Dec
18

First seen in 1935 film: “Kyoichi Inoue, 9th dan Yoshinkan Aikido, demonstrates ‘mysterious’ throw”

Kyoichi Inoue Sensei, 9th dan, demonstrates a spectacular technique first seen in the 1935 film of Morihei Ueshiba. Gozo Shioda Sensei of Yoshinkan Aikido would show it often in his demonstrations. Inoue Sensei here explains the fine points of making this technique work effectively…

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Dec
18

Hint… O-Sensei didn’t decide! Minoru Hirai: “How Aikido got its name!”

The Ueshiba family house was attached to the dojo, and Morihei himself quite often, although irregularly, appeared on the mat. O’Sensei represented the ultimate authority for all of the uchideshi. Through his demeanor, he personified all of the qualities a young Japanese used to strive for at the time…

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Dec
17

Both spectacular and funny! “Guillaume Erard: The Amazing World of Aikido Ukemi”

This is a delightful video containing scores of spectacular, funny and unusual falls taken by publisher and aikidoka Guillaume Erard during seminars and demonstrations. This film is a tribute by Erard to a number of his aikido teachers, starting with Christian Tissier Sensei, who have guided him during his aikido career…

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Dec
17

Morihei’s base in Osaka… “Historical photo: Time-machine back to 1935″ by Stanley Pranin

This is a rare photo of unusually high quality depicting Morihei Ueshiba in Osaka with the leading figures of his Asahi News dojo. The photo is almost certainly from 1935 judging by Morihei’s visage, and the fact that it was taken at a time prior to Sokaku Takeda’s arrival in Osaka in June 1936. The people who appear in the photo reflect aspects of Morihei’s activities that extend beyond his martial arts teaching into family areas and the political realm…

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Dec
17

Seigo Okamoto’s Daito-ryu Roppokai: “Techniques which can deal with any situation from any direction”

I usually compare roppo to gaming dice to describe techniques which can deal with any situation from any direction, top or bottom, front or back, right or left, like the faces of dice. But these techniques do not have square angles like dice but are round, forming six (roku) infinite circles. I am eager to get as many meanings as I can out of the term…

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Dec
16

Gentle politeness of maintaining proper maai: “Is Aikido a traditional martial art,” by Francis Takahashi

One need not prepare to be a parachutist when one is on solid ground. One need not prepare for space flight if not an astronaut. One need not prepare for Phd exams, if one is not going for a degree. One need not prepare for a fight, if one resolves never to be near one or can walk away from one…

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Dec
16

Epic sweep of history at a glance! Free download: “Aikido Chronological Chart”

Stanley Pranin’s beautiful “Aikido Chronological Chart” may be downloaded by all members of the Aikido Journal Members Site — both free and paid — as a pdf file. This carefully researched chart contains photographs and capsule biographies of some 70 of the best-known disciples of Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba. The kanji characters for all names are also included, and each period is color-coded for easy reference…

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Dec
16

More than 1,000 photos! From Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu to Aikido: “The Noma Dojo photos capture a technical revolution!”

In 1936, an historic event took place that provides a clear snapshot of the techniques of Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba at this stage of his career. The Founder, together with his devoted uchideshi Shigemi Yonekawa, were photographed performing hundreds of Aiki Budo techniques, running the gamut from basic to advanced. The Noma photos are full of complex joint-locks and pins and retain many of the characteristics of Daito-ryu aikijujutsu techniques. These images capture the Morihei Ueshiba during a transition phase on his path toward the development of modern aikido…

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Dec
15

Real and compassionate regard: “Ethics, an Aiki perspective,” by Francis Takahashi

Although the Founder of Aikido was wont to expound on Aiki theory in mostly esoteric language and terms, using metaphors and almost mythical allusions to established Shinto doctrine in his teachings, it may be safe to extract certain references to the presence of and connections to the need for ethical considerations and activities in our practice. Chief amongst the many to be cited, would be the Founder’s admonition that Aikido is True Budo, with the obligation to protect all of life, and to be in harmonious co-existence with our environment and all its elements…

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Dec
15

Forcible application of strength… “My List of Problem Areas in Today’s Aikido,” by Stanley Pranin

In the last several years, I have becomed focused on a number of areas that I have identified as commonly lacking in training and deserving of the attention of aikido instructors. I regard these problem areas as widespread across styles and detrimental to the development of the art. Among my observations — voiced here and elsewhere — are the following…

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Dec
15

4,300 pages to absorb! “Leaving a Legacy for Future Generations of Aikidoka”

Today is the last day of our Aikido Legacy Package offer, and I wanted to show you something special.

Here in front of you are all of the back issues of Aiki News and Aikido Journal that I published during the early part of my career, for 26 years to be exact.

All 119 issues are included in the Legacy Package. They contains some 4,300 pages of materials including hundreds of articles, interviews, techniques, news, events, etc. I want you to have them in your personal library to guarantee that future generations of aikidoka continue to have access to this wealth of information.

All of this is yours…

A 1-year subscription to the Aikido Journal Members Site with over 6,000 pages, hundreds of articles, and thousands of photos!
Stanley Pranin’s three pdf books… “Aikido Pioneers – Prewar Era,” “Conversations with Daito-ryu Masters,” and the “Encyclopedia of Aikido”
Chronological chart featuring all of the principal prewar and postwar students of Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba
Complete set of 119 back issues of all Aiki News / Aikido Journal magazines published over 26 years!
These are high-resolution pdf files containing hundreds of great interviews, articles, technical advice, photos, news, and more!

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Dec
12

Confusion abounds! What really happened with Koichi Tohei’s 10th dan promotion?

The unclear point has to do with the fact that an “Inauguration Party” for Tohei Sensei’s 10th dan was held on October 16, 1970, fully 18 months after the passing of Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba. What was the reason for the delay and did Morihei Ueshiba actually authorize Tohei Sensei’s 10th dan promotion?…

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