From Our Readers


We receive many emails and letter from people all over the world responding to Homma Kancho’s articles and our AHAN activities. About two years ago, Homma Kancho wrote an article entitled “No Suwariwaza (kneeling techniques) at Nippon Kan. Link here to read the article

Coincidentally, we received two responses to this article this past August in agreement with Homma Kancho’s position on the issue. For Aikidoka everywhere, the highest number of injuries occurs to the knees, and for some that may have read this article two years ago and found it interesting, might now be finding that two years later the article is applicable to their own situation! Maybe you too, when you have reached a certain age will understand the warnings and advice this article brings to our practice!

—– Original Message
Sent: Thursday, August 06, 2009 11:47 PM
Subject: No Suwariwaza article

Dear Sirs:

I read the article on swari-waza, posted on the Nippon-kan Aikido website. It was a welcome read for me. I have chrondomalcea in my knees, so I avoid doing Aikido techniques or exercises that stress and strain the joints referred to as the knees. I also shared the article with my fellow martial art practitioners. I hope they read the article and think about it, when they espouse what they believe to be the value of “old school” training. Simply stated, some things done in the old days were not the best practices. We learn this as information, technology, education and cultural exchanges improve our understanding of what we do.

I have had many conversations with my fellow Aikido classmates (from third kyu – black belt) and with the Sensei, about the wear and tear these movements subject the knees to. I have also asked my Sensei to consider modifying his regime for the class, to take into consideration the well being of the students and to truly think about how functional these techniques are in the context of our daily activities. I do not perform shikko exercises and do minimal suwari-waza. I would prefer my instructor to show us Aikido how to implement Aikido techniques from a sitting position (in a chair, for example).

I am happy that someone of significant authority decided to share his ideas with the Martial Arts world and other Aikidoists. I hope others take the thoughts presented in the article into consideration, and modify their training techniques accordingly. It would significantly reduce the amount of needless life-time lasting knee damage.

Please consider writing more educational articles for those of us who wish to train, without damaging our bodies needlessly.

Thank you for the education and sharing.
Best and warm regards,

D. W.

Sent: Tuesday, August 04, 2009 12:33 AM
Subject: No suwariwaza

Dear Gaku Homma Sensei,
I just read your “No Suwariwaza…at Nippon Kan” article on your webpage and I wanted tothank you for being concerned enough to write to the world about the dangers of practicing thistraditional technique.

Although I am not an aikido ka, I have taken a few classes in the art, and I am a student of another traditional Japanese art and have been finding it difficult to maintain the seiza position that you spoke of in your article.

Your information confirms what a female aikidoka was telling me recently. Thank you.

Be blessed.
Respectfully yours,
P. H.