Security on The Mats


Written by Luc Leoni Sensei
AHAN Rio de Janeiro
Nippon Kan Brazil

What is a teacher? Is it because some one knows something that he can explain it?
Why pedagogy is important? Are we safe on the mats?

Such questions raise the constant question: Am I ready to be an Aikido teacher (or instructor)?

A vision, an inspiration cannot be tough. O Sensei created Aikido. O Sensei had a vision of what should be his art.

Today, as we know, Aikido is well spread in the world. We can find it in many different countries in the world. Any country has its specificities, and the teaching of Aikido is dependent on how does a particular culture can explain Aikido.

From the essence, Japanese, how will Aikido concepts will be translated in Spanish, German, English, French, Turkish, Danish, Brazilian…and all, the list is too long. Please forgive me if I didn’t mention your language, may be it is because I have no idea in how many different languages Aikido is explained in the world. I am sure I will have amazing surprises!

So from Shinto’s, to Descartes, passing by Goethe and Shakespeare, looking at Allah and the Samba, it is clear that every country has its own way to propose Aikido to new comers as well as advanced Aikidoka.

The purpose of the article is not to dissert on how different it is, but may be in focusing on what common basis we have.

What do we have in common, a spirit? A soul? Yes, but so many concepts…

Let me see, what else do we have in common… yes, a body! That is simpler!
Where ever we are, who ever what train with, it is always a hand, a foot, a head, some fingers, a heart. Yes that’s a good beginning!

So when we say we are teachers, instructors, may be we should look at the beginning, what body we have in front of us. How to protect this body, how to respect its limits, its possibilities, and try to help this body to maintain a physical harmony.

In respect with this idea, Nippon Kan Brasil organized first aid classes for all instructors. The goal is to explain and demonstrate to the instructors how the dynamic of a class can represent a danger to the student, and to be preparing for the first aid in case an accident will happen.

First aid is not only repairing a broken arm. It is to be conscious that something could happen, not trying to avoid the subject, and thinking” this will not happen to me”.

It can happen!

The class was done by a professional fireman, for a two days period. Attendance was excellent; we all learned the basics of protecting, alerting and preparing for the arrival of a specialist or to go to care. Signs to know how deep the cut is, was this strike too strong?

Is it just a loss of conscience? Is the heart rhythm stable, is the air going to the lungs …?

Is the accident stabilized?

All appreciated the class.

How are you doing with this? May be it’s time to think about safety in the Dojo.