Training with Christophe Peytier

Christophe Peytier, 5. Dan Shidoin as a guest at AikiMünster Dojo

In early July, Christophe Peytier, 5. Dan Shidoin (Birankai) visited our dojo. Christophe has many years of experience in Aikido, Iaido and Russian Systema. He studied Aikido over 20 years under Kazuo Chiba, 8. Dan Shihan and established his own dojo named Sanjukan in Lisbon from 2002 to 2010 before moving back to France, where he founded a school for Russian Systema.

Despite the summer holidays, a good number of our students joined the evening class to welcome, train and learn from our guest from Narbonne. The mats were quickly set up and Gabi (4. Dan Shidoin) began the joint training with a series of warm-up and conditioning exercises to prepare the body and muscles for the training. Then, David (5. Dan Shidoin) demonstrated Iriminage and Kokyo-Nage techniques, emphasizing that it is essential to use the correct angles for the different entrances and to maintain the correct distance, the Ma-ai, to your partner. A correct angle and a good distance to the partner allows you to perform almost any technique from a given position.

In the second part of our practice, Christophe commented upon some of the previous techniques to address the following technical aspects:
1. Connection to the partner, focus your attention on the partner having the goal to notice any unexpected reaction or attack so one is able to react instantly.
2. Tipping point (“Go the extra inch”), try to find the point of the technique where the center and the balance of your partner breaks.
3. Flexibility and power (“heavy hand”), use a combination of flexibility and power to develop optimal power, so your technique becomes effective. The shoulder and wrist joints allow a multi-dimensional rotation and therefore flexibility. In contrast, the elbow joint allows only one direction and is therefore less flexible, but it can develop great power. Use the flexibility to find the correct body position; and use the power and heavy hand to break your partner’s balance and to throw him. The same principle can be applied to leg techniques, with the hip joint allowing mobility and the knee joint allowing power development.

Our practice session passed very quickly, we had great fun; and an instructive and intensive evening. Thanks to Christophe, we had the opportunity to look at our techniques from a different angle and deepen our understanding. Thank you very much Christophe!