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.

 

Seminar with Karl Ruben

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
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
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
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.

 

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