Aikido Club’s fall seminar to be held this weekend
With “Parents Weekend” overpowering the Oberlin campus, this may be a perfect opportunity for students and their families to escape the awkwardness of reunion by watching a lively Aikido gathering. This weekend is the Oberlin Aikido club’s annual fall seminar, which features representatives from the broader nationwide Aikikai community. It will also include a high ranking black belt facilitating the weekend’s events.
Although only developed in the last century, Aikido weaves together the techniques of jui jitsu, judo and other more antique martial arts. Its founder, Morihei Ueshiba, was a renowned Japanese martial artist who didn’t like the violence emphasized in his profession. He founded Aikido, which practiced softer throws and pins instead of the more damaging breaks and throws characteristic of martial arts.
Allison Burke, an Oberlin senior heavily involved in the club, identified its focus as “continuing the physical energy of an attack, redirecting that energy and using it against your opponent.”
Although Richard Aszling, another involved senior, could not characterize the art as competitive, he did describe the effects it has had on him as a person.
“I used to kill small insects without thinking,” he said. “Now I go out of my way to avoid killing them.”
Oberlin College has a history with Aikido that resonates in the art’s nationwide community. The Oberlin Aikido club was one of the first groups to invite a professional to come lead a workshop. Hiroshi Ikeda Sensai, a former student of one of the highest ranked black belts, has taught at Oberlin’s May Fair for the past 25 years. Oberlin’s club consists of about 15-20 members, many of which help teach its ExCo course.
The fall seminar kicks off Friday with a two hour long class, then continues
with multiple two hour classes on Saturday and one three hour class on Sunday.
All classes will be held in the Hales building. Although participants are
encouraged to have had some Aikido experience, the general public is welcome to
observe the world’s most peaceful martial art.