Nov
18

Brian Kagen pick: “Seize the Opportunity with Chin Na: Part 1″ by Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming

“Speed is the most important factor in an effective Chin Na technique. With many Chin Na techniques (the application) you need to use only one-half or even one-third of the power of your opponent. However, without speed you will not be able to control your opponent before he escapes or reacts against you. There are, however, many other Chin Na techniques which do require considerable power to execute and to maintain control.”

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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Nov
17

“Overcoming Barriers to Training” by Joe Cavazos

“Don’t let the things you can’t do prevent you from doing the things you can do.” – John Wooden

John Wooden was one of the top college basketball coaches of all time. He coached the mighty UCLA Bruins and almost every year that he was coaching his basketball team won the NCAA championship. Most of the basketball players on his college teams went on to play at the game highest level – the NBA.
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Nov
17

“Dan rankings – A sequel: Aiki News Editor’s ideas on rank certificates put in practice after 23 years” by Lorenzo Trainelli

Shumeikai Italia is an Aikido association founded a few years ago in order to gather under a common roof a number of independent dojos whose common characteristic is the adoption of Tamura Nobuyoshi Shihan’s model as a general orientation in their practice. Its name reflects this orientation, being inspired by that of Tamura Sensei’s dojo “Shumeikan” in Bras (Provence, France). While taking care of the group identity, the association supports a project towards a possible unification of the Aikido environment in Italy and has been instrumental in establishing an Aikido body, AI – Aikido Italia, that comprises four independent organizations to date.

Among some innovative actions that have been taken, Shumeikai Italia adopted the suggestions published in Aiki News #69 editorial “Dan rankings” (November 1985) concerning dan certificates. Aiki News editor Stan Pranin envisaged the design of a new type of dan certificate containing supplementary information, in order to prevent abuses and sloppy behavior in rank awarding.
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Nov
16

Recommended reading: “Interview with Hiroshi Tada” by Stanley Pranin

The interview below with 9th dan Shihan, Hiroshi Tada, 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.

When I entered the Hombu Dojo most of the people training there were members of either the Tempukai or the Nishikai. Of course, at the time there were only six or seven people at the dojo. Among them were Keizo Yokoyama and his younger brother, Yusaku, both of whom were students at Hitotsubashi University. Yusaku spent the last years of the war in the naval academy and entered the university after the war ended. It was he who introduced me to the Tempukai and the Ichikukai. After that another person taught me about fasting exercises. These practices, along with the teachings of Morihei Ueshiba Sensei, became the basis of my training.

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Nov
16

Recommended reading: “Will Aikido Follow in the Footsteps of Judo?” by Stanley Pranin

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.

I think that there is definitely some “food for thought” here for the leaders of the Aikido world in the sense that Aikido has followed a course similar to that of Judo with regard to its propagation abroad. Aikido was spread beyond the shores of its birthplace first by Koichi Tohei who traveled to Hawaii in 1953 where he spent several years followed by a succession of uchi-deshi from Hombu Dojo including Hiroshi Tada, Nobuyoshi Tamura, Yoshimitsu Yamada, Mitsunari Kanai, Kazuo Chiba, Katsuaki Asai, Seiichi Sugano and a number of others. The art grew in a more or less orderly fashion over the years until the fratricidal split witch occurred in 1974 when Chief Instructor, Koichi Tohei Sensei, formally resigned from Hombu Dojo citing irreconcilable differences in teaching methodology as the reason for the severance of ties. It was shortly thereafter in 1976 that Hombu Dojo felt it imperative to solidify its position in the Aikido world after the above-alluded-to cleavage. Thus, the first tentative steps were made to establish an international body to insure the orderly propagation of the art, promote communications, standardize dan promotions, etc., the assumption naturally being that these desirable goals could not otherwise be attained.

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Nov
14

Recommended reading: “O-Sensei 1925-1945″ by Stanley Pranin

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.

Central to O-Sensei’s thought at this stage of his life were the concepts of “loyal devotion” to one’s country and the essential role of Japanese budo, martial arts, in the realization of the ideal of the “Imperial Way” wherein Japan represented the “model form for the perfect world.” This first theme of service to one’s country is a recurring one that can be found over and over again in various materials dealing with the life of the Founder. Doshu, Kisshomaru Ueshiba, repeatedly emphasizes this point in his authoritative biography of his father’s life (see the chapter summaries in each issue of AIKI NEWS) and, to this day, a portrait of the Emperor and his wife hangs in O-Sensei’s room in his home in Iwama. The concept of the “Imperial Way” and the pre-ordained mission of Japan were normal views given the political and intellectual climate of Japan in the prewar years. These beliefs were undoubtedly rein forced by the extensive contact of O-Sensei with high-ranking military officials whom he taught at that time.

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Nov
14

Brian Kagen pick: From AikiWeb.com – “Taoistic Aikido” by Stefan Stenudd

“Reading it in its entirety, I realized that Taoism according to Lao Tzu is very close to the ideas forming the base of aikido. The Tao Te Ching preaches yielding, and acting minutely instead of bombastically. The ideal of wu-wei, doing nothing, might not be immediately applicable to a martial art, but doing as little as possible is indeed related to the aiki solution.”

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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Nov
14

“Taking the law into your own hands” by Nev Sagiba

The term “Taking the law into your own hands” is at the core of all law. But this phrase has been given an extremely dangerous spin.

It suggests that the Law (or those presuming some unique relationship to it) can do unlawful things, can justify acts of vengeance and that some are above the law and other not.
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Nov
13

“Leaders for Tomorrow” by David Dangerfield

Recently we were discussing our advertising in the yellow pages for next year. There was some consideration given to new technology overtaking traditional phone books and the need to make sure our promotional material was placed where people could most readily access it. We were also contemplating how best to communicate the benefits of traditional martial arts training for young people in particular. Given it was an advertisement in a phone book, the goal was to capture in a few key words what was on offer and just how essential those things are to human development.

And that’s when I realised again just how cheap words have become … how their meaning has been diluted by overuse and abuse. Even essential attributes … integrity … respect … compassion … etiquette … resilience … even these have become dulled somehow when we hear them. They should resonate with us and galvanise us … draw us like a magnet towards any opportunity to develop them in ourselves and our children. Why? Because without them we are individually so very much less than our potential – and collectively, certain to repeat the mistakes of the past … to descend further into the shallowest existence.
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Nov
12

Tezuka Akira Shihan: In Memoriam

Tezuka Akira Shihan, Kokusai Budo Seifukai, Aikido 8th dan, passed away Nov. 9, 2008 at 11 PM, of liver cancer in Shizuoka City, Japan. He was 63 years old.

Tezuka Sensei was the long time right arm of Kokusai Budo Yoseikan founder Mochizuki Minoru Kancho. He provided dynamic management and leadership of national and international students under the name of Kokusai Budo Seifukai, after Mochizuki Sensei’s passing in 2003.
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Nov
11

Brian Kagen pick: From Wikipedia – “Wally Jay”

“Born in Honolulu, Hawaii, he was a student of Seishiro Okazaki the founder Danzan Ryu from whom he received a Certificate of Mastery on 1948-02-22. He trained under Juan Gomez, and Ken Kawachi (Hawaiian judo champion) in the early 40′s. Through his experience, he developed his own system called Small Circle Jujitsu.”

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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Nov
10

Brian Kagen pick: From AikiWeb.com – “Aikido is useless without atemi”

“Without a first strike whether it be proactive and/or a strictly defensive measure, aikido without proper hard atemi is useless. Now the real question remains; what is atemi? Is it a punch? Is it a distraction, as in the way O-Sensei taught. Or do you really need to give that attacker that first punch to the head to be really effective. In my mind, the answer is yes. This may make aikido a little more than boxing with flourish, but this is the conclusion I’ve come too.”

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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