The European Aunkai seminar has once more proven that working the basics is key. Akuzawa is making these basics evermore challenging by explaing the hows and whys of all the details. Once you start to understand this, the basics become more than ‘just the basics’ and Akuzawa is the living example of it. Highly recommended.
(Dirk Crokaert – Belgium – 36 – CMA background : Hung Gar, Shuai Jiao, Taiji, Pakua, Sanda)
Thoughts on the seminar:
My general undestanding of the Aunkai approach that I formed from the seminar was that:
1) In Aunkai conditioning the body seems to be an important pre-requisite to any martial training. This conditioning is not of a muscular speed/strength/endurance type as advocated in western sports but is of a different kind involving the re-training of a different kind of body movement/co-ordination and connection.
2) In Aunkai techniques arise out of this properly conditioned body moving while maintaining certain principles. This means the teaching focuses on principals and not techniques.
3) In Aunkai there seems to be an emphasis on daily solo training. From my perspective I think this would mean that a student of Aunkai would have to be much more serious and dedicated in their approach than the typical ‘2/3 sessions a week’ type student. This seems to me to be a more honest approach to training as a student can then assess from the start if they have the necessary comitment and mindset to make the practice worthwhile from a body developement perspective (as opposed to just being a ‘social’ event). This approach also seems to be in line with what truly skilled teachers in the past did to rise to a level of high ability.
4) Based on what I saw and felt at the seminar it would seem that the Aunkai approach is a lot more effective than most other approaches at getting students to a level where they can do things that other approaches take many more years to reach (if ever).
5) The system is very well thought out and structured as it seems students are able to find out more and more from the basic exercises (if they practice them with comitment :-)) which means they are then able to help push their own development forward by thinking about what they are doing and feeling. This seems different from the mindset often promoted where students are just told to copy the external forms and hope things will work in 30 years 🙂
6) I would encourage anyone with a serious interest in the development of a ‘martial body’ to train in Aunkai. While most others are concerned with techniques and applications, they are they only organisation I am aware of that openly teaches and focuses on the body as being the foundation and core of any art.
(Andrew Reed- 28- Previous experience: )