Saturday, December 13, 2008

A Visit to Robert Mustard Sensei's Aikido Dojo

Chris and I visited Robert Mustard Sensei's Aikido dojo in Burnaby earlier today. We were welcomed warmly and very much enjoyed the training in the short time we were there.

One of things I like most about experiencing other martial arts styles is seeing how certain principles are consistent across all styles. Robert Mustard Sensei's strong focus on "kamae," the stance that is foundational to their style, reminds me of the emphasis we place on stance when applying our own techniques.

In kamae and in some of our own style's stances, there is a groundedness that starts at the legs but influences your entire body's movements. That groundedness makes certain takedowns, throws and joint locks much more efficient so as to make their application seem effortless. It can take many years of training to develop this sense, but when you are able to achieve that groundedness without thinking, you can apply it in a wide variety of situations, and not just ones you are specifically trained to handle.

Robert Mustard Sensei generously offered to visit one of my dojo's classes to teach one night some time in the new year. I believe my students will greatly benefit from the opportunity. I am very much looking forward to it.


Ikigai said...

Studying Kamae may seem like a stale trapping of old styles, but it truly pays off once enough time has been put in.

I've enjoyed comparing and contrasting the different kamae utilized in karate and in kenjutsu.

Anonymous said...

Ive always been a firm beleiver in cross training not to figure out anything new (although this is a plus side to cross training), but to see similarities in styles.

I have never found a style that uses diffeent principles to others such as correct body positioning, leverage, breaking balance etc.