Apr
18

How Aikido really got its name… Interview with Minoru Hirai by Stanley Pranin

In other words, the term “aikido” was a cover-all term that could include other things as well. Mr. Hisatomi’s idea was to intentionally select a name that would not be opposed by kendo or other martial arts, but rather an inoffensive, comprehensive term to group together all of the yawara schools. In the end, no one opposed this proposal…

Click here to read more

Apr
18

Video for Aikidoka: “30-minute Yoga Tune-up Workout” by Valerie Goodman

I wanted to share this excellent 30-minute yoga routine by Valerie Goodman of YogaRevelation. She is an excellent teacher and has an inspiring story of how she began yoga practice. This is a beginning-level routine, and gentle, yet thorough. I usually do this practice a couple of times a week in addition to my other yoga workouts…

Click here to watch video

Apr
18

Sophistication in action! Seigo Yamaguchi, 8th dan, at 2nd IAF convention in Honolulu, 1978

We present yet another excellent demonstration by Seigo Yamaguchi, 8th dan, filmed in a rather unusual venue. This performance was given at the Second Convention of the International Aikido Federation in Honolulu, Hawaii, in 1978. Many top teachers of the era from the Aikikai Hombu Dojo were on hand…

Click here to watch video

Apr
17

Shoji Nishio: The highly complex and sophisticated techniques of Aikido

Aikido represents a major departure from its predecessor arts that focused exclusively on winning or defeating an opponent. It was created as an art to foster moral character. It is natural that the way to present aikido techniques differs greatly from that of other martial arts. It goes without saying that aikido techniques are highly complex and sophisticated…

Click here to watch video

Apr
17

Over 350,000 views! Stefan Stenudd on atemi and aikido!

In this video, Stefan Stenudd Sensei of Sweden, demonstrates a number of atemi sequences that can be applied as setups for the execution of aikido techniques. Some interesting training drills are shown…

Click here to watch video

Apr
17

Last generation under O-Sensei! Interview with Shizuo Imaizumi (1) by Stanley Pranin and Marc Abrams

Shizuo Imaizumi was among the last generation of students of the Founder Morihei Ueshiba at the Aikikai Hombu Dojo on the 1960s. He later joined Koichi Tohei as a senior instructor for the Ki Society when the latter resigned from the Aikikai. Imaizumi relocated to New York City where he has taught for some 25 years. He is now chief instructor of the Shin Budo Kai, an independent organization he founded…

Click here to read more

Apr
16

Tetsuzan Kuroda: Martial Artist of Impossible Skills!

Tetsuzan Kuroda, the headmaster of the martial legacy of the Kuroda family, is one of the best known and respected of contemporary Japanese koryu practitioners. He is one of Japan’s finest swordsman, a master of a variety of classical weapons, and an adept in the soft-style Kuroda family jujutsu. One quickly runs out of superlatives when attempting to describe the skills of Tetsuzan Kuroda Sensei. Watching Kuroda Sensei draw his sword is a stunning experience. It’s akin to a religious revelation where you humbly thank the Creator for allowing you to witness such a miracle of movement! This video was shot during Aiki Expo 2003…

Click here to watch video

Apr
16

The Americans made fun of me! “Interview with Hiroshi Isoyama,” by Stanley Pranin

When I tried to do koshinage on some of the taller men I found that they could just step over me; no matter how I tried the technique, I couldn’t manage to throw them because the height difference meant I couldn’t get my hips into a good position in front of theirs. Then I had the idea to try putting them across my shoulders instead of across my hips, and that’s how I started using those techniques. I wasn’t trying to be rough or flashy, I was just trying to get the techniques to work. Necessity is the mother of invention!…

Click here to read more

Apr
16

Where did the art come from? Stanley Pranin’s Video Blog — “From Aikijujutsu to Aikido!”

Saito Sensei’s classes were always full and he enjoyed a reputation as perhaps the finest technician teaching at the Hombu Dojo in those days. His explanations were clear and methodical in contrast to most of the other Hombu teachers that simply demonstrated a technique with little or no commentary. He was always smiling and circulating around the dojo giving a lot of personal attention to students. In addition to his superb taijutsu, Saito Sensei also spent the last part of his class teaching the aiki ken and jo, the only teacher to do so when I was there. Sensei would show the basic striking and thrusting movements of the ken and jo and then incorporate them into a series of paired kata. I thought his system of relating taijutsu and weapons was very genial and hoped to have a chance to do more of this kind of training at some future date…

Click here to watch video

Apr
15

Morihei Ueshiba practicing the ken outdoors in Iwama as Morihiro Saito looks on!

Click here to watch video

Apr
15

Erased from history… or so they thought! “Noriaki Inoue, Aikido’s Forgotten Pioneer,” by Stanley Pranin

I could no longer stand knowing that perhaps the most important person after the Founder himself was still alive and living only a few miles away from me. I decided to act. My solution would be a diabolical scheme that only a “henna gaijin” could concoct. I took the transcription of the conversation recorded five years earlier supplemented by a polite letter and headed out to Kunitachi, a few miles west, where he lived. I rang the doorbell, and a diminutive woman, perhaps in her 70s, opened the door.

Click here to read more

Apr
15

See for yourself! “What was Koichi Tohei, 10th dan, teaching after the Aikikai?”

This video is the first part of several hours of rare video footage taken during a seminar taught by Koichi Tohei Sensei in Osaka in July, 1983. It provides an answer to the question of what Koichi Tohei was teaching after his departure from the Aikikai. In fine physical condition, Tohei Sensei demonstrates and explains the essential principles and techniques of his Ki system. Start with this introduction, and watch for the rest of the seminar clips to come shortly…

Click here to watch video