We held our second annual new year training which is normally called Kagami Biraki. However since we didn’t actually plan to do any of the traditional ceremonies associated with Kagami Biraki, we decided to call it Shinnenkai, or New Year Training.
Typically New Year training at Aikido dojos is characterized by really hard training with seemingly endless hajime keiko. However this year as I wanted the kids members and the Adult Class members to train together, I decided on something a little different. I think one of the most important aspects of a student’s development in Aikido is to teach what he / she knows to his / her juniors. So we paired each kid off with an adult student and worked on a various number of exercises and techniques. It was great to see the care that each adult class member showed for the child they were paired with as they patiently helped teach the steps of the technique.
After we finished training, we all sat down together to each some of the now famous Aikido Mugenjuku Tokyo original mochi made by our very own Mochi Master, Shota Sugawara.
Finally, we finished the day with a much needed deep cleaning of the entire dojo.
This year will be the first year that Aikido Mugenjuku Tokyo makes an appearance in the Junior World Championship. As a teacher I get nervous as I want to be able to prepare my students well enough so that they are competetive. So I feel a lot of pressure in that regard. However, when we create a purpose for training we can almost immediately notice a change in the students’ attitude as they begin to focus on their training. It’s really great to see a student improve or over come a personal challenge. The student in the following video was really scared of jumping breakfalls but by creating the correct envrionment for her, she’s been able to overcome her fear and she’s getting pretty good!
With my own son being a student at the dojo, I’ve had this belief confirmed time and again as I’ve seen him fall while playing and walk away totally unhurt where normally that type of fall would have resulted in some kind in injury.
In our children’s class, all of our students, some just 5 years old, are now quite adept at hiyaku ukemi (jump forward breakfalls). Watch for these little kids to be showing off their hiyaku ukemi in an enbu some time soon!