Nov
25

Technical virtuosity! Doshu Kisshomaru Ueshiba and Seigo Yamaguchi at Aikikai Hombu Dojo (1970)

This video consists of scenes from a film by Michel Random titled “The Martial Arts of Japan” (1970). Featured are Second Aikido Doshu Kisshomaru Ueshiba who is in top form, and the inimitable Seigo Yamaguchi Sensei who amazes with his technical virtuosity…

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Nov
25

De-emphasis of aikido’s martial pedigree: “Towards A Reform of Aikido Technique (1): Background,” by Stanley Pranin

What was done instead within the Aikikai system was to de-emphasize the martial pedigree of aikido’s techniques, and eschew practice conditions that led to the cultivation of a strong martial spirit. Some 60 years later, a large number of practitioners within the Aikikai system are still being formed using this teaching approach, which is not martial in nature and does not reflect the vision of aikido conceived by the art’s founder, Morihei Ueshiba O-Sensei…

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Nov
25

“Weapons practice develops stable hips and upper body strength!”

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Nov
25

Surrounded by opponents! Breaking away from Daito-ryu: “Morihei’s technical Tour de Force still amazes after 78 Years!”

I had known about the existence of the 1935 film of Morihei for a number of years. A few of the old-timers had actually seen the old Asahi News documentary, and spoke about it in terms that fired the imagination. Why was this precious document being withheld? Since the film was no longer shown and had been locked away, my only hope was to find an outside source; it was like looking for the veritable needle in the haystack…

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Nov
24

Aikidoka always forget this! Nick Lowry on “Kuzushi, ” balance- breaking

In this video, Nick Lowry Sensei of the Windsong Dojo presents an introduction to the concept of “kuzushi,” or balance-breaking which is essential to all martial arts. He describes various ways that are achieved to unbalance uke and what the physical characteristics of kuzushi are…

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Nov
24

Exquisite aikido! Daniel Toutain Sensei at FAA Auray Summer Camp of 2013

This is a compilation of scenes from the FAA Auray Summer Camp of 2013 conducted by Daniel Toutain Sensei in Auray, France. This video is beautifully edited and showcases the exquiste aikido of Toutain Sensei, a direct disciple of Morihiro Saito Shihan…

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Nov
24

THE AIKI WARRIOR WAY: EPISODE 1 — “EXTRACTING A BLOODIED VICTIM FROM A TRAIN IN JAPAN”

I don’t remember thinking about anything, but I reacted without hesitation and grabbed the arm of the victim and started quickly leading him away from the scene of the fight. He offered no resistance to what I was doing. I frankly doubt that he could even think coherently in the sad state he was in. I moved him quickly out the other end of the car and walked him down further about three cars away from the scene of the fight. I wanted to get far enough away in case the other man tried to follow…

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Nov
21

Blend? You must be kidding! “How Does Aikido change us?” by Lynn Seiser

The physical practice of Aikido follows different strategies and patterns of movement than most martial arts. Coming from a bashing background, it was initially very hard to get my body to move according to the principles and concepts of Aikido. Blend rather than resist? You have to be kidding. Move in a circular motion rather than a linear direction? I did not even do that when I danced. The body did not want to do it and the mind did not understand it. The body and the mind were not fighting each other, they were fighting Aikido…

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Nov
21

Pat Hendricks, 7th dan: “A close-up look at the rigorously precise Iwama Aikido curriculum”

This video presents highlights from a seminar Pat Hendricks conducted in New Zealand and will give viewers a feel for her clear and precise teaching style. This clip shows an interesting teaching progression that many instructors will find useful in planning their classes. This is Iwama Aikido at its best…

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Nov
21

Morihiro Saito explains… “Where did the 31-jo kata come from?”

By the time I learned it, the 31-jo kata was already complete, but when Koichi Tohei Sensei came to practice in Iwama it had not yet been perfected. What he learned was different from what I learned, probably because O-Sensei’s way of instructing was not yet fully developed. When I learned under O-Sensei his teachings included all of the weapons techniques including the kumitachi. At one stage, there was no one left in Iwama except me, so I trained with O-Sensei by myself. His teaching gradually became more elaborate…

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Nov
20

What if you die? “Death and Aikido” by Bokkemon

[A]ssuming that we are facing a real battle, the possibilities of victory are at least equal to the chance of dying. This is quite obvious, and yet that possibility never arises in Aikido training. It is assumed that, in the clash against a more or less expert Aikidoka, the enemy will end unscathed, and with the understanding that violence is unnecessary. It is assumed that the enemy will experience a kind of psycho-spiritual enlightenment that will transform his violent way of relating to the world and will lead him to abandon his aggressive intentions, in a sort of loving conversion…

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Nov
20

Long, fateful bond: The First Encounter with Master Sokaku Takeda

It was in February of 1915 while visiting Engaru in Kitami that O-Sensei met Takeda. They were both staying at the same inn and they met in the halls of the inn. Ueshiba, who was about 30 then, studied with him at the inn for only a month, but while he was being taught he felt some kind of inspiration that spiritually he didn’t quite understand, so he invited Takeda to come to the Shirataki area where about 15 of Ueshiba’s deshi and servants received instruction from Takeda in Daito-ryu…

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