Our promo meeting at Tanren Dojo in Warsaw


We had a great promo meeting at Tanren Dojo in Warsaw yesterday. Thanks for your interest and support, we hope we will all meet at full – time Around Aikido classes.

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Atemi – the truth about the body



The truth about the body

Atemi is mostly understood and explained as strikes directed to vital points of the body, rapid body punches or demolishing leathal strikes. That is the common meaning of words used in martial arts world. But let me read the atemi through the glasses of my beloved signs and discover the very truth.

to – righteous, examination,

a(taru) – to be filled with something, to hit, to touch, to strike, to shine on

a(teru) – to hit a mark, to expose to something, to apply, to state, to devote, to put, to strike,

a(tarareru) – to be affected by,

masa ni – properly,

a(taranai) – to be not justifiable,

a(tari) – bruise, contusion, in direction of,

a(te) – aim, hope, aspiration, idea,

a(tezuppo) – guesswork,

a(tekko) – guesswork.

The sign is constructed out of two layers: the upper one means „small” and the lower means pig’s head. Please keep it on mind that in China pig has a good vibration of meaning and is a good symbol.

mi / karada – body, person, soul, heart, meat, life, skill

mi(jirogu) – to stir lightly

mi(gonashi) – manner, reaction, movement,

This particular sign was devoted at the beginning to present pregnant woman. That is probably the source of its multimeanings.

Let me conclude then: atemi is not only a lethal strike aimed at your weak points to „dismantle” your attack but also precise heart examination, seeking for the truth about the body, touching its abilities of surviving, its manner and reactions. Atemi is like a needle that when inserted into a point for healing purposes shows your body a way to healing. Atemi shows the attacker that he just reaches to our body and its bareers and if the situation between us does not change rapidly and gets cleared – that certain spot will get viciously attacked, bruised, hit or destroyed. Atemi will become the answer, solution. You must remember that atemi points are the acupuncture points!!!

I think we use our everyday atemi – mostly in its double sided versions: destroing and healing. Atemi are words we use to criticise or to support. It is our character, our relations with others, our wise softness or rapid blows. Atemi is not right or wrong, no. It can heal or destroy. If I remember that mi (身 ) means also „life” – atemi is everywhere in life.

Atemi is our choice – our concept on filling (ataru) our spirit and spirit of others.

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Aikido and injuries


I would like to believe that all injuries in dojos are caused by incidental events like toes trapped between matress, misfortunate falls or strikes that reach the aim. But isn’t that just a wishful thinking? I guess it is…

I have plenty of observations on that matters and I will write them down below:

The very first and the most vicious is:


Warm ups are not just a waste of time that can be replaced by training. They are something absolutely necessary during teaching process because of preparing your body and soul for a good practice, for facing the quality of the study.. They are to engage the full body, no matter how skilfull the practitioners are. Good warm ups mean: aerobic excercises mixed with stretches and endurance excercises. And what I mostly underline: hip stability excercises. Since aikido equals hips, they are to be elastic, strong, springy and really warm. We need to focus on excercises that facilitate our communication with hips and make it as clear as possible. We are to uderstand our hips keeping us close to the ground. What we mostly ignore is a moment of silence in seiza to concentrate, to leave behind the dojo’s door all dust and rubbish of everyday life but can spoil the quality of time there. Well, breathing excercises are the centre of that, I suppose.

The next reason for injuries is:


It touches almost everyone in different forms. Some of us use force more, some less but there is always a tempting whisper to solve the problem with force if applied technique is not correctly performed. If we connect it with lack of warm ups – injury gates are widely open. Talking about forceful applications I mean packing your opponent’s joints into beyond-their-physiological-range-of-movement-positions. It limits their capability of bearing the pressure. And it results in pain mostly and – if the tissues „cannot bear the strike” – to injury itself. This is also the moment I need to indicate to recklessness of all kinds and show-offs.

Those factors that are not to be ignored are:


The way we behave in dojo, with our body and mind history is determined by our past and present. Our mobility, caution, accuracy, precision, ignorance, tissue memory of past injuries and strains influence our practice. Our body is full of its natural less-resistance-to-mechanical-load spots. But we also add more and more to that list. That weakens our mechanical “us” a great deal.

To me it is more that clear that:


are one of the most frequent injury reasons. Falls may result in shoulder and wrist dislocations, ligamentous and muscle strains, twists are open gate to knee strains, ankle and wrists disorders and falls again – may result in fractures sometimes.

 I am absolutely certain that all those incidents can be avoided. I have pointed the need of warm-ups. Logic, analytic and purposeful is the answer. Concentration during dojo classes, avoiding a party-like atmosphere and finally – basic understanding of human anatomy, mechanics of the locomotor system and physiology guarantees a safe and pain free class. Your body deserves that…


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Merry Christmas to all

We wish you all a good health because beyond it there is hardly something worth mentioning, we wish you joy of the smallest things that are hard to see with your eyes open and impossible to buy in glamorous malls, we wish you life against all because that gives a chance to create and live your dream, we wish you faith in Light that shines while you are on the way…
Peace to the world
Agnieszka and Bartek


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Some reflecions after meeting Haruo Matsuoka Sensei in Roma

I will use a form of a letter, that will make that softer and more open…

Dear Matsuoka Sensei,

Thank you so much for an outstanding seminar. You flipped my aikido upside down during last weekend and now it is somewhere in me, facing what it saw, heard and touched.

The hip balance that you talked about is the key…to everything. My experience as physiotherapist shows that the lack of fluent and synchronic balanced movemenets in hips tend to result in spine overloading through unnecessary compensation and that leads to pain. Your demonstration will help me to construct my therapeutic programme for low back pain problems.

Thank you so much and hope to contact you soon.


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Haruo Matsuoka in Roma – our chance to meet the Master

Thanks to Hikari Dojo and Stefano Mazilli of Roma, Haruo Matsuoka, 6th dan aikikai, will conduct his aikido seminar in Pomezzia this weekend.  One half of BANG will fly there to participate in that great event. We will share our work with the Sensei too.Imagecycle

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AROUND AIKIDO project is recomended by SOTO, Warsaw

We are happy to anounce the news below:


Warsaw, Nov 9th, 2012




SOTO – Far East Sports and Cultural Centre recommends a series of educational AROUND THE AIKIDO, conducted by Ms Agnieszka Nowacka and Mr Bartłomiej Gajowiec, creators of the BANG Educational Project.

The Authors conducted a series of educational cycle classes that met with interest both of the SOTO owners, Mr and Mrs Tomasz and Aleksandra Sowiński and also Aikdo practitioners in and outside of SOTO. Substantive value of the presented and transferred knowledge has proven to be extremely valuable and expanding horizons on both fields: the general basics of the Japanese language, which is the natural language of Aikido, as well as issues of mechanics and physiology of the musculoskeletal system.

The BANG EP creators were very open to discussion with the participants of the course and they are very interesting individualities.

SOTO cooperation with BANG Project proved fruitful for both sides.

SOTO recomends AROUND AIKIDO in form and content presented by Agnieszka Nowacka and Bartłomiej Gajowiec to all involved in the practice of aikido in Poland and abroad.


Aleksandra Sowiński

General Manager

SOTO, Warsaw, Poland

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Haruo Matsuoka in Italy

Haruo Matsuoka, 6th dan grade in aikido, for the first time in Italy. Thanks to Hikari Dojo and Stefano Mazzilli, Matsuoka Sensei will conduct 2 days of aikido classes. All aikidoists are very welcome.

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Our articles are also on…

Thanks to enormous kindness of Stanley Pranin we managed to publish our articles on the largest web site for aikido practitioners, please feel free to read and share you comments with us:


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BANG hoodies are ready for you

Our hoodies are already ready for your orders. Feel free to contact us for prices, colours and shipment fees. Thanks

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