The opportunity to practice aikido for 24 hours, to meet new people and to move your mind and body to the next level – this and much more is International 24-hour Aikido Marathon. Will you accept the challenge?
It was my first time to attend anything like this and to be honest, I had been scared. I didn´t believe that I could do more than couple of hours. Imagine my surprise when I practised for 12 hours and I felt good, alert and without any problems. I was also amazed by the organisation of the event. I even enjoyed lying down the tatami because we did it together and it was good fun. Everything ran smoothly, there was water, tea, fruit ready for us at each break and we had dinner and breakfast. In the end, I managed to practise for 18 hours and was very proud of myself. I am looking forward to next such opportunity to challenge myself.
Aikido Marathon was an event for me that extended my horizons. I especially enjoyed the opportunity to practice not only with adults but also with children and youth from different countries. I liked the format of alternating teachers and the opportunity to experience the different approaches and aspects of aikido in one place. The intensity of the exercise helped me to experience both flow and my own limits. I encourage everyone to take part in their own pace and I believe that such action will enrich and inspire you.
The InternationaI Aikido Marathon is a place where I could experiment and search for my limits. Perhaps aikido should always be like this, but in regular practice I have too many desires, ambitions, and habits. The 24 hours of practice helps me see and errode these obstacles.
What a strange experience the IAM2018 was for me. So wild yet so tranquil, so long yet so short. One might think that 24 hours is too much for a person to handle- and for some it was, judging by the faraway look some of the participants had as the night went on. more
It was an event that cannot be simply described by words no matter the eloquence of the reviewer. You simply had to be there to fully understand the contradictory feelings one might have went through during the marathon. But in the end, these feelings formed a strange concoction of emotions, leaving a deep mark in our lives.
Aikido marathon is an opportunity to look at my limits. I had plenty of time to discover them and to study them in detail. I have now a better idea how I react when I'm exhausted and how long I can go on. The variety of teachers helped me find new areas for improvement. All in all, the experience was worth it and I will go again to see how much has changed since then.
When my aikido's master in Košice - Martin Frankovitch - asked me about Aikido Marathon, I immediatly agreed. Why? Cause I took it at a rare opportunity to try different styles of aikido on a short period : 24 hours. 24 hours, yes, it's a journey ! But 24 hours of aikido means at that time 14 different senseis so 14 different ways of practising aikido - it sounded amazing ! I just started aikido one year ago in Budapest wtih Tóth Imre and from that time I applied for some seminars all around Europe with : Masuda Manabu (Japan), Radoslav Tmák (Slovakia), Mare Seye (France), Stefan Stenudd (Sweden) and Iveta Sudorova (Slovakia). And so, the more I practise, the more I understand how there is different ways to teach, understand and practise aikido. At the beginning, I saw Aikido Marathon as an opportunity to enrich my aikido's skills and to expand my "aikido's vocabulary". more
When I entered the dojo, my main question was : am I able to practise aikido for 24 hours without any injuries ? And : can I keep pleasure at the same time on a so long period ? Okay, very difficult to summarize with few words that but let me, at least, tell you some feelings about that experience.
Speaking of organisation, nothing to add, just perfect. Each 45 minutes, we had a short break to drink, eat and relax. In addition, even if the rythm was sometimes hard to keep, some of the senseis offers yogas's training and contemporary dance exercices during the night. Very clever to keep the health of the aikidokas at their top!
Speaking of the atmosphere, nothing to add, just perfect. This event was an unique occasion to meet people coming from countries of all Europe : Czech Republic, Ukraine, Sweden, Hungaria, Germany,... and Slovakia, of course ! In short, even if it was sometimes difficult - just slept 5 hours ! (but no injury) - the big advantage of this event was to meet people and to experience varieties of aikido's style. For example, I kept contact with senseis from Sweden and Ukrainia that I probably meet in next seminars. Some of them even invite me to their dojo, abroad, for having a long-term aikido practise there!
To conclude, I really recommend you this experience, no regard to your current aikido rank. Why ? First because Aikido Marathon is an excellent way of testing yourself, both physically and mentally. Secondly cause it's, above all, an unique way to meet and create contact with aikidokas and senseis. I was the only French on tatamis and I took a big pleasure to practise aikido on a so long period... period which, actually, seems to be very short at that time!
The day of departure is marked by an extreme reluctance to go anywhere at all. Although everything is already packed: a couple of aikido-gis take up the whole backpack, various snacks are there for the breaks, as well as energy drink and instant coffee packets. Even first-aid kit is loaded with additional vitamins and medication. And it's already time to leave, but you feel like you'd rather stay here, under the welcoming warmth of the blankets, for the whole weekend. more
Fortunately, everything is already decided and paid for, all is left is to make a step outside...
The dojo looks great - it's bright and warm. Tatami isn't too soft. You're already envisioning the amount of upcoming rolls and wonder: "Why do I need all of this? This 24 hours of madness, in which I participate for the 4th time won't prove anything to anyone. What's my goal? It would be better to stay at home, get some sleep, do some chores. Fine, I won't push myself too hard - it's always possible to quit and go sleeping. No one demands from me to go the full distance".
Clap. Seiza. Four hours in, people are talking to each other. We're a bit nervous - it's just the beginning, the hardest thing is still ahead. But there's so many nice people around and instructors are great too.
Oh! It's already dark outside? Really? And what's next? Oh, great!!! What? No, I'm not tired.
After the midnight you can notice that there's less and less people on tatami. Weariness begins to kick in, throws are getting slower. Techniques become softer and lazier. Everyone switches to energy saving mode.
A long hour and a half break gives a chance to eat something, take a shower and even get
some sleep. Some participants don't return after the break and keep sleeping. Those who left are slowly getting back to tatami. They are tired, but the mood is nice.
And here is the most interesting part… When there is no strength to prove to each other who is stronger and who has 'blacker belt' technique, completely different trainings start. It is as if to eat a salad all the time and remember only that it is tasty and sweet & sour, yet suddenly, you begin to distinguish subtle notes of taste of each ingredient. As the next step you are given one of such ingredients - and you are simply out of words how rich in taste it is on its own, how many subtle shades it has.
Instructors are in their nature a true master-chefs of their job, they split up techniques into separate components and every movement is savored like a cooking masterpiece. Smoothly and without a rush, hour after hour, we are moving towards the most important and the main component of all our dishes - towards ourselves...
At the moment when the sun wakes up and the internal master control falls asleep, absolutely unusual feelings open up. This is as if you are always an ice and suddenly you turned into water… and if you always stand firmly on your feet, don't feel any blows or strokes, everything is just for nothing - from now the most gentle touch is spreading in circles around your body. No, this is not about pain and fatigue. This is about feeling alive… And this feeling is instantly removing both fatigue and discomfort in a body.
Slowly the dojo is filling up, only a couple of hours are left. Someone has just woke up and has no idea what is going on, someone is just dreaming of a sleep, for someone it's nothing special… but everyone is equally trying to focus and delve into the topic of training. Of course, closer to an end it becomes harder to concentrate on the practice and the last minutes last forever, but no one shows that) And in a moment when master makes the final clap - everyone looks like spreading at the same time because of happiness and fatigue, and in general, because of everything that is possible… "How cool that in the end I got out.. And what would I do at home? Transplant flowers and sleep?
"Why did you go to the a marathon?" - the majority is always interested in the reason why I took part in this event. Such questions driven me into a stupor. It was my third marathon, so it was time to sort out, really, why I'm doing it... more
All three marathons I withstood from start to finish. Each of them left in my memory a special reminiscence. So, I want to tell a little about each of them.
So the first one. I had friends who had already taken part in previous aikido marathons. From their stories, I went to event with the thought "I have to withstand" And I endured it. For me it was an achievement. At the end of the marathon, I was terribly tired, lost my attention and was looking forward to its completion. Afterwards, recalling the event, the first things that came to my mind were a solid tatami, a desire to sleep, fatigue. Yes, it was stress for me.
On the second one I was already with experience. Yes, I knew it would be difficult and I could stand it. Special attention was paid by me to the performing of technics on the regular trainings. So, the main task to the marathon was to keep concentration on the training process. Those 24 hours gave me a lot of new knowledges. These trainings were very useful for the development of my technique. In the morning, attention was lost, fatigue constantly reminded of itself. In general, I was pleased with the result of the marathon, because the acquired skills helped me to move, develop further. But I was not very happy that the next marathon will take place in the next year.
Third Marathon. My favourite. Knowing that it will be visited by many familiar and interesting to me people helped me to adjust correctly. I went to the marathon with a desire to see my friends. To find out how they are and to get news about their life. And, of course, to train together. Because Aikido introduced us to each other.
During the trainings, each participant sought to improve their skills. And this desire was not only on the tatami. About most of them I know that they are succeeding in life. And the Aikido classes perfectly help them in it.
It was hard for everyone. Everyone was tired. Everyone continued to support each other. Everyone was an example of one's struggle against their own weakness.
This time I just enjoyed the trainings and surrounding me people with which I was lucky to be. I was glad for everyone who did not stop in their development. It kept me in good mood for 24 hours. It threw away my thoughts about fatigue. Yes, there was fatigue. But it didn't significantly affect to the quality of trainings and concentration of attention. And it was because the best training is possible when you spend your time well.
Each of the marathons for me is valuable. Each of them changed me. Each of them gave, on his own, an understanding that development is possible just in overcoming the obstacles. And much easier when you overcome these obstacles in the team.