Dec
21

Brian Kagen pick: “Mary Heiny, 6th Dan”

“For more than thirty-nine years, Mary Heiny Sensei has followed a path of physical and spiritual inspiration as a student and teacher of Aikido. She started this journey in 1965 after watching Osensei teach a class at Hombu Dojo in Tokyo, Japan. The effect of this first encounter has inspired her through long hours of training and study”

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 visit website.

Dec
19

“Treat Everyone Like Royalty” by Nev Sagiba

Fred Hollows, a foremost eye surgeon, in treating people for eye disease and restoring sight, had an attitude of treating everyone, irrespective of class, caste, race, gender or financial status as if he were treating the king or queen.

That was his standard of excellence and human empathy.

In any career, unless the service to the greater good is at that standard, both in spirit and in practice, you are claiming your wages under false pretenses. Don’t argue. It’s a fact. Laggards serve only themselves because they have not grown beyond the animal stage and the gift of human intellect and other faculties is wasted on them.
[Read more...]

Dec
18

Best of the blogs: “A riddle and a mission”, by Ellis Amdur (December 2005)

In the recent republishing of Shimizu Kenji’s interview, he stated: When I was actively practicing there he often came and went. When he showed up everyone immediately sat down. At first, I thought that people were being courteous toward him. However, it wasn’t only that. It was also that the practices we were doing were different from what O-Sensei expected us to do. Once he lost his temper at us. No one realized that he had come and he shouted: “What you people are doing is not aikido.” His shout was so powerful it felt like the earth was trembling. He was then in his seventies but his voice nearly pierced our ear drums. Everybody just became quiet and looked gloomy.

Although contrary to the aikido spirit, it is at this time that I want to smack the interviewer upside the head (I love you, Stanley, but this was one of those moments!!!!!!). The next question that Shimizu sensei STILL needs to be asked is, “What did you mean by that? What were you guys not doing – what were the other shihan teaching you that was different? What did the old man want you to be doing? No, sensei don’t give us generalities about spirit and love and harmony. Details! Remember sensei, we are Americans. Our president has decided that we are allowed to use whatever means necessary to get the answers we need!”

Click here to read the entire blog

Dec
17

“Internal Redirection” by Gregor Erdmann

“Whenever subjected to a force or applying a force ourselves, the first thing we notice is the impact that force has on our balance. We become exponentially weaker as our balance is taken, and our structure experiences catastrophic failure eventually leading us to fall or stagger. What is our usual reaction to an unexpected force and how does it lead to our loss of balance.”

Click here to read entire article.

Dec
16

Brian Kagen pick: “The Role of Qi in Generating Power” by Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming

“Martial Power, or Jin, can generally be divided into three categories: Hard Jin, Soft-Hard Jin and Soft Jin. Among these, Hard Jin uses the most muscular power, followed by Soft-Hard Jin and finally Soft Jin. But no matter which Jin, in order to manifest maximum power you must have both the strength of the physical body (Yang) and a sufficient supply of smoothly circulating Qi (Yin). “Qi”, which is pronounced Ki in the Japanese arts, is the Chinese word for “energy”, and pertains to all forms of energy in the universe. In martial arts and qigong, it specifically refers to human Qi, the bioenergy or lifeforce within every cell of the human body.”
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Dec
15

“Rank Versus Skill” by Salvatore Forestieri

In the martial arts we all strive for a purpose. Some of us may have multiple purposes, but in general most of us strive for physical and mental development through shugyo. Some individuals might want to develop a certain skill level; others are more concerned with rank – especially the untrained newcomer. In a recent situation that I’m sure many will recognize, an individual walked into our dojo after contacting me previously on numerous occasions. Almost immediately on arriving, he asked me, “how long would it take me to get a black belt?”. I chuckled and replied, “Oh… around 2-3 days for an average one and about 7-10 days for a really nice one from Japan”. After he looked at me quizzically for a few moments, I explained the joke to him. Fortunately he chuckled and the ice was broken.
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Dec
14

Brian Kagen pick from AikiWeb.com: “The continued Evolution of Aikido”

“Why aren’t Aikidoka winning the UFC? You know it only takes 3 generations to completely eliminate just about anything. Is Aikido losing ground with each generation? Everyone knows in order for something to survive, you have to get more of the next generation involved. Yes, maybe Aikido is gonna have to change to survive, or else go back into the shadows and become a forgotten 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.
[Read more...]

Dec
14

“Lungs, Time and Intensity” by Nev Sagiba

Lungs, time and intensity are vital considerations in a real violence event. Quite a few people over the years have made statements along the lines of, “I know I’ll never be attacked so I don’t need to train.”

Some of these have been lucky so far, and others not. Sadly denial is not a river in Egypt but a dangerous state.. of mind. Nobody really knows or can tell if, when, how or why they will find then themselves in any emergency situation. Chance indeed favours the prepared.
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Dec
09

Current Status of Aikido Journal website

12/9/2008: It is with sadness that I report that my mother passed away yesterday, December 8 in Las Vegas following a long illness. She showed amazing stamina and kept her sense of good humor until the end. She will be sorely missed by family and friends and our consolation is that she is now in a better place. Funeral services will be held at the end of this week. We should be able to gradually return to normal website operations starting next week. Thanks to everyone who showed their understanding and patience during this difficult period.

12/1/2008: Thank all of you who have sent your positive thoughts and prayers during this difficult time. My mother is home from the hospital resting now so she is surrounded by loved ones. We will update you periodically over the course of time.

I would like to notify readers that at the present time my family and I are dealing with a medical emergency that will impact the operation of this website to a certain extent.
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Dec
04

Brian Kagen pick: “Investigating the Dim Mak Death Touch”

“Dim mak is a popular discussion topic among martial arts enthusiasts. Some instructors claim to have the skill, or believe that it was used to kill Bruce Lee. Others insist that dim mak instructors are frauds and the skill itself is a complete fantasy. Is there any evidence to support the existence of dim mak? Could it possibly work?”

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.

Dec
03

“Shu-Ha-Ri”, by Seishiro Endo

From the website of the Aikido Saku Dojo:

“…Even if ‘the forms’ are wonderful, it cannot be helped that there is something everyone does not feel suits them, because each form has been born from different persons who have different qualities, bodies, and basic experiences in life from oneself.
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Dec
03

Brian Kagen pick: “Traditional winter training in Japan: The Kashima jodo gasshuku” by Deborah Klens-Bigman, Ph.D.

“For those unfamiliar with this martial art form, jodo (lit. “the way of the stick”) is a method of non-lethal control of a sword-wielding assailant. Though its antecedents probably go back hundreds of years, jodo became a law enforcement method in the 18th century. To this day, the largest group of practitioners in Japan are policemen, who learn modern jodo tactics in addition to traditional training. In practice jodo involves kata that pits a pole 128cm long by 2.4cm in diameter against a wooden sword. Kaminoda Tsunemori is headmaster of a branch of Shindo Muso Ryu jodo, a very prominent teacher in the most-popular style.”
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