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Angela Brodschelm from Munich, DE, 2. Dan Tendoryu Aikido, 2003

Posted 24/2/2019

Development by practicing Aikido


Any time I am asked which effort I get by practicing Aikido many things come to my mind, but there is one point of view which I’d like to focus on here. This topic is as important for women as it is for men and sometimes it only becomes accessible to some people after they have been training Aikido for many years.

Most people are busy sorting their arms and legs and move into the right directions on the right time when they start practising the aikido. With a little luck this leads to an actual technique which at least resembles the one shown by the trainer.


Everyone of us is fascinated by the flowing and natural movements of Tendoryu Aikido and try our best to imitate them.


After some time of practise you can at least see some progress: the movement is getting more natural and the focus of the training often isn’t the movement itself any longer but the perception of the partner and the surrounding.


Trainees who are not only attending the training to get some physical exercise but also reflect their own development will probably get to a point where they determine that they repeat doing the same “mistakes”. Often it is hard to change ourselves, even after recognising behaviour we don’t like. Our behaviour follows certain patterns that are deeply rooted in us and often can only be changed slowly by constant practice.


Statements of Trainees often sound like that:

  • As soon as someone is taller than me or comes towards me full of energy

… I freeze

… I step backwards

… I try to seem taller and therefore I cramp up

  • I give myself up as soon as my partner takes the lead.
  • Anytime I’m attacked, I struggle to directly enter with energy
  • When someone is coming up with strength I usually respond by using strength as well instead of dodging to find that certain point where I can overtake the lead
  • I’m not able to get the space I need
  • I struggle to lead my partner. Either I pull on him too much or the lead is not even noticeable.


And the most remarkable part for me is that many people report that they experience similar behaviour apart from the training as well (for example in verbal conflict situations).

This can be frustrating because one gets the feeling to struggle at the exact same point every time. But I think, those who realize this parallelism can consider themselves lucky. Because the training offers a chance to practice the wanted behavior in Aikido and therefore they maybe are able to integrate this change in their everyday life as well. To me every progress in the aikido also contains progress for my behavior in my daily life.


I often experience how Aikido supports my progress of getting more self-confidence and clear and more effective actions. I have had many conversations with other women who also practice the Aikido and therefore heard that there are plenty others who feel the same way. It happens on the long way of learning Tendoryu Aikido: silently, almost unnoticed the character is getting strengthen as well. And than we use sentences like: “Now it is a bit easier for me not to make myself small and to meet my partner at the same level.”



Angela Brodschelm from Munich, 2. Dan Tendroryu Aikido, 2003