It is all a matter of relaxation if you want to fall softly—at his aikido seminar in Oberursel Karl Ruben showed what kind of challenges attacker and defender have to master for a number of different throws. In addition to technical precision and an alert connection it is particularly important to know how to relax at the right moment. The teacher from Berlin comes to Oberursel every year and found eager students from all parts of Germany attending the weekend seminar to improve their skills.
Precise technique Take a drop fall when an arm springs to your face? If you are lifted and tilted across the hip? Or even when both your arms are locked? This is just a choice of the challenges Karl Ruben put before the participants of the course. He showed ways of dealing with such tricky situations from both the perspective of the person applying the technique and the one taking the high fall. For the former it is important to be in the right position and work with perfect timing so that the attacker is taken off balance with no means to regain it. The latter's interest is to meet the floor softly and with minimum impact. The Japanese martial art does not aim at hurting the attacker, so that practising both sides is crucial to understanding its principles.
High fall 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.
Good-humoured teaching "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 that will take some time to master. The participants 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 Tuesdays from 19:00–21:00 at the old gym of Grundschule Stierstadt, 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.