At Mill Valley Aikido, we are committed to preserving traditional Aikido with its roots going back 900 years. We are also equally committed to promoting safety, harmony and non-violence which are central themes in Aikido. Therefore, there are no competitions, tournaments, or full-contact sparring. The training enables the learning of pragmatic techniques which can be employed to protect oneself with the option of limiting damage to the aggressor. Our goal is to develop powerful, effective techniques yet deliver them in a safe, graceful and peaceful manner. This results in an enjoyable environment which promotes a strong and flexible body and mind.
Do I need to be in good physical shape?
No. People at all different levels of conditioning can train together safely and properly. However, you should discuss any concerns regarding injuries, medical conditions, and physical limitations with the instructors. Beginners typically train slowly to properly learn the techniques. The instructors will work with you to enable training at an appropriate level that will accommodate your current physical condition.
Am I too old to begin training?
No. However, students who begin to study Aikido in their senior years may need to modify their training to be more appropriate for their stage in life. For example, some of the challenging rolls and falls may need to be avoided. Some older students may prefer to attend the weekday morning classes, covering the jo (staff) and boken (sword) where rolls and falls are not frequently practiced.
How does training in Aikido benefit children?
Mill Valley Aikido provides a safe environment for kids to have fun while learning various interesting and pragmatic skill sets as follows:
Self defense and confidence.
Self discipline and concentration.
Positive social interaction, cooperation and team work.
Body awareness and coordination.
How often should I train?
If possible, it is recommended to train two to three times a week for beginners. Morning and evening classes are offered to provide scheduling flexibility.
Is there a beginner’s class?
No. From day one, beginners and experienced Aikido students train together and help each other to learn the techniques. This does not create conflict as there are no competitions.
What can I expect in the beginning?
Hopefully, early training will be quite fun and interesting. During the early part of Aikido studies, the techniques, vocabulary and etiquette may feel quite complicated and difficult. Please be patient and don’t be too hard on yourself. Just pay attention, do your best and enjoy the learning process. The techniques will come in due course.
What is the cost of training at Mill Valley Aikido?
There are different monthly fees for adults, children, and families. There are no long-term commitments or contracts.
TAKAMUSU AIKIDO ASSOCIATION GLOSSARY
Authored by Hans Goto (7th dan, President of TAA)
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Page 2…………………………..Pronunciation Guide
Page 3 to 13…………………….Glossary A to Z
Page 14………………………….Appendix A-Numbers in Japanese
Page 15………………………….Appendix B- 20 Jo Suburi by Morihiro Saito Shihan
A- Agatsu victory over self. Commonly used in the phrase “masakatsu agatsu” Ai hanmi both partners have the same foot forward to begin a technique Aiki uniting ki with partner/attacker Aikido the way of harmonizing life’s energy Aikidoka person who practices aikido Aiki jinja shrine dedicated to the Aiki spirit Aiki jo short staff used as part of Ri-ai. The length is approximately 4 ft. 2 inches long, 1 inch in diameter Aikikai organization for Aikido under the Ueshiba Family Aiki ken wooden sword used in Aikido as part of Ri-ai; practice of aiki using the wooden sword Aiki otoshi aiki drop; throw Aiki taiso aikido related exercises/warm ups Aite depending on kanji written…could be partner, but classically meant opponent Ai uchi mutual strike; it is striking (kendo) without the fear of being hit Ashi leg or foot Atemi strike or feint to a weak point or area Awase blended/harmonious movement (same character as Ai in Aikido)
B- Barai/harai parry or warding off. Bokken wooden training sword. Also known as bokuto Bukiwaza weapons training/techniques Bokuto wooden sword. Term is most commonly used in Japanese (outside of the Ibaragi Dojo) Butsukaru colliding vs awaseru (harmonizing) with your attacker
C- Chikara strength/force Choku direct Choku tsuki direct thrust Chudan middle position; compared to jodan-high position; gedan-low position
D- Dai great/important (ex. Dai Ikkyo) Dame wrong; incorrect Dan level, black belt rank Deshi student; disciple Do the way; can be read as michi Dogi clothes used when training; also keikogi Dojo training hall; lit. hall of the way Dojo cho head of the training hall or dojo Dori same as tori; to grab or hold or catch Dosa action or movement Doshu leader of the way; head of the Aikikai
E- Embukai public demonstration of martial arts
F- Fudo shin immovable mind Fukushidoin assistant instructor; aikido 2 to 3 dan minimum Funakogi undo-rowing exercise, as if pushing and pulling a Japanese oar. Ame noTorifune Furi kaburu raising the hands above the head (the same movement as raising a sword) "Futari dori/ two persons holding/attacking; see ni nin dori/gake futari gake"
G- Gaeshi/kaeshi returning/reversed "Gamseki rock drop throw otoshi" Gasshuku training camp. Retreat or camp where everyone lives eats and trains together Gedan low (position); vs chudan(middle position) and jodan (high position) ready postures Gokyo fifth teaching Goshin jitsu self defense techniques Gyaku reverse, opposite Gyakute dori cross handed grab or hold; see kosa Gyaku hanmi partners have the opposite foot forward, i.e. right foot to left foot
H- Hajime begin; start Hanmi means ‘half body’. Common usage refers to the triangular stance which is unique to Aikido "Hanmi nage is sitting (shikko-style) and uke is standing and attacking handachi" Happo eight directions Happo giri eight directions cutting Harai/barai sweep or parry Henka waza variation of a technique Hidari left (migi-right) Hiji elbow; see sode Hito e mi turning the body so that it is parallel to the strike or thrust. Lit.-“one layer of the body” Ho method Ho direction (different kanji) Hombu dojo ‘headquarters’ dojo. Note: all martial arts can have a ‘headquarters’. Aikido’s hombu dojo is known as the “Aikikai Hombu Dojo”
I- Ibaragi Shibu dojo formerly known as the ‘Iwama’ dojo. Shibu means branch. Ikkyo first teaching Irimi ‘enter body’…the body enters into the attack Irimi nage entering throw…enter deeply behind the attacker Iwama name of the town where Morihei Ueshiba lived and had his dojo. The Aiki Shrine is across the street from his home/dojo
J- Jiyu waza free style attacks and techniques/techniques and attacks without being pre-set Jo short staff about 4ft 2 inches in length and about 1 inch in diameter (see aiki jo) Jo awase skills practice with a partner; 13 jo awase Jodan high position. See chudan and gedan. Jo dori jo taking or disarming an attacker empty handed Jo kata jo forms-13 jo kata/31 jo kata Ju ten (number) Jujigarami ‘figure ten- entwining’. M. Saito Sensei used this term. Juji jime cross handed choke using the lapels Jujinage same technique as Jujigarami. The meaning is: ‘figure ten throw’ Jusan no kata 13 count jo movement
K- Kaeshi/gaeshi returning/reversing Kaeshi waza counter or reversal techniques Kaiso founder (of Aikido…Morihei Ueshiba) Kaiten nage circulating or rotating throw Kakari geiko attackers line up and come in one at a time Kakudo angle Kamae ‘en garde’ position or ‘ready’ posture Kami divinity; gods/spirits of Shinto Kamiza honorary place in the dojo; usually in the ‘front’. Compare to shomen Kampai cheers; a toast Kan intuition Kangeiko winter training on the coldest days of the year Kanji Chinese ideograms for the Japanese language Kansetsu joint (in body) Kata form (movements) Kata shoulder (different kanji) Katadori grabbing the do-gi at the shoulder "Katadori grip at the shoulder, then nage ‘calls out’ the uke in shomen uchi menuchi" Katai solid/hard grip or hold by uke in practice Katame waza pinning techniques; controlling techniques Katana Japanese sword-also called ken, to, or tachi Katate one handed Katatedori uke holds the wrist with one hand in gyaku hanmi Katsu hayabi right now; this moment; often used in the phrase, “masakatsu agatsu katsuhayabi” Keiko training Keiko gi training uniform or outfit. Ken sword; also called katana, to or tachi Ki energy; life energy Kiai a piercing shout in martial arts Kihon basic(s) Kihonwaza basic training or basic techniques Kimeru focus Kimusubi unifying one’s ki with the attacker Kimusubi No Tachi sixth kumitachi; the bokken do not make contact during the form; also otonashi no ken (silent sword) Ki no nagare ‘ki’ flow movement practice Kogeki attacker Kokoro heart, mind, will; also shin Kokyu breath Kokyu ryoku spiral (breath) strength; breath power Kokyu-ho breath training Kokyu nage breath throw Kosa cross over (same as gyakute, ai hanmi katatedori) Kosa dori cross over hold; in ai hanmi Koshi hip, back Koshinage hip throw, nage and uke’s bodies form a cross at the hip level Kotegaeshi reversed wrist, throw Kototama sometimes ‘kotodama’. Sound mysticism/ cosmology. ‘Sound creates reality’ Ku nine (number); sometimes pronounced kyu Kubi neck Kubishime choking the neck Kuden oral teaching/tradition, also Okuden Kumi group or set Kumi jo jo vs jo exercise (10) Kumi tachi bokken vs bokken exercise (6) Kuzushi breaking the balance (unbalancing direction) Kyo for instance, Ikkyo; kyo means lesson or teaching or principle-ikkyo is first principle or teaching Kyu grade or level before black belt or dan
M- Ma distance or space between attacker and receiver Ma-ai harmonious space between training partners Mae front, forward vs. ushiro Mae ukemi front rolls or falls Masakatsu true victory Men top of head Michi the way, path or road; also do Migi right (hidari-left) Misogi purification, cleansing Mokuso meditation Moro both Morote dori grasping the forearm with two hands "Morote dori uke holds with two hands on forearm, nage develops kokyu ryoku kokyu ho" Muna from the traditional name munamotodori or grasping the lapel of the kimono Mune chest, same as above; used interchangeably Munedori gripping the lapel at the chest level; same as munadori Musubi binding together; for instance in ki musubi no tachi
N- Nagare flow; flowing Nage throw; the thrower…the person doing the technique-tori Nage waza throwing techniques Nanakyo seventh teaching Ni ju no suburi 20 jo suburi Nikyo second teaching Nin person Ni nin dori two attackers holding Ni nin gake two person attack
O- O big, great Obi japanese belt Omote (in front) front, vs ura (rear) Osae press or pin down OSensei in the Aikido world, it is Morihei Ueshiba; means great teacher Otagai ni rei bow to each other; direction to bow to each other Otoshi drop; such as aiki otoshi,sumi otoshi or ganseki otoshi Oyo waza application of the basics; often modified for efficiency R- Randori multiple attackers; means ‘grabbing hold of chaos’ or controlling chaos Rei bow Reigi etiquette Renshu training or practice. See-Keiko Riai the movement and principles are the same whether using bokuto, jo or body arts Ritsurei standing bow Rokkyo sixth teaching Ryo both Ryo-kata dori uke holds both shoulders of dogi Ryo-te dori uke holds both wrists with both hands
S- Sabaki management or control; as in tai sabaki or body control San ju ichi no jo- 31 count jo form Sankaku triangle Sankyo third teaching Seiza sitting Japanese style on the knees Sensei teacher-literally the one who has gone before Shiboru to wring or squeeze (a towel); the kokyu motion of the wrists Shidoin instructor as awarded by Aikikai hombu dojo. Minimum 4th or 5th dan plus has own dojo Shihan master instructor. Minimum 6th dan. Shiho four directions Shikko knee walking Shite the one leading, defender in Aikido…also called tori or nage Shomen front of the dojo; straight ahead Shomen uchi straight overhead strike Sode sleeve of do-gi Sode dori grasping the sleeve. See hiji dori Sode guchi sleeve opening "Sode guchi grasping the cuff of the sleeve dori" "Sokumen side iriminage irimi nage" Soto outside Suburi basic movement of bokken and jo; seven for bokken and 20 for the jo Sumi otoshi corner throw Suwari waza seated training
T- Tachi sword Tachi stand/standing Tachi dori empty handed sword taking Tai body Tai jutsu body techniques, empty handed techniques Tai no henko body turn; the Founder always started practice with tai no henko Tai sabaki evasive body movement; lit. body management Takemusu highest principle of Aikido, spontaneous techniques arise when attacked Aiki Tanren forging techniques Tanto/tanken Japanese knife "Tanto/tanken bare handed knife disarming dori" Te hand Tegatana hand sword; basic hand position Tekubi wrist Tenkan turning step Tenchi nage heaven and earth throw Tou sword-compare to ken, katana, tachi Tobu ukemi leaping break fall Tori person who ‘takes’ or ‘grabs’ the attack. Compare to Nage, Shiite "Tori fune rowing exercise. Lit. ‘bird boat’ the heavenly boat that traversed the skies from undo" earth to heaven and back again. Also funakogi undo Tsuka sword hilt Tsuki thrust
U- Uchi hit Uchi inside, also implies hidden or ‘house’ teachings Uchi deshi student living in the dojo Uchi tachi attacker with the sword (kumi tachi) Ude arm Uke one receiving the technique; the attacker Uke tachi person receiving sword attack (kumi tachi) Ukemi the one who takes falls and pins after the attack Ura back or to the rear. Vs. omote Ushiro behind. Vs. mae or in front "Ushiro eri tori" one hand holding the nape of the collar from behind "Ushiro katate one hand holding the wrist from behind then holding the neck or material at chest kubishime/ munadori" "Ushiro two hands holding both shoulders from behind ryokata dori" "Ushiro ryote two hands holding both wrists from behind dori" Ushiro ukemi backward fall
W- Waka sensei young master; designated next Doshu Waza technique
Y- Yamabiko calling out the ‘ki’ of an attack or inviting (sasoi); Saito Sensei called it-Yamabiko no Michi Yawarakai soft; flexible Yoko side "Yokomen strike to side of the head uchi" Yonkyo fourth teaching Yudansha black belt
Z- Za seated Zanshin continued concentration and connection after the technique Zengo turning one direction then another…front then back
APPENDIX A NUMBERS-(Romanji/Japanese kanji/English)
Ichi 一 one Ni 二 two San 三 three Shi/Yon 四 four Go 五 five Roku 六 six Shichi/Nana 七 seven Hachi 八 eight Ku/Kyu 九 nine Ju 十 ten Hyaku 百 (one) hundred Sen 千 (one) thousand Man 万 ten thousand
In order to count larger numbers, just add the numbers together. For instance, 21 is Ni (two) Ju(ten) Ichi(one) or Ni ju ichi=21
APPENDIX B AIKI JO GLOSSARY
MORIHIRO SAITO SHIHAN’S NI JU NO SUBURI (20 SUBURI)
TSUKI NOBU Choku Tsuki direct thrust Kaeshi Tsuki counter thrust Ushiro Tsuki rear thrust Tsuki Gedan Gaeshi thrust, retract to a low position and sweep/strike low Tsuki Jodan Gaeshi thrust, retract to high position over the head and strike down