Oct
21

Two of the Greats of France… Aikido documentary featuring André Nocquet and Nobuyoshi Tamura

This video is a documentary with English subtitles on two of the greats of French aikido: the late André Nocquet and Nobuyoshi Tamura. There are some great action scenes in this clip…

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Oct
21

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

In 1961, an amazing documentary focusing on the life and techniques of Morihei Ueshiba was shot on location in Iwama and Tokyo. This film contains beautiful footage of the Founder in his daily life and during training. There are many marvelous action scenes, including an incredible display of empty-handed techniques, defenses against multiple attacks and a live sword!
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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.
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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

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Oct
20

Aikikai style… Katatedori demo at World Combat Games by Slovakia representatives

This is an interesting clip of a highly-polished aikido katatedori demonstration by the representatives from Slovaka at the 2013 World Combat Games held in Saint Petersburg, Russia. Aikikai members have become regular participants in these international events…

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Oct
20

What art is the strongest? “Real nature of martial arts and their benefits,” by Stanley Pranin

In deliberating the relevancy of martial arts in modern society, it seems that the discussion eventually comes around to a debate on the superiority of one martial art over another. Martial arts magazines and Internet forums are filled with articles and discussions about what martial art would come out on top in a hypothetical match-up. I submit that such comparisons are an exercise in futility since all scenarios dreamed up to test whether one martial art will best another are highly artificial and usually take the form of competitive matches…

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Oct
20

Preserving O-Sensei’s aikido… “Interview with André Cognard (2),” by Stanley Pranin

Kobayashi Sensei’s work focused on that. He also insisted on many points, for example, he would say, “When you’re grabbed, you do nothing without adopting the other’s point of view. He’s here and looking over there, so you must look over there. If you look in the opposite direction, you’ll never know what he sees and what’s motivating his actions, so whatever you have to do, even if it’s omote, the first thing to do is to take his point of view…

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Oct
17

The pitfalls of history by omission! “Morihei in Tanabe,” by Stanley Pranin

Unlike other periods in the life of Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba, his early years in Tanabe and family circumstances are not well documented. Our principal sources of information on this period of Morihei’s life are the biography of Morihei Ueshiba published by his son Kisshomaru in 1977, later interviews and conversations with the author, and a few pages from the first biography of the Founder written by Kanemoto Sunadomari in 1969. To this can be added the recollections of members and relatives of the Ueshiba and Inoue families…

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Oct
17

Radical change in brain chemistry! “Responding to Aggression — Part 2,” by Tom Collings

In less than a second the heart can race from a resting rate of about 80 to double or even triple its normal function reaching over 200 beats per minute. Respiration becomes faster and shallow further increasing heart rate. Most fine motor coordination (manipulating things with our fingers) and hand-eye coordination is significantly impaired. Complex motor coordination (tasks requiring a series of movements) become more difficult. Only gross motor skills – individual large body movement is enhanced under stress

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Oct
17

Genial paired weapons practice! Morihiro Saito demonstrates ken tai jo

This is an excellent video clip of Morihiro Saito Sensei, 9th dan, demonstrating three ken tai jo exercise: choku barai, kaeshi barai, and kaiten barai. These are excellent practices for developing a better understanding of distance and timing with weapons. This video was shot at a San Diego seminar in the early 1990s…

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Oct
16

Surprise kaeshiwaza… When you lose control of uke in shihonage, here’s what can happen!

Dojo practice is often seen as a pleasant activity among friends. The problem is that we also believe that we are learning a martial art. There is something akin to cognitive dissonance at play in the sense that we are casual in our practice when we need to be alert for what should be construed as a life-or-death scenario. This enlightening video prepared by the Kikentai-Berlin Dojo shows the kind of unfavorable outcome that can occur when nage loses control of uke while performing shihonage. A number of well-executed kaeshiwaza, or counter-techniques are demonstrated…

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Oct
16

Happy among friends… Stanley Pranin at Aywaille Seminar in Belgium 2014

This is an artistically edited clip of highlights of Stanley Pranin conducting an aikido seminar in Aywaille, Belgium in March 2014. The seminar’s videographer is Carlo Van Parys whose deft editing skills add a magical touch evoking the atmosphere of friendship prevalent at the event…

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Stanley Pranin offers you solutions to problems
that are holding back your progress in Aikido!

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

Oct
15

“Words of advice for the starving yoga teacher,” by Stanley Pranin

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“Everything mentioned here could be readily applied to the starving Aikido teacher!”

This is a slightly modified version of an article I wrote some months ago for one of my yoga teachers who was lamenting the fact that she couldn’t make a living doing yoga alone. Everything mentioned here could be readily applied to the starving Aikido teacher as well.

I’ve been thinking a bit more about one interesting way a yoga teacher might apply various Internet marketing techniques to enhance her reach and income.

Here is a hypothetical example. A yoga instructor goes to a park with her mat on a day with good weather. She finds a shady area under a large tree. By choosing such a location you don’t have to worry about harsh shadows. A friend comes with a video camera and tripod. If two friends are available, so much the better, as the yoga poses can be shot from two different angles.

She proceeds to perform a yoga routine at a slow to moderate speed that consists of about 25 (or whatever number) of asanas. There is no talking in the video, she just concentrates on performing the routine as expertly and gracefully as possible.

She goes home and takes the memory card(s) from the camera and fires up her laptop and inserts the card. She uses an inexpensive video editor like Sony Vegas Movie Studio to edit the video.

The video is cut up into 27 parts. The first part is an intro 1-2 minutes in length, then the 25 poses, and finally, an “outro” with contact information, link and whatever other relevant information that serves as a “call to action” for the viewer at the end of each segment. In other words, you want the viewer to take some specific action like provide an email address, go to a website or page.

The first edited video consists of the intro and the first pose with its title in Sanskrit and English. The instructor sets up her microphone and, while viewing the video footage, records a soundtrack which would be similar to her speech during a yoga class. An additional soundtrack consisting of royalty-free meditative type music may optionally be added.

If she wants to go into further detail, the footage at normal speed can be repeated and attached as a slow motion section thus tripling the length of the first installment. The overall length of the video clips should be no more than 3-4 minutes. Even 2 minutes is fine because people are in a hurry and want to consume the information in convenient, bite-size portions.

After the soundtracks are added to the video and all editing is complete, the video clip is uploaded to youtube. (If you don’t already have a youtube account, you need to set one up.) In the description section on youtube below the video, all relevant contact information and explanations with a clickable link are provided.
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Oct
15

Eye-popping action! “Katori Shinto Ryu featuring members of the Viet Nam Dojo”

Excellent video on Katori Shinto-ryu featuring members of the Viet Nam Dojo. The Katori school is one of Japan’s oldest classical martial arts traditions. The breath of the technical repertoire and instructional level are extremely high. The production values exhibited in this clip are top-notch. Exciting fare!…

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