Martial Arts Journey
What is Value for your training dollar?
Fast, Slow or Half Fast
Aikido and the Street, Part 1
Difference In Training
My Quest for TenShin Aikido
What is Tenshin Aikido?
Why Don't Aikido Schools
in Training by Brandon Needham
I have been
training in martial arts for over 21 years. During this time I have been able
to train with many different arts, and I have also been subjected to many
different teaching styles. Each teacher had his/her own way of teaching,
theories behind the teaching and ways of applying what has been taught.
doubt my current training situation is by far the best, most rigorous and most
defense applicable instruction that I have received. Each person is drawn to
martial arts for one reason or another, whether it is for fitness, fun,
socializing or self defense. I fall into the latter category, as I want to
learn to defend myself in a realistic setting and not a fantasy land atmosphere.
first stepped into the dojo I had a preconceived idea as to what I was going to
be doing. What I got was not what I was expecting. I was introduced to a
methodology and way of doing things I have never previously experienced.
Techniques were presented in basic formats for a beginner level, but as I
progressed, it was broken down and explained on a street defense level so that
techniques could be applied effectively.
When I was
training in Tae Kwon Do, it became apparent that there was only one motive
behind my instructor. That motive was money. He would rapidly promote students
(myself included) so that he could continue to collect testing fees. I was
promoted to a 1st Degree black belt within a year, and I was only 14
years old at the time. I quickly learned that my belt and training meant
nothing. This was realized when I got into a fight and I tried defending my
self and ended up getting the short end of the stick that day.
an interest of mine because I wanted to learn ground grappling. This was a
mistake that I made because the school I was in taught a sport competition
oriented version of judo, and when I stated I wanted more self defense out of
it, I was shunned and I soon quit training.
I got back into martial arts and began training again with Frank and Heather Ani
and Jim Eggleston Sensei’s at Tenchin Budo Kai dojo. It was immediately
apparent to me that I made the right choice in my training with them and the
Aikido they teach. Like I stated previously, it is a street self defense
oriented methodology and the training is far beyond anything else I have
other schools, or the ball room dancers, we train with one thing in mind, to
survive a fight. In today’s world, the chances that someone will get into a
confrontation are very great. This increases each and every year. If a
technique does not work, it is noted and we are told to discard that technique
and try something that does.
training and testing purposes we are still required to learn and be able to
perform all techniques asked, but when it comes to application, body mechanics
and size differences in people, the term “Whatever works” comes into play and
that is what we do.
schools of Aikido I have trained in, I have seen sloppy instruction, bad
technique and even the application of the technique where there is absolutely no
pain compliance involved. No one wants to go out and hurt other people, however
if something is not done right in the dojo, or not done with commitment, then it
will fail in the street and that is where it counts the most.
written many things praising my sensei’s, and our dojo. Self glorification is
not my basis for this. Brutal honesty is what drives me and keeps me coming
back for more at our dojo. The truth in training, the reality of the techniques
and the way things are done as a whole. These are my reasons for continuing to
train and be in attendance.
come to observe our classes. Many have also begun training with us. Only a few
have stayed and remain dedicated. This could be due to our training program.
We are truly not like other schools, because we do not baby or cut anyone any
slack when we train.
line is would you want to put your life on the line with your current training
environment? I have no problem saying I can defend myself, and it is because of
the hard work and dedication of my sensei’s, of whom I owe my loyalty, love and
devotion. Thank you Sensei’s Frank Ani, Heather Ani and Jim Eggleston. Your
dedication and guidance has inspired and continues to inspire me in ways I never