Propagating Aikido at a leading university
by Troy Nones
2010 February 16. Members of the Makati Aikido Club (MAC) led a demonstration class as part of De la Salle University's LEAP activity. DLSU - it will turn 99 years old on June 15 - is one of the country's leading universities. LEAP is an annual event organized by the student council to provide alternative classes for the whole day for all the DLSU students. MAC's participation was sponsored by Student Council - Business and Economics 2012. The MAC team was composed of Troy Nones, Sean Bucaloy and Bianca Yap.
On the day of the demo, student coordinators Corky Garcia and Gerard Tulay, welcomed the MAC team, assisted in their entry into the university campus and led them to the 9th floor of the Enrique Razon Sports Complex.
Twenty (20) students from different colleges of DLSU participated in the demonstration class. Troy Nones started off the class with a talk about Aikido; how it uses the attacker's own energy and momentum against himself; that Aikido seeks to resolve conflicts in a non-combative manner.
Bianca Yap led the group in warm up and stretching. Sean Bucaloy assisted the group, going around, checking that the participants were doing the stretches correctly. When the students were good and ready, they were told that the first rule of self defense is for them to learn survive falls as life is full of knocks and falls. After they showed them the basics of the front roll, they nervously took to the mat. As they gingerly rolled forward and made it through unscathed, their faces beamed! It seemed that they conquered their fear of falling.
As the class loosened up, they were introduced to the principles we train with; footwork, posture, centering, relaxed shoulders and wrist rotation. These were incorporated in the ikkyo omote defense.
They had the men partner up with the women. She explained that the men should learn how to control their strength as the holds can sometimes give pain. The women, on the other hand, should not be intimidated by the men's power and must rely on correct technique to make the locks and take down work for them.
The class explored practical applications such as the nikkyo lock from a wrist grab wrist grab and escape from a shoulder grab by using sankyo. The students fumbled a couple of times but as they gained confidence in their movements, they had the satisfaction of seeing their locks being effective with their partners.
The team went around the pairs giving advice, correcting holds and lock, explaining how they work.
Troy Nones wrapped up the demonstration class by explaining that aside from what the students learned physically in the brief session, valuable learnings such as humility and respect were also attained. He advised the students to carry these learnings as they continue on in their lives.
At the conclusion of the class, Corky Garcia and Gerard Tulay, on behalf of the Student Council- Business and Economics 2012, presented the members of the Makati Aikido Club Team with certificates of appreciation for their participation. The team members also expressed their appreciation at being asked to be a part of the LEAP event.
Click here to see photos of demonstration class.