On Saturday May 15, Aikido of Orlando held a friendship seminar at the MMAT Academy in Winter Springs, Florida. The event was hosted by Aikido of Orlando’s Ian Phillips Sensei, and consisted of four classes and a fabulous meet and greet luncheon.
Participating in the seminar were various Aikido schools in Central Florida. The instructors shared their Aikido, and the participants discovered new variations to take home and practice.
The first class was taught by Sand Drift Aikido’s Alan Newton. Newton Sensei taught a great warm-up class that focused on proper extension and balance, from an ushiro opening. He demonstrated fundamental technique, which I’m sure was helpful for the many beginning students visiting that day.
The second class was taught by Aikido of Sarasota’s Barry Tuchfeld Sensei. Tuchfeld Sensei spoke engagingly about Aikido as “a martial art.” He demonstrated and explained in great detail about the complexities of shomenuchi ikkyo. It was a class where you felt a lot of room to practice slowly to work on your own form.
After a two hour lunch break, the seminar resumed. Tom Huffman Sensei from Aikido of Gainesville led the third class. Huffman Sensei spoke about his training in the United States and overseas throughout the class. He also allowed the students to suggest techniques they wished to work on. I enjoyed his lessons on shomenuchi ikkyo ura and sankyo.
The seminar was closed by Grady Lane Shidoin of Brevard Aikikai. Lane Sensei demonstrated techniques from ushiro and morote-tori. He emphasized the importance of fluidity, as well as good extension and balance. I saw in his class expansive movement and centered technique. It was a joy to work on these aspects of my own Aikido.
The seminar was filled with variety and friendship. It was a nurturing experience for all Aikidoka present, and I am thankful to Ian Phillips, Aikido of Orlando, and all the instructors present for helping make it happen.