Seminar with Karl Ruben

A sharp sword cuts effortlessly, and just as effortlessly should Aikido techniques be executed. At his seminar in Oberursel, Karl Ruben showed what challenges working with the wooden sword presents to both partners, and how this practice can be transferred to empty-handed Aikido techniques. Participants from all over Germany came to Oberursel to improve their skills, and despite the high temperatures they practised with enthusiasm and focus.

Sword exercise
Sword exercise
Aikido builds on the knowledge of the samurai, and swordsmanship is an important part of it. Even though the weapon has no practical significance in our days, mastering the sword is key to understanding the techniques of the non-violent martial art of Aikido: it teaches keeping the right distance, finding the best position and being able to respond at just the right moment. It is important that practitioners understand to hold and move the heavy wooden sword in an alert yet relaxed way, being able to act with swiftness and precision. Karl Ruben showed what advantages this practice offers when transferring the principles to empty-handed techniques.

Throwing with sword movement
Throwing with sword movement
Karl Ruben runs two dojos in Berlin and holds a 4th dan of the international Aikikai federation. He started practising aikido at age 13 and learned from the most renowned international teachers. His interpretation of aikido is dynamic and passionate, yet precise, always in search for the joint movement of both partners. As he likes to work with a higher frequency, a particular focus of his teaching is on developing the best way of how to meet the floor unharmed—and enjoy it.

Hip throw
Hip throw
"We are very happy that—once again—Karl Ruben accepted our invitation to teach at our dojo", says Klaus Messlinger, head instructor at Aikido Oberursel. "At this year's seminar he challenged us with some particularly difficult tasks and sword katas that will take some time to master. The participants—half of them women—were eager to push their limits, and they were working very hard on the exercises and techniques which required an extraordinary amount of concentration and body control. It was a lot of fun, too."

If this made you curious about Aikido: regular classes are Mondays from 18:30–20:30 at the Landgraf Ludwig school gym in Bad Homburg, Thursdays from 20:00–22:00 and Sundays from 18:00–20:30 at the TV Weisskirchen club house in Oberursel. For a free trial class come in comfortable sports gear; we practise barefoot. Find out more in the FAQ section.

Please visit the image gallery for impressions from the seminar.

 

Seminar with Roberto Martucci

In martial arts, balance and center create stability – but they are also a precondition for fast and dynamic responses. How to work from the axis was the central topic of Roberto Martucci's seminar at the Aikido Dojo Oberursel last weekend. The Italian teacher has an international reputation for combining soft and fluent movements with clear and sharp techniques which will nevertheless put the attacker to the ground unharmed. Participants from all over Europe came to Oberursel to practise under Martucci's guidance.

Lead attacker off balance
Lead attacker off balance
The teacher from Rome put the focus of the seminar on working from the center, pointing out the importance of keeping an upright position. In order to illustrate this he presented exercises where the participants used the jo, the Japanese wooden staff. It was originally a peasant weapon, but in Aikido it is used to practise turning around the axis and keeping the right distance. From this, the Italian teacher develop a number of demanding combinations which led to throwing or pinning the attacker.

Attentive audience
Attentive audience
Roberto Martucci, who holds the 6th dan in Aikido, is the founder and chief instructor of the well-renowned Kashin dojo in Rome. He started practising the martial art in 1975 and has since worked to proliferate Aikido with conviction and passion. Roberto is a dedicated student of Endo Seishiro shihan, and for many years practised intensively under Christian Tissier shihan. Roberto's Aikido is characterised by creativity and dynamic movements which he likes to combine in free application.

Exercise with staff
Exercise with staff
"I am very happy that Roberto returned to Oberursel for the third time to teach a weekend seminar", says Klaus Messlinger, head of Aikido Oberursel. "He teaches with a lot of humour and a passion that is contagious. We have been good friends for many years now, and we exchange regularly – which is a great benefit to our dojo."

If this made you curious about aikido: regular classes are Mondays from 18:30–20:30 at the Landgraf Ludwig school gym in Bad Homburg, Thursdays from 20:00–22:00 and Sundays from 18:00–20:30 at the TV Weisskirchen club house in Oberursel. For a free trial class come in comfortable sports gear; we practise barefoot. Find out more in the FAQ section.

Please visit the image gallery for impressions from the seminar.

 

Seminar with David Ellard

Many martial arts make use of "internal power", a concept which eludes many outsiders. At his seminar in Oberursel last weekend, David Ellard showed which physiological foundation – i.e. muscle groups, tendons and joints – can be used to activate this power. The internationally renowned teacher from England presented a number of exercises and movement patterns to develop this unique quality. Participants came to his Oberursel seminar from all over Germany and from Switzerland, about half of them were women.

Anatomical explanations
Anatomical explanations
David Ellard explained vividly and with the help of anatomical graphics which muscles contribute to which techniques, and how they tap into the internal power supply "from the center". Even though Aikido mainly uses the attacker's energy by deflecting and neutralising it, this effect can best be achieved with inner stability, presence and some kind of explosiveness which can be acquired only after years of intensive practice. As applications of this concept, the English teacher showed throwing and pinning techniques which are based on these principles.

Balance exercise
Balance exercise
David Ellard has been practising Aikido for about 20 years and also works professionally as personal trainer and yoga teacher. In the seminar, he focused on techniques which posed some challenge for the participants, especially when they were connected with highfalls from powerful throws. Ellard used a playful and easy-to-adapt approach to familiarise with the difficult movement patterns. He was particularly attentive to details that made rolling and falling pleasant for the training partners.

Dynamic throw
Dynamic throw
"I am very happy that David has for the third time accepted our invitation to teach a weekend seminar in Oberursel", says Klaus Messlinger, head instructor of Aikido Oberursel. "He combines precise execution of techniques with a very visual approach to the underlying principles. At the same time, he is very sensitive to the requirements of the students and teaches with a lot of humour." As the mixed composition of the participants showed, Aikido is very popular with both men and women of all ages."

If this made you curious about aikido: regular classes are Mondays from 18:30–20:30 at the Landgraf Ludwig school gym in Bad Homburg, Thursdays from 20:00–22:00 and Sundays from 18:00–20:30 at the TV Weisskirchen club house in Oberursel. For a free trial class come in comfortable sports gear; we practise barefoot. Find out more in the FAQ section.

Please visit the image gallery for impressions from the seminar.

 

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