Dojo closed

Due to the corona virus Enmei Dojo is closed for the foreseeable future. Hopefully the students will keep up with their arts by practice at home. If you have a partner, that is great. If not, there is a lot you can do on your own, like jo kata, suburi, and even going through the techniques on your own.

Of course, doing techniques on your own is like shadow boxing, and shadows generally don’t hit back. Still, if you go through the techniques slowly and carefully you can work on where your feet and hands need to be, and key points to think about as you do the technique.

There is a lot of information on the net. On our site, for example is the syllabus and a few links to videos. There are lots of videos on you tube, and while a lot of them are somewhat lacking, there is always a nugget of information in there somewhere, though sometimes well hidden.

Also, I encourage people to keep in contact with other students and staff. Avoiding physical contact where possible is great for keeping corona virus at bay, but it is far from ideal for our mental well being. Keeping in touch by phone and email can help.

More about the cross training seminar

More about the cross training. The instructors will be Ricky (Yoshukai karate), Joe Justado (kali), Bill Wayne (Gojo Ryu karate), and myself (aikido).

Ricky said he is going to do slow motion fighting – a training method to give people time to learn how to spar more effectively.

Joe is going to do disarms and locks with a kali stick.

I haven’t decided, but I might do grabs in fighting. (And yes there are good reasons to grab somebody trying to hit you.)

I don’t know what Bill Wayne will do. Last year he did sweeps. IIRC, the year before he did kubitan techniques.

Xmas schedule

The current plan is to cancel aikido classes for the next two Tuesdays (24th and 31st). Tuesday classes will start up again on 7th. We cancelled classes on Saturday 21st, because nobody but me could make it. But we plan to have classes on 28th and 4th. The next two Wednesdays are Xmas Day and NY Day, so there will be no yoga then. Classes will start up again on 8th. Thursday classes will start back on 9th.

However, it is best to contact me if you are unsure about the schedule. 321 269 2394, or

So Merry Xmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy New Year, or whatever you wish for yourselves. Be safe and don’t eat too much.

RIP Russ Davis

Some of you old timers might have practiced with Russ Davis at the old Sand Drift.  Dave Ederer forwarded this obituary: Vero Beach – Russell Scott Davis, age 74, passed away Sunday, October 27, 2019 at his home in Vero Beach. He was born in Athens, Georgia and moved from Pittsburgh in the 1970’s, to Florida. Russell had a lifelong passion for motorcycles and loved riding his Harley Panhead with the wind in his hair. He was a 5th Degree Black Belt in Aikido and taught compassionate self-defense to thousands. Russell loved nature, animals, hiking, canoeing and birding. He was a member of Vero Beach First Church of the Nazarene. Russell has gone home to be with the Lord; is deeply missed, but we will meet again in heaven. He is survived by his wife, Melissa; sisters, Dawn, Patty, and Claire; children, Russell, Sean, Heather, and Dawn; and 5 grandchildren. Russell was predeceased by his parents, Melvin and Bunny Davis; brother, Jim; and sister, Cindi. No services are planned.


In many ways, randori is the epitome of aikido.  We started some new guys on it yesterday, and there are some points that we all need to remember.

First of all, keep moving.  When you stop, everybody is right on you.   Keep moving, keep away from corners, keep away from walls.

Keep turning.  You always need to keep checking who is behind you, and you are harder to hold when you are turning.

Maintain extension.  That way you have time to deal with an uke.

Blend, blend, blend.  When you come into conflict with somebody, you will stop moving and they will all jump on you.

Deal with one uke at a time.  Move so that only one uke is close at a time,

Do good technique.  Take your time and do technique correctly, and it will usually work.  But don’t waste time either.

Have a plan B, and a plan C, for when something goes wrong.  (Or have no plan, and just improvise really well.)

Extension and flow

We worked today on getting and maintaining uke’s extension, while maintaining good flow during the technique.

Getting uke to extend seems pretty easy and simple, especially from a grab.  However, angles are important.  Generally, you want to extend uke towards his triangle point, typically the front triangle point.  To do that, position of your feet is important.  Generally, you want to extend uke by extending your own arm, and to do that, you need your feet aligned roughly along the line of force.  Getting uke to move from there, however, is less obvious.  Generally, you want to press down on the end of uke’s arm.  Pulling on his arm just makes uke want to pull back and resist, but pressing down moves uke’s balance forwards, and he naturally feels a need to step to recover his balance, thereby moving in the direction you want him to go.  You do want to move your arm as uke moves, but to keep him off balance rather than to physically move him by muscular efffort.

Once you get uke moving like this, you can keep him moving with little effort as long as you don’t lose connection or let uke catch up.  Typically, this happens with, for example katate tori kote gaeshi when you change direction, and that is where flow comes in.

Our brains seem to work in chunks.  The first chunk may be to get uke moving, but once we go to throw uke, another set of instructions seem to kick in.  Both chunks might work well on their own, but the transition between the two is often where there is a problem.  We often simplify techniques by saying there are three parts to a technique (or five if we are a bit more advanced), but in fact, a technique has to flow nicely from one part to another.

The first thing to do is to make sure that you make all changes in direction smooth and gradual.  In the case of kote gaeshi, you will want an arc of one to two feet in radius rather than a sharp change in direction.

You also need to maintain your extension on uke’s arm.  Your first extension should get uke’s shoulder away from being right over his hip.  As you progress through the technique you need to keep it away from his hip all the way into the ukemi.

Don’t hurry.  Uke needs time to respond to changes in direction or velocity.  If you go too slowly, you will lose contact.  If you go too fast the flow will be lost and, often, your grip will slip and you’ll complain about sweaty arms.

Finally, the tempo of the technique needs to be even, and accelerating slightly as the technique progresses.

If you can do all this, the technique will need a lot less effort and work a lot better, whether you are uke or nage.