Jan
26

Morihiro Saito, 9th dan, on Koshinage and Kotegaeshi from the “Complete Guide to Aikido”!

morihiro-saito-koshinage-italy

“I don’t get tired even if I throw from morning to night!”

Here is a great video clip of Morihiro Saito from his “Complete Guide to Aikido” footage. You’ll see Saito Sensei in his best form, and full of humor, and he explains the fundamentals of koshinage and kotegaeshi.

Through the simple interface of the “Complete Guide to Aikido”, you’ll have the ability to rapidly access over 500 empty-handed and weapons techniques via 1,100 links to videos and technical explanations in book format. This is the most extensive technical reference on aikido ever compiled.

Click here for a tour of the “Complete Guide to Aikido”

Jan
26

“The most extensive technical reference on Aikido ever compiled!”

Hi! I’m Stanley Pranin, publisher of Aikido Journal. I’ve devoted my life to aikido, to both the practice of the art and the study of its fascinating history. During the 20 years I spent in Japan, I published hundreds of articles on aikido and its Founder Morihei Ueshiba and studied aikido under Morihiro Saito, 9th dan.

“The Complete Guide to Aikido” is my attempt to make it possible to rapidly access the entire aikido curriculum in literally seconds. You will be able to use your time for practice and study, not looking here and there to try to locate the instructional materials you need. Through a simple interface, you’ll have the ability to quickly access over 500 empty-handed and weapons techniques via 1,100 links to videos and technical explanations in book format. This is the most extensive technical reference on aikido ever compiled!

For detailed information on the content of “The Complete Guide to Aikido”, please click here: http://blog.aikidojournal.com/complete-guide-to-aikido-sales-page/

This is the most important product I’ve ever published bar none! Check it out!

Click here to buy

Jan
23

Strikes win the day! Yasuo Kobayashi, 8th dan, demonstrates aikido atemi and pressure points

In this video, Yasuo Kobayashi, 8th dan, demonstrates aikido atemi and pressure points. During his demonstration, he shows a variety of atemi (combative strikes) and pressure points whose application increases the level of effectiveness of aikido techniques. Kobayashi Sensei entered the Aikikai Hombu Dojo in 1954 and became an uchideshi. He is a graduate of Meiji University where he was instrumental in setting up an aikido club. Kobayashi opened a private dojo in Kodaira in 1969 and, little by little, expanded his network of dojos known as “Kobayashi Dojos.” For several decades, he has traveled all over the world conducting aikido seminars…

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Jan
23

Iwama Aikido: Morihiro Saito: “Taijutsu, Aiki Ken, and Aiki Jo combined into a single curriculum!”

Morihiro Saito, 9th dan, was one of aikido’s most respected teachers. Saito Sensei was one of O-Sensei’s closest students and achieved worldwide recognition due to his numerous international seminars and the publication of many authoritative technical books. He gave one of five unforgettable lecture demonstrations at the 1986 Aiki News Friendship Demonstration in Tokyo that also included: Minoru Mochizuki, Gozo Shioda, Yoshio Sugino, and Kenji Shimizu. These experts bring you the benefits of their decades of training to provide insights that will stimulate your own practice and deepen your understanding of martial essentials. Here are some highlights…

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Jan
23

Screencast: Focus on History — “Morihei Ueshiba’s Ill-starred Mongolian Expedition,” by Stanley Pranin

There is something very odd about the photo. This picture was taken somewhere in the middle of Mongolia. But the party had a photographer along with them despite the fact that they traveled through wilderness and a lot of rough terrain. Onisaburo was very conscious of the promotional potential of this grand adventure and took steps to document aspects of the trip. I have personally seen 20 or so photos taken on this expedition, and Morihei appears in several of them…

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Jan
22

Note sword footwork! Seigo Yamaguchi Seminar Highlights from 1983

This is a color 8mm film of Seigo Yamaguchi, 8th dan, shot in 1993 at a seminar in Buenos Aires. Yamaguchi Sensei is seen demonstrating shomenuchi techniques which he relates to sword footwork and linear entries. Very interesting! Yamaguchi Sensei was one of the most important of the first generation of aikido instructors of the postwar era. He taught at the Aikikai Hombu Dojo in Tokyo for several decades until his passing in 1996…

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Jan
22

Elegant and powerful! Christian Tissier at 2012 Vienna Seminar

This is video features Christian Tissier Sensei, 7th dan, conducting a seminar in Vienna in March 2012. Among the techniques presented are yokomenuchi shiohonage, shomenuchi ikkyo, iriminage, kaitennage, etc. Christian Tissier began aikido as a boy in France in 1962,. He spent eight years in Japan at the Aikikai Hombu Dojo in Tokyo training with many of the art’s top masters. On his return to his native France, he brought back a new kind of aikido that soon captured the imagination of the Aikido world in his country and practitioners throughout Europe…

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Jan
22

Default mode is power — “Tension vs. Relaxation,” by Stanley Pranin

The first has to do with the tension-filled body state of the attendees — most of whom were yudansha and teachers — when executing techniques. This was especially the case for techniques involving hand grabs, that is, katatedori techniques. As I have experienced elsewhere virtually without exception, students will tense their arms at the start of a technique. Even when I explained that that the tension in their their body alerts uke to their intent, timing, and direction, it was very difficult for them to grasp this concept and apply it to the technique…

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Jan
22

“The Religion of Aikido” By Nathan Ray

“The dojos around the world are like churches and the religion practiced is one of self-mastery and improvement through Aikido. “

nathan-rayWhat a title, right? Well, before you tune out what I am about to share, just take a moment to think of religion in simple terms. In this article, the term “religion” is a reflection of time and dedication, not in terms of specific dogma. If you take a step back and look at the parallels, I think you will agree. In this sense, there is a central focal point or person. In Aikido, the founder Morihei Ueshiba is the beginning, even though he learned from Sokaku Takeda and others. The founder is that deity or central figure, Kami, if you will. He is our ideal of the real Master that we aspire to be.

Those in the Iwama lineage next look to the example of Morihiro Saito. He was that special student of the founder who was the direct link to the founder, his tradition and legacy. I was not fortunate enough to have trained with Saito Sensei, however, I am blessed to have begun my journey with Saito Sensei’s vast legacy of books and videos. This is where my Iwama Journey began. Actually, it was the classic footage of O-Sensei – in “Budo” filmed at the Asahi News dojo in 1935 that inspired me to jump head long into the world of Iwama Aikido after more than 20 years of aikido on a different path.

We see the image of O-Sensei on dojo walls around the world, fulfilling the vision that Morihei’s spiritual teacher Onisaburo Deguchi had for him. Deguchi saw in the young Ueshiba the future, and shared his vision of martial arts (Aikido) that would touch the entire world. Deguchi’s vision came to pass and is alive and well today. It is the spirit of the founder that still fuels the Aikido world.

There is nothing like the dedication of the disciples of the founder and succesively their students. For me, I am very blessed to connect to the spirit of Morihiro Saito through his direct disciples. I have had the pleasure to train with Hitohiro Saito, Aviv Goldsmith, Wolfgang Baumgartner, Patricia Hendricks, Hans Goto, Bernice Tom, Shigemi Inagaki, Daniel Toutain, and Paulo Corallini to name a few. The legacy passed through Morihiro Saito is in good hands around the world.

nathan-ray-croppedPractitioners everywhere are dedicated across all lineages. It all leads back to O-Sensei. They train devotedly in Aikido. This is similar to the devotion displayed by church goers. As in the church, there is pomp and ceremony that consitute the spiritual ties to the traditions of Aikido, both technical and spiritual. Each bow, each lighting of candles, each offering to the shomen altars around the globe, ties us all together with the spirit of Morihei Ueshiba. Our purpose and daily practice commit us to a higher ideal and expressions of humanity.

The dojos around the world are like churches, and the religion practiced is one of self-mastery and improvement through Aikido. This is not some blasphemous comparison, but rather a look into the mind of man and his ability to take an art like aikido and express it as way to promote good and righteousness in a world deeply in need of change. We are certainly members of a movement that is doing just that… changing the world!

Jan
21

How competition in aikido started: “The Dawn of Tomiki Aikido,” by Seiji Tanaka

I would like to explain how, where and why Tomiki Aikido started. It goes back to the month of April, 1958 when Waseda University approved our Aikido Club as an officially sanctioned sport club (called “Undo Bu” in Japanese), while no other universities recognized any Aikido clubs as such. Instead, all other Aikido clubs were called “Doko-Kai”, meaning a loosely organized club made up with people of the same interest. These unsanctioned sport clubs had neither the prestige nor the status of other sanctioned clubs such as Judo, Kendo, Karate, baseball, soccer, and other major sport clubs…

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Jan
21

The exuberant founder of Yoshinkan Aikido! “Morihei Ueshiba and Gozo Shioda,” by Stanley Pranin

When it comes to showing aikido to the general public in a way both attractive and easy to understand, Gozo Shioda stands alone. He combines a lucid analysis of aikido theory with crisp technique and a liberal dash of humor. The observer of a Shioda aikido demonstration is almost invariably caught up in the mood of the experience and is ready to join an aikido dojo without the least bit of coaxing. Moreover, Shioda never fails to acknowledge his teacher Morihei Ueshiba and the fact that aikido evolved from the techniques of Daito-ryu aikijujutsu…

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Jan
21

Six masters on one stage! “A Gaijin in Japan Ruffles a Few Feathers!”

The first step was to draw up a list of invitees, and assess the likelihood that each person might accept our proposal. Another consideration was how comfortable a given individual might feel in the presence of certain others. It was like a jigsaw puzzle. I can’t remember everyone’s name, but I can assure you the list read like a “Who’s Who” of top teachers in the aikido world. Naturally, at the head of the list was Second Doshu Kisshomaru Ueshiba. If he would agree to participate, then others might be more inclined to do so…

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