Jan
31

Recommended viewing: “Vintage film clip of Koichi Tohei Sensei from 1967!

“Available for you all in our archives is a rare clip of Koichi Tohei Sensei in his prime. This footage was shot in Florida in 1967 during one of his early visits to the mainland USA. A very young Yoshimitsu Yamada Sensei of the New York Aikikai is seen taking ukemi for Tohei Sensei. The latter demonstrates the basic techniques required for examination purposes in those days. There is also a spectacular jo demonstration the likes of which many younger aikidoka have never seen!

The Aikido Journal archives now include more than 100 video clips and 800 articles in twenty different languages. We are constantly adding new videos, 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!

Click here to view video clip.

Jan
31

“Is aikido a soft martial art?” by Zolley

“Many people criticise aikido for being too soft (and many love it just because of that). Others watch Steven Seagal films and say that aikido is brutal (and many would love to start aikido because of that). Now, is it soft or hard?

I left out something from the introductory lines above: There is a third group of people who try to understand the duality of softness and hardness. I consider myself a member of this group as I think that if many people emphasize softness and many others prefer hardness then probably both groups have some point. I think aikido can be both soft and hard, not rarely at the same time.”

Please click here to read entire article.

Jan
30

“Styles Don’t Work” by Nev Sagiba

“Training methods are for the development of living skill, not mere habits
that are predictable. Strategy must be unpredictable to the opponent”

Styles don’t work. You don’t bring a style to a fight or any emergency.

Styles are for fashion shows. The catwalk, no less. Training methodologies vary. Each and all, in proper context, have some merit and degree of efficacy based on a practical application. If even albeit often forgotten. Touting these training methods as “styles” is a meaningless and deceptive exercise.

Training methods are for the development of living skill, not mere habits that are predictable. Strategy must be unpredictable to the opponent.
[Read more...]

Jan
30

“Systema: Principles of the Russian System” by James Williams

“If someone had told me a few years ago that out of a western Christian tradition would come a martial art as deep, sophisticated and evolved as the best of the oriental arts I would not have believed them. Yet there is such an art coming out of the ancient Russian culture with deep roots in the Russian Orthodox monasteries. At its root in the present day is an exceptional man, Mikhail Ryabko. Trained by one of Stalin’s Falcons from the age of five and beginning his operational career in the Russian Spetsnaz (Special Forces) at the age of 15, Mikhail Ryabko was not only given the secrets of this ancient art, he was put in the position of repeatedly applying both the art and its principles in life and death combat on, what for much of his early life, was a day-to-day basis. This System, taught by Mikhail Ryabko, is not a shadow of what once was, it is a living practical art that even now is being applied by warriors in combat. When working with Mikhail and his foremost student, Vladimir Vasiliev, one is struck by the calm depth of these men. Enormous knowledge and ability taught with calm, deep conviction. ”

Please click here to read entire article.

Jan
29

“An Interview with Hayato Osawa, 7th Dan” by David Halprin and Walter Van Enck

From AikidoOnline.com:

“I was eight years old. It was second grade in elementary school that I took a membership at Hombu Dojo. At the time there wasn’t a kid’s class at Hombu so I was going to have to practice with the adult members. My dad thought that I might be a burden to the adults, so a year before I was to join, my father took over our eight tatami room and we practiced basic techniques at home. Ikkyo waza, shihonage; just the two of us practicing at home for the year before I was actually signed up at Hombu. The memory of practice at home with my father is still vivid to me even though I am not sure if I can call that practice proper training or keiko. Even when I did join the dojo membership, I was so young that I felt that I was going to the dojo to play but with a little bit of Aikido thrown in. Nonetheless, I can say that my training started around that time, and that I joined Hombu when I was eight years old.”

Please click here to read entire article.

Jan
29

“Morihei Ueshiba and Onisaburo Deguchi” by Stanley Pranin

“If Sokaku Takeda can be said to have provided the technical basis for the later development of aikido, it was Onisaburo Deguchi, leader of the Omoto sect, who offered the key spiritual insights that struck a responsive chord in the religiously oriented Morihei. This second installment in a series of essays on Morihei Ueshiba by Aiki News. Editor-in-Chief Stanley Pranin focuses on the relationship between the aikido founder and Onisaburo, which had a major bearing on the spiritual thinking of Morihei and the ethical framework of aikido.”

Please click here to read entire article.

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!

Jan
29

The Passing of Yasuhisa Inaba Sensei, 6th Dan of Calgary Aikikai

It is my sad responsibility to communicate to the Aikido community the passing of Inaba Sensei on January 26, 2009 at The Foothills Hospital in Calgary, Alberta Canada.

Inaba Sensei’s Funeral will be held this Sunday, February 1st at 2PM at McInnis & Holloway 5008 Elbow Drive SW, Calgary Alberta with viewing the night before at 6PM.

Traveling from Japan will be Yasuo Kobayashi 8th Dan, Kazuo Igarashi 7th Dan and Robert Kubo 7th Dan from Hawaii.
[Read more...]

Jan
28

“Evaluating a Dojo” by Bill Witt

“Over the years one of the most commonly asked questions by prospective students is, “How do I evaluate a dojo?” To someone who has no experience in martial arts this is a somewhat intimidating task.

For me the task was easy. I was in Tokyo and the first person I saw, when I walked in the dojo, was O-Sensei. My reasoning for joining was that it is not often in life that one is able to associate with the founder of a movement. I also figured that the quality of training had to be high. These were two excellent criteria to make this choice, and I was more than rewarded on both counts.”

Please click here to read entire article.

Jan
28

“A Good Student” by Gregor Erdmann

“The Dojo dynamic is driven by interaction between teacher to student and student to student. These relationships are quite unique, but not independent from each other.

On an individual level each teacher student interaction is different, however I believe that there are certain things expected by a good student. Obviously showing respect and attentiveness encourages the teacher to give more and raises the receptive attitude in the Dojo. These are covered by the etiquette and rules that any senior student can explain to you.”

Please click here to read entire article.

Jan
27

“Osensei and Einstein” by Stefan Stenudd

“The secret of Aikido, said Osensei, “is to harmonize ourselves with the movement of the universe and bring ourselves into accord with the universe itself.” This is, of course, easier said than done. Still, I find Osensei’s perspective to be rewarding in Aikido practice, as well as remarkably accurate even from a scientific viewpoint.

For Aikido not to be but an execution of smart tricks to fell an opponent, or an ever so pleasant physical exercise where two persons push each other around (although this is in itself quite amusing), we have to concentrate on the mysterious visions that were Osensei’s. Then we notice a sweet accord between the ideals of Aikido and the cosmic world order. In fact, the principles of Aikido fit very well with the modern astronomical theories.”

Please click here to read entire article.

Jan
27

“What is Ki?” by Dunken Francis

“One of the questions that gets discussed probably more than any other in Aikido. The Various styles of Aikido (Akikai, Iwama, Ki, Yoshinkai, Tomiki etc etc) all have there own slants on the nature of this mysterious, omniprescence force, and this is one discussion that, by it’s very nature, will remain endless, rather like Ki itself.”

Please click here to read entire article.

Jan
26

“Effective Aikido” by Roy Y. Suenaka Sensei and Christopher Watson

“Many aikido teachers and schools, however, have so misunderstood aikido’s concepts of harmony and spirituality, and its history, that there has been a dilution of attention to technical detail. As a result, aikido technique often becomes so soft, flowing and dependent on cooperation that, when practiced in this manner, it loses its martial effectiveness.

In this series of articles, Roy Suenaka Sensei demonstrates an aikido that is both practical and effective. He also demonstrates many common mistakes that can reduce the effectiveness of technique or leave the defender vulnerable to counters. The first technique shows how a common wrist technique (kote-gaeshi) can be used against an opponent who attacks with a straight middle punch.”

Please click here to read entire article.