Seminar with Alvaro Campo

Advanced techniques and improvisations were at the core of the seminar that Alvaro Campo taught at Aikido Oberursel last weekend: how to sense the intention of the opponent and how to neutralise the attack through an alert connection and spot-on timing. People came from all over Germany and several European countries to practise their skills under the supervision of the Stockholm-based teacher. Notable fact: the majority of the 28 participants were women.

Hip throw
Hip throw
The non-violent martial art Aikido is based on the principle of the "unification of forces", i.e. the attacker is not blocked or incapacitated by a counter attack but guided through a subtle movement that releases the force from the attack into thin air. In most cases, this leads to a pin or a roll or even a spectacular-looking high fall. It requires years of practice to develop the skills for this art, but even a beginner can learn the basic principles in a relatively short time. In the four classes of the seminar, the Swedish teacher showed how those principles can be applied on every level, giving a large number of application examples.

Alert connection
Alert connection
Alvaro Campo teaches at one of the biggest dojos in Stockholm and is well-known across Europe. He holds a 4th dan of the international Aikikai federation. 20 years ago he started practising in New York, and has since followed world-renowned teachers from Japan and Europe. Alvaro's focus is on the ambiguity of technique and improvisation and how the two might possibly come together. By practising kata forms and free form alongside he explores the differences between the two and finds ways to incorporate one into the other.

High fall from a wrist lock
High fall from a wrist lock
"We are very happy that Alvaro Campo accepted our invitation to teach his first seminar in the state of Hesse", says Klaus Messlinger, head instructor of Aikido Dojo Oberursel. "In the seminar he showed us how important it is to develop a good sense for the dynamics of the attack, and how one can 'feel' the attacker's mind. The participants appreciated his relaxed and humourous way of teaching and the easy-to-grasp explanations – even if the techniques themselves were not so easy to master."

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.

 

Dojo in Bad Homburg

From 5 November we teach aikido classes at our new dojo in Bad Homburg. The gym of Landgraf-Ludwig-Schule is located right in the city centre, opposite the castle. Every Monday between 6.30 and 8.30 pm, women and men of all ages are welcome to practise the non-violent martial art with us (starting from age 14).

Gym of Landgraf-Ludwig-Schule
Gym of Landgraf-Ludwig-Schule
Aikido is a martial art which in the 20th century was developed from a number of old budo traditions. It strives to develop body and mind with the goal to defend against attacks without hurting the attacker, putting reconciliation before victory. This martial art becomes more and more popular as it improves concentration, furthers the capacity of reaction and flexibility, and helps practitioners to stand their ground in conflict situations. Respect, politeness and mindfulness are important pillars for our studies. We practise empty-handed, sometimes using wooden weapons to show movement principles. In aikido there are no competitions, but gradings and a great number of seminars.

Friendly atmosphere
Friendly atmosphere
"As a fast growing dojo with about 50 members we offer classes three times a week, two in Oberursel and now also one in Bad Homburg", says head instructor Klaus Messlinger, 3rd dan of the international aikido federation Aikikai Tokyo. "The impetus for branching out was that the gym where we used to have our third class is going to be torn down in November. After searching around for quite some time, we found the gym of Landgraf-Ludwig-Schule to have a vacancy. This is particularly exciting for us, because now we can offer our classes to a whole new audience in the discrict town of Bad Homburg."

In the centre of Bad Homburgs
In the centre of Bad Homburgs
On two consecutive Mondays, 5 and 12 November, we start our routine by teaching special beginners' classes at the regular times from 6.30 to 8.30 pm. Each day is a unit in itself and can be attended independently. There is no fee for these trial classes.

Aikido is suitable for both women and men. In Bad Homburg admittance is from age 14, and no special previous experience is required. For the beginners' classes come in comfortable sports gear (track suit trousers & t-shirt with sleeves) if you don't have a judo gi; we practise barefoot. Classes are taught in both German and English. Find out more on our FAQ page.

 

Movement Practice with Max Rößner

Last Saturday, Max Rößner taught a Movement Practice workshop at our dojo. This contemporary discipline is a playful research of how to enhance movement options, and it can be used as a basis for all kinds of sports and more generally for a healthy lifestyle. The focus of the workshop was on "balance and coordination": numerous exercises and games provided tricky but entertaining challenges for the participants. People from all over Germany attended the event, which was a sequel to last year's successful premiere.

Coordination exercise with partner
Coordination exercise with partner
"It shouldn't be too difficult to stand on one leg", thought many of the participants at the beginning of the workshop, but only a few minutes later they started sweating and fighting for their balance, when Max Rößner added a number of seemingly simple tasks that had to be carried out simultaneously. They also learned that "sitting down and getting up effortlessly" can be a lot more complicated than it sounds. Max further elaborated the workshop's topic through a number of partner exercises and games. He explained what Movement Practice has to do with health and why it is an excellent training approach supporting all kinds of sports.

Flexibility game
Flexibility game
Max Roessner has over 15 years of experience in aikido, capoeira and movement practice based on the methods developed by Ido Portal and Joseph Bartz. From this combination new insights, exercises and movement forms emerge which he presented at the workshop, also adding some ideas on training philosophy. Max‘s goal for this workshop was to help the participants discover and enhance their individual movement options. At the end of the day, he was applauded for his choices: all exercises were both challenging and fun.

'Ways of sitting down'
'Ways of sitting down'
"I am very happy that Max accepted our invitation to come back to teach at our dojo", says Klaus Meßlinger, head instructor of Aikido Oberursel. "The approach of Movement Practice and Max's way of teaching opened my eyes to the fact that many of our movement limits exist in our heads only, and that it is much easier to push our boundaries than we would usually think." Max Rößner agreed to return to Oberursel in 2019.

Aikido, too, uses a lot of the movement ideas presented at the workshop. 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 of the workshop.

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