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Here's what others say about AJ's work & Pro content inside The Digi Dojo
Excellent source for any Wado practitioner
This eBook on Ohyo Kumite enabled me to improve my training.
My biggest takeaway was to find out that movements that seem simple are actually quite sophisticated if one is to perform them correctly.
The most refreshing and beneficial aspect of this book in my opinion, are the detailed photographs accompanied by even more detailed explanations of the techniques, down to the smallest detail. Most times we are told: "push down with right hand", or "place your arm across your opponent and throw him", which does not transmit the subtle parts of the technique that makes it work.
The explanations provide a level of detail often found only when training with top level instructors, usually on big seminars which normally do not provide much one-on-one attention from the instructor.
It did make a huge impact on how minor tweaks or fixes missing from a certain movement or technique can make it all the more effective, as well as it's principles can be applied to other areas of training and application.
I would recommend this book because of it's in-depth details when explaining every movement and technique.
Setting the Mind in Motion with Every Visit to the Digi Dojo
After looking on the Internet to find information about Wado Ryu, I found The Digi Dojo.
My Pro Licence has provided me with the most comprehensive knowledge gathered at one place on the World Wide Web. Especially because I access to all videos, showing the different techniques, kumites, katas and more.
I think that the idea behind the Digi Dojo is excellent and an invaluable asset for studying and evolve myself and my students in both Wado and karate.
You get cues and clues that make the difference
What you learn here will really take your Wado to a higher level. I get deeper insights that I have never heard anywhere else. Time is not just filled with exercises... No - you get clues that make the difference. Every time they explain a number of other fascinating facets of the Wado.
Great series to learn freedom of movement.
I got access to The Journey Of Henka Waza hoping to learn how to better techniques of movement. The series did not disappoint! It helps me to find new ways of working on kata to find new variations.
A real eye-opener was to find out that freedom of movement isn't just physical, it's mental too. Especially the "how-to transform a missed technique into another" tips are very practical and easy to implement.
I would definitely recommend others watch the series because it helps to learn to adjust their forms to adapt in self defense situations.
If you think about watching this series... Definitely watch this series!
A beginner's thoughts on Henka Waza
I had not yet come across the term Henka Waza and was interested to know what it was. In Karate, you hear the expression "every block is a punch, and every punch is a block", but in Henka Waza it all comes together and makes sense to freely flow from one technique to the next.
What's explained in "The Journey To Henka Waza" is a real eye-opener that gives my training more focus, since now I don't think in terms of one, two, three combinations, but in infinite flowing techniques.
Since I had never heard of the term Henka Waza before, I was very pleased to learn that this concept exists because, while it might be difficult to understand and apply at first, it's the core of what Karate is all about, regardless of style..
You won't regret watching this series even if you're already familiar with this concept. That's why I recommend you to watch this series because it presents this ideology in a practical way that is easy to understand.
Best Wado-ryu resource
I was looking for a source to improve my martial arts skills and then I found AJ’s book Wado No Michi. All the details help me to understand techniques better and principles deeper.
I like AJ’s precision about anything he demonstrates, his training methods (and his jokes). What is definitely one of the best things is the simplicity. AJ’s ability of teaching hard concept with simple word and pictures helps me to better understand and to improve my skills and also my teaching.
For example Meotode principle. Before I only focused on one hand and took distance after attack (like in kumite competition). And now I use both hands, one hand for a punch, the other hand for controlling the opponent then I can reverse hands to do combination. It allows me to score more easily and make my techniques more effective than before.
The biggest difference between Wado No Michi and other books are the plenty pictures, lot of details for each technique and complete course of Wado in one book. I have many books about martial arts and this is the best about Wado-ryu karate and would therefore definitely recommend this book and AJ’s work to other Karateka.
Should be called the Wado Wikipedia
I had been following Sensei AJ's YouTube channel for a while, and had always wondered how can I learn from this person while being a continent apart. The answer: The Digi Dojo.
What stood out to me from Sensei AJ's videos was his sharp execution of technique, which to me means that he has that rare combination of thousands of hours of practice plus the understanding of the principles at work behind the techniques.
The biggest takeaway for me was that sometimes the smallest detail will have the greatest impact on improving or progressing to the next level of karate training/understanding.
His teaching style allows me to look at karate from a completely different perspective of not just repeating movements endlessly, but to train with a specific purpose in mind. He even encourages that we change that specific purpose between training sessions in order to improve as a whole.
The best example has a not particularly important video regarding Hikite. Sensei AJ said don't focus on your fist, focus on your shoulder and the fist will automatically find itself in the "correct position. And after some practice, by God was he right!
I believe Sensei AJ's content would help Karateka from other styles, not just Wado, because his focus is on principles and natural movement. He even shows Kobudo training and educates how armed training can translate into unarmed training.
And finally, most other publications are limited to their syllabus. Sensei AJ's content is always evolving, and he constantly asks for feedback on what topics to address.
This is not something I see any top-level instructor do.
Informational, awakening and highly motivating
AJ and Sakagami sensei’s teaching is really involving, encouraging you to ask questions and the atmosphere is really nice.
Both instructors are extremely competent and skilled. They give clear explanations and plenty of valuable insights, providing me with the tools to improve.
I’m excited to share what I learned with my Sensei and Kohai and because of this seminar, I set my goals higher.
From now on for example, I'm working on the shoulder blade movement and the awareness of Seichusen following the advices and methods taught by AJ.
I discover something new each and every time
With Sakagami, May & AJ sensei you really dig into the core of Wado. For some course you have to make time and this is one of them: I discover something new every time. What makes it even better is the particularly accessible atmosphere.
When I got a glimpse of what The Digi Dojo contains and it's value, getting my Pro Licence was a no brainer...
And it exceeded my expectations.
The Digi Dojo is a great place to get inspiration that I can put into my teaching and my techniques. For example, I now study Meotode and try to implement it as an extension of other techniques.
I've been on many seminars with Sensei Sakagami and Sensei Nukina and learned Kumite Gata which we had little or no experience from before. But there is too much that will be forgotten, so now I use the Digi Dojo to study to check the different forms.
Give it a try. You will not be disapointed.
Become more complete and aware
I try to use every opportunity to improve my own skill as well teaching my students, and I felt that this series would contribute.
My expectations were that I'll become more complete and aware as a karateka and instructor, and The Journey To Henka Waza definately did.
That's why I recommend this series to anyone who wants to broaden their knowledge of Wado-ryu and improve their level. I'm convinced you'll be delighted with the knowledge, information and communication contained here.
Always return to the basics
As a professional musician and music teacher, I always emphasize to students that basics are important.
I often remind myself that no matter how much we progress in rank or in skill, we must always go back to basics and make sure our foundation is solid. I found especially effective how AJ demonstrated how the stances are all related to each other. This relationship is not often taught.
The Stances Masterclass not only taught me how to position my body, but I also learned how stances make movements easier and more efficient.
I have a better understanding of stances as they relate to each other. This will facilitate learning the basics in a way that it “sticks” because each stance is not taught in isolation.
Watching this series will help keep your basics sharp.
Great course for mastering the basics!
I have always enjoyed learning new ways to apply the basics of karate. This course definitely did not disappoint!
The new ways to apply the fists were eye opening and the application for kumate was very informative. Because of that, I'll definitely be keeping my mind open to even more ways to apply the basics beyond what I've learned.
This is the first video series that has taught new ways to apply the basics.
I've always looked for new ways and been disappointed. I was cautiously skeptical when I started the series, but I'm glad that I got it and would definitely recommend this series to anyone who wants to study the basics of karate in a new way.
Having a good foundation in the basics of karate is essential, and this series definitely provides that necessary foundation.
What AJ explaines will affect my partner exercises
Often Karate appears to be strict in the sense that there's only one way to do a technique/excercise. Through watching The Journey To Henka Waza I found there's a concept in place that encourages variation or adaptation to the situation. Very interesting.
What AJ explaines will affect my partner exercises the most. How to make the "official" techniques work with your current partner. How to react to unexpected situations. I like the idea of "freedom of movement" and applying the keys taught to every partner excercise.
If Karate means more to you than just a nice health exercise, I would recommend to have a look at the video.
In my understanding Henka waza is a concept that you should know and consider. Especially when you do partner exercises.
Give it a try and watch the first video - after that you have an idea and can decide if you want to go into the details ;-)
I take away specific tasks that I now include in my practice
It is clear AJ knows what he is talking about!
I was highly impressed with the technical content of both the techniques and his way of teaching. AJ guides and explaines in general as well as on a personal level - looking specifically for what I need.
That allows me to focus on how and what to move so that I can work on my own abilities.
His seminars give me loads of ideas and suggestions and I take away specific tasks that I now include in my practice.
All in all I have to say that AJ’s seminar is time well spent.
It will not only help beginners
The technical information will not only help beginners but act as a reference source for more experienced practitioners as well. You should be proud of your accomplishment.
After AJ's seminars I always feel like I have taken my skill up a notch
AJ sensei always knows exactly what I need to focus on to take my karate to the next level.
He is the only instructor I know who focuses on key points rather than just form. That’s why you gain a lot of practical insights as well as theoretical knowledge, making each of his seminars a unique experience.
AJ sensei’s teaching method and demonstrations are also clear and logical.
After his seminars I always feel like I have taken my skill up a notch.
The Aston Martin of Karate teaching.....
I really enjoyed myself by receiving quality instruction balanced with patients and belief. At no time I felt criticised. In fact, I always felt confident that every element was improving my standards as a student of Wado. There was so much content to take away from the seminar, especially because their words hit home fast encouraging progression, confidence and self belief.
After years of training...
The second I went Pro I looked up the database and I'm already impressed. Even after years of training I found some tips to improve my Junzuki right away!
The search for a comprehensive resource ended...
Coming from a family of Wado karate practitioners we always felt that there was a serious lack of educational material available to Wado students outside of Japan.
Hours spent online looking for resource material on katas, techniques and details regarding on how to execute them correctly fell painfully short. The negative consequence of such lack of information makes learning, understanding and progress in karate, dependent on the short period of time you get to interact with your Sensei at personal level.
As karate has transitioned into a more of a sports and competition oriented model, the time spent on thorough analysis of each technique is lost, thus we see kids blindly emulating the seniors without much attention nor understanding on technique, body mechanics and aesthetics.
The search for a comprehensive resource ended when I stumbled upon AJ's Wado No Michi. It was an All-in-One (albeit a few which he has since added on to The Digi Dojo site) compendium to fill the void of a true reference book. It covers Basics, Pinan & Advanced Katas, Kumite Techniques all with detailed explanations answering the vital questions of Why/What/When/Where and How?
AJ's Video collections on The Digi Dojo complements and completes where "Wado No Michi" fell short due to its limitation as a book.
Personally it has helped me to learn, discover and identify many areas in which I was lacking may it be in Katas, Kihon or Kumite. It also helps me to incorporate learning in the comfort of my own home during by busy work schedules. The magnificent gifts of modern technology, bringing access of this invaluable information on a global scale, and at your fingertips.
I recommend this to all practitioners of Wado, young and old, to sign up and use this invaluable resource and take your karate to the next level.
It doesn't matter which school you are in
I got my Pro license because I wanted access to all the videos, not just a few or having temporary access.
Even though I'm in Shorin Ryu, it's really useful. It will do me good for sure as this fabulous website contain so much details, regardless to the school you are in.
And it's not just the detailed explananations. AJ is always ready to answer your questions thoroughly and never backs down to take a extra step if necessary.
Don't hesitate if you're thinking to go pro too :)
I watched The Stances Masterclass to be reminded of the traditional stances I first learnt as a beginner many years ago, as we sometimes names get lost with all the modern sports karate we seem to teach.
The biggest takeaway I got was the straight forward and easy to understand explanations of the various stances by AJ.
I will re watch this video again and when I teach these in class I will be confident that I am teaching correct Wado Ryu stances the way they we intended.
The series exceeded my expectations by AJ explains and demonstrates the stances in a thoroughly professional way and expanded my knowledge.
I would definately recommend this series to anyone who is serious about learning authentic wado - ryu karate. Go into watching this series with an open mind, and you'll learn more than you thought.