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By , May 3, 2011 11:16 pm

Our mat fund is now up to $107. Thank you for your continued support. The Chandler dojo is in dire need of new mats since the velcro on some of them has become so worn that they no longer hold together. We now use extra velco pieces to connect the mats as they are laid down and this is working surprisingly well. This temporary solution has bought us some time so that we can raise the necessary funds to purchase new mats.

We will continue to sell water bottles at the Chandler dojo for $1 each. Thank you to everyone who helps our cause by buying water. If you would like to donate water for this effort please let Teresa Sensei know.

To help our Mat Fund grow as well as have a lot of fun, we will be having a ROLL-A-THON the last week of May. Ukemi (tumbling) is a big part of Aikido training and a fun part of class. Since we practice tumbling skills every class anyway let’s see how many rolls we collectively do by having a ROLL-A-THON.

For those who are interested this will also provide a fun and exciting opportunity for us to raise money for the Mat Fund. Sign up sheets will be available for students who would like to get pledges for the rolls they complete.

The Roll-a-thons will be conducted during all the kids’ classes the last week of May. This event will be similar to what some of us remember as the Walk-a-thon where participants collected pledges for the number of miles they walked. The Roll-a-thon participant, if they so choose, may collect pledges for each roll they can do during one class period. For example, if a pledge of $.10 a roll was made and 100 rolls were completed that pledge would amount to $10.00. Rolls can be of any kind (forward, backward, kneeling, standing, diving, crossover, breakfall), you may take as many breaks as you need and the rolls do not have to be “perfect”; trying your best is all that matters. In preparation for this event we will be conducting some “mini” roll-a-thons to help students determine a realistic goal they can set for themselves as well as give the people who are pledging them an idea of how many rolls they can expect. If a person does not wish to make a pledge but still wants to help out they may make a donation instead.

Collecting pledges and/or donations for this event will be voluntary. Anyone who is interested in doing so will receive a form for recording pledges and donations.

Sensei will need some help on the days of rolling. Anyone interested (parents, older students, adult students, older siblings or friends, etc.) is asked to let Sensei know. Students will work in pairs to help each other count and provide breaks for each other, but Sensei can use some help in managing the pairs as well as giving encouragement and support to the rollers. The Roll-a-thons will take place on the following days and times:

Chandler – Wed., May 25 5:00-5:45 and 6:00-7:00

South Chandler – Thurs., May 26 3:45-4:30, 4:45-5:30 and 5:35-6:20

Mesa – Fri., May 27 5:00-5:45 and 6:00-7:00

Thank you in advance for showing your support and encouragement towards the younger Aikidoka of our dojo. This will be a fun and exciting way for them to practice setting and attaining a goal as well as feel they have contributed in a major way to supporting the dojo.

South Chandler – ROLL-A-THON

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By , May 3, 2011 10:38 pm

ROLL-A-THON will take place during each of the kids’ classes on Thursday, May 26. Please read article for full details.

South Chandler – No Class on May 30th

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By , May 3, 2011 10:38 pm

There will be NO CLASS on Mon., May 30. The Snedigar Recreational Center will be closed due to Memorial Day.


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By , May 3, 2011 10:37 pm

ROLL-A-THON will take place during each of the kids’ classes on Friday, May 27. Please read article for full details.

Mesa – No Class May 30th

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By , May 3, 2011 10:36 pm

There will be NO CLASSES on Mon., May 30. The center will be closed in observance of Memorial Day.

Chandler – Classes Held in Room 111 on May 25

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By , May 3, 2011 10:35 pm

All classes on Wed., May 25 will be held in room 111 due to a Community Center event in room 109.

ROLL-A-THON will take place during each of the kids’ classes on Wednesday, May 25. Please read article for full details.

Kids’ Corner – Ukemi

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By , May 3, 2011 10:32 pm

Ukemi means the art of falling and we practice tumbling as a part of our warm ups every class. Ukemi is important because it really is a skill that can protect you. You can be pushed, pulled, dragged, trip over something, fall off of something or just plain trip over your own two feet and if you can protect yourself by rolling when you fall you’ll be better off than if you did nothing at all.

Ukemi is as important to your Aikido training as are the techniques you learn. When you are the uke you are the one initiating the attack and putting forth the energy. When the nage (person doing the technique) executes the technique the energy you’ve put into the attack will be the energy that makes you fall. It would be best for you to know how to fall safely and with as little impact as possible especially because you’ll be practicing the technique over and over. Being the uke helps you understand the technique better because you feel first-hand how the technique effects the attacker. If you pay attention you will notice when the attacker loses his balance and begins to fall. This information is important to know when you are trying to execute the technique. There is no better way to understand a technique than to be at the receiving end of it. It gives you an insight to how a technique works and the effect it’s going to have on your partner.

I hope that you notice as you train that the better your ukemi is the better your techniques are. I believe it is the understanding of this connection between ukemi and technique that makes you a better aikidoka. To really understand a technique you have to know how it feels and that is what you are experiencing when you are the uke.

We’ve talked about the roles of nage and uke these past few months, but this month I want us to focus on the connection between the two. When you are the nage pay attention to your uke, notice what happens when you execute the technique, and watch your uke’s response to how you move. When you are the uke pay attention to how the technique feels, how you respond to the technique and what it does to your body.

Another thing that good ukemi allows is a more realistic attack. The more confident you are with your falling the more energetic your attack and the more dynamic the technique. This gives you a much more intense and focused practice. I believe the more intense and realistic your training the better because of your level of focus and intent. Practice good ukemi whenever you are uke and you’ll see progress in your own techniques.

Teresa Mastison Sensei

Focused Training

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By , May 3, 2011 10:30 pm

A useful way of practicing or studying Aikido is to focus on just one particular technique or just one type of attack. It’s been a reoccuring theme in the adult classes that I’ve taught recently.

When you focus on a single technique there are several advantages no matter your level. If you are fairly new to Aikido practicing the same technique no matter what attack is used gives you the repetition needed in order to have a better understanding of that particular technique. If you are a seasoned student focusing on a single technique from various attacks forces you to figure out how to get the technique from different angles. It also keeps you focused on the principles of the technique, how the technique works no matter what position you and uke are in or where the balance is lost during the technique. All of these aspects, of course, help to solidify the technique in your mind.

When you focus on just one kind of attack you get the advantage of practicing “thinking on your feet” because you are forced to come up with many different ways to deal with the same kind of attack. This is particularly helpful when you are preparing for a higher rank test where you need multiple techniques against the same attack. My “go to” techniques are ikkyo, nikyo, sankyo, kotegaeshi, and kokyonage; the kihon (basic) techniques of Aikido. These are what I fall back on when nothing else comes to mind. It’s nice to know that these techniques will always be there for me.

Whether you focus on a single technique or work different techniques with a single attack you can benefit greatly no matter your skill level. Keeping focused and attentive to details no matter which angle you take will reap great rewards as you watch yourself make progress as a technician as well as in your confidence.

Train hard and have fun!

Teresa Mastison Sensei

Newsletter – May, 2011

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By , May 3, 2011 10:28 pm

Newsletter – May, 2011

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