Monday, 04. August 2014
Eckhardt Hemkemeier

Ikenoue Kiichi in the Seishinkan

Ikenoue Kiichi San besucht das Seishinkan in Hamburg.


Thanks to kind consideration by

Eckhardt Hemkemeier, I have enjoyed learning Aikido in Seishinkan Dojo about two weeks from June 27 up to July 11, 2014. The atmosphere in this Dojo is very friendly yet well disciplined. After the lesson, almost everybody enjoys chattering over white beers or soft drinks at reasonable price in the living room there. It made me comfortable when I unexpectedly heard some familiar Japanese words in this Dojo while training. Before the lesson, to the master all German practitioners say "Onegaishimasu!" with a bow and after then, "Arigatou Gozaimashita!" with also a bow in the same manner as my Dojo in Japan. 

Through three week experience here, would like to describe my personal perceptions from five points of view:

1. Circular Motion (Tai Sabaki)

2. Standing Posture

3. Sword and Knife

4. Kokyunage

5. Exercise

1. Circular Motion (Tai Sabaki) It comes to my attention that the circular motion called Tai Sabaki is the basic yet core movement in Tendo Ryu. The exercise of this movement is always done before the lesson.

But it is easier said than done! In my Dojo, this exercise is not done as often as here. I have learned how it is important to relax myself when I take any action. My posture and the distance between me and an opponent are very important. For example, I am quite often reminded that I stand with the hands and body always not relaxed or tight and yet the body not straight up or bent. At the same time, I kept not appropriate distance or too closer to the opponent.

2. Standing Posture

In Tendo Ryu unexpectedly there is no fixed posture for Aikido.

I am often reminded that both hands together with the shoulder must be relaxed. In my Dojo, both hands must be set in front rather tightly with one hand up and the other down.

3. Sword, Knife, and bar Here a sword, a knife and a bar are effectively used for an exercise. Firstly, the master demonstrates any technique with any one of them. Secondly, he demonstrates how the direction of hands and sword or knife is related in each movement in a slower way. It helps me a lot to understand the relationship visually.


4. Kokyu Nage

Kokyu Nage literally means "air throw" in Japanese. Without any understanding, I have already practiced this technique in Japan, throwing an opponent forcibly with both hands, so I had a slight doubt about

face=Calibri>what is an air throw. Here I come to know that the aim of kokyu nage is not to throw an opponent with hands, but to invite or seduce him into my advantageous position for any action.

5. Exercise

1) Mae Ukemi (Roll Forward)

 I am surprised to see that the way to roll here is totally different from what I learned. In my Dojo, I am taught to stand and jump forward with one hand swung back. Here, you keel down and put one of hand toward the opposite knee and roll yourself slowly while you slide your hand backward.


2) Preparatory Exercise

A preparatory exercise timing here is different from the one in my Dojo.

Here a preparatory exercise is not always done regularly before the lesson. In my Dojo, one set of exercise is always repeated before the lesson.


3) Zokingake (Datami sweeping)

After the lesson is over, we sweep each tatami mat with wet cloth pressed by two hands to the tatami and each feet moving forward. This is the hardest part of the exercise and it makes me out of breath.


Last but not least, on this occasion, I would like to express my sincere appreciation to


Mr. Eckhardt Hemkemeier, Mr. Matthias Schwing, Mr. Klaus-Peter Merten, Mr. Gerard Guilbaud, Ms. Claudia Onescheit and their practitioners in extending kind considerations and instructions during my stay at the Seishinkan Dojo. I hope to visit here again if any opportunities arise in future.