Advanced Aikido: Sunshine Edition UK May 2014

By , May 21, 2014 11:23 pm

The 3 days of aikido with Mark were great. But a word of warning, you’re not going to understand a lot of the moves are they are pretty difficult to put down on paper! These notes are more for the people at the event, who know the moves and just need the outlines of them to remember them. Apologies there are definitely mistakes in here & omissions! Bottom line is that as a non any type of martial arts person, I really got a lot out of the Aikido training that Mark does. It really helps you to connect with your horse in a much more useful way. If you are on the fence reading this, get off it & book yourself into his next Aikido clinic in the UK.


Aikido warmup (aikido exercises)
Crossfit warmup (a bit of running around!)
3 Exercise warmup (pushups, situps and squats)
2 step maneuvers, weight on front toe, 1 step , transfer weight, turn 180 degrees .
Breathe more, soften shoulders, arm relaxed please!
Attacker….be honest and don’t just half swing your arm. Stay in balance and don’t get wobbly on your feet – mean it!
Person who is being attacked…. stay soft, don’t do extra mvt with shoulders or any weird ducking maneuvers. If something looks stupid is probably is stupid 🙂


Do the 2 steps mvt so you are behind the attacker, then put your hands on their shoulders, find an opening, the attacking person then goes off balance.
Do the 2 steps mvt so you are behind the attacker, then put your hands on their forehead, soften and an opening, the attacking person then goes off balance. (tricky!)
Do the 2 steps mvt so you are behind the attacker, then put your hands on their back. Do not have a stop in the middle of this mvt, move forward with your core, not by just pushing your arms. This was a SUPER exercise is getting your timing right so it all flows. GREAT stuff.


Get a chair
Sit Person A, Person B put hands on shoulders.
A can’t get up.
A accepts pressure, softens, the PERSON A stands up easy!

2 people: 1 hand on 1 hand.
Lower hand softens. Then its easy to lift the hand on top (which is trying not to be moved!)
Image top hand has put nail through lower hand. Then its softness V softness, so that is very tricky to get out of!

A grabs someone’s (B) wrist with 2 hands.
B softens (Don’t expect to feel A soften)
B moves core forward, their arm moves as a result, A steps backwards.


A grip wrist, B soften – then B can direct A
B does the octopus impression.


Sit for 5 minutes. Think about your breathing. This was just brilliant. Everything that was pinging around inside your head starts to quieten down and after 5 mins, you are MUCH more prepared to focus on what you are actually doing right now, as you’ve now got space in your head again.
Cross fit warmup (running about)
Aikido 3 exercises (situp, pushup, core)
PERSON A – arm to side, swing around to person’s head
PERSON B – steps forward with core, in balance, 1 hand on A’s arm, one on A’s sternum (not neck), push them away and stay balanced on your feet. The trick with this one is for PERSON B to nudge their most forward foot forward 1 inch as PERSON A starts to throw their punch. That engages the core and then PERSON B is very effective.


Same, if you are small and guy is big, instead of pushing sternum, push upwards with the heel of your palm between his chest, other hand on his arm, move person away with your core. Works better than a little person trying to get up on their toes to reach the sternum!
In this move, if you step a tiny bit forward with foot that is already forward = your core moving forward = EVERYTHING works better with your core engaged.


Sticks – 6 people, 3 sticks all attached to our belly buttons. 2 people have their eyes closed. The goal is for all 6 people to get to the far side of room. The people with their eyes closed said they felt confused, scared. Possibly very like our horses feel sometimes.
Rope harness. Very interesting.. it was put on like a backpack. Then one person walked behind and was the human. ‘Horse’ had to move from the feel of the rope attached to their ‘backpack’.
At one stage the horse was told to try to keep walking, even when asked to stop. If human just pulled it turned into a tug of war. If instead human gave a fraction on the rope, so they 2 energies were blended, and then brought this energy backwards again, the horse couldn’t resist and had to stop! Amazing.
If someone’s about to punch you, move out of the way. Even if it’s Mark Rashid. 😀

Throw punch
Person A ducks
Person A squats ducks as PERSON Bs arm goes over their head
Both people to stay in balance


Aikido warmup (aikido exercises)
3 Exercise warmup (pushups, situps and squats)
A swings arm at B and A steps forward with the foot on the same side as the arm they are swinging. B steps forward with code, 1 hand on sternum, 1 hand on As arm. Push A away slightly sideways.
A swings arm at B. B ducks, does a squat and ends up behind A.
A puts arms around B.
B moves their shoulders out.
B holds As left hand with B’s right hand.
B steps under the hand he is holding, ends up with Bs arm on As shoulder.
B changes the weight from the top line of his arm, to the underneath of his arm, this causes As knees to buckle. This is the same way you ask a horse to lower his head carraige, if they have a high head carraige. Don’t have high hands and imagine our weight goes from along the top of your arm, to underneath your arm.


A swings at B (toes on the same side are forwards)
B steps forward, 1 hand on sternum, 1 hand on arm, pushes A back & slightly sideways
A swings at B with other arm. B does squat and ducks underarm.
B puts arms around A
A shrugs shoulders, grabs opposite hand of B, ducks under that arm A is holding
Bs arm is on As shoulder
B softens and causes As knees to buckle
A swings Bs arm so B ends up low down and A is standing
B bends arm
B waves to the Queen and stands up turning to face A
B changes grip with hand, keeps turning,1 hand on As wrist, 1 hand on As upper arm.
A ends up doing circle and ending up on 4 legs on the floor.


Stand in front of person (they are looking at your back). Each person holds the end of a stick. Person behind you has to soften, and the person in front should be able to feel this through the stick.
Stand facing each other. Put palms together. Play with creating openings, move everything except your feet.
Stand facing each other. Each person holds the end of the pole. Play with feel and openings.
Person A can say ‘good’ or ‘no’. Person B has to try stuff. Person A has a secret plan they want B to do, but they can’t tell them what it is. Instead they can only use those 2 words. Keep talking = success.


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