- Is it mandatory to wear a gi (white uniform, kimono)?
It is not mandatory to wear a gi for beginners. However, once a student has completed the beginner course, it is recommanded to wear the gi in order to pursue your training in the intermediate course.
- What is the sentence recited during the seiza and what does it mean?
Shinkokyu, Mokuso. Mokuso Yame. Shomen Ni Rei. Sensei Ni Rei.Which means:
Breathe, meditate. Stop meditating. Bow ahead of you (bow to the shomen). Bow to the teacher (bow to the sensei).
- Why are your seminars exclusively reserved to members of the International Yoseikan Budo Federation?
Participation to our seminars is always very high. Therefore, we owe it to our members to limit registration only to them.
In the past we have opened up clinics to people that do not train in a IYBF dojo. Through these experiences we have come to the conclusion that their participation was not in the best interest of our members. They need to spend a lot of time catching up with the IYBF members when they attend our clinics, because their teaching is different. This takes away valuable time from our teachers and slows down the learning process of our members.
- What are the conditions for membership in the International Yoseikan Budo Federation?
A student who completes the beginner course (taught by an accredited teacher of the IYBF) will then be normally invited to join the IYBF, as long as he pursues his training with his teacher of course.
- If I belong to another aikido organization and came to work out at an IYBF dojo, would I need to wear a white belt or would the rank earned from my organization be accepted?
Any individual visiting a IYBF dojo may wear whatever belt he or she has earned from another organization. Black belts can make this decision on their own, but it is highly recommended that other students consult with the Sensei who awarded them their current rank. Regardless of what color belt a new or visiting student wears, he or she will be placed in the appropriate level class that the Sensei of the IYBF dojo sees fit.
- What is the proper etiquette when entering or exiting a dojo?
When entering a dojo, it is customary to stand in the doorway and show your respect by bowing. As you are bowing you are to announce your presence by saying
When stepping on or off the mat, you should take the time to bow with sincerity and show your respect.
When exiting a dojo it is also customary to stand in the doorway, show your respect by bowing and let everyone know that you are leaving. There is no hard rule for what you must say, just be yourself and be polite.
- What takes place during a typical Yoseikan Aikido training session?
A typical Yoseikan two-hour training session led by Minoru Mochizuki Sensei at his Yoseikan Hombu Dojo will be as follows:
- Mental Preparation:
- Seiza, Mokuso, Rei;
- Physical Preparation:
General warm-up, stretching, specific warm-up;
Ukemi: ushiro, yoko, kohokaiten, zenpokaiten, nige, mukae, etc;
Tsuki, keri, Happoken, Keriyonho, makiwara, bag, etc.;
Nagewaza and/or osaekomiwaza no kyokaho (five fundamental Judo throws and pins);
Taisabaki goho with or without partner;
Tehodoki, nigirikaeshi, waza no kyokaho;
Waza no kenkyu;
Shiteirandori by groups of 3 or more with basic techniques;
(End of beginners' session;)
Chikararandori (occasionally and for black belts only);
Physical cooling down;
Mental cooling down: Seiza, Mokuso, Rei.
Sensei's lecture and / or comments, Q & A, announcements, etc.
- After practice:
- Cleanup; Kenkyu, kata, newaza, suburi, etc.
- How does breathing properly help us in relationship to Aikido?
When you breathe in rhythm with your movements, you ensure that the proper amount of oxygen comes into your lungs. This helps you also maintain a clear state of mind and a relaxed body. This is
breathing meditationapplied in movement.
In relation to breathing, we should breathe in through the nose. The nose filters the air and ensures that it has enough moisture. Try to breathe in through your mouth and your throat will become dry very fast, which will make it more difficult to breathe. At this stage, beginners tend to hold their breath and everything goes wrong... This results in a state of confusion and discouragement that leads to abandon. This is why it is essential to break this pattern and develop good habits from the beginning. If the teacher helps the student at this stage, then he/she will become aware of his/her natural endurance.
- What is the relationship between Yoseikan's robuse and the similar techniques practiced as ikkyo in most other aikido schools?
Mochizuki Minoru Sensei said that when he was studying with Ueshiba Sensei (late 1920's), robuse was the name given to the technique that later became Ikkajo, then Ikkyo after the war. The present ikkyo as taught by most Aikikai (and Aikikai related) teachers is the result of the modifications made by Tohei and Kisshomaru Sensei in order to simplify Aikido and make it available to more people. Some teachers may teach different versions of this technique. It really depends on several factors: whom they studied with, how much kenkyu and training they did, their curiosity, the depth of their thinking, their purpose, etc. Mochizuki Sensei also said that Ueshiba Sensei insisted on the importance of training with this technique and would let students practice it for hours.
If you master robuse, you can master all other techniques. I have very limited knowledge of other Aikido schools, so what I say applies to Yoseikan only. Through my experience, I have found robuse in its basic form to be a very important fundamental technique leading to the rediscovery of many other techniques. So even now after 30 years of Aikido, I still enjoy practicing this technique, as a meditative exercise. Every repetition becomes a new experience. Even with a beginning student you can both have a mutually beneficial workout.