Joint-locks, throws and pins at annual dinnerBy Y.P. SIVAM
Photos by NORAFIFI EHSAN
Don’t be fooled by Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman’s cool and gentle demeanour. When things get nasty, his weapon is aikido.
AIKIDO exponents and guests who attended the Yoshinkan Aikido Malaysia (YAM) gala dinner recently had a rare glimpse of Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman displaying his skills in the Japanese martial art.
Ghani, who shared his aikido experience in his speech earlier, among other things, demonstrated his skill at throwing off opponents and keeping them at bay.
Looking very much at home wearing the white tunic and loose black pants worn by aikido exponents, the MB said he derived a lot of joy from his twice-weekly training sessions as the sport challenged him.
“Aikido keeps me physically strong and healthy. It teaches me how to handle myself in society and how to face adversity. Aikido is not about winning or losing or about being an attacker or a defender. It is not about competition, rank or dominance.
“Aikido is about achieving an understanding of one’s self. It is about the ability to achieve complete mental calm and control, so that one can better handle the pressures of life,” he said at the dinner held at a leading hotel in Kuala Lumpur recently.
He added that although aikido was a relatively new sport in Malaysia, it was fast gaining supporters. “It is only a matter of time before it becomes more popular,” he said.
“I feel proud to be present with so many aikido masters and experts at this dinner. It is not often that we have the opportunity to meet,” he said.
Inoue, who holds a Ninth Dan, also conducted training seminars, black belt gradings and tests for instructors.
The 70-year-old Inoue recalled that Ghani had given a demonstration during a visit to Japan last year.
“I am pleased to be here in Malaysia. I am indeed impressed by Ghani’s skills in aikido. He has played a big part in the promotion of aikido in Malaysia,” said Inoue.
He was also the guest of honour at the Yoshinkan Aikido Festival held at the Securities Commission.
The festival saw women and children giving demonstrations on self-defence while senior exponents performed more advanced techniques.
Aikido has been described as a system of joint-locks, throws and pinning techniques derived from the ancient Japanese art of jiu-jitsu.
Aikido focuses not on punching or kicking opponents, but rather on using their own energy to gain control of them or to throw them away from you.
The Yoshinkan style of aikido is famous for its structured training approach devised for Tokyo’s riot police.
YAM is affiliated with the Inter-national Yoshinkan Aikido Federation (IYAF) established in 1995.
Sonny Loke Chuan Sun, who holds a fifth degree black belt, is YAM’s chief instructor.
To know more about YAM and their activities, contact Loke at 012-2131 829 or email@example.com or visit YAM's official website www.yoshinkan-aikido.com.my