We recently held a Autumn one day course which had a super attendance. One of the attendees kindly sent us this. We are proud and grateful for his kind words.
(Intro) Training at Komyokan dojo is, for me, 80% eager anticipation and 20% nervous apprehension. I know with absolute certainty that I’ll be exposed to a level of Aikido knowledge and teaching that rivals any in the world. I also know that whatever level I may think I’m currently training at, I’m about to be quickly humbled once again.
(First impressions) Simply entering the dojo for the first time is an experience in itself. It has an aura, a personality all its own. Weapons of all shapes and sizes adorn the walls. Decades of history can be appreciated in the photographs displayed around the building. When you realise just how illustrious some of the past visitors to the dojo have been, it is hard not to be over-awed by the whole experience. It is a beautiful setting and a fitting backdrop for Sensei Ezra’s unique style of Aikido.
(Training) I am convinced that the Komyokan philosophy bridges the gap between what Aikido should be and how it is actually practiced in most dojos. Every thought, every movement, is carefully considered and explained in detail. There is a reason, a rationale, for every interaction between you and your partner. There is no pulling, no pushing, no wrecked wrists and no damaged elbows. It’s pure Aiki, in the sense that when you are thrown by a high-level practitioner, you scarcely feel a thing; you just pick yourself up and wonder, in delighted confusion, what just happened. This, in my opinion, represents the pinnacle of the art, and striving to reach it is the reason I return to Komyokan dojo whenever I can.
(Instructors) The dojo’s instructors and members are extraordinarily kind and patient, especially with beginners. They foster an atmosphere of sincere learning within a culture of dedicated self-improvement, with no competition and little ego to speak of. Make no mistake, though. It isn’t easy. Don’t expect to loiter around in your comfort zone for very long. Every session brings new, more challenging obstacles to overcome, ensuring that you are always being pushed to the limits of your ability. (Summary) Anyone serious about their Aikido who wants to experience the art at its highest level would do well to pay Komyokan dojo a visit. You’ll be glad you did.
12th December 2022: Chris Austin