On 24 March, Sevenoaks students participated in a two-day Aikido course at Dartford Olympic Judo Club. The course was hosted by Brighton Aikikai and led by Christian Tissier, 7th Dan Aikikai, Shihan. Around 150 Aikido students from the UK and continental Europe attended.
Hundreds of people all piled onto the mat of the dojo. We began various warm-ups when Christian Tissier called us to together. Once we had finished formal welcomes, Mr Tissier went straight into a technique. He started with something very basic, and through the session, he built on that. Each time, the technique would become a bit more complex. During the morning session, he called me out to use as an example on how to do a technique. I had no clue what to do and offered him the worst possible attacking stance. He physically straightened me out, and I survived the technique much to the adults' delight! It was intimidating being called out like that but also an honour in such a large international aikido gathering.
After a much needed sandwich lunch, everyone entered the dojo again, fresh-faced and ready to go. To my joy, the second session felt much easier than the first, Mr Tissier taking slightly longer to explain techniques, leaving less time overall to practise repeatedly, meaning we weren’t as physically pushed. I noticed the mat was a bit quieter in the afternoon. I think some of the adults were too exhausted to last the afternoon session and left early!
Overall, it was a very enjoyable day and I learnt a lot that I can now apply to regular Aikido classes in the Sevenoaks School club and in my normal life.
Tuesday 24 April 2012
by Charlotte Hails