March 31st - April 2nd, 2000
By Lee Crawford
Aikido Northshore hosted another successful seminar with Kevin Choate Sensei on March 31st - April 2nd. Choate Sensei's extensive experience of Aikido makes him a valuable teacher and his sense of humor adds much joy to the training.
One of the many ideas Choate Sensei had for our training was to "fill the legs, and empty the upper body". This study was trying to help nage find where they were resisting their own movement by trying to use physical upper body strength in technique. Much of the weekend involved having nage be able to feel where they stop their own power in their body and lose their grounding. This training also focused on the idea of having uke and nage have "one body". The other important aspect of the training was for nage to learn how to change uke's body structure to facilitate the technique. The combination of these ideas gave our dojo many years of study to incorporate all of the information we received.
For some of the Aikido teachers who attended the seminar Choate Sensei gave some very important advice about how to continue to keep their training interesting. Choate Sensei suggested that they find principles of techniques that interest them and continue to work on them from many different angles in many different situations. This allows their Aikido to continue to develop for their bodies and can continually give them fresh ideas to study.
Lee Crawford is the chief instructor at Aikido Northshore in Kirkland, WA and is affiliated with Aikido Schools of Ueshiba.