A Mantis in Aikido-ville

16 03 2009

In my taking a break this weekend past from doing anything major I went to visit an old classmate’s Dojo, Suigetsukan. They teach several traditional Martial arts there including Aikido. I spoke of the Dojo before when I wen tot visit a Wing Chun class. This time it was Aikido. As it turns out my classmate was not there he was taking a day off so I missed seeing him. However his assistant was in charge, she did a good job of managing things.


I sat and just watched. I was expecting to see everyone in Hakamas, but they had just regular Gi’s on. There was a fairly good size white belt showing, two browns and three Black Belts. One pair of students, a brown and Black belt, spent almost the whole time throwing each other. I got tired just watching.


Another set of Black belts just worked on locks.


The white belts of course worked on basics. I notice one pair did what seemed like a sensitivity and step drill. Some what like a single hand push hand drill…somewhat with footwork.

The main thing I took in was the locks very Mantis like, without the throws.


The throws in many cases looked like they were done by the attacker more than the attackee. In other words there seemed to be a lot of cooperation involved in being tossed around. Some of the locks being the same as Mantis end in a take down but not a throw. That could be just how it is applied. However some the attacker had no choice but to be tossed or have something broke. Maybe that is the key…flip or have a broken whatever.

One could say there are times in life like that as well. Flip, go with it, or have something broken.

Aikido…lessons in the Tao.

In the storm…

Be the Bamboo and bend


the Oak and break.




6 responses

17 03 2009
Rick Matz

Every throw is a breaking opportunity. Kushida Sensei once said that training partners are hard to come by, so you should try not to hurt them!

20 03 2009

Cool. I told you I started my son in Aikido. And I’m considering it. I like the philosophy of it. I do wonder though if it is truly useful for self-defense as it does seem so much of it is dependent on your partner going along with you in class, when in real life, an opponent won’t do that.

20 03 2009

Useful with modifications. Sigals style had a lot of strikes as well as locks and throws. It will work as self-defense but not right out the box. The style I watched did have some good self defense applications , those were the ones that reminded me of Mantis style. So in short, depends on who you study with.

20 03 2009

I’m going to look into Mantis.

21 03 2009

I have a classmate in Lomita, There should be a Seven Star school nearer to you though.

3 03 2010
The Accidental Aikidoist

It was very interesting to hear you use the term Mantis – and I like it. I haven’t heard anybody use it to describe the locks as such.

And that is one of Aikido’s main critiques – that the attacker (or rather the uke) is compliant in their falls. In my opinion, if one were to look at it martially then yes, if the uke does not go with the motion then they will have something broken. Aikido is after all a martial art.

That’s just my interpretation, I’ve heard of much different – and more complex interpretations including the ones that I’m currently being taught. I doubt that the interpretation that I just mentioned is the one that’s commonly used.

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