Focusing on the syllabus too much can actually slow down the learning process

This article is a continuation from the piece ‘Adaptation‘ which I wrote following our Spring Seminar


This month we held our week long Summer School with Sensei Simone Chierchini at various locations in the south east.
If there was a theme for the week , it would have to be Takemusu. First I try to explain what that means. ‘Take’ is usually understood to mean the same as bu in bujutsu or budo. ‘Musu’ is to give birth too. So Takemusu Aikido is too spontaneously adapt to the changing circumstances of life through limitless creativity and expression.

One of the things I appreciate very much about how Simone teaches is that he tends not to teach a lot of techniques at a time. Instead he seems to prefer a focus on principle. It is very common in Martial Arts in general for people to get bogged down with learning techniques. With the sheer scope of Aikido this can get frustrating very quickly. Focusing on the syllabus too much can actually slow down the learning process.

However to delve into Takemusu it is necessary to have solid ground to work from. Study the basics enough, then move on, adapt, experiment and return again to the basics, the kihon. Constantly ensuring that training is still grounded in good principle and a Budo mindset. This kind of training would take many forms. Whether weapons practice, Taijutsu or Kokyu the idea is too free up the mind and see what has been truly understood by the body.

Take Jiyu Waza for example. Jiyu Waza is a free style practice common to most Aikido Dojo, usually one person acting as Tori and one or more as Uke. Regardless of the level of a student it is possible to see how well they have absorbed the training. A fixation on technique will quickly land the student in difficulty as their reaction time will be too slow. I would say to my students doing this exercise it is better to repeat the same technique 10 times than to pause in thought of what to do. Better still is is clear the mind and continuously move forwards absorbing the attacks before their at full strength. Stepping back should be only be done strategically.

To better enable a student to respond to changing circumstances, Simone had us practice at 3 different timings. One where Tori initiates the attack, another where we meet in the middle and the third waiting a moment and extending the attack. These timings are important to practice. Each equal in their own right. To practice just one of these would take training in far too specific a direction. For example by only focusing on the third of waiting and then extending the attack the important principle of moving forward would be lacking. Likewise by focusing on the first, a student may become too forward in their training and perhaps forget the softer side of training. For the concept of Takemusu to be explored, a student must first possess the correct reflexes in order to continually adapt.

This is in a way a goal of Kata, to instill these reflexes into the mind of a student. Adding a more free form of practice beside this and you see that has been absorbed. The student becoming one with the training can than start with Takemusu.

Freely moving the mind can become clear and enter into the moment, unconcerned for tomorrow or yesterday. In this way Aikido can be a way for people to become free of mental constraints and preconceptions.


Copyright Joseph Kennedy ©2015 DSC_1151-001
Ogni riproduzione non espressamente autorizzata dall’autore è proibita
Pubblicato per la prima volta su:


Seminario: S. Chierchini in Irlanda Summer Course 2015

Simone Chierchini will be back in Ireland this summer

Simone Chierchini will be back in Ireland this summer


Simone Chierchini, International Aikido Academy Director
Nippon Seibulan Aikido Italy Shidoin

10-16 August 2015

Mon 10/08: Kilkenny 6-9 pm
Tue 11/08: Waterford 10-1 pm in the Dojo; outdoor training 3-5 pm
Wed 12/08: Outdoor Session on top of Brandon Hill in Graignamanagh, Kilkenny 10-2 pm (including the time it takes to walk up and down the hill)
Thu 13/08: Jerpoint 6-9 pm
Fri 14/08: Waterford 7-9 pm
Sat 15/08: Beach 12-2 pm; dojo 4-6 pm
Sun 16/06: Waterford Dojo/Outdoors 11-1 & 3-6 pm

Info: Joseph Kennedy Tel. (+353) 0857245321
Email: aikijoseph@gmail.com
Web: www.takemusuaikidoireland.com

Fees: Full Week 100€, Fri, Sat & Sun 50€, One day 25 €

Accommodation for overseas students can be arranged by contacting in advance Joseph Kennedy



Seminario: Simone Chierchini in Waterford/Camphill Jerpoint

S. Chierchini sarà di nuovo in azione in Irlanda nel mese di Marzo

S. Chierchini sarà di nuovo in azione in Irlanda nel mese di Marzo

Takemusu Aikido Ireland Spring Course 2015

Simone Chierchini
Nippon Seibukan Dojo Nihon Aikido Shidoin Italy
International Aikido Academy Director

06-07-08 Marzo 2015

Waterford & Camphill Jerpoint, Ireland


Organizzazione: Takemusu Aikido Ireland & International Aikido Academy

Info: Joseph Kennedy (00353) 085-7245321
Email: aikijoseph@gmail.com

Programma degli Allenamenti: Ven 06/03: 7.30-9pm – Waterford, Black Belt Academy. Unit 7, Six Cross Rd Business Pk
Sab 07/03: 11-2 & 4-6 – The Barn, Camphill Jerpoint, Thomastown, Co. Kilkenny
Dom 08/03: 11-2 & 4-6 – Waterford, Black Belt Academy. Unit 7, Six Cross Rd Business Pk

Quote di partecipazione: Intero Corso 60 euro, Un Giorno 40 euro. Sono disponibili riduzioni


Light Colour Sound: a new Festival with Aikido



This July a new Summer Festival will begin. In the beautiful location of Paulstown Castle Music will ring out for miles, tents will be pinched, Music, Dancing and a little bit of Aikido.

Ran by Arlie and Marie Croft who last year had a summer camp which included a few Aikido Classes given my our instructors. There will be some fantastic music over the weekend, including Cathy Davies, Wallis Bird, Kila, Jerry Fish, Jape, So I Watch From Afar and many more.

Takemusu Aikido Ireland will give at least one Demo, probably a few short taster classes also.


Takemusu Aikido Ireland Thanks Arlie and Marie for this wonderful opportunity to promote Aikido. THANK YOU.

more info  www.lightcoloursoundfestival.com



View original post

Fotografia: St Canice’s Cathedral Aikido Round Tower Session

Aikido sulla Round Tower

Aikido sulla Round Tower

Trovarsi in cima alla Round Tower della Cattedrale di Saint Canice a Kilkenny, su un cerchio di 3,5 m di diametro a 30 metri di altezza e dopo 121 ripidi gradini, darebbe alla testa a chiunque, ma specialmente a chi l’Aikido dalla testa non riesce a toglierselo…

Being on top of Kilkenny’s St. Canice Cathedral Round Tower – on a circle of 3.5m in diameter and 30m from the ground after climbing 121 steep steps – would give in the head of anyone, especially of those that cannot take it off Aikido…

St Canice’s Cathedral and Round Tower
Kilkenny, Ireland
25 August 2013
Simone Chierchini & Daniel Sopko
Photos by Patrick Mulkerrin

Seminario: Simone Chierchini a Thomastown/Waterford (Ireland)

Takemusu Aikido Ireland Summer Course 2013

Takemusu Aikido Ireland Summer Course 2013

Takemusu Aikido Ireland Summer Camp 2013
Simone Chierchini, Takemusu Aikido Association Italy

22-25 August 2013

Kilkenny, Ireland
Camphill Jerpoint, Thomastown, Co. Kilkenny

Info Ireland:  Joseph Kennedy +353 0857245321
Web: http://takemusuaikidoireland.com/

Info Italy: Simone Chierchini +39 3453943286
Email: schierchini@gmail.com

Training Schedule: Thu 22/08 Camphill Jerpoint, 18-21; Fri 23/08 Waterford, 19.30-21; Sat 24/08 Camphill Jerpoint 10-11.30 Bukiwaza Aikijo, 11.30-1 Taijutsu; 15.30-17 Bukiwaza Aikiken, 17-18.30 Taijutsu, 18.30-19.30 Special Keiko (by invitation only); Sun 25/08 Camphill Jerpoint 9.00-10.30 Bukiwaza Aikijo, 10.30-12.00 Taijutsu; 13.30-15 Bukiwaza Aikiken, 15-16.30 Taijutsu

Dan Grading Test: Aikikai Dan Grading Test will take place on Sun 25/08, starting at 16.45

Fees: Standard – Full Course 50€, Sat or Sun only 30€; Unemployed & U18 Full Course 35€, One Day 20€; children free; Thu & Fri classes are free of charge, but voluntary contributions are welcome

Videopromo from Takemusu Aikido Ireland Spring Course 2013

By RedazioneRedazione Aikido Italia Network