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A Very Impressive Demonstration

My friend let me borrow a DVD of an Aikido demonstration that took place in Tokyo in 1985. All of the demonstrators were senior instructors of the art.

Each of the demonstrations was impressive but one caught my attention. The instructor demonstrated for about 20 minutes and had two uke (attackers). He wore a wireless microphone and spoke throughout the demonstration to explain things to the audience.

The demonstration was pretty brisk. He paused only briefly between techniques and continued to speak as he threw his uke. This is what impressed me. The pace and tone of the instructor's voice did not change whether he was just talking or in the middle of a technique throwing the uke across the mat.

I would estimate that the instructor was in his 50s. He demonstrated for at least 20 minutes, but it just looked like he was taking a leisurely walk.

I have been the MC for several Karate demonstrations. A few times, I have had to demonstrate and then immediately return to MC duties. I always found myself somewhat short of breath.

I could not demonstrate techniques briskly for 20 minutes and talk throughout the process. I am sure that I would soon be out of breath.

Could you do this?

You might be thinking that Aikido requires less energy than Karate -- that Aikido is easy by comparision. I would agree that the Aikido instructor I observed was using relatively less energy, but this was because his movements were refined and efficient. He did not waste energy. But he was very active during the demonstration -- and could talk the whole time.

It was very impressive.


Charles C. Goodin