Anything written in italics is meant to be my personal observations. I actually wrote the rest of this, but that was in my “Sensei” voice. Occasionally my real voice had to bubble to the surface, just in case you were beginning to take this whole thing seriously. When you get right down to it, Aikido is just primates wearing laundry bags propelling each other across a broad soft surface.
The first time I saw Aikido was the Sunday class at the New York Aikikai being taught by a primate called Lou Kleinsmith. He was short, balding, paunchy, obnoxious and beautiful. Lou was lecturing about a particular technique while this large guy kept attacking him from behind. It looked as though he wasn’t even aware that he was being grabbed. He just continued talking while flinging this guy across the mat. I thought, “I gotta learn this!”. So I went to every Lou class until the week he died. Thirty eight years later, I’ve gotten the short, balding, paunchy and obnoxious parts down pat. I’m still working on the beautiful. This is dedicated to Lou.
If you just want a one-sheet with all the useful information, go to the Bare Bones page.