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Back on the Mat

The Welsh Aikido Society is training again at the Tonypandy dojo on the 15th September, I'm happy to say, and the doors are open to anyone thinking about learning a martial art, improving fitness or just coming to see what we're about.


Last night I had a look at the Jinenkan Tatsumaki Dojo, which trains in Aberdare. What they practice is loosely called 'Jujutsu' - traditional Jujutsu, that is, not the ground fighting/grappling stuff that's fashionable these days.

Borrowing from a number of traditional martial arts, Jinenkan has five core movements that incorporate punches, kicks and blocks. Most of what I was introduced to is very similar to what I was taught by Sensei Ken Tucker many years ago, and the principles are the same.

As with Sensei Ken's system, Jinenkan doesn't have much in the way of documented history, since both originated in the 1990s as a means to preserve whatever was considered practical for self-defence today and worth passing on.

There is no Aiki or Ki development in this form of martial art (it can take decades to internalise without training at a good Aikido school), which is why there's an emphasis on footwork and doing things from a low stance. There are advantages and disadvantages to this, and it depends on whether one considers a focus on Aiki or technique more useful as a starting point.

Sensei Rhys demonstrated a few wrist and joint locks, all of them familiar to an Aikido practitioner. Three of them were variations of Kotegaishi and one a shorter application of Kaiten Nage.

Also, we were introduced to bokken/sword movements. They were also very similar to what one finds in Iwama-ryu Aikido.

Posted: 06.09.2021