Sep
19

Brian Kagen pick: “Meiso Ho and Kokyu Ho” by Fumio Toyoda

“Meditation and related breathing exercises have been a vital part of Japanese martial tradition since the yogic practices of Buddhism and Taoism first entered Japan, and particularly since Zen Buddhism, with its emphasis on meditative training, came to be patronized by the ruling warrior class. Samurai during that warring stage were in daily contact with questions of life and death, of intention and concentration. They saw in the meditative discipline of monks a kind of dynamic calm and courage that they needed as soldiers. ”

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Sep
19

“Aikido and the Immune System” by Nev Sagiba

As far as I know there is no empirically documented evidence at the moment as to how regular lifestyle Budo training may affect the immune system. This of course would vary from art to art as well since, for example, getting your head pummeled a lot is not helpful to the brain-stem.

However I’ve notice some very interesting things over the years of Budo, particularly serious Aikido training. Powers of recovery are stimulated, attitudes which lead to recovery are vivified, minor injuries forces the body to continually act in a manner of a living being as opposed to a sedentary one. Whilst it may be argued that all physical activities lead to improved health, and no one could possibly disagree with this, Budo also includes dealing with threat, even if only imagined. This causes the body’s response mechanisms to dig deeper than that of a more dormant personality.

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Sep
18

“Shodan challenge” by Reu Claudius C. Mooc

I am currently pressed with a certain decision to make. To others it would be such a welcoming offer, I however shun the thought of an impending disaster. Actually its not that big of a problem, I was just asked if I was going to take the shodan exam during the yearly seminar. Our head instructor asked me over dinner last night after one of our practice sessions, he was already inquiring who my uke will be. Funny how this turned out, last year I was so eager, the year before a lot more excited. Now I do not even want to try.

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Sep
17

AJ forum link: ” The O in O sensei”

The following text is excerpted from a discussion in progress on the Aikido Journal Forums:

“I think it should be mentioned that the term used would differ depending on whether the person was being addressed directly.

For example, if I were addressing the Second Doshu Kisshomaru Ueshiba, I would always call him ‘Sensei.’ However, if I were referring to him in the third person I would use Doshu.

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Sep
17

Brian Kagen pick: “The Physical and Internal Movements of Bushido; The Moving and Grounding of Energy” by Thomas Pristow

“Martial Art techniques are generally taught through the physical realm as the primary, or in most cases, the only significant process used. When a student first enters the dojo (a place to train in the Martial Way), the main goal is to teach that student physical movements as they’re associated with the art being learned. Although attention to this detail is very important, it often becomes the central and only focus of training. This has been traditionally true in the West. Viewing the training methods of Western Martial Artist I have seen many that fall into this category. The intentions of these Budoka are clear, but their teaching infrastructure has been built on loose ground.”

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Sep
16

“More on recent changes at AJ” by Stanley Pranin

I’d like to remind readers about some of the recent changes to our website and how they work. First of all, we have installed WordPress software for our blog section with its added functionality and archiving facilities.

One of the changes compared to our earlier blog setup is that anyone can now submit a comment, regardless of whether or not they are site subscribers. If you have a comment to submit concerning a particular blog, just scroll to the bottom and you will find a “post a comment” link where you can enter your details and type in your remarks. Our staff editors will approve and publish your comments within 24 hours, usually much quicker.

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Sep
16

“Become as liquid as possible” by Majid

The meek person is one who is in harmony. And Buddha says he is the most powerful. But this concept of power is totally different. To understand it, a few things will be good to remember.

In Japan they have a beautiful science — aikido. The word ‘aikido’ comes from a word ‘ki’. ‘Ki’ means power. The same word in Chinese is ‘chi’. From ‘chi’ comes t’ai chi — that too means power. Just equivalent to ki and chi is the Indian word ‘prana’. It is a totally different concept of power.

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Sep
15

Brian Kagen pick: “Elusive realism” by Stefan Stenudd

From aikiweb.comWhen I first came across aikido, as a teenager, I was impressed by the genius of its martial art principles — its strategy, if you will. Taisabaki, the evasive movement, would work against the most ferocious charge. Aiki, the joining of forces instead of opposing them, would work against the strongest attacker. To me it was obvious that these principles were the only ones with the potential of leading to a limitless martial art.”

Brian Kagen is an avid web researcher with a particular interest in martial arts. His training background includes both judo and aikido. He has contributed hundreds of article links over the years for AJ readers.

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Sep
15

Recommended link: New England Aikikai

The following website has been selected based on its potential interest to a wide segment of Aikido Journal readers.

“The Japanese word Aikido is written in three characters which roughly translate as, “The Way of Harmony with the Universe.” Aikido is a true budo, or Martial Way; evolved in the historic tradition of Japanese warrior arts. Studied in earnest, Aikido is more than a science of tactics and self-defense; it is a discipline for perfecting the spirit.”

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Sep
14

From Todd Lambert: More Japanese language tools

I have a few links that may be interesting or useful regarding the Wonderful Japanese Language Learning Tool! blog.

The first is: http://www.alc.co.jp, a site that will take the English word or phrase you enter, and give you a wide range of possibilities in Japanese, along with sample sentences. It handles English phrases and expressions better than many other online dictionaries I’ve tried.

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Sep
14

Video clip: Hiroshi Isoyama at 1989 All-Japan Demo!

Among the many video clips in our film archives is one featuring Hiroshi Isoyama’s performance at the 1989 All-Japan Aikido Demonstration at the Nippon Budokan in Tokyo. Isoyama Sensei is an 8th dan and president of the All-Japan Aikido Federation. The audience reaction to Isoyama Sensei’s performances is always enthusiastic and you will see why.

The Aikido Journal archives now include more than 800 articles in twenty different languages and numerous video clips. We are constantly adding new articles and translations in our effort to document aikido and related disciplines past and present. If you would like to support us in this effort by taking out a subscription to the Online Aikido Journal we welcome you to do so by clicking this link.

Sep
13

Brian Kagen pick: “A day in the life of an Aikido Sensei – as told by Kevin Bonanno” by Melanie Drury

“As I go about my day job, I like to notice that I can smile where others are becoming angry. Although I am performing a totally different function, I am constantly referring to the insight I have acquired from my Aikido practice. Perhaps Aikido can be called my lifestyle.

I am very attracted to the Aikido philosophy pertaining to the essence of life. The Aikido principle is that the female and male forces, Yin and Yang, are present in all natural things, and when fusion between the two elements are combined with a divine connection, new life and love begins. Based on this principle, Aikido aims to balance the positive and negative to maintain peace and harmony. That is why Aikido is ultimately considered as a spiritual pathway.”

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