Duende … is the spirit which inspires those extraordinary, perhaps fleeting, moments in Flamenco (as in other arts like the corrida, or bull-fighting) when the performer achieves a total communion with his audience. Only the truest artistry and afición, free of any taint of egoism or showmanship, can create the possibility of this occurring. It is an experience of bare truth, when one is somehow transported to the very depth of things, to emotion at its most naked and most poignant, so that one can only feel ‘this is how it really is’…. It is a rare thing, hardly to be talked about

Juan Martín, El Arte Flamenco De La Guitarra

Old poster

The building where we practice is very old and full of odd and wonderful things. One of them is this fencing club poster

This says about fencing pretty much the same as what we could say about our Ki Aikido classes: safe, easy, inexpensive. Muscular and mental response – yeah that is one way of expressing what we try to achieve.

One wonders who Lorand Kaffka was, besides being a member of 1936 Olympics team. The famous Olympics in Berlin…

Speaking of Aikido…

If I could express the same thing with words as with music, I would, of course, use a verbal expression. Music is something autonomous and much richer. Music begins where the possibilities of language end. That is why I write music.

Jean Sibelius, 1919

Replace in your mind ‘music’ with Aikido. … and then perhaps try to experience it on the mat as ‘something autonomous and much richer’.

make One with all

… in this one thing, all the discipline

Of manners and of manhood is contain’d:—

A man to joyne himselfe with th’Universe

In his maine sway, and make (in all things fit)

One with that all, and goe on round as it;

Not plucking from the whole his wretched part,

And into straites, or into nought revert,

Wishing the compleate Universe might be

Subject to such a ragge of it as hee;

But to consider great Necessitie

George Chapman. The Revenge of Bussy D’Ambois.

Tough guy role

Stu Grimson on playing the tough guy role and the toll it takes:


In our daily life many of us play tough roles and are in need of means to cope. Coming from warrior tradition Ki Aikido offers a unique way to resolve conflicts in a non-violent way. Since its primary focus is training of the mind, it is accessible for everyone and perfectly fits modern society, where we are more often involved in conflict on a social level rather than in direct physical confrontation.

2nd Dan at 94

From the Ki Federation web-site:

… We don’t normally take photographs of gradings. However, Rose, at age 94, gave us permission to take and publish these images from her 2nd Dan Grading.


As a bit of background: It typically takes around 6 years of practice to achieve 2nd Dan, that should give an idea at what age Rose has started Ki Aikido…


One night while watching a dancer, and inwardly condemning her tours de force as barbarisms which would be hissed, were not people such cowards as always to applaud what they think it the fashion to applaud, I remarked that the truly graceful motions occasionally introduced, were those performed with comparatively little effort. After calling to mind sundry confirmatory facts, I presently concluded that grace, as applied to motion, describes motion that is effected with economy of force; grace, as applied to animal forms, describes forms capable of this economy; grace, as applied to postures, describes postures which may be maintained with this economy; and grace, as applied to inanimate objects, describes such as exhibit certain analogies to these attitudes and forms.

That this generalization, if not the whole truth, contains at least a large part of it, will, I think, become obvious, on considering how habitually we couple the words easy and graceful; and still more, on calling to mind some of the facts on which this association is based. The attitude of a soldier, drawing himself bolt upright when his serjeant shouts “attention,” is more remote from gracefulness than when he relaxes at the words “stand at ease.”

– Herbert Spencer, 1852