This past weekend, I was able to assist Cat Sensei in her introductory Aikido class at the United States Karate Academy. Part of a cross-discipline exchange, Jiai Aikido was extended an invitation to teach an Aikido class to a number of the Karate school’s black belts and youth. In return, Master Sal Convento, United States Karate Academy’s Chief Master Instructor, will be coming to our dojo to teach a class featuring their martial arts tradition.
It was a lot of fun getting to introduce Aikido to people that have a background in another form of martial arts. Very different to newcomers to our dojo that have never trained in a martial art before, these people definitely knew how to move and had well-ingrained reflexes stemming from a more striking-focused tradition. So when they were able experience Aikido first-hand (a more throw-and-joint-lock-focused way) this weekend, I definitely saw some amazement here and there during the class. A number of the people even remarked to me while we were training on how very effective and powerful the techniques that Cat was teaching felt to them.
And while there are certainly many differences between our arts, I found it very interesting to see the similarities as well. Every now and again during the class, I would hear something akin to “oh, it’s kind of like (insert technique name)”.
In the end, it’s great to see and be a part of something that brings people together even though we come from different backgrounds!