Seminar with Jan Nevelius (6th dan, Vanadis dojo, Stockholm) 16.-18.11.2018

It was time for the biggest event of the year again, the seminar with Jan Nevelius shihan (6th dan Aikikai). As is tradition, we moved the dojo mats down to the second floor with the help of a big group of volunteers. This year we had new additional mats, a frame to hold the mats in place, built by Wolfgang, and a placement plan ready, so with great teamwork, the new dojo was ready within an hour, bigger and better than ever. Visitors from all around Norway came this weekend and already on Friday, we were over 20 people on the tatami.

Jan spent this practice discussing the difference of omote and ura. Not in the normal way, by using it to define which technique to do, but as a feeling of being in front of or behind the uke and adapting techniques to get in the right position in the front or in the back. Tenkan was used as an example, showing when to move the uke and when to move yourself to get into the desired position, and he focused on how to imagine using a sword to get correct arm movements.

Continuing the idea of being in the front or in the back, we practiced to transfer our mind to according positions. First we started with an exercise out of an ushiro ryote dori attack. While the uke was maintaining good contact the tori was supposed to reach for the feet of the uke behind him. Alternating the direction of that rotational movement forced the uke to nearly fall from one side to the other and back like British people fall for Brexit or non-Brexit.
Later, after taking the balance of the partner we were able to finish for example with ikkyo. At this point, we again had to project our mind to the front or the backside. Jan also showed us a further idea to get the ikkyo smoother and more correct. The uke should have a feeling like tilting over a railing instead of being pulled or pushed. In order to achieve that, the tori must not work with the arm alone but needed to imagine the whole body and find the pivot the uke rotates about.

Sunday afternoon, the seminar had unfortunately come to an end already. Nevertheless, before wishing fare well, many volunteers helped to tidy up the dojo and to move the mats back up to the third floor. Again, the great teamwork resulted in establishing the usual order in record time.

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Seminar with Jorma Lyly (6th dan, Vanadis dojo, Stockholm) 11.-13.05.2018

This weekend we had the pleasure of receiving Jorma Lyly for his annual seminar in Trondheim. About twenty aikidokas coming from the local clubs, from Norway and from other countries were gathered on the mat.

On Friday, the practice started with some exercises and by revisiting some elementary techniques, such as gyakuhanmi ikkyo omote and ura. The emphasis was put on practicing in a relaxed way, on exercising by working with “the second arm” as a way to adjust the distance with the partner and creating space within oneself by relaxing the shoulders.

On Saturday, the principles introduced on Friday were applied on several techniques such as different versions of morote dori ikkyo nage. Special emphasis was then given on the distance with the partner and the axis on which to turn for irimi tenkan on the omote side with a dedicated exercise. These principles were then applied further to shomen uchi ikkyo nage omote and shihonage.

After the practice on Saturday evening the participants had a pleasant gathering at Marius’ home where tasty home-brewed beer made by Tor Magnus was shared in a joyful atmosphere in a background of good old french music.

Sunday was devoted to practicing on ushiro ryote dori and on (mae) ryote dori. The practice started with exploring the effect of opening the shoulder under an ushiro ryote dori grasp, the transfer of weight, and on bending forward for creating distance for being able to bring down a tight up grasp in a soft way. We then continued with some techniques such as kokyu nage, ikkyo nage, and ryote dori tenshi nage.

It was a pleasant seminar, in which Jorma Lyly took the time to share his experience with each one of us. A seminar full of simple but yet challenging principles to meditate on until we have the honor of welcoming Jorma Lyly again next year.

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Seminar with Cornelius Jaeger 4. dan 20.-22.04.2018

This weekend we had the pleasure of welcoming Cornelius Jaeger to Trondheim to hold an aikido and body-movement seminar. He has been training Martial Arts since his early childhood. Moving from Judo, to Karate, Jiu Jitsu and the last 20 something years in Aikido. He is interested in all Martial Arts and movement practices, and is a regular Contact Improv Dancer and sometimes teacher.

The Friday practice started with rolling, focusing on the hard parts and the soft parts of the body and testing out different ways of rolling to avoid the hard parts that usually touch the ground. We were shown the anatomy of the back, seeing how the shape of the back gives us the opportunity to move sideways with our upper body to shift our weight.

The first practice on Saturday was in regular sports clothes. We started with just laying on our backs and learned how to bend our neck, upper body and leg to make ourselves compact and using this movement to get up into a sitting position without using strength and making the movement smooth. This would be an important movement throughout the weekend. We were then shown the anatomy of the leg, and how the tatami changes the way we stand. We practiced walking, putting down the foot in a way that is better for our body and makes it easier to turn on our foot.

After a long lunchbreak we practice in our keiko gis again. We expanded the movement we learned before lunch to roll onto our backs and back. A new way of rolling was then explored by using a spinning movement to sit down before turning the energy of the movement into a roll. Cornelius showed the anatomy of the human shoulders, and how much small changes in how we raise our arms changes the bone positions in our shoulders. Receiving shomen uchi and kotegaeshi was practiced and the day was finished off with ikkyo, all rules removed, everyone attacking everyone.

Marius had an open house that evening, serving cake and home-brewed beer from Tor Magnus, and people brought their own dinner. A small group came for a very cozy and relaxed evening with fun conversations.

On Sunday we kept working on energy-conserving movement, trying to stand up from a lying position while someone was pressing down on your body to keep from using strength to get up. This exercise once again showed the importance of spiral movements. Expanding on this we practiced morotedori techniques while focusing on shifting our weight from leg to leg. Then Cornelius showed how to shift between open and closed positions in all techniques. The practice was finished off with a calm relaxation exercise, ending the seminar with the same happy, relaxed spirit as shown throughout the whole weekend.

We thank Cornelius for coming to give us a new view on aikido and hope to see him again!

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Seminar with Jordi Marcos (4th dan Aikikai, Shidoin, Hombu Dojo) 16.-18.03.2018

This weekend, Jordi Marcos from Barcelona had his second seminar in Trondheim.

On Friday, Jordi went through the koshi nage technique from several different attacks. He focused on distance and timing the following day, Saturday. This was done with and without the help of a jo. Using the energy and movement from the attacker (uke) was the main theme that day. After practice, a grading was held. We would like to congratulate Viktória Havas and Agnes Guizy on getting 1st dan. After the grading, a nice dinner at Benja Siam Thai followed.
On Sunday, Jordi went through some techniques and attacks from the grading, for example attacks from behind like ushiro ryotedori. The weekend ended with some bokken practice.

One of the main topics throughout the weekend was how to follow the attacker’s intended movement and make it work against him / her. Many examples, explanations and comments made the seminar fun and educational. It was a great seminar, and we hope we will be able to practice with Jordi in the future!

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Bjørn Eirik Olsen 7. dan 20.-22.10.2017

This weekend we had a great seminar with Bjørn Eirik Olsen Shihan, 7th dan, Chief instructor of the Norwegian Aikido Federation.

On Friday and Saturday, Bjørn Eirik went through basic techniques in three different manners. He would start with the basic version, kotai, then move on to a flowing version with circular movements, jutai, and the last version was a direct approach with triangular movement, kitai. After practice on Saturday, a grading was held. Frank Aakvik from TAK impressed and got 2nd kyu. The grading was followed by a nice dinner at Ristorantino.

On Sunday, we had jo practice, going through the first seven techniques of the 20 jo suburi in detail and ending the weekend with some jo nage. One of the main topics throughout the weekend was how to avoid giving your balance to the uke, keeping your center strong while keeping any body part in contact with uke soft.

With a relatively small attendance at the seminar, Bjørn Eirik had the opportunity to give lots of feedback during practice, making this a weekend with a ton of learning. We look forward to practicing with him again in the future!

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Roberto Martucci 6. dan 22. – 24.09.2017

On 22-24 September 2017, we had the pleasure of hosting our third seminar with Roberto Martucci 6th dan, from Kashin Dojo in Rome. Roberto has been practicing aikido since 1975; his style characterized by circular and fluid movements, taught in a friendly and patient manner. This seminar had an international group of participants, coming from both nearby and far away. Throughout the weekend, we had four excellent classes, working to improve the use of our center and focusing on the difference between internal and external movement. Roberto introduced his ideas through bokken practice on Friday and evolved the techniques through weaponless practice on Saturday and Sunday. After practice on Saturday, eight of us gathered to eat dinner and socialize at the local Ramp Pub & Spiseri, enjoying a nice evening together. Thanks for a great weekend! We hope to see Roberto again in Trondheim in two years’ time!

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