Aug
22

Jo kata, jo nage! Hiroshi Tada, 9th dan, demonstrates his dynamic jo forms

In this video shot in Italy, Hiroshi Tada Sensei, 9th dan, demonstrates jonage, and jo kata that include paired forms. Tada Sensei’s use of the jo is unique and complements his dynamic taijutsu techniques. Hiroshi Tada is one of the last remaining of the postwar generation of instructors developed at the Aikikai Hombu Dojo in Tokyo…

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Aug
22

Free PDF download! Magazine — Aiki News # 88, Summer 1991

Contents

● Editorial – The Winds of Change, by Stanley Pranin
● Letters to the Editor
● Interview with Morihiro Saito, by Stanley Pranin
● Morihiro Saito Technical Notebook — Shomenuchi kotegaeshi, by Morihiro Saito
● Open Forum
● Daito-ryu Aiki Budo , by Takuma Hisa
● Aiki News Video Catalog
● Aiki Forum – Shindo Muso-ryu Jojutsu, Kenji Matsui
● Interview with Tokimune Takeda, by Stanley Pranin
● Yoshinkan Aikido Techniques: Iriminage applications, by Gozo Shioda
● Heard in the Dojo…

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Aug
22

Popular! “Yamaguchi Sensei had never had a foreign student and it seemed he didn’t particularly want one!” by William Gleason

One evening, I presented myself at the front door of the Ikenoue dojo with my letter of recommendation. Sensei was not at all pleased. He had never had a foreign student and it seemed he didn’t particularly want one. This dojo was for his chosen few. It had an atmosphere of secrecy, as though the essence of the art was to be found here alone. In addition, although Sensei could speak English, he refused to do so. He would talk to me using one of his students as an interpreter. To add to his chagrin, my own arrogance was completely obvious…

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Aug
21

Student of both Morihei and Sokaku! “Takuma Hisa, the bridge between Daito-ryu and Aiki Budo,” by Stanley Pranin

Back in April 1979, I met a slight old man who had suffered a stroke and spoke in a halting, somewhat slurred voice. I am embarrassed to say that I can’t remember the circumstances of my introduction to old gentleman. I think I was told that he was an important person in the early history of aikido. I didn’t know anything about him really when I went to visit him at his home in Nakano Ward in Tokyo. The man’s name was Hisa Takuma…

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Aug
20

Total control! Wally Jay on Small Circle Finger Locking

This is a very interesting video featuring the famous martial arts master Wally Jay. In it he shows a variety of very effective finger and hand manipulations that allow one to control an opponent simply and effectively. “Wally Jay (June 16, 1917 – May 29, 2011) was an American martial artist who primarily studied and taught jujutsu and judo. He was the founder of the Gendai Budo martial art Small Circle JuJitsu…” [from Wikipedia]…

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Aug
20

No power required! “The secret to performing tai no henko against two uke,” by Stanley Pranin

First, some background. This is a simple exercise anyone can try where two uke grab nage strongly. If nage attempts to use physical strength, he will be easily overwhelmed by the combined power of two people grabbing. In such a situation, nage must relax and attempt to blend. Nage has the ability to move his wrist because he is grabbed on his forearm. Nage can also adjust his hips and move to a certain extent as long as he does not oppose the power of the ukes…

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Aug
19

Fast & precise! Shoji Seki’s powerful display of technique at 10th International Aikido Congress

Shoji Seki, 7th dan, is one of a group of Aikikai Hombu Dojo instructors who began their careers in the late 1960s. He has maintained himself in excellent physical condition, and his technique is fast and precise. Although Seki Sensei is not verbose in his explanation, he repeats the technique he is demonstrating many times, and it is possible to catch the fine points of his movements through careful observation…

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Aug
19

Rare photo! “Steven Seagal can’t lift Koichi Tohei!”

Although Koichi Tohei is treated by many Aikido practitioners as someone who does “a different brand” (or some other minmization), Tohei had some innovative ideas that I think the other styles would do well to borrow, particularly in light of the recent (and very late) realization that many of the “ki” things Tohei speaks of are substantive and they are essential components of Aikido techniques…

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Aug
19

Common Sense Look at Aikido: “Yoshio Kuroiwa Sensei at 1st Friendship Demonstration”

Yoshio Kuroiwa Sensei one of aikido’s least known but finest innovators participated in the 1st Aikido Friendship Demonstration. On that occasion, he gave a fascinating demonstration which displayed his technical virtuosity. Kuroiwa Sensei was also a fine writer whose original thinking is clearly evident in this article titled “A Common Sense Look at Aikido”…

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Aug
18

Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu: “Is there really a strong influence of Sokaku Takeda in Aikido?”

One of the highlights of the 3rd Aikido Friendship Demo held back in 1987 was the Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu demonstration given by Katsuyuki Kondo Sensei and members of his Tokyo-based Shimbukan Dojo. This demonstration was particularly significant because the aikido public was not very aware of the connection between aikido and Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu at this stage. Thus, there were a lot of curious onlookers wanting to find out exactly what this old art that supposedly influenced aikido was really about…

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Aug
18

Swamp spear! “Morihei Ueshiba O-Sensei performing the misogi jo, c. 1965,” by Stanley Pranin

This series of photos shows Morihei Ueshiba O-Sensei performing misogi jo movements inside the old Aikikai Hombu Dojo, c. 1965. If you look closely, you will see that he is actually using two separate weapons. One is the familiar jo, a stick a little over four feet long, and the other a pointed weapon of similar length called the “nuboko.” Mention of this nuboko, literally the “swamp spear”, will be new to many aikidoka…

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Aug
18

Deep, powerful strikes… Morihiro Saito demonstrates ken suburi and tanren uchi in 1974

This is a rare early video of Morihiro Saito demonstrating ken suburi and tanren uchi in 1974. It will be obvious to those exposed to Saito Sensei’s swordwork later in life that he is bending his knees and crouching down more prominently here. As time went by, Saito Sensei maintained a more upright posture when performing the suburi. Here his suburi form more closely resembles tanren uchi where he is striking the tire…

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