Sep
13

From the AJ Forum: “Succession in Koryu” by Nathan Scott

The following text is excerpted from a discussion in progress on the Aikido Journal Forums titled “My first experience with Kondo Sensei”:

Click here to view thread.

Daito-ryu, like all the other classical ryu-ha, have omote (surface) techniques and ura (inner techniques). Everyone is taught the omote level upon joining, but ura are sometimes reserved from students who begin to show personality/character problems; who have not become skilled enough at executing omote waza; or who have not integrated well enough with the rest of the dojo/group. This evaluation of students is NOT unique to Daito-ryu, but is in fact common to both classical and modern arts in general. That is reality number one. Paying your annual membership fee does not automatically make you a valued member in good standing.

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Sep
12

“Non-Attachment To The Fruit Of Action” by Nev Sagiba

Aikido – Way of Discovery

"Our doubts are traitors,
And make us lose the good we oft might win
By fearing to attempt."

William Shakespeare, “Measure for Measure”, Act 1 scene 4

Aikido is a way of discovery. If you fear failure in training you cannot discover, since each “failure” so-called, is a steppingstone to greater discovery. If there is a most salient attribute of the “human-condition,” it is that we learn best from mistakes. This is the singlemost feature in the dissent between parents and their children. Parents fear that children will make the same mistakes they did to learn the basic but painful lessons of life. Children most often regard their parents as backwards and dated in their thinking and go on to re-learn the same lessons by making the same mistakes. In a new way. Even if they have to sneak out at night. Indeed this feature was foremost in Buddha’s emergence.

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Sep
11

Brian Kagen pick: “Seattle Dojo”

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia”

“Seattle Dojo held its first regional tournament in March 1907,[10] and for decades after, it generally hosted at least one major regional tournament per year. From 1909 through 1941, the usual venue for these tournaments was Seattle’s Nippon Kan Theatre.”

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Sep
10

“The End of Struggle” by Christopher Curtis

“No matter what you bring up, there’s always an opposite sitting there looking right at you.”

Friday night class – Feb. 8, 2008

There seems to be a lot of confusion, when I talk with students and see them moving in the dojo, about the main teaching in Ki-Aikido, or the central tenet of our practice, which is non-dissension, non-fighting, otherwise referred to as “no struggle.”

Ki-Aikido is the art of finding peace in the midst of conflict. Some people imagine that if they can emerge victorious from a conflict, they can find peace, as if it is some sort of goal, or object that can be obtained, and that struggle to win is a means to that end. And then others think that if they can struggle to put and end to conflict, or simply avoid conflict all together, somehow they will find this illusive peace. But Ki-Aikido says the spirit of non-dissension, or peace, exists in the midst of the most rapid movement; in other words in the midst of the conflict of the world.

Everything in this world is in conflict. It is, after all, the relative world. Everything is up against something else, it’s own opposite. There’s birth and death, health and ill-health, male and female, over there and over here, his ideas and my ideas, their beliefs and our beliefs. Everything is in conflict at all times. No matter what you bring up, there’s always an opposite sitting there looking right at you. But true peace is not at all like that. True peace is not the opposite of conflict. Peace is what’s left over when all struggle is absent. Peace is present all the time, but not often noticed. This noticing requires awareness. And when there is struggle, awareness is necessarily absent. Peace is this right here. It is your essential nature and this essential nature is always present. We miss it, or don’t see it and feel we must go out and find it, because we are struggling with conflict. Struggle is suffering. Suffering is struggle.
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Sep
10

Training for “One Moment, One Chance” by Gary Ohama

In our age of pressing the “reset” button when things aren’t going right; total performance committment to a single moment of time is not really encouraged. In fact, commitment may be discouraged. Subsequently, obtaining perfection in that same particular instant becomes more difficult. Also, as the task becomes more complicated, mastery is more than concentration. Awareness and the ability to properly integrate all possible variables dictate that attention includes much more than the task at hand.

Training for this type of “in the moment” activity is to obviously produce results. Simple methods of training are also obviously more practical.

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Sep
09

Brian Kagen pick: “Silver*Ware Studios Brings in the Oscar Winners”

“The martial arts style of Aikido is an ancient Japanese style of the Samurai that was used after being thrown from their horse. It was first made popular by legendary martial arts star Steven Segal. If Halle takes the role, she’ll take extensive martial arts training at The Aikido Center of Atlanta with Sensei George Kennedy.”

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.

Click here to read entire article.

Sep
09

“Parking Lot Aikido” by Marguerite Del Giudice

I pulled into my busy suburban neighborhood Wawa during morning rush hour. It was one of those parking lots where you die a thousand deaths just trying to get in and out without a fender bender, and this day I was in a particular hurry to make it back home in time to get my boys to school.

As I exited the store in record time, a half-gallon of milk dangling from my finger, I realized that the lot was at a standstill. Cars were trying to get in, cars were trying to get out, nothing was happening: It was Wawa gridlock.

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Sep
09

Announcing new blog interface!

We are pleased to inform readers that we are in the process of revamping our blog interface with the installation of WordPress software. We will be integrating a number of new features in this connection in the near future.

One of the most significant changes affecting readers is the fact that commenting on blogs is now open to everyone, whether or not a website subscriber. We hope that this change will stimulate readers to contribute to a greater extent since the blog section of Aikido Journal attracts considerably more traffic than the forum.

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Sep
07

Recommended reading: “Interview with Yasuo Kobayashi (2)” by Stanley Pranin

The article below from Fall 1992 has been selected from the extensive archives of the Online Aikido Journal. We believe that an informed readership with knowledge of the history, techniques and philosophy of aikido is essential to the growth of the art and its adherence to the principles espoused by Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba.

I entered the Aikikai Hombu Dojo in 1955. Before that I practiced judo in junior and senior high school. I was invited to start aikido by a friend (the son of Danzaki Sensei of the Iaido Federation), but I had examinations and so I waited until after I entered the university to enroll. That was in April of 1955. At that time several families who had lost their homes during the war were living in the dojo. After these people left, the dojo was remodeled and made larger. I think this happened one or two years after I joined the Hombu Dojo

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Sep
06

Recommended reading: “The Dawn of Tomiki Aikido” by Seiji Tanaka

The article below on Tomiki Aikido has been selected from the extensive archives of the Online Aikido Journal. We believe that an informed readership with knowledge of the history, techniques and philosophy of aikido is essential to the growth of the art and its adherence to the principles espoused by Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba.

First of all, 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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Sep
06

Brian Kagen pick: “Tetsutaka Sugawara’s Aikido/Taijiquan combined form”

“Assuming they have supplemental training this is very nice. I can clearly see the parallels in application compared to Bagua.”

Tetsutaka Sugawara was born in Hokkaido in 1941. In 1960, he began Aikido at the Hombu Dojo, Tokyo, under O-Sensei Morihei Ueshiba, founder of Aikido. In 1961, he became uchideshi under O-Sensei at the Ibaraki Dojo.

In 1964, he returned to Tokyo and entered Chuo University. In 1973, he established Minato Research and Publishing Co. (currently Sugawara Martial Arts Institute, Inc.) In 1975, he entered the Tenshin Shoden Katori Shinto Ryu recieving the ‘kyoshi’ instructor’s license in 1986.

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Sep
05

DVD featuring Seigo Okamoto of Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu Roppokai

We would like to bring to your attention the availability a DVD product that features Seigo Okamoto, founder of the Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu Roppokai, demonstrating the fine points of the basic and advanced techniques of this soft-style of Daito-ryu. The Roppokai features many unusual unbalancing techniques seen in no other art. This DVD is an instructional program that includes complete English voiceover of explanations of more than 90 Daito-ryu techniques plus a fascinating interview with Okamoto Sensei.

Okamoto is a leading student of Kodo Horikawa of Kitami, Hokkaido who established the Kodokai in 1950. Following the passing of Horikawa, Okamoto became independent establishing the Roppokai based in Tokyo. Okamoto travels frequently abroad giving seminars in Europe and the USA.

Please click here for further information.