Friday, November 09, 2007

Aikido Bootcamp!

Sensei Noveen smsed a bunch of us on Wednesday and said there'd be an evening class if anyone was interested. My first couple of classes had gone quite well, so I thought why not. Little did I know what was waiting for me.

Turns out it was to be the Aikido torture bootcamp class from hell. Multiple flips, running laps back and fort across the dojo, endless Kihon Dosa. Just when everyone thought things were over, it suddenly was time for sit-ups, back and abdominal exercises.

Now I'm not complaining, it was more concern for my fellow Aikidoka, I mean, they're kids. Just look at the immense pain and torture in their faces.

Hmm ok, Azim doesn't look so bad, but maybe it's the angle...

Ok ok, I guess he did quite ok, but then there's Daria, poor poor girl...

Hmm... (she actually did a whole extra session before the actual one, unbelievable!)

Ah hah! As I suspected, half dead! Ok ok, he's just pretending, I forced him to pose that way.

Anyway that's not the point. I think the kids are secretly grateful that they have an amazing senior like me. The pinnacle of fitness and determination. Someone they can always look up to for inspiration...

Ok maybe not.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Aikido: Finally, my first class after a while

I finally went to Aikido class on Sunday morning. Pretty tiring, but worth it as we learnt new moves. Performed Kihon Dosa Renzoku, a combination of the six basic moves in Yoshinkan Aikido. Also practiced a couple of side entering throws, and some basic Judo take down and arm bar techniques.

My heartiest congratulations also goes to Sensei Thamby Rajah, who received an ANS (Ahli Setia Negeri Sembilan), at the Istana Seri Menanti on Thursday. It is recognition that is overdue, and totally deserved for his incredible list of achievements.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Yoshinkan Aikido International Senshusei Course

International Senshusei Course

The Senshusei Course is a year long intensive aikido course for those who really want to dedicate themselves to Yoshinkan Aikido. The course is the only one of it's kind in the world having been originally developed in the early 1960's to train the Tokyo Metropolitan Riot Police in Yoshinkan Aikido as a traditional budo form. It continues to this day, with a small but elite group of men and women having had the distinction of graduating from the Senshusei course.*

*Excerpt from International Yoshinkan Aikido Federation website

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Kendo Grading

Some pictures from my recent Kendo grading :)

Registration and number assignment

Woot! Ready to go!

My turn! (2nd from the right)

Younger (and higher ranking) kids, grading in armour

Waiting for results

Lowest ranked amongst the three

Moral Support

Woohoo! My results just got announced! :)

Sunday, July 08, 2007


On 07/07/07 I passed my Kendo grading... to 7th kyu :)

Kendo armour here I come!

Update: Just realised while looking at my photo that the number I was assigned also adds up to... 7! :)

Monday, May 21, 2007

Aikido: Hard Sessions

Migi Kamae

Aikido session yesterday was intense, and tough. Spirit seems to be strong in the dojo all round. Body aching all over, but it's all good, just hope to be ok for Kendo on Wednesday.

Focused a lot on Kihon Dosa, or basic movements, with an extra half hour drill at the end of class. Technique wise, learnt a move invented by Sensei Soh Har, who was there on the day to teach us! At the end of it, my legs were ready to give way, and fainting seemed to be a pleasant option at the time.

All worth it though, as at the end, Abang Zaki treated us all to some good food, as a way to celebrate his son's (Azizi) great performance in the Japan Open International Taekwondo Championship in Osaka recently. He received a gold and silver medal as well as the Best Performer Award! Well done Azizi! (Click here)


Sweet message from Awang

Thanks Abang Zaki!

Teachers, family, friends

Arrgh forgot to Photoshop my belt!

Soh Har Sensei

Thamby Sensei, Father of Malaysian Aikido

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Kendo: I <3 Kiri-kaeshi

Went to my second Kendo class since I got back from London today. First class last week was a bit slow, as I had to train with total noobs, doing basic swings (zzzz....) Today was soo much better! Trained with the seniors, met my old dojo mates, and got to do practice drills (waza-geiko) with the seniors. Did my fave drill, Kiri-kaeshi (see vid below) I like! Still kinda rusty, missing the target a few times, and need to focus on proper posture and form.

Still, was a good session, looking forward to next class.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Aikido: Yoshinkan Aikido demonstration

Aikido Yoshinkan (養神館, Yōshinkan, lit. House for Cultivating the Spirit) is a style of aikido founded by Gozo Shioda (1915-1994) after World War II.

Yoshinkan Aikido is occasionally called a "hard style" because the training methods are a product of the grueling period that Shioda spent as a student of Morihei Ueshiba. It is also generally closer to aikijujutsu than so-called "soft styles" of aikido, and has sharper, more angular movements. The unusual emphasis placed on correct form rather than correct flow and timing further contributes to its image as a "hard style." However, the merit of such terms as "hard" and "soft" is generally believed to lie on the superficial level of describing a style's "feel", rather than saying anything about the heart of the style itself.

Source: Wikipedia

Monday, May 07, 2007

Aikido: Sokumen Iriminage

Second class since I came back was good. Still feeling a bit slower and more sluggish than before, but much better than last week. Class also seems a bit more intense now, more drills, rolls and flips, which I love. Did a few techniques as usual, but concentrated on sokumen iriminage throws and a few variants. All in all, very satisfying, and can't wait for next class.


Friday, March 16, 2007

Aikido: Yubi Dori

Yubi Dori (Finger Lock)

Coming back soon and looking forward to resuming my Aikido training. A short clip of a practical use of Aikido for self defence, in this clip, controlling an agressor using his fingers.

Sensei Joe Thambu of Shudokan Aikido Melbourne


Thursday, January 18, 2007

Kendo: UCL Kendo Club Pt 2

More Kirikaeshi practice (see Part 1), and head, hand and body strikes practice. Then today moved on to uchikomigeiko practice...


Uchikomi (single-step striking) practice is designed to allow students to attack a passive receiver. The receiver typically makes a target available to the student, who strikes and follows through just as if it were a real match. It is in uchikomi practice that the student perfects the coordination of sword stroke, body movement, and intent. The goal is to bring all one's physical and mental powers to bear upon the target at a precise moment in time.


Interesting, and more challenging. Lots of work still to be done, on everything from footwork to strikes and timing. Also learnt Hiki-men, attacking while moving backwards from a tsubazeriai (stand-off). Not as easy as how the senseis make it look tho.

Hiki-men (vid of kids as I could not find any better ones)

Stuart 'Gibbo' Gibson

Oo also found out that I actually have the privilege of training under Stuart Gibson, who is currently 4th time national champion and 2nd time British Open champion. He was also awarded the Fighting Spirit award at the World Championships in Taipei December 2006. Whoaaaaa! If even a little knowledge rubs off on me, I am very lucky indeed.

Stuart 'Gibbo' Gibson (tallest guy in the middle, standing)

Some useful phrases

Hiki-men - Strike to the head while moving backwards
Tsuba - Sword guard
Tsubazeriai - Sword guard against sword guard (stand-off before attack)

*Definition taken from

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Kendo: UCL Kendo Club

Did Kiri-Kaeshi, the staple of Kendo practice. Involves hitting another person, which was a first for me. Only did basic solo practice swings before this. Felt weird at first, but I got into the swing of things (groan) towards the end.
Kiri-kaeshi: Basic strike to the head, followed by alternate left/right strikes to the head while moving (4 strikes forward, 5 strikes back).

"Relax your shoulders!"
"Shout louder!"
"Control with your left arm!"
"Footwork! Footwork! Footwork!"
All this and more on Day 1, and I think this was one of the lighter days. Looks like some tough classes coming up, but that can only be a good thing :)