Feb
16

Brian Kagen pick: “Underqualified Sensei” from aikiweb.com

“Anyone can rent a building and start their own dojo, regardless of their experience and knowledge of aikido. They can exaggerate on their qualifications to teach and a person new to aikido can be easily mislead. I feel sorry for the gullible students of these type teachers. I also feel frustrated that they are representing aikido so poorly. Some people go to see aikido for the first time and will leave thinking that aikido is BS.

Sometimes a student moves to an area where there isn’t a dojo and must start their own in order to keep training. In these situations, I think that it is okay to teach as long as the sensei and the students continue to learn from a parent dojo. I think that the sensei owes it to themselves and their students to continue to learn.
[Read more...]

Feb
15

“The Graying of Aikidoists” by Gil Scutti

Sooner or later it will happen to all of us. The older guy on the mat that you were reluctant to train with because he was too slow or too stiff or too brittle becomes you. What should you do? Leave the mat and take up knitting? Doubtful. Instead, like all the adjustments you start to make you need to find a way to continue doing what you love; perhaps, a little slower or with a little less power. Or perhaps less often or with more time spent sitting seiza on the back of the mat.

What is the role of the Sensei in helping you make the adjustment? Does he expect you to fly around the mat as always or does he (heaven forfend) create an Aikido lite class– one with little or no ukemi and techniques more suitable to your current ability? Whether and how to create this environment are topics to be explored in my blog.

Feb
14

Brian Kagen pick: “The Influence Game: Ultimate Fighting ducks punch” by Frederick J. Frommer

“The biggest name in mixed martial arts, UFC is a multimillion-dollar business that fills arenas, broadcasts events on pay-per-view and has deals with cable networks like Spike TV. The sport, which combines jiujitsu, judo, karate, boxing, kickboxing and wrestling, has put off some critics with its ferocity, including such tactics as kicks to the head.

The sport’s owners are concerned that it could come under federal regulation by a proposed new commission to regulate boxing that two senior lawmakers are pushing. To help head that off, the Las Vegas-based UFC spent $240,000 last year lobbying Congress.”
[Read more...]

Feb
13

“Koichi Kashiwaya Sensei, December 2000″ by Jun Aikiyama from aikiweb.com

“Koichi Kashiwaya sensei began aikido training in 1969 at Risshou University in Tokyo, Japan. He started training with Koichi Tohei sensei back in 1970. He started teaching in the United States in 1971 at the Seattle Ki Society for four years then later returned in 1977 to found the Rocky Mountain Ki Society in Boulder, Colorado. He was appointed Chief Instructor for Ki Society USA by Tohei sensei in 1983. He now holds an 8th dan in Shin Shin Toitsu Aikido, an Okuden in Ki Training, a lecturer in teaching for Ki Society International, and is a judge for the International Taigi Competition.”

Please click here to read entire article.

Feb
13

“Doubts about continuing training?” by Bruce Baker

“Do you ever have doubts about continuing training? Maybe you show up at work one day with a spain, or a limp, or some injury due to training and your boss tells you to choose between your job and your hobby? It happens. What do you do when it does?

Everyone has a choice to make. What is best for your future, for your present, and what compromise can you make to get what you want verses what others around you want. It is the continuing struggle to please everyone around you and yourself too. Most people compromise, or they choose their job, and maybe that is why I have seen so many people come and go during my time with Aikido.
[Read more...]

Feb
12

“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.
[Read more...]

Feb
11

“Tales of the Hermit Volume I: The Castle in the Rain and The Judge ” by Oscar Ratti and Adele Westbrook

“Oscar Ratti and Adele Westbrook are the authors of two classic illustrated books that have never been out of print since their initial publications, and that are currently available worldwide in multiple foreign-language editions: Secrets of the Samurai and Aikido and the Dynamic Sphere. They are also the translators of Tacuinum Sanitatis: The Medieval Health Handbook.

They met at Columbia University, where Mr. Ratti was doing graduate work in Classical Languages and Literature and Ms. Westbrook was studying Philosophy.
[Read more...]

Feb
11

Brian Kagen: “Helio Gracie passes at 95″

“It is with great sadness that GRACIEMAG.com announces the passing of Grandmaster Helio Gracie. At 95 years of age, the great icon and one of those most responsible for Jiu-Jitsu’s success in Brazil and the world died this morning, at Beneficencia Portuguesa Hospital, in Petropolis, mountain region of Rio de Janeiro.”

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.

Feb
10

“Changes” by Lynn Seiser from aikiweb.com

“Several years ago an Aikido Sensei* told me a story about his Zen master. When the old man was on his death bed, the Shanga (community) gathered to ask what would become of them. The old man, smiled, laughed, and simply said, “Changes, changes, changes.”

As a Buddhist we contemplate the impermanence of existence. Suffering comes from ignorance and attachment. We become identified and attached because we believe (in ignorance) that all the events in this fleeting life are stable and permanent. By accepting that things change, it is easier to let go of one event or moment and move onto another.
[Read more...]

Feb
10

“An Obese White Gentleman in No Apparent Distress,” a novel by Riki Moss reviewed by Ellis Amdur

“Shortly before he died, he started a novel – in the middle -
and that one chapter is jaw-droppingly brilliant…”

Terry Dobson was the best story teller I ever met. He mythologized himself, to be sure, but his stories, unlike the Baron Munchausens of the world, were true. These stories were a kind of passport through which he could charm, enthrall and inspire – and, truth be told, never let the room go silent.

Beyond story telling, however, is the alchemy of writing. Terry knew that a writer was far more than a teller of tales, someone who can take the raw material of life (think of ore), the story being merely a crude semi-crafted product (iron) and with heat, power and a tremendous amount of work, turn it into art (steel). He never succeeded in this last step, struggling with writer’s block of epic proportions. (Shortly before he died, he started a novel – in the middle – and that one chapter is jaw-droppingly brilliant – just as with his aikido, he left the stage just when he “got it.”) He did, however, leave a number of hours of tapes of his stories. He and his inamorata, Riki Moss, planned turning this material into some sort of book, but he died before getting very far. Riki spent the next ten years struggling with the stories, and with her own story – her life with this man, and her own life while being with this man.
[Read more...]

Feb
09

“Old School Jujitsu Demonstration” by Swede Viking Chronolm

“This was the picture of Jujutsu which the Swedish physiotherapist, boxer and elite-sportsman Viking Cronholm took with him when he travelled to South-Africa in 1904. It was there that a few years later he was taught Jujutsu by an English officer. He returned to Sweden, and immediately introduced Jujutsu to his old boxing friends.

The first official Jujutsu exhibition followed by a course in self-defence, was held in January 1908. Cronholm continued his studies with various Japanese Jujutsu masters, probably those who had started the Jujutsu institute in London. His first Jujutsu demonstration in Stockholm was given immense attention, and he gained great interest and support from the most prominent sporting leaders in Sweden, amongst others the “father of modern sport”, the General and head of the Central Gymnastic institute, Viktor Balck.”

Please click here to view video clip.

Feb
09

“A wake up call? A moment of enlightenment?” by Jason Bird

As a doorman (Bouncer) in the UK for the past 10 years and Aikido practitioner for 15 years, I have always got by, been able to do my job, never really had many conflicts. By my own nature, I am known in my home town as being the calmest, nicest, polite but firm, non swearing and understanding doorman in the nightclub circuit. So I am able to get things done, ask people to leave, refuse entry, etc., purely by being me. Quite good I think. Anyway, sometimes it does go as they say “a bit pear shaped ” so variations of Nikyo, Sankyo, Yonkyo, Shihonage, Irminage are employed, not to their full effect I add, I would lose my job!! but purely to control the situation or enable me to carry out unruly, unwanted guests of the nightclub as a last resort when the talking has broke down and they really dont want to leave or they, without warning, attack me, or my colleagues or another guest.
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