Monday, 24 June 2013

Tissier Shihan in Berlin - 24 June 2013

I'm not sure what to say about the weekend seminar with Tissier Shihan. In regards to his Aikido, I believe what can be said has been said and if you have never trained with him for yourself, look at any of the countless youtube clips out there (with ridiculous view numbers mostly) and you will get an idea. Better yet, try and study with him for a while and I'm sure you won't regret. In very short I would say: the man is a machine. In my 16+ years of practice under Tissier Shihan and his senior students I have never not enjoyed myself and learned a lot on his seminars, so yet again I have had a great weekend.
Organised by my old home association, the Aikido Federation of Germany, a member of the Aikikai Tokyo, the gasshuku hosted 152 practitioners from all over Europe (the picture below gives you at least a rough idea of how that looked). I didn't take as many photos as on other occasions, but other people have and there will most definitely be a video on youtube sometime soon, so I will post it when I see it.
Taking up one of the topics from the last post, it was great to be reminded that such seminars/gasshuku are also incredibly important because you not only get to train with old friends that you have enjoyed training with for a long time, but also with people who you have never met and felt before. Both of these encounters are extremely important to our practice, and there is much to learn from both of these types of training partners. But my feeling is that the partners with whom it just doesn't seem to gel as nicely as you would like it to, where you can't quite make the technique work, are particularly interesting. In these encounters, and they are inevitable unless you isolate yourself and thus miss out on them, you are thrown against so many interesting problems it is actually quite amazing.

To name but a few there is the obvious technical problem, that is, whether you are able to do the technique the way you have studied and learned it on someone who doesn't move quite the way you expect them to. Then there is the whole problem of having fixed ideas about how a technique, an attacker or a defender 'should' move versus how the end up moving according to the moment. There is your ego that gets in the way, and there is your partners ego just as much (and it is rarely just the one or the other..). There is your intention that gets in the way of 'unintentionality'. There is... I think I'll stop here, but the list continues and if you practice Aikido, or actually ever do anything and reflect on the situation and yourself thoroughly you will definitely be able to continue the list for yourself if you haven't already.

Whichever the problems we personally have to face might be, I have a feeling that the interesting part could be to adopt an attitude of almost inviting challenges, welcoming them in, just like an attack, to find your way through them, with them, rather than rejecting them and turning/walking away. Admittedly, this is often easier said then done, but luckily the learning we have to do lurks both ways, whether we reject or invite a problem or new situation. One way or the other, I wish you an enriching practice until next time.

Best wishes,
Filip