Aug
01

Clear, strong, basics… An Introduction to Aikido by Yoshimitsu Yamada Sensei

This video featuring Yoshimitsu Yamada Sensei assisted by Donovan Waite presents basic techniques and principles of aikido. It begins with a free-style demonstration, followed by a presentation of etiquette, ukemi, and finally a detailed explanation of shomenuchi ikkyo. Yoshimitsu Yamada, a direct student of O-Sensei for more than ten years, is an 8th dan and the chief instructor at the New York Aikikai…

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Aug
01

Aikido’s Second Doshu: “Kisshomaru Ueshiba’s stamp on modern aikido,” by Stanley Pranin

Kisshomaru’s new activism took several forms. He worked systematically to standardize the aikido curriculum, and his efforts could soon be seen in the new generation of junior instructors, young men in their 20s and 30s, whose techniques began to closely resemble those of Kisshomaru. This was perhaps no more apparent than in the grooming process of his second son, Moriteru, as the successor to his position as aikido’s doshu. Moriteru’s technique became virtually identical to that of his father, and his pedagogical approach became likewise similar. Besides serving as the model for the young crop of Aikikai instructors, Moriteru’s education would insure the propagation of Kisshomaru’s technical and pedagogical legacy far into the future…

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Aug
01

The event that almost never happened! Video: Highlights of 1st Aikido Friendship Demonstration

This video contains highlights of the First Aiki News Friendship Demonstration that took place in 1985 in Tokyo. It featured lecture demonstrations by six Aikido greats: Morihiro Saito, Shoji Nishio, Kanshu Sunadomari, Yasuo Kobayashi, Mitsugi Saotome, and Yoshio Kuroiwa. The presentations given during the event included outstanding demonstrations and lectures on aikido principles…

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Jul
31

Frontal pushing throws… Masatoshi Yasuno at Heian Shrine Kyoto

This video consists of highlights of a seminar conducted by Masatoshi Yasuno Sensei in Kyoto in 2011. The content is unusual in that Yasuno Sensei demonstrates numerous frontal pushing throws that are seldom seen. Having viewed numerous other video clips by this same teacher, it seems that the approach displayed here is experimental…

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Jul
31

No one made any effort to stop the fight! “Applying aikido in real life on the train in Japan,” by Stanley Pranin

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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Jul
31

Building blocks of the art… Quotable quotes from Morihiro Saito’s “Takemusu Aikido: Background & Basics”

“Daily practice begins with tai no henko. First, open your fingers. The basis of ura movements is footwork.”

“If you look at your partner even slightly, his body will separate from you and there will be too much space between you.”

“In ura techniques, parry the strike from the gyaku hanmi position. In this way, you will be able to execute a rapid and effective technique.”

“You must use an escape to free one of your hands in order to do the technique. One way to free your hand naturally is to open your fingers and turn your body strongly inward to unbalance your partner.”

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Jul
30

Prewar techniques… Satoru Tsuchiya of Shodokan (Tomiki) Aikido in France, 2007

A strong, physical demonstration of Tomiki Aikido with excellent posture and presence. Many techniques are of a prewar origin. “Satoru Tsuchiya is the representative in France of the Shodokan Aikido school founded by Kenji Tomiki, student of Jigoro Kano and subsequently Morihei Ueshiba. This school is unique is that it introduced a system of competition while at the same time preserving the fundamental principles of Aikido and the modern spirit of Judo…”

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Jul
30

Hand placement is important! Video: “Fine points of Shihonage”

In this video Stanley Pranin offers his views on some particulars of aikido’s Shihonage (four-corner throw). He discusses the generation of mechanical energy to disrupt uke’s balance through positioning, and arm and body movement, atemi, kiai, etc. Next, is a discussion of the positioning of the hands on uke’s arm to execute Shihonage. He proposes that a common hand placement used is ineffective and suggests using the teachings of Morihei Ueshiba and Morihiro Saito as models. Finally, a comparison of some differences in the execution of Shihonage omote and ura are presented…

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Jul
30

My friends got cold feet! Morihiro Saito: “Learning to fight for the benefit of society”

There was this old man doing strange techniques up in the mountains near Iwama. Some people said he did karate, while a judo teacher told me his art was called “Ueshiba-ryu judo.” It was frightening up there and I was afraid to go. I had a very strange feeling about the place. It was eerie, but some of my friends and I agreed to go up and have a look. However, my friends got cold feet and failed to show up. So I went alone…

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Jul
29

Continuous connection! Seishiro Endo, 8th dan, at the 48th All-Japan Aikido Demonstration (2010)

This video features a demonstration by 8th dan Seishiro Endo Sensei of the Aikikai Hombu Dojo. Here he displays his soft approach to aikido and extreme sensitivity. This video clip offers a good opportunity to study his advanced approach to the art based on nearly 50 years of experience…

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Jul
29

Don’t become a victim! Killer Shihonage: “Escaping serious injury or even death!” by Stanley Pranin

Practitioners who are less advanced may be overwhelmed by the pain caused and lack the skills to escape injury to the wrist, elbow or shoulder. In some cases, promising aikido careers have been ended as the victims have been left with chronic pain and loss of function in the injured areas…

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Jul
29

Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu Takumakai: “Techniques a Wonder of Human Ingenuity!”

An excellent documentary in Japanese on Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu Takumakai, the largest branch of the various descendants of Sokaku Takeda’s art, studied by Morihei Ueshiba beginning in 1915. The complex old-style jujutsu techniques comprising the curriculum are a wonder of human ingenuity!…

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