Shindai Aikido, Florida 2002

I had the opportunity recently to attend some classes at Dennis hookers

dojo in Orlando, Florida whilst attending the inaugral IEEE Sensors Conference in 2002. Sensei hooker is a 6th? dan aikido instructor who

is affiliated with the ASU (aikido schools of usehiba) and the aikikai. I

got onto his dojo after being recommended it by some of the folks on the

ki-info list and wasn't disappointed. His dojo also has an excellent web

site at which helped me no end in finding the dojo -

though i must confess to getting lost in an african-american neighborhood

that seemed to boast 6 churches to the 1/4m mile (and that was just on one

side of the road).

But enough ranting ..what was the class like?

Alas owing to my geographical embarrassment I arrived in time to watch the

end of what looked like a great weapons class. The style of weapons follows

that of Satome sensei and seems to be more circular in nature - more so

than Ki sociey and certainly more than Iwama. Unfortunately Hooker sensei

had to leave before the next class. The class began with tenkan blending

movements - with quiet a different emphasis to the yuishinkai/ki sociey way

of practice I'm used to. The dynamic sphere was emphasized and very strong

extension by nage was encouraged. Uke's movements too required an attack

and push mindset that took some getting used to. The power.. I was really

struck by the power of aikido when practiced in this way being quite

different to the blend like water style of practice I am used to. I must

say however that it was really interesting to practice aikido in this way

and i enjoyed it a lot. It reminded me of something i read on the net about

the power of 10 e.g. if uke has a power of 9 then you need only use power

of 1 but if uke has only the power of 3 then you should use a power of 3.

The class then went on to practice katate dori and kosa dori techniques

based on this initial blending movement and class finished by suriwaza

(zagi) techniques and kokyu dosa.

I was sorry not to be able to do more classes and enjoyed the dojo's

hospitality a lot.