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LIU Post offers a wide variety of classes to its students. Now, the martial arts styling of aikido is one of them.
The class has been in the works for a while, but only recently has gained momentum. The last time the class was offered it did not work for many students who were interested in taking it. The class was originally allotted a time slot of 11:30 a.m. to 12:25p.m. The class has now been moved to Fridays from 10 a.m. to 11:50 a.m. and will be conducted by Robert Waltzer, or as he’s known to his students: Waltzer Sensei.
Waltzer has been practicing martial arts for 43 years, and along
with a strong knowledge of aikido he knows karate and jujitsu. He describes the difference between aikido and other martial arts; aikido is strictly a selfdefense art that emphasizes footwork, while karate is an offensive art. “It’s more similar to an aspect of using the person’s energy, rather than karate uses force against force and steps back and blocks the person. But that person is still in front of you. Where Aikido really empha- sizes a lot of footwork,” he said.
“When the New York Times came and did an article about self defense, the person that did the article looked at me and watched what I was doing,” Waltzer said. “I don’t know why, but he compared it to a matador, meaning that when somebody is much bigger and
coming at you, you’re deflecting and redirecting, rather than clash- ing with it,” he added.
Aikido is also considered especially helpful for women and smaller people.
“I did karate for 18 years and I can tell you the Aikido is much more practical,” Waltzer said. “It is much more on a defensive side and works much better with a smaller person who has a much bigger person as an adversary.”
The class at Post will teach students how to fall properly, as well as defensive moves in the event they ever are attacked.
“I teach people how to fall properly, how to roll properly and when a new student at Post starts they would learn defensive moves if they were being grabbed,” Waltz-
er said. “Whether that’s grabbed by their wrist, whether they’re grabbed from the front to the back and as the session progresses they would be learning each time more defensive maneuvers. So the bot- tom line is they’re not being taught to fight, they’re being taught to protect themselves.”
Waltzer believes that the class is useful and will help students. “I think it’s really beneficial to the students and I think that’s why I really want to get in there to teach them,” he said.
The class will run the rest of the semester in the racquetball court at the Pratt Center. Students who are interested in attending the class can contact Kent Hatch by email or show up to racquetball courts on Friday at 10 a.m.
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