Aiki Expo



Could we please have an overview or review of the Aiki Expo for those of us who couldn't make it out there last weekend? Janice, I know you went. Could we get a quick review?


Jay Bell

Master Black Belt
MTS Alumni
Nov 12, 2001
Reaction score
Where it's real hot..
It was excellent. Unfortunately, it just didn't seem like there was enough time in a day.

Vladimir was excellent as usual. We had an incredible turn-out of very eager people from other arts...primarily Aikido. Everyone was incredibly friendly.

Vlad walked everyone through fundamental principles, grabs, etc. On Sunday we did most of the work focusing on striking and knife.

Thanks to Vlad for coming to Vegas to share with everyone! Stanley Pranin made a comment at the end of Vlad's second session on Sunday. "I'm sure we'll be seeing a lot of converts." It wouldn't surprise me a bit. Almost every Aiki person that I worked with was eager to continue their Systema work and inquired into locations near them.

Unfortunately I didn't get to meet everyone that showed. Like I said, it just seemed like the time was gone in a blink.

Hopefully the lot of you can make it out here to Phoenix in November for the seminar hosted by Kwan. Vlad will be sharing some *very* interesting things (when doesn't he?) :D


It started out with the white gi's on one side of the gym and the t-shirts/camo on other side but it didn't take long for Vlad's exercises to get us all together :)

We started the session with breathing exercises lying down and then moved on to the first group exercise: everyone linked arms (normally we do this in a circle but there were too many people so we formed two lines the length of the gym) and tried to sit down and stand up again. It sounds simple but it's not that easy. There was lots of laughter at this point. (Side note: the friendship demos were very interesting but the demonstrators looked so serious! If that is any indication of their classes, I think ours are much more relaxed and fun.)

As usual, there was a nice progression from simply moving out of the line of attack to moving away from kicks and punches, then escaping and taking the person down. We also did some knife work, escapes from chokes and grabs, and of course, squats, pushups, situps, and rollovers. Unfortunately, I had to leave early so I missed out on the strikes class.

It was a little intimidating to have black belts want to train with me (I guess the camo gave me away) but everyone I worked with seemed to be very willing to try out new ideas. Some of them showed me what they would do in a situation and I learned some new finger locks. Most people seemed to be enjoying themselves, although the lack of structure may have been a little confusing to some, like the person that said, "I don't know what we're doing since the missed the first two sessions." :)

For anyone who missed Vegas: go to Phoenix! It's well worth the trip.


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