Aikido Dumb Move of the Month

From: Steve Zimmerman

Last week Monday night, I went our dojo's yudansha class (held 8:00-9:00pm, after the general class) as usual. The attendence was low due to an intensive seminar at the dojo that previous weekend. There were only myself & two other yudansha in the class.

At the end of the class, Sensei started to remove his hakama. The two other yudansha were junior to me but didn't seem to show an inclination to fold Sensei's hakama, so I took the hakama & folded it. Then I folded mine.

I put Sensei's hakama in the place he keeps it, put mine in my bag & left the dojo very tired since I arise at 4:45am during the week.

I didn't get to another class until last Saturday morning. In the changing room, I took my hakama from my bag only to discover it wasn't mine, it was Sensei's!

Now, since Monday night, Sensei taught three classes. Fortunately, no hakamas are worn during the Tuesday/Thursday morning weapons class. However, Friday night (the night before) Sensei went to his usual "hakama place" & found a his hakama missing & a strange one in its place. Thanks to me, he taught class without a hakama.

I immediately returned his hakama with ten thousand apologies & a red face that could be seen throughout the dojo!

Has anyone else done something really dumb in an Aikido setting???

From: Patricia Anne Matthews


I was uke for sensei starting from a rear choke and holding one wrist (sorry, my japanese has failed me, ushiro something or another, but it's 16th form for those who use numbers!). He drops to one side and scoops up my legs at which point instead of letting go and taking a nice and tidy backwards breakfall, I instinctively wrap both arms around his neck and end up held in his arms... all very amusing for everyone watching, expecially as they see the realisation dawn on me that I'm still going to get thrown but now the ground is a lot further away........

From: Michael Hughes

The dumbest thing I've ever done in class was say "Sensei, I just don't see how that would be effective."

I don't ask questions like that anymore.

From: Marc St_Onge

Stepped on and broke one of Sensei's toes once. Showed up several times for class with no gi in sport bag. Did jiyuwaza (freestyle practice) with senior student who had just gotten back to class after having had surgery done on his nose...first technique I did on him went STRAIGHT FOR THAT VERY SAME NOSE! Man, did he do nice ukemi...

From: James Acker

Don't know the name of the technique but, a few months ago we all lined up to do a rushing attack (one by one) on one guy. He was large. I really got into the attack, even kiai ing as I rushed him. He turned sideways (as planned) and helped me on my way.

In the air I was so pleased with flying.....I forgot to roll or do anything. I guess I just thought my body would take care of me. Thinking to myself "well THAT was a commited attack I gave" <WHOMP>.....cracked some ribs.

From: Mark "Sparks" Dennehy

Well, on my second class in Aikido I asked Sensei how Aikido handled kicks ... So he said "What kind of kicks ?"
And I said "Well ... side kicks for example" And he said "Hmmm... well, show me what you mean..."

Since then, I've learned what that expression means. :)

From: Charles Huff

Our dojo has a pretty low ceiling. A couple of weeks ago I was demonstrating kumitachi and managed to take out, not one, but _two_ fluorescent light bulbs in one stroke. I raised my bokken, heard a loud boom, and suddenly was surrounded by a shower of falling glass.

As if that weren't enough, only a few minutes before that I had been remarking to a visitor that we somehow always managed to avoid the light fixtures. Famous last words...

Still living that one down...

From: "R. T. Tzanaki"

Ah, now what I want to know is, do ALL sensei have that kind of expression? Ours has developed the quizzical/worrying/downright evil grin into an art form in itself, which can have a variety of meanings: "You're uke and you have no idea what's coming next, do you?"

"Well that vaguely resembles what we were attempting to do..."

"Hmmmm, what shall I do next-yonkyo is a distinct possibility."

"So, you think you can do it properly now, do you?"- just before applying killer grip/launching terrifying attack

And,of course, the variety Sparks mentioned above! Is this a requirement for instructors? Do you get taught it on courses? Or does it just develop naturally, along with the "Peace, Harmony and Pain" thing?

Rose - I just let Tricia ask the stu-er- ill advised questions!

From: "Chiappetta, Mark"

This "dumb move" was committed by a person who came to visit the dojo to decide if they wanted to further investigate the possibility of studying Aikido:

While sensei was talking to a family (prospective new students) after class, another observer walked onto the mat, SHOES AND ALL, and interrupted their conversation. One of the senior students quickly walked over to this person and began to explain ettiquite to him. When it was his turn to talk to sensei, he got back on the mat (no shoes this time but without being invited) and began to question the effectiveness of Aikido against kicking attacks. He asked sensei: "Well, how would you defend against a roundhouse kick?" AS HE THROUGH ONE AT SENSEI'S HEAD. Well, sensei entered with an open handed atemi (no contact was made), the half-hearted roundhouse missed its target, and the person just about fell on his face. Sensei then said, "that is confontational, please get off of the mat." Embarassed, the person got off of the mat and left the dojo.

Could any of you imagine walking into an unknown dojo, getting on their mat, and throwing a kick at the sensei? This tops my list of DUMB MOVES. The outcome could have been much different. If this happened at either of the two karate schools that I've trained at, the person would've left on a stretcher!

From: Cady Goldfield

Along a similar line -- but in taekwondo training, not Aikido --years ago I was doing light sparring with another student, when she suddenly executed a wheel kick, which when done properly is a powerful and graceful spinning technique.

Her kick was so technically excellent, that instead of sidestepping, ducking or countering, I stood there gaping in awe at it's graceful arc, until... "BAM!"

Next thing I new, I was looking up at the ceiling from the mats, and my teacher was standing over me, laughing and saying, "You're supposed to get out of the way."

I learned that it's not a good idea to stand there and admire a kick the way you would a painting in a museum.

From: "R. T. Tzanaki"

I forgot to mention the smile which goes with "You don't want to do that." usually followed by uke's kiai "OW! No, I don't sensei!" We live and learn, eh? (Well, just about manage to survive...)

From: Huy Quang Nguyen

I remember one night that we had dinner at sensei's house with a group of people. I was helping to cook... and i heard all this commotion and slapping going on behind my back. And yes... as the silly person i am, i turned around and asked sensei what he was doing. Next thing you know... he's performing nikkyo on my arm and performing the use of about a dozen pressure points all over my arm. UGH! :)

It all woulnd't be so bad... but you know you're in for it when he's got that gleam in his eye as he sticks his wrist out for you to grab.

I also made the mistake of telling sensei that "I was unsure about how effective Aikido is on the street, cause of this and that reason" He gladly demonstrated about 6 different variations of shihonage that you would think normally comes from training in some form of jiu-jitsu. Each painful, cringing, bone breaking technique... just a slight twist (pun intended) from the regular shihonage. GAK! It was interesting to see tho... but it kinda sucks now cause whenever someone asks a question on similar lines about shihonage.... yours truly gets picked cause he's seen the ukemi! woo fun! :P

From: "Robert S. Martin"

Well, I've had several embarrasing moments while practicing TKD...

While sparring, I attempted a jump-roundhouse kick. I missed the target and overextended, ended up upside-down in mid-air, my head actually became part of the unpadded concrete floor. Suffered minor concussion.

While sparring my instructor, I attempted a jump-spin side-kick. Once again, I missed the target and overextended. He took the opportunity to slide under my kicking leg and lift my other leg out from underneath me. This time my tailbone hit the floor. Hairline fracture of the tailbone.

Got to practice, realized I had forgotten my belt.

Got to practice, realized I had forgotten my sparring gear.

After class, realized that I had misplaced my glasses.

During warm-ups, kicked a chair, tore half my toenail off, chair put a (small) hole in wall.

Entered the training hall, realized I had locked my keys in my truck.

Board breaking night, forgot to bring money to buy boards with.

These are just a few of the wonderful moments I've had. Now it's somebody else's turn to embarrass themselves...


We train in the hall of a prison officers social club, so there is a bar next door. Once a man, drunk, and goaded by his drunken friends, entered our Aikijutsu dojo, walked straight onto the mat (in shoes), introduced himself to our sensei and offered his hand. Whilst shaking hands, he threw a roundhouse punch at our Sensei's head.

Needless to say... a soft fall, and some subduing later he was only too willing to apologise. I just wish he'd taken my Sensei's advice and come back to apologise when sober - then he might *really* have learned something.

We all do some strange things under the "influence"... but somethings tells me that there must've been some stupidity to work with initially!

Oh.. also, a friend of mine forget to bring an obi to summer camp with him. Although it wasn't a huge problem, it still should've been near the top of the "inventory checklist", eh? <grin>

Things quiet out there? Or is there a mail server on the blink?

From: "William McLuskie (Bill)"

> [snip]
> >Ever notice that the "spinners" are generally the beginners? > >You know - those people who haven't been told enough times what > >uke is *supposed to do* in a particular technique? They'll always > >spin right out of shihonage if enough space is given to them... >
> Yup. And then sensei shows them that if they do that, they're wide open to > atemi *here*, *here* and *here* ;-)

The spinners aren't always beginners! I was taking ukemi for Sensei's jiyu waza about 2 weeks ago. As he was taking me down for a pin in shihonage I felt a looseness in the technique. As I went down I did a little spin and roll to get out of the shihonage.

Alarms! Red lights! Warning Buzzers! Stupid Meter at Maximum!

As I lifted my head at the end of the roll sensei hit me with one of the strongest iriminages I've ever felt.