Feb
27

Ukemi guide: Excellent video demonstrating aikido falling skills by Luc Sanselme

This is a well-organized and innovative video presenting various falls used in aikido, and different exercises that can be practiced to master these ukemi. These exercises are designed to prepare the body to fall skillfully and safely…

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Feb
27

Hear O-Sensei’s actual voice! Excerpts from a 1962 radio interview with Morihei Ueshiba

This video clip contains portions of a fascinating interview of the Founder conducted about 1962 during which he is questioned about aikido. As was his custom, many of the Founder’s comments reflect his spiritual views and mention Japanese kami. This recording, which includes full subtitles, affords a rare chance to gain an intimate glimpse of the Founder’s charm and personality…

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Feb
27

Stanley Pranin: Frustrating your opponent’s ability to grab and moving to the blind spot

“Think carefully about what you do and why you do it”

Aikido training in virtually all styles follows a series of rituals. Students seldom question the techniques and assumptions that underlie what they are taught. As a result, poor training habits can gain a foothold and are perpetuated over generations.

Stanley Pranin takes a look at the simple katatedori — the single-hand grab — and proposes that we rethink our range of responses to gain an immediate advantage. This sets the stage for a successful execution of techniques.

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Watch these videos for insights into solving the
technical problems that hold back your progress!

Click here for information on Stanley Pranin's “Zone Theory of Aikido” Course

Feb
26

The epitome of elegance! Frank Doran, 7th dan: “Poetry in Motion”

This is a wonderful video of Frank Doran Sensei of Aikido West in Redwood City, California containing numerous snippets of his elegant aikido. Of special note is his excellent posture at all times during the execution of techniques. Frank Doran is a aikido teacher in the United States, chief instructor of Aikido West in Redwood…

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Feb
26

Free download Aiki News #62: “O-Sensei was at his best in the later years of his life… after the Iwama years”

Contents of Aiki News No. 62, 1984

● Editorial – Shirata and Mochizuki Senseis, by Stanley Pranin
● Interview with Rinjiro Shirata, by Stanley Pranin
● Heard in the Dojo
● Morihiro Saito Technical Notebook — Eridori kokyunage oyowaza, by Morihiro Saito
● O-Sensei Biography — “The Budo Enhancement Association and Takeda Dojo,” by
Kisshomaru Ueshiba
● Minoru Mochizuki Pictorial, by Stanley Pranin
● Letters to the Editor…

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Feb
26

The Founder’s technical secrets revealed… “A Look Inside Morihei’s Revolutionary Training Manual,” by Stanley Pranin

When I discovered Morihei’s little 1938 training manual during an interview in 1981, little did I realize how important a find it was. I immediately showed it to my teacher Morihiro Saito who had no idea that such a document existed. Saito Sensei was delighted at the discovery because “Budo” contained irrefutable evidence that his way of teaching in Iwama was faithful to the Founder’s curriculum as he had learned it after the war directly from Morihei…

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Feb
25

Inimitable! Seigo Yamaguchi, 8th dan, in private demonstration at Meiji University (1990)

This is beautiful clip of Seigo Yamaguchi Sensei giving a private demonstration at Meiji University. The essence of Yamaguchi Sensei’s inimitable style of aikido is readily evident as he spontaneously reels off one technique after another…

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Feb
25

Filled with martial spirit… Shoji Nishio’s Superlative Weapons demonstration in Kiev!

This is a demonstration performed by Shoji Nishio, 8th dan, in Kiev, Ukraine in 1999. Nishio Sensei shows a variety of empty-handed techniques illustrating their application through the demonstration of paired ken and jo kata. Shoji Nishio Sensei was one of aikido’s most innovative teachers incorporating elements from his extensive experience in judo, karate, iaido, and jojutsu in his martial-oriented interpretation of aikido…

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Feb
25

Morihei encounters Sokaku for the first time… “An eager apprentice to a formidable martial arts master!” by Kisshomaru Ueshiba

Takeda Sokaku is recorded in modern budo history as the transmitter of Daito-ryu Jujutsu. He was an awe-inspiring person with a formidable appearance and, although he was about 2 inches shorter than O-Sensei, he always seemed to stare down at things with a mysteriously piercing gaze, made all the more so by a tight-lipped frown due to his lack of front teeth. It is said that Onisaburo Deguchi, who had a reputation for being able to tell people’s fortunes, once told Takeda that even though he had mastered one “Way,” he was a man with the smell of blood and a hapless or evil fate. Master Deguchi often wondered why Ueshiba was so humble towards Takeda, and this attitude was a point of irritation to the religious leader…

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Feb
24

Rare footage… Demonstration of Nobuyoshi Tamura from April 1976

A rare 8mm film of scenes of a seminar taught by the late Nobuyoshi Tamura Sensei in April 1976. At this point, Tamura Sensei had already been in France for 12 years. His style is reminiscent of the taijutsu practiced at the Aikikai in the 1960s and 70s. The latter part of this film consists of a public demonstration containing sword kata and knife-taking techniques in which Tamura Sensei is partnered by Tiki Shewan Sensei. Tamura Sensei would gradually refine his aikido over time, and in his final years, he exhibited amazing skills in a style that was alternately soft and explosive…

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Feb
24

Must watch… Rumiko Hayes — “More Martial Magic of the Diminutive Ninja Lady!”

This video presents another inspiring display of this incredible martial artist. Rumiko Hayes’ perfectly timed soft-style manuevers take advantage of positional and anatomical weaknesses to control her opponent. These movements are beyond style and much martial wisdom awaits the careful observer!…

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Feb
24

The world’s largest organization says “No” to weapons… Listen to the opinions of Aikido Journal readers on this thorny subject!

No matter how many times we revisit this subject, we find that readers have strong views on whether aikido training should include weapons practice, especially the Aiki Ken and Aiki Jo. The world’s largest aikido body, the Aikikai Hombu Dojo organization based in Tokyo, holds steadfastly to the position that the art consists only of empty-handed (taijutsu) techniques. Use of the ken, jo, and tanto is only occasional, for example, for testing and demonstrations. No structured weapons curriculum exists within the Aikikai system…

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