportunity of going through an old duffle bag that has been packed away since the early 90s.  In it, I found a hand painted "Batman" t-shirt that I wore as an undershirt for my college soccer games and then as an undershirt for my cycling jerseys when I raced bicycles.  

Digging further into the bag, I found two sets of racing gloves, and the bike racing helmet which I swore I had loaned to David Corey after I’d given up cycling.  No wonder he never gave the helmet back to me ~~~ I had it the whole time.  

I don't exactly remember when my infatuation with t-shirts started, but I have a slew of them ~ and they cover every hobby I have ever taken up.

When I was a kid, I remember my Dad wearing a green t-shirt of which he was especially proud.  He ran his first half marathon in it.  The t-shirt was green and had the phrase "Mule Power" on the front of it.  Later, he wore t-shirts exclusively from all the road races he had completed.

T-shirts say a lot about an individual.  Do you want to know what interests me at the moment? ~ read my t-shirt.  Adding to that, an attorney friend of mine once told me that asking the potential juror pool, 'What do your 3 favorite t-shirts have written on them?" and "What bumper stickers do you have on your car?" are the two best questions he knows to ask a potential juror.  "Oh you have a "COEXIST" t-shirt, and a "Bernie 2016" bumper sticker?  That tells me a lot about where you are coming from.  "Judge, I would like to strike the witness with the Bernie Sanders bumper sticker."  

When I was a soccer player, all my shirts were related to soccer; the t-shirts were generally practice shirts for the teams I played for.  As I got older, the t-shirts were from soccer teams I coached.  

I lift weights, and once competed in a bodybuilding contest.  To that end, I have a few bodybuilding t-shirts.  I used to wear them around with a lot of pride, but truth be told (I finished 2nd to last in that contest), and I don't really look too much like a bodybuilder (at least I don't look like the bodybuilders you think about when you hear someone say, "He's a bodybuilder.").  They are still some good shirts by the way.

A few months ago, I saw a picture of a famous woman wearing a t-shirt that said, "I had an abortion!"  I was horrified.  I guess evil celebrates evil.  If the woman's t-shirt was transposed to 1940s Germany, it would have read, "I killed a Jew!"  One day, people will understand the parallel between these two genocides ~ and finally be horrified at what they allowed to happen on their watch; hopefully sooner rather than later.

My aikido t-shirts tell an interesting story.  At the time I started studying aikido, I couldn't find any aikido t-shirts, so I came up with a few of my own designs, and had them printed up.  They are for sale in the store (link here).

So ~ just curious.  What do your t-shirts say about you?  and probably the more interesting question:  "What if there is no t-shirt that describes you at the moment?”


Real Fight Breakdowns:  This Guy Is Going to Jail

A friend sent me this clip documenting an altercation with a policeman.  He wanted my take on the video, and I figured I'd share both the clip and my observations with you.  See the clip to the left.

My observations:  

1)  This is a classic example of Freddy Forever 21 attacker behavior; the guy we should be training to defend ourselves against. He opens as a striker, but enters boldly, secures a clinch (classic MMA style), and executes a decisive take down.

A clean application of a Leg Hook Take Down is on display here.  The Leg Hook Take Down is is similar to the Leg Sweep in the Go-Kyu set of Nihon Goshin Aikido.  The only difference between the two techniques is the  leg doing the sweeping).  

Here is a quick 2 minute video that breaks down the technique you see (with under hooks ~ but keep in mind this guy did not need under hooks due to the slight aiki angle he creates to unbalance the policeman.):

2)  This take down is taught nearly exactly as demonstrated in the Gracie Combatives Curriculum.

3)  This guy is going to jail.  I can only imagine the trouble you would get into for body slamming a policeman.

Comfy Aikido:  

How suspending your aikido training floor could generate more Nihon Goshin Aikido students.  In my experience students who decide to train in aikido want the full aikido experience they see on the web.  They see the pictures of guys completely upside down in the process of taking a giant high break fall ~ and they think "that looks so cool!  I want to do that."  Unfortunately, you don't gain access to the "full aikido experience" if you are quickly terrified of the floor you are training on.  Most training floors simply do not have the capacity necessary to "encourage" the full aikido experience beginner students initially seek.  As a result of unforgiving flooring options, it is quite possible that many potential life long students are stifled in their pursuit of aikido.  They get bored or frustrated with their training, and as a result, theyeventually find something else to do.  

If I were building an aikido floor, I'd use either the Aikido Center of Atlanta's floor formula, or the Aikido of Charlotte floor formula.  

Here is a great picture of the layered floor of the Aikido of Charlotte dojo.  1.5 inch foam blocks are glued to .75 inch OSB construction subflooring with 1.5 inch thick Zebra mats on top.  The floor is fast, does not sag or have weak spots, and has a great deal of potential compression for breakfalling.  I was training up there recently, and I was able to reaffirm its superior quality.  Here is the honest truth.  When you train at Aikido of Charlotte, your ukemi is instantly better the second you step on that mat.  

Best of all, the Aikido of Charlotte flooring formula is not inordinately expensive.  I ran the numbers at the Lowes, and came up with a cost of around $25 per 4x8 square sheet of subflooring (this included the foam blocks and construction glue).  The mat, or course, is extra, but most dojos already have the mat.  

I bet you could convince your dojo cho to make the change if you "took up a collection," bought the materials, and offered to install the finished product.  Seems like a great "service" to offer your school and your Sensei/ dojo-cho, and I'm sure everyone would appreciate the gesture as well.  

*Note the model described is a suspended floor.  A suspended floor is completely different than a sprung floor commonly seen in gymnastics applications in which metal coil springs are placed underneath the layer of subflooring ~ creating a bouncy feel.

Final Call Out:  

Has anyone added Kendo to their martial tool kit?  Obviously we are moving away from aiki-based self defense when we speak of Kendo, but I would not mind hearing about your Kendo experiences.  A Nihon Goshin Aikido black belt who used to train at the dojo I train at, moved to Raliegh, NC and took up Kendo.  He competes in tournaments, etc. ~ and has been able to incorporate many of the connection exercises and general movement principles we teach in Nihon Goshin Aikido into Kendo tournament success.  I was interested in hearing your thoughts.   experiences wit

h Kendo if you had any.

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Let's meet together on the mat ~ and soon!

All the best,

Jonathan Wilson

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Unless otherwise stated, the author’s views, musings, and opinions do not necessarily reflect the attitude of leadership within any of the various Nihon Goshin Aikido associations, or unaffiliated Nihon Goshin Aikido dojos.

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