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Spiritual Gravity

Where spirituality meets martial arts

Aikido Principles: The Walk

Kenji Tomiki developed a kata that encompasses the basic movements for Tomiki style aikido. This series of movements is known as “Tegatana no kata” or, as we call it, “The Walk”. Over the past several weeks in this blog, I... Continue Reading →

Aikido Principles: Basic Balance Break

Balance breaks - or kuzushi - are an extremely important aspect of aikido. An effective balance break at the beginning of a conflict can stop an attack before it really begins. When an opponent is off-balance, it is easier to... Continue Reading →

Habits and Our Subconscious

What is a habit? By my definition, it is something that you do automatically – without thinking about it. This could be something like biting your fingernails, cracking your knuckles, or even brushing your teeth in a particular pattern. I... Continue Reading →

Aikido Principles: Hand Randori Drill

Hand randori is something that I didn't start really developing until 3rd or 4th degree black belt. Before that, we just didn't have enough background techniques to really be able to feel or appreciate the nuance of it. While randori... Continue Reading →

Aikido Principles: The “Window Wash”

The "Window Wash" is a powerful move, especially when you are late in your timing. This circular motion has a lot of momentum in it, because you are using your center to move - rather than moving your arms by... Continue Reading →

Aikido Principles: Hip Switch

The hip switch is a very powerful tool in aikido. You will see it in many different techniques. It's a fast, efficient way to reverse direction without using a lot of power or energy. It's also important to do a... Continue Reading →

Advice for a Shodan

Congratulations! You have done something that very few people do. When you look at the whole of mankind, very few people even start a martial art - let alone earn a black belt. This is a wonderful accomplishment - and... Continue Reading →

Aikido Principles: Turning Effectively

Learning how to turn effectively - in the most efficient way possible - can really improve your aikido practice. For an effective turn, it is very important to have your hand in your center, with unbendable arm.  If your hand... Continue Reading →

Aikido Principles: Turns in Tomiki Style Aikido

Sometimes in aikido, you can get caught and there is no other place to go except under your attacker's arm. Practicing turns will help you learn how to do this with the maximum possible efficiency. This video shows how we... Continue Reading →

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