Oct
30

Genuine and firm attacks… “Aikido and Karate: A Love-Love Relationship,” by Nathan Ray

The lessening of atemi in the training hall was for the purpose of strengthening the other major aspects of the art. All of this is true and documented. Knowing atemi and not using it puts one in a much better place, than not knowing atemi and needing it. I have found that the use of atemi and the knowledge of the striking and kicking of Karate has strengthened my understanding and research of Aikido…

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Oct
30

Christian Tissier’s Sensei! Seigo Yamaguchi, 8th dan, explores the intricacies of ikkyo (1986)

In this rare video, Seigo Yamaguchi Sensei, explores the in and outs of ikkyo techniques in his easygoing, genial manner. Yamaguchi Sensei’s aikido was totally unique among the major teachers of the postwar era. He enjoyed great popularity among foreign students at the Aikikai Hombu Dojo in the 1970s through the mid-1990s. He had an especially large contingent of devoted French practitioners, chief among them, Christian Tissier Sensei…

Click here to watch video

Oct
30

O-Sensei had no wrists! “Morihei Ueshiba’s remarkable physical development,” by Stanley Pranin

This is quite an interesting photo taken in the early 1960s at the Aikikai Hombu Dojo which would put the Founder in his late 70s. O-Sensei’s body development was quite remarkable, and the Founder took pride in his physical conditioning. I once remember Sadateru Arikawa Sensei saying, “The Founder had no wrists!” By that he meant that the thickness of his forearms extended right into his hands so that it appeared he had no wrists! This photo demonstrates what Arikawa Sensei was talking about…

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Oct
29

Aikido pioneer in Hawaii… Koichi Tohei, 10th dan, escapes from bear hug of huge American soldier

This is a rare photo of Koichi Tohei Sensei, 10th dan, teaching a group of military personnel in Hawaii. Here he seems perfectly at ease even while a large American applies a powerful bear hug from behind. Tohei Sensei had an uncanny ability to easily escape from such holds by maintaining his center and a perfectly relaxed state. No doubt he won over a number of converts among the military through his convincing demonstrations…

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Oct
29

More on “Go no Sen” – The Path to Defeat by Luciano Estivill


“It is almost irrelevant who performs the technique first, the only thing that
really counts is you making the aggressor do what you want him to do”

The other day “Aikido en Línea” published a Spanish translation of my article titled “Go no Sen — The Path to Defeat”. This was shared by Takemusu Aiki on Facebook which brought it to my attention. One of commentators, Luciano Estivill, added several observations that expanded upon the themes I touched on. He is very articulate and I think readers will enjoy his comments.

luciano-estivillI subscribe 100% to what you said (which is in fact the same concept O-Sensei Ueshiba talked about all the time, and some aikidoka forget easily). No matter the aggressor or his attack, the point is controlling the combat from the very beginning. I understand “control” as Nage “leading” the encounter. It is almost irrelevant who performs the technique first, the only thing that really counts is you making the aggressor do what you want him to do.

So maybe Nage has to “invite” Uke somehow to attack first and neutralize him or counterattack him, or maybe Nage has to go for it. I always remeber Chiba Sensei explaining that he read O-Sensei’s diary or something like that, and O-Sensei’s words were: “I have to get him before he gets me”. It’s too clear to me he’s talking about controlling the aggressor BEFORE the aggressor tries to attack him, or further: even before the aggressor does something. And controlling the combat from the beginning probably means simply, pronounce the exact word at the exact moment, and maybe the aggressor throws in the towel, turns back, and retires.

The main problem, Stanley Sensei is, in my humble opinion, that some aikidoka think that doing the first move (or even applying a technique on the aggressor before he does something) is an “attack”. But martially speaking, it’s nonsense. The aggressor “attacks” (that’s why he’s the aggressor), so if you realise the other guy is about to do something, or about to get you, even if he still doesn’t move (but you know he’s about to do it), you as the “defender” will probably be forced to move before him, or do something before he can make a try on you, which can be a sankyo, a kubishime, some yubidori, a kick, a punch, a word, a warning, or whatever you need to do. Just standing still waiting for the aggressor to attack and do what he wants (when you are sure he’ll do something), is absolutely ridiculous!. From a martial point of view, is not only nonsense but dangerous (for both you and even the aggressor!).

Oct
29

“The venerable Aikido Journal Bibliography has risen from the ashes!” by Clark Bateman

bibliography

“THE MOST COMPLETE BIBLIOGRAPHIC
REFERENCE ON AIKIDO EVER COMPILED!”

clark-bateman-150pxHello, fellow aikidoka! We are happy to announce that the venerable Aikido Journal Bibliography has risen from the ashes!

We have reformatted and updated the entire database, and set it up to work with all our current web software. There are now more than 400 entries, covering all aikido or aiki-related books we are aware of that were ever published in English or multilingual formats. All entries have at least a short summary, and as much publisher’s info as we can find. We have also identified a few obscure “white elephants” that don’t really exist, but persist in giving the impression that they do, due to erroneous information on the web.

We have tried to provide cover photos for all available editions of each title. We have also updated the records to show Kindle and Nook editions, and have provided listings for those titles only published in those non-print formats. The records are tagged and searchable several ways, so you should be able to quickly get where you need to go. Just follow the nav tips on the front page.

This Bibliography is YOUR resource, and we have even ported in all the comments and reviews from the previous incarnation. We have provided the means for users to continue to augment the content by posting their own comments and reviews. Your comments will be appreciated, and will only serve to make this an even more valuable resource, not just to the bibliophiles among us, but for the “normal” folks, as well! We’ll update and add titles as quickly as we find out about them, so we’ll always try to be as current as possible. We’d also love it if those among you who have authored books in the database to chime in with some thoughts from your unique perspective.

This is a free resource, accessible from links on both Aikido Journal websites, as well as other AJ social media. It can also be entered directly at bibliography.aikidojournal.com. Give it a look… We hope that you’ll find it useful, and add it to your favorites and bookmarks. Enjoy!

Oct
28

Do you do it this way? How to tie your belt!

A clear, step-by-step video of one approach to tying your martial arts belt so that it hangs even. This is something that beginners will find useful…

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Oct
28

Where you need to go… “Learning and Aikido—Your Mileage May Vary,” by Kara L. Stewart

All the throwing and being thrown in Aikido also has led to other changes. Getting up off the mat a zillion times during class may sound like a horrible way to choose to spend time. On the contrary, I’ve found it freeing and motivating unlike anything else I’ve ever done. There’s something to that notion of “I just have to get up one time more than I’m thrown” that is seeping into the other corners of my life, which leads to what Aikido is helping me learn on the emotional end of things…

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Oct
28

Ouch! “Editor Stanley Pranin gets a taste of Shihonage, Daito-ryu style!”

Intrepid editor Stanley Pranin gets in the act by feeling the pain associated with the Daito-ryu version of shihonage! Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu was the old jujutsu style studied and taught by Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba beginning in 1915. His teacher was the famous Sokaku Takeda. Their association lasted nearly 20 years…

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Oct
27

Watch what happens! Robert Kennedy’s bodyguard tests Gozo Shioda Sensei

A short video with rare historical footage of the 1962 visit of Robert Kennedy to Japan where he experiences first-hand the Yoshinkan Aikido of Gozo Shioda Sensei. Kennedy’s bodyguard is doubtful of the effectives of the diminutive Shioda’s technique. Watch what happens!…

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Oct
27

OFFER ENDS TODAY!! MORIHEI UESHIBA FOUNDER’S COURSE…

What we see here is a rather unstructured demonstration of sword blending forms. It may appear that uke is initiating the sword attacks. But what is actually happening is Morihei is giving verbal cues such as… “Strike”… “thrust”. These oral commands and O-Sensei’s body language are what actually trigger the attacks. He is in control of the direction and timing of the sword interaction.

Now notice that Morihei’s actions consist of counterstrikes to the head, thrusts to the throat, and parrying uke’s sword. The end result is that uke is unable to mount a decisive attack. He is thwarted in his every move. These are important lessons that can be applied to our empty-handed practice…

___________________

Morihei Ueshiba, the Founder of Aikido, had a storied career in martial arts that lasted more than 60 years. He lived in epic times having seen action in the Russo-Japanese War (1904-1905) and participated in the training of young soldiers bound for the battlefield in the World War II era. These intense experiences together with the devastation suffered in the wake of Japan’s defeat shaped his thinking about the true purpose of fighting arts. Morihei began to view the martial arts as instruments of peace. It was a message of harmony and conflict resolution that he promoted in his teachings in the postwar era.

Luckily, a number of films and audio recordings of the Founder have survived. We have gathered together an extensive collection of more than 30 films and interviews with Morihei Ueshiba that will give present-day practitioners of aikido and intimate glimpse into the teachings and techniques of this great master.aiki-jo-promo2-02-aj

Of all of the surviving documents of the Founder, perhaps the most important is the 1935 film of Morihei shot at the Asahi News company in Osaka. This film was shot in sound in 16mm format and runs some 19 minutes. Morihei demonstrates many suwariwaza, hanza handachi (hanmi handachi), tachiwaza, multiple attacks, and sword and juken techniques. His partners are Shigemi Yonekawa and Tsutomu Yukawa. There are brief appearances by Takuma Hisa and Rinjiro Shirata.

Most of the techniques preserved in this film are advanced and are performed in a flowing style building up to a spectacular multiple attack finale! One is struck by the modernity of many of the techniques and the “ki no nagare” like style of execution. The visual and sound impact of this film is tremendous and it provides a window in time to the wonderful techniques of Morihei from that era.

The Morihei Ueshiba Founder’s Course is O-Sensei’s video legacy starting in 1935 and covering a span of 34 years until just before his passing in 1969. Besides the more than 30 films of the Founder, the course includes three rare audio interviews of O-Sensei with complete subtitles. These are wonderfully intimate conversations with the Founder that convey his bright personality, playfulness and sincerity. In addition, the course includes a series of video documentaries by Stanley Pranin on the life of the Founder and the spread of his art worldwide.

What’s Inside the Morihei Ueshiba Founder’s Course…

● O-Sensei’s Complete Video Set
● 38 modules for online viewing & downloading
● Rare 1935 Asahi News film
● Voice recordings of Founder
● Videos spanning 34 years
● Historical Documentaries

Click here to watch video

Oct
26

Morihei Ueshiba’s Amazing Weapons Display at the Aikikai… “Weapons Better Your Empty-handed Techniques!”

“Morihei Ueshiba Founder’s Course… Available through Monday, October 27th!”

What we see here is a rather unstructured demonstration of sword blending forms. It may appear that uke is initiating the sword attacks. But what is actually happening is Morihei is giving verbal cues such as… “Strike”… “thrust”. These oral commands and O-Sensei’s body language are what actually trigger the attacks. He is in control of the direction and timing of the sword interaction.

Now notice that Morihei’s actions consist of counterstrikes to the head, thrusts to the throat, and parrying uke’s sword. The end result is that uke is unable to mount a decisive attack. He is thwarted in his every move. These are important lessons that can be applied to our empty-handed practice…

___________________

Morihei Ueshiba, the Founder of Aikido, had a storied career in martial arts that lasted more than 60 years. He lived in epic times having seen action in the Russo-Japanese War (1904-1905) and participated in the training of young soldiers bound for the battlefield in the World War II era. These intense experiences together with the devastation suffered in the wake of Japan’s defeat shaped his thinking about the true purpose of fighting arts. Morihei began to view the martial arts as instruments of peace. It was a message of harmony and conflict resolution that he promoted in his teachings in the postwar era.

Luckily, a number of films and audio recordings of the Founder have survived. We have gathered together an extensive collection of more than 30 films and interviews with Morihei Ueshiba that will give present-day practitioners of aikido and intimate glimpse into the teachings and techniques of this great master.
aiki-jo-promo2-02-aj
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