Would be Frequently Asked Questions
Since nobody has asked any questions yet, these are the ones I could think of to ask me :-)
So, what happened to the classes? Are we practicing or what?
The Boston Sports Clubs lease has ended and I am in search of a new practice space. Let me know if you see one. Meanwhile, I am always available for a session in the India Point Park. Just shoot me an email.
What is it with AikiDo and O Sensei pictures everywhere?
I consider myself as much as an AikiKa as an IaidoKa (student and practioner, follower of) Morihei Ueshiba, a.k.a. O Sensei, is the founder of AikiDo and I consider his teachings and his work "The Art of Peace" literally my guide in life. I wanted to show my gratitute and respect to him by putting his pictures, not the common ones but rather ones I feel close to myself, on my web site. I am hoping that he would have approved of this. I try to implement and take to heart a lot of what he has said and done.
Do I need to have prior martial arts experience?
Nope, none at all. If you have then that is great, if you don't then that is great also.
Do I need special clothing, like uniforms, hakama etc?
Not at the beginning. Though I highly recommend wearing yoga socks, (I wear them to keep my feet clean) the ones that have rubber pattern underneath to prevent slipping. I believe the feedback of being outside of shoes is healthier and better. Barefoot is OK as well. But you are more than welcome to keep wearing sneakers. But if you want to progress further a uniform will make things more, "proper" for lack of a better term. Drawing and sheathing will be correct, also it feels different when you wear the proper attire; this is afterall a martial art.
Do I need to purchase anything?
Not for the beginning. Depending on how well you develop and what you want to do, spending money can be delayed a bit.
It says "no sparring" what does that mean?
We will keep things safe and fun; so nobody will be hitting each other, no throws, no punches or kicks on fellow students. That is the definition of sparring - one on one practicing of the moves, techniques on fellow dojo brothers & sisters. Instead, we will use a proper punching bag to kick and punch (much more fun, no?) Certain techniques will be demonstrated as "where did this come from, why should I learn it, what good is this?" but we will practice them without partners. The main benefit of this program is to exercise, build strength and stamina and learn about martial arts and certain forms.
Will I get to use a real sword?
At the beginning, no. But if you keep coming to the classes and progress, yes, you will get to practice and use a real Katana eventually - though we will start with an Iaito to keep things safe. In short: in due time, grasshopper.
Are we going to do any Kumdo (Kendo) exercises?
Why yes, that is great that you asked. There is this exercise called "Quick Steps" and it is a killer, killer exercise. Builds stamina, strength in the hands, forearms, back. Eventually we will do at least 100; but we will start with 10, as always.
What's going on with the motorcycle pictures?
I have a motorcycle and a motorcycle club Brooklyn Easy Riders (AMA chartered RC) in NYC and I recently opened a New England chapter of it. I ride all year long and I turned in my last bike, a Triumph Tiger Explorer 2013 model in 2015 at 41K miles and gotten another Triumph Tiger Explorer XC 2014 model this past September. I ride a lot. I have ridden from Labrador City to Snowshoe mountains on my bike. And I have ridden almost all around this country (the stickers on the cases are places that I have ridden to and ridden in) and I find that riding a motorcycle and martial arts have a lot in common. As all motorcycle riders will agree, there is something about riding a motorcycle that comforts you, soothes you, brings you closer to nature.
That is why I wanted to put the motorcycle pictures on the site. To bring it into conversation, to strike a common tone and to dive into - with interested parties - the realm of Motorcycle and the Zen of Riding :-) I'm serious, it is a kind of meditation; I rode 750 miles in one sitting I know it is!
Please don't hesitate to ask questions via email, if they are informative I will post them up here with the answer so that others may benefit from it.