Jan
07

Book review: “Four Diamonds 1024 – Basic Transitions and Counters of Aikido” by Chris Huxley

Let me start this review with a disclaimer. I’m a student of the author Nev Sagiba and have had the good fortune to work through the subject matter of the book during training. So, I approach the book with a positive attitude toward it and the approach of the author. This is not a book that shows techniques in a step by step way. Rather, it is a manual, or aide memoire, for students who have had at least two to three years experience in practicing Aikido.

The book outlines a framework for studying transitions and counters using sixteen widely practiced and basic techniques. As the author says, the material here is neither entirely new nor unknown. However, the framework is a valuable way of developing skills. Let me explain with a simple example.
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Jan
07

“Acupuncture and Aikido” by Dunken Francis

“It was purely by chance that a friend of a friend recommended yet another Physio, saying that she had helped with a similar injury. By now I was ready to try anything, so I made an appointment and dutifully rolled up on time, expecting the usual manipulation and ‘Theraband’ rehab exercises. I lay down on the couch and she wiggled my arm around a bit and then said “Hang on, I’ll go get my needles”. “Sorry? I asked. “Needles” said she “You have come for acupuncture I’m assuming?”. I hadn’t, but if there is one thing Aiki teaches you it’s to roll with whatever life serves up. “Errr.. yes. No problem”.

Click here to read entire article.

Jan
06

“How can anyone control the emotional mind?” by Bruce Baker

I have tried to broach this subject before, and I will probably fall short now, but in every core theory to a higher level of martial arts we are told to check our our emotions, but .. how can anyone control the emotional mind?

I was watching The History Channel’s special programs about the Seven Deadly Sins and when the program on Anger came along, there was an interesting note about anger.
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Jan
06

New Year’s greeting from Patrick Augé Sensei

As 2008 draws rapidly to a close, it is time again to reflect on this year filled with many events, not only in the world, but also at the Yoseikan. Some of those events are Mochizuki Sensei’s remains being returned from France to Japan and Tezuka Akira Sensei’s recent passing.

This year we celebrated Mochizuki Sensei’s fifth memorial and the repose of his bones next to his wife as per his wishes. Twenty-three years ago, while staying together in a hotel, I had asked him how he wanted to have his funeral. “Hold it at the dojo, wear dogi (practice uniform), have a good practice, then enjoy food and drink together,” he had replied.

Click here to read entire article.
Click here to read French version of article.

Website of International Yoseikan Budo Federation

Jan
04

New DVD! Morihiro Saito: “Lost Seminars, Part 5!” Two hours of expert instruction by one of Aikido’s greatest teachers!

We would like to bring to your attention that we have recently released a new DVD featuring an Aikido legend, Morihiro Saito Sensei, one of Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba’s closest disciples. This exceptional DVD presents never-before-seen footage of Saito Sensei as he appeared in 1991 while teaching a seminar in San Diego, California. Without doubt, this program makes a significant contribution to the steadily growing catalog of techniques of Saito Sensei available on DVD.

With a runtime of 120 minutes, the material covered in this DVD includes the complete series of morotedori kokyuho exercises, numerous ushiro ryotedori and eridori techniques, and—a special treat—the rarely seen ninindori series, advanced techniques against two opponents. Complete English subtitles have been provided to enable viewers to follow in detail Saito Sensei’s instruction.
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Jan
04

“Use Everything” by Gregor Erdmann

“As we become more comfortable in our skins, and understand or accept the workings of our minds and bodies, we have the chance to let each aspect of ourselves work to its fullest potential. Like the free-moving cogs and parts of a well oiled engine, each has its purpose and attributes. Some parts are made from flexible springs, some are hardened polished steel, others are brittle aluminium. Some parts are susceptible to rust, others are unable to withstand impact, and some are incredibly heavy. For an engine to spin over efficiently, the parts work ‘together’… which at times is purposely against each other.”

Click here to read entire blog.

Jan
02

Brian Kagen pick: From AikiWeb.com: “Sensei is No Master” by Stefan Stenudd

“In Japanese use of the word, you cannot call yourself sensei. It’s used only by others when they address you or talk about you, if they feel that it is appropriate. That’s wonderful. You are only a teacher if somebody readily admits to being your student, i.e. turns to you in order to learn something. If you insist on teaching without being asked, you are something else.”

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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Jan
02

“The Quantum Physics Language of Budo” by Nev Sagiba

The Human body-mind, the Hito Jinja contains all the forces of the universe whether we are conscious of this or not. Most will remain latent throughout a life.

Existence is a matrix of sorts but much more. Whatever the activity we are required to master the skill of it will enable us to navigate well.

There are some great budoka out there, don’t get me wrong. Articulating what I want to say in words is no small task. I recently got reproached by one such individual I had praised in my writing but apparently, he and his associates had understood it as badmouthing.
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Jan
01

Brian Kagen pick: From the Sacramento Bee: “Notebook: Repelling an attack with the heart”

“The dojo has been attacked, it’s space violated with deliberate force and intention to do harm. Let’s respond to this attack with active, heartfelt Love,” she wrote. ‘Send the dojo love, blessing and light. Send the attacker love, blessing and light.’”

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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Jan
01

“How practical is practice?” by Bruce Baker

What are you doing! That is NOT Aikido!

I am sure somewhere, someplace, sometime you will either hear that phrase or read that phrase in some article or blog and wonder …. what the hell was going on that made it necessary to say those words.

Ya know, if you practice Aikido then go try Brazilian Jujitsu, which is more often wrestling and grappling than what you do as a practice of Aikido, you wonder … what good is this if a group of people attack, or someone is shooting at me with a gun? And then the people who practice striking arts wonder what the hell aikido people are doing with all that falling, throwing, and letting people use you as a human crash-test dummy for their practice, why aren’t there any kicks, strikes, or more violent techniques applied?
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