The Warrior's Path

A great course about budo and the history of martial arts held at Dharma Gate Buddhist College in Budapest. The presenters were Szabó Balázs, Szemerei Márton and Abe Tetsushi Sensei.

Knitting for Friends

This winter I am a lot into knitting and doing hand crafted things. Stay tuned for more posts about knit items I made for my friends. I always include the free patterns, too!

Guest Posts

You are a martial artist and you have a story to tell? You have a beauty tip you want to share with everyone? Why not tell it here, on Beauty and Aikido? Any guest post is always welcome. If you want to feature on my blog just leave me a message and I will post your story.

Kawaii Makeup and Fashion

I love and follow the Asian fashion, skin care and beauty trends. If you are also a big fan of Asian beauty and style, stay tuned for my reviews, tutorials and hauls!

Presenting Aikido Dojos

This is a series of posts where I am presenting different aikido dojos from all over the world. If you want to feature too, do not hesitate to leave me a message.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Connection with your Training Partner

© Beauty and Aikido

After reading so much from the Principles of Aikido, my mind got set on a number of concepts and I tried to concentrate more on the trainings. Luckily I got to train with another focused aikidoka and it felt great. There was that great connection I rarely felt before. Because of that I would say I was performing the techniques better than usual. At a certain point, during the training, Sensei started to show us one of the techniques. As we went slowly down to seiza the aihanmi grip got disconnected in such a smooth and polite manner. Respecting and paying attention to your training partner are essential in martial arts. It was a moment of musubi.

I am trying to pay as much attention to my training partner at the moment as I can. I know that I am still not the best uke from many points of view. My falls are not secure enough, I don´t follow the nage as best as I can. As for when I execute a technique, I still need a lot of guidance. I observe the others with whom I train and am aware of the fact that they go ahead and do it, until their movements adapt and are similar to what Sensei has shown us. As for myself I am still way too insecure, but I know that I need to just go on with my training to get better.

Connecting with your training partner implies acceptance and openness. Not long ago Sensei split us up into two rows and we were changing partners on the go. It was an interesting experience. On had to adapt and resonate with another aikidoka every say five minutes. From shodan, to little frail girl, to energetic teen, to rough sailor. I had to deal with each of them and they with me. It was like an energy flow, an interesting mix.

What is your experience, how do you connect with your training partner in the dojo?

Friday, May 27, 2011

❀Spring Eyeliner Look❀



I look I was wearing when visiting some relatives. It is a discreet look that enhances your natural traits. It can barely be observed and can be built upon with color for creating an evening look. You could wear this for work also. It is ready rather quickly, it depends how much you mumble around with the details. Don't forget to set the oily eyeliner with eyeshadow and do apply powder on the areas that can get shiny. In my case that is the T-zone.


Products I used:
Estée Lauder- Cyber White BB Cream
Max Factor Concealer- Ivory
Sephora- Colorful pro
Sonya- Jazz Eyeliner
Manhattan- Coral Heat Eyeshadow
Random Eyelash curler
Max Factor- Masterpiece Waterproof Mascara
Maybeline- Blush 51 Rose
Maybeline- Dream Mat Powder 03 Golden Beige
For the lips I used the aloe lip balm.



I used the E.L.F Studio Brushes



e.l.f. Studio 11 Piece Brush Collections



I have had them for more than two years now. I clean them regularly and they are still in excellent shape. 

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Basic Terms you Need to Know to Survive Aikido

Your head is filled with all sorts of new words you cannot put into order? 

You are not sure if someone is being rude to you or just explaining a technique? 

Here is your rescue! 

I have already talked about the huge amount of new words you learn when starting aikido in a previous post. Here is now a lexicon that can make your life easier. All the terms an average aikidoka would need in and out of dojo from Aiki-Doh!-ka to Zanshin. This is the creation of the inventive and humorous Kevin Love with illustrations by Jon Oaker. They have kindly sent me a copy in the PDF format to review. I am pretty sure that I will go through it again and again and laugh a lot. Because yes, finally, this is a humorous interpretation of aikido terms, and a more laid back and informal approach to aikido. 

© Copyright 2008 by Kevin Love and Jon Oaker
All Rights Reserved

So you might be wondering what Aiki-Doh!-ka is. If the picture was not expressive enough, here is one of the brief but to the point definitions you can find in the Lexicon:

Aiki-Doh!-ka: A clumsy Aikidoka who can usually be found in the opposite stance necessary to perform a technique, holding his Bokken upside down, etc.  They are often Aiki-Broke-a as well, and sometimes wear a medical alert bracelet.

I would like to add that this is a definition and that any similarity to reality is purely coincidence. However, each aikidoka out there has at some point taken some pain killers or used some sort of cream to make the pain go away. Therefore the definition hereunder:

Aiki-Dope-a:  All Aikidoka  for at least the first  three months of training. 

I remember someone telling me they call pain killers aiki-candy. Furthermore, pain can be inflicted by spaces you would never have suspected they could. I am pretty sure all aikidokas out there have performed at some point a toe nage, see definition hereunder and picture for reference.

© Copyright 2008 by Kevin Love and Jon Oaker
All Rights Reserved

Toe Nage: Any kind of a throw effected when you catch your toe in a crack between mats, even if you throw yourself.  With practice, the expletive that comes out of your mouth can be disguised as a Kiai.
 
After a while the aiki-something-ka combinations can become a bit boring but the authors made sure to include some fun concepts with unexpected meanings to keep the reader entertained as the example above or this following innovative view on Sensei:

Sensei:  The person at the front of the Dojo who is always interrupting your practice and telling you what to do.

Remember that this is a Lexicon. Nobody reads a Lexicon from beginning to the end. It is a book that you keep on your shelf or Kindle that you can take in your hand again and again and have fun with. And you can also learn new concepts with this book. The authors sure have a lot of fun, but there are a lot of witty definitions also. 

Atari: O Sensei’s home planet.

So I went out there and looked up what Atari means and got the following information:

There is a stickiness that uke must strive for in order to feel the ki of nage. The connecting point where uke and nage meet is the atari point. Only by maintaining this point can center and ki be transmitted to one another. This is not to say that this point is fixed or static. It can move up and down your body, it can be maintained with the hands, arms, shoulders, hips, even the head. This connection point shifts and moves during practice and it keeps the two as one unified body.
There are also aikido reinterpretations of concepts you never thought you would look up in a Lexicon:

Ears:  Located strategically on the sides of your head to block Yokomen Uchi, Bokken strikes, etc.

So yame everyone! Seiza and Mokuso!

Mokuso: Close your eyes: concentrate.  While you are doing this, Sensei is making faces at you.
 and

 Relax: Advice often given by Sensei.  Hard to do when people aretrying to pummel, stomp, or bonk you over the head with a Bokken.

© Copyright 2008 by Kevin Love and Jon Oaker
All Rights Reserved

I am pretty sure this short post has risen your interest for this great book. If you also enjoy the funny side of aikido you have the following options to grab yourself a copy:

You can buy the book as a PDF file to download.
You can also have a print-on-demand book on Lulu.com

You can find it also as Kindle eBook



Make sure you also visit the site website of these goofy aikidokas. They are fooling around on Facebook also.


Saturday, May 21, 2011

Summer Sunscreen Review- Vichy, Aloe, L'Oreal, Shiseido


In summer make sure to put a sunscreen on before you leave the house. You probably already have a moisturizer for the morning in your skincare routine. In summer, make sure it has a high SPF also. This is the least you can do against the aging of your skin. After trying out some sunscreens, bottom line was the following list:

Dos:

Vichy Capital Soleil SPF 25- Protective Sun-Cream Face, Paraben free, Radiant glow, anti-brown spots
Vichy Capitail Soleil SPF 50- Stick for sensitive areas
Aloe Sunscreen SPF 30- Protective Sunscreen

Don'ts:

L'Oreal Solar Expertise Sensitive- Anti-Age Face Cream with SPF 30
Shiseido- Sun Protection Stick Foundation SPF 30

After this upload I also got permission to upload longer videos! :)



Do you use a sunscreen? If yes which one? Please leave a comment about how it works for you.



Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Voice of Aikido- Musubi



Another voice recording this time Chapter 3 from The Principles of Aikido by Mitsugi Saotome (1989 p.9-12)

Should you want to see the recording of my broadcasting from the same chapter, you can check it out on Ustream. I am showing some pictures from the book in that recording and sharing some thoughts.

If you liked that one, make sure to follow the next live show on Wednesday. Just hit attend and see you there!

I am also planning a streaming session where I would show you the weapons with which I train.

I am putting a poll in the sidebar to see how many of you would be interested in a streaming. It would be some time on the weekend. Let's meet on Saturday afternoon! Go to the bottom and hit attend here.


Cute Pearl Nails


I have recorded how I made some creative cute pearl nails. You can also try it out with pearls that complement the color of the nail polish. I went for a more discreet look here that can be worn in the office also. What I used in the video is a matte pink nail polish from Miss Sporty and pink pearls from the China Market. To make the pearls stick better I used a clear coat from Astor.

Soon I will go crazy with my Konad stamping nail art set, so stay tuned! I am posing new tutorials soon.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Aikido against Sress

In the Picture: Ben Tan Source www.aikido-secrets-to-calm-success.com



Stressful days can many times take away your energy and fill your head with all sorts of unpleasant thoughts. Here are some tips from an aikidoka what to do in order to prevent, deal with and reduce stress. What I like about aikido, is that sometimes even though I find it hard to drag myself to the training I always come back from them as fresh as new. And I always, with no exception sleep like a baby. So what is the secret power of aikido? It is the pople you meet there, it is the phyisical exercise your body so badly needs after sitting so many hours at a desk, in front of a computer learining or working. Or is it something else?

Human Relations

When you start training, you feel funny at the beginning abou the techniques, about grabbing others. It is strange to find yourself in the position of the one being thrown. What you need to do is to get used to the other people. As Saotome Sensei says in his 2nd chapter I read in a previous post: no two persons are alike, no two persons move alike, you have to take each one of them separately and adapt. It is a great exercise for life outside the dojo also. And then step by step, by helping and being with each other, you start liking and trusting each other. Main thing is to accept the other and liberate oneself of any inhibitions as Crane Sensei would say.

Endorphines those Little Wonders 

When training hard enough aikido exercises a larger part of your body than many of the other sports. You grab, you roll, to execute free falls. Any beginner aikidoka can tell you that in the first month one discovers pain in muscles one didn't even know about that existed. But before the pain in the muscles, the first thing that one feels after aikido is the increased endorphine release. That improves wellbeing, mental balance and is also said to strengthen the immune system. On days when I ponder too much about this and that and have my head filled with all sorts of negative things, I just have to convince myself to go and training. I return home laughing and bright and full of life. It is like some sort of potion, I tell you. I have no other logical explanation to this than the endorphines.

Refuse Resisting


Western culture is oriented towards arguing. Germans have something they call the culture of arguing. This distorted along the years and lead to our gradual disinterest to keep harmony and balance in human relationships. The continuous struggle and resisting to what is coming from the outside world results into stress. Why not try for once blending with what comes from outside and taking it as it is. Like that no negativity can reach and impact you.


O'Sensei

I feel I started understanding this principle better after reading the third chapter of The Principles of Aikido by Mitsugi Saotome. I have made a voice recording of this chapter as I find it explains very well the concept of musubi. So just read again this excerpt, listen to the voice recording and take some time to reflect on all this. 

Do let me know to what conclusion you arrived!

**********************************************************************************

Thanks for voting on the poll about the women in skirts aikido experiment. The majority voted that it is an interesting approach. In conclusion, Bernath Sensei, keep the videos coming!

********************************************************

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Aikitrend: be Positive, be Dynamic



Liking around Facebook, I found this totally awesome online shop that sells aikido jewelery. I instantly liked the unique pieces showcased on their site and thought I must share it with you. I mailed the aikitrend team and got to know them a bit. I mostly corresponded with Anne Marie, who is such a nice person. She said so many positive things about my blog that motivated me. It was great to bond with people who would also see the fusion of beauty and aikido. 


The AikiTrend team is a group of dynamic and dedicated people. Anne Marie shared with me that last month they were present at an aikido seminar in Chicago. There, they had the chance to present the Aikitrend pieces that had a great popularity. So this is a trend created by the aikidoka for the aikidoka and most recently for the iaidoka also. Here is a short presentation of what AikiTrend is all about. 



Since 2010 Aiki Trend has been creating stylish silver and gold pieces inspired in the art of Aikido. Our goal is to share the beauty of Aikido in an innovative way, offering fellow practitioners a tasteful and elegant manner of expressing their love for this art. Aiki Trend has traditional, classy and creative designs which aim to capture the essence and movement of Aikido. Aiki Trend’s jewelry is also representative of the Aikido philosophy – a martial art that fosters peace, love and harmony.  Our brand has also recently launched a new line of Iaido silver jewelry created specifically for the Iaidoka.



Aiki Trend works with the world’s finest metals of South America, mainly with 925 and 950 traditionally crafted peruvian silver. We are proud to say that all of our products are carefully hand-made and polished by Peruvian artisans. Aiki Trend also combines its top quality precious metals with natural elements such as the Andean
opal, Peruvian turquoise, red coral amongst others. Each one of the designs is created for a one-of-a-kind look, which is why all of our models are made in limited editions.


Some strong female aikidoka wearing aikitrend. The pictures were taken by Kjartan Clausen.

Lauren Walsh, Australia, 1st dan,
currently uchideshi at New York Aikikai


Indra Gandy, USA, 3rd dan, New York Aikikai

 ~~Aiki Trend characterizes itself for regularly showcasing new designs and is a beautiful alternative for special Aikido/Iaido occasions and for gifts. Check them out! Here is a short slideshow I have put together from some of the greatest pictures~~





Photography:
Jaime Kahn
Mario Razzeto


Visit their site:


Make sure to follow them on:

Friday, May 6, 2011

The Voice of Aikido- Practicing Basic Technique: Training Mental Attitude and Vision

I decided to start another series of posts, entitled The Voice of Aikido. In this recording I am reading Chapter 2 from The Principles of Aikido by Mitsugi Saotome (1989 p.3-7)


The aim of this series is to share with you some of the theoretical teachings of aikido. The books are not my own but borrowed from the local Japanese library. I picked out excerpts that moved me most and that I find most interesting. I hope the excerpts will rise your interest and that those who practice aikido will try to perfect themselves by reading some of the literature on this martial art.

This Chapter is introducing a number of important principles of aikido. Towards the end, you will find out the Percepts for Practice to be Understood and Deeply Considered. These are some of the basic rules O'Sensei himself has put down as guidelines for those entering the dojo for the first time.

Don't forget to vote on the POLL in the sidebar!!! You have got 4 more days left! 

Sunday, May 1, 2011

To all the Short-Sighted out There!

Beauty and Aikido ©

I am writing this post, to all the short-sighted out there who have been skeptical about contact lenses. So have I been for so many, many years. I started wearing glassed at around the age of 16. From that moment on I thought nobody would find me attractive. Paradoxically enough the same year I got to know my first big love, but that is another story.

Google out my goggles

So don't be silly, glasses do not make you look less attractive. You can have so much fun with different frames and styles. I must admit however, that as a teen having to wear glasses was tough. I always felt most people were seeing the frame and not the person behind it. To this day, I still feel like people I get into superficial contact with, remember me as somebody with glasses. This on the other hand it is kind of OK also, because you probably know the cliché: glasses make you look smarter.

In contact with the lenses

Contact lenses have been for long years a no go for me. I was really put off by the idea that I would have something applied directly on my retina. I din't really like the idea of having to pun my fingers into my eyes when putting it on and off. But there came that certain breakthrough point when I said I will try it.

Out of the fog, into the ligt

That certain point came because of aikido. At trainings I saw everything really blurry because I was not wearing glasses. There are people who wear glasses on the trainings. I personally felt it would hinder my freedom on movement and spoil the fun. I would have been concerned all the time about whether my glasses were about to fall off or not during a roll. So after briefly consulting with one of the senpai, I went there and bought those lenses. It opened a brand new dojo for me. The walls, the pictures, the clock in the dojo. The people's faces during the training: all these small thing became crystal clear. Training became a whole other experience. I am not sure how many of you can follow me, but I would persuade all the short sighted out there to give it a try.

I was mesmerized when I first put the lenses on. I could move my sight in all directions without being restricted by a frame. Because of that I could observe my environment in a different light. One of the most important teachings of aikido is indeed this perceiving of oneself in the context of one's environment. The lenses pushed me a small step forward towards progressing in that.

Beauty and Aikido ©

Glasses/Lenses/Glasses/Lenses/Glasses/Lenses...

All in all, I will not drop my glasses and wear lenses only. There are several reasons. On the one hand I work a lot on a computer, which dries my eyes. My eyes dry even quicker when I wear lenses. On the other hand were I to go to a job interview or i do a presentation, I might be tending to wear the glasses to have a more professional look (back to the smart-ass cliché, but watch out you might lose points in the team player category!) I adapt to my different activities:

Work and chilling at home, writing my blog (like right now),etc.- mostly glasses.

Free time, going for a walk on a sunny day in order to put on cute sunglasses, aikido training, date, whenever I want my make-up to stand out - lenses.

Ah...what the heck girls, the guys don't notice anyway... Sometimes I get the feeling we girls among ourselves notice it much better.


The Voice of Aikido

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