May
26

Inhabiting the circle… “Aikido Koan,” by Nick Lowry

The way to work with a koan is to be all the parts of it-to inhabit each nook and cranny and find out how you inform it and it informs you… much like learning aikido. Understanding the physical principles, the rules of play and etiquette, the arcane verbiage, the techniques, the kihon, the kata, the henka , on and on-all the bits and pieces of the activity of learning the art are not themselves the art. AIkido is not only learned it must be realized…

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May
26

Morihei Ueshiba O-Sensei: “When an enemy tries to fight, he is already defeated!”

This colorized image of the Founder of Aikido, Morihei Ueshiba, is presented together with one of his most famous aphorisms from the Memoir of the Master. The photo was colorized by talented graphic designer and aikidoka Nikos Gazetas. Please share it freely.Gracias a todos quienes que nos han ayudado con la traducción al español de estas palabras del fundador Morihei Ueshiba…

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May
26

Don’t repeat the same mistakes! Get to a safe place unbalancing your attacker… Then apply your technique

While applying techniques, aikido practitioners often focus on how to manipulate joints or throw down an opponent. Many forget the all important fact that you need to be properly positioned first before a technique can become effective. From which angles does the attacker have the advantage? Where are the attacker’s weak spots? This subject is of utmost importance in the “Zone Theory of Aikido”. See how this works in this video…

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May
25

Go and find your own aikido! “Applying modern training method- ologies to Aikido practice” by Peter Kelly

In truth, there was not a kinesthetic learner amongst them, a group of intellectuals that had come to aikido due to its spiritual teachings and philosophy that protected them from the competition that had so exposed their physical ineptitude in their youth. These were passive – aggressive personality types that lay claim to study and teach a martial art, yet their training and actions were completely lacking any basis for the reality that was a physical conflict situation…

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May
25

Founder of Tendokan Aikido… “Interview with Kenji Shimizu”

It is necessary to train the spirit through the repetition of techniques. I think that if you focus on technique alone you cannot develop strength. I believe that one becomes strong unconsciously through serious repetitive practice. When I read books on the old martial artists a man was considered strong if he was bloodthirsty. I’m not sure about that. A person who is truly strong does not display such an attitude…

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May
25

Challenging the Status Quo! Watch video introduction to Stanley Pranin’s “Zone Theory of Aikido Course”

“I consider one of the biggest hurdles to improving one’s skills is the almost universal tendency to resort to physical strength in attempting to make techniques work. When aikido practitioners get stuck, they tense up and try to force their way through the technique. I see this everywhere I go. For many years, I experienced the same thing in my own training. Only in the last few years, have I been able to discover ways of using the body as a unified structure when applying techniques.”

The “Zone Theory of Aikido” contains 25 carefully planned lessons that outline a different approach to aikido training that is style agnostic. We believe many readers will find its content highly relevant to their aikido practice…

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May
21

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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May
21

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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May
21

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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May
20

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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May
20

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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May
20

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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