Oct
19

Brian Kagen pick: “It’s a lot like…cooking?” by David Shevitz

“One of the main criticisms levied at “traditional” martial arts (I put the term in quotes because, from what I can tell, “traditional” typically means anything that is NOT mixed martial arts or brazilian jiu-jitsu) is that many of the techniques that these arts teach are not combat-specific. The implication is that only arts that focus solely on combat are worth studying. In fact, going further, there’s a snarky undertone that implies that those who study traditional arts are deluding themselves by practicing techniques that fall outside the realm of “combat only.”

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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Oct
17

“Why Do We Take It So Seriously?” by Nev Sagiba

Evangelical proselytizing about Aikido, and also against it, seems to abound.

Why was Ueshiba so fanatical about his art and its relatively undefined spiritual/ethical/philosophical difference to mere jutsu arts? Why and how indeed did the Do emerge from the jutsu, long before Ueshiba?

Why are many practitioners equally, if not more staunch about the difference of Aikido, notwithstanding most practitioners cannot fight their way out of a paper bag in a fit, even if they had to?
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Oct
17

Brian Kagen pick: “The things I enjoy most…” by David Shevitz

“Saturday “hang-out” time. My daughter frequently comes with me to the dojo on Saturday mornings for kids classes. Afterwards, she hangs out until all the adult classes are over with. The daughter of a long-time student (and good friend) also comes to this class, and the two of them spend quite a bit of time hanging out. What makes this special to me is that several other kids want to stay too. They don’t see the dojo as just a place to take a class and then go home–they see it as a place to enjoy.”

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.

Oct
16

Founder of Aikido on DVD!

Save over 30% off retail price!

We are offering a special set of 5 outstanding DVDs featuring Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba. These DVDs contain rare film clips of Morihei Ueshiba O-Sensei at various stages of his life. Through these outstanding DVDs you will come to know the Founder through his techniques, his life, and his words.

These 5 DVDs retail normally for $199.75, but during this special you will save more than 30% off as this special offers sells for $134.95 plus shipping & handling.

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Oct
16

“This upcoming book looks interesting…” by Clark Bateman

I don’t usually go for novels, but this one looks interesting. It’s called “An Obese White Gentleman in No Apparent Distress”. It is a novel based on the life of Aikido free spirit Terry Dobson, written by Riki Moss. I think it will be worth a read. The release is set for January ’09, and Amazon.com is taking pre-orders now.

Also upcoming are some more conventional titles. “A Life in Aikido: The Biography of Founder Morihei Ueshiba” is an English translation of a work by the nidai Doshu, already in print in Japanese. Also, William Gleason is set to launch a book in February ’09 devoted to the principles of Kototama. Amazon is also taking pre-orders on these titles. In addition, a new print-on-demand title has been recently posted on lulu.com. Written by Mark Stokmans, it is titled “Aikido, Keri Waza”. I have thumbed through it, and it looks like a very thorough work on an oft-neglected aspect of Aikido (defending against kicks).

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Oct
14

Recommended reading: “Coping In A Violent World” by Dennis Fink

The article below 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.

Avoid carrying knapsacks, since you cannot see what is happening behind you. Keep jewelry, money, and other valuables out of sight. Travel in groups of two or more. Seek information on areas to avoid; ask at tourist information booths, police, hotels, etc. Keep flaps on handbags inward, zippers closed to the front, and carry bags in front, if possible under your coat. Carry cameras in front, if possible under your coat. Carry your money separately from your wallet. Place money in different pockets.”

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Oct
14

Rare video clip of Morihiro Saito at Meguro Demo in 1969

Available in our video archives is a rare film clip of the late Morihiro Saito Sensei is an exciting demonstration he gave in Meguro Ward, Tokyo way back in 1969. Aikido Journal Editor Stanley Pranin was on hand with an old 8mm camera to capture the action.

Click here to view video clip

Oct
13

Patrick Parker pick: “Doshu video demonstration”

Here is a new video I found of Doshu Moriteru Ueshiba demonstrating a wide variety of technique. This demo, like many of his previous ones, showcases his superb suwariwaza (kneeling techniques) and his unbelievable lightness of movement on his knees. He also demonstrates some excellent weapons techniques, including an interesting section of jo techniques in which he alternately performs techniques with the stick and the same techniques empty handed.

Sometimes I wonder what it must be like to be the Doshu. This man did not simply learn this art to a high skill level – he inherited the thing from his father (the previous Doshu) and from his grandfather (the founder, Osensei) with the responsibility to preserve it and pass it on into the next generation of the family. I wonder what it is like to have people want to revere you for something over which you have no control (i.e. a hereditary title). My first thought is that it must be a huge ego trip, but humbling at the same time. I figure it must be tiresome.

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Oct
12

Exciting video clips of Aiki Expo 2005 featuring 36 top instructors!

Among the many video clips in the Aikido Journal archives are two from the Aiki Expo 2005 demonstration by sponsored by Aikido Journal in Los Angeles. This event was an historic gathering that featured 36 top aikido, kobudo instructors, in addition to Mikhail Ryabko and Vladimir Vasiliev of Systema fame.

Click here to view first video clip.
Click here to view second video clip.

The Aiki Expo 2005 Demo DVDs are available here.

Oct
10

Recommended reading: “Interview with David Lynch” by Stanley Pranin

The interview below with New Zealander David Lynch 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 really enjoyed the simplicity of living in the dojo. You didn’t have to worry about the basics. Theoretically, I was supposed to pay money, and they were supposed to charge me so much and then debit so much for the work, but in actual fact, if you did your job properly it didn’t cost you anything, as long as you stuck to the regime. So we wore dogi and nothing but. I just piled my belongings into the cupboard and didn’t see them again for a bit over a year. We even used to wander around Tokyo, go for a look at Tokyo Tower, wearing geta and dogi.

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Oct
10

“Styles And The Death Of An Art” by Nev Sagiba

“What style do you do?”

How often do we hear this inanity?

“I don’t do styles,” and that is my answer.

A style is a way to cripple a living art, brick it in with parochial prejudice and limit it with the death of a questioning mind.

Dare not depart from dogma, the imprisoning disease of ages, and you die.

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Oct
09

Featured video: “Christian Tissier at 2003 Boulder Summer Camp”

Available in our video archives is a video clip of Christian Tissier Sensei, 7th dan. Having begun Aikido as a boy in France in 1962, Tissier 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. Tissier is at present the leading figure in the FFAAA organization, one of France’s two large Aikido associations.

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. Remember that if you subscribe or renew for two years you will now receive the Aiki News / Aikido Journal Archival DVD absolutely free of charge. Don’t pass up this special offer!