Mar
25

Movable and Immovable Objects

The other day James and I were trying different techniques with horizontal strikes, the tsuki punch to the belly. We’d try one technique, then another, starting with that punch. We’d been moving with each other in fairly flowing motion when all of a sudden when I punched toward him he didn’t budge at all, except to put up a blocking arm in front of his center. Then he immediately stepped forward to mow me down. That first time I more or less banged into him, and had the distinct impression of encountering the proverbial immovable object.

When it was my turn to receive his thrust, I carried out the technique as I was accustomed to doing it–receiving the punch absorbently, moving aside a bit to allow the energy to express itself before I stepped forward to unbalance James. My moves seemed satisfying, even graceful, and they conformed to my image of a flexible, responsive aikido.
[Read more...]

Mar
25

“Aikido Basics” by Stefan Stenudd

“At my dojo Enighet in Malmö, we have made a listing of basic aikido techniques and on what attacks they are reasonably possible to do. The list is long, of course. We have also formulated some basic principles on what to be considered by tori (defender), uke (attacker) or both. In case this is of any use to you, here it all is. There may be additions in the future.

Please click here to read entire article.

Mar
24

Brian Kagen pick: “The 12 Ways to Practice” from Traditional Aikido of Sonoma

“Marsalis’ advice may seem deceptively simple, perhaps even obvious. And yet, how many times during taijutsu practice, when Sensei corrects your movements, have you thought, “That’s such a simple movement! I’m making it way more complicated than it needs to be”?

The only place the word “think” appears in the above 12 Ways is in example #10: Think for Yourself. This does not mean think; it means “be who you are”. It means take what is offered to you, and make it a part of you. Over-thinking a technique is a common part of the learning process, yet it seems to be a brick in the path to the goal of connecting your body and mind.

Example #4 tells us to concentrate. Not think. For aikido, we may translate “concentrate” to mean focus. Intent. Purpose. Direction. Drawing uke into your sphere, if you prefer. When you are in the moment, the moment is all that there is.”

Please click here to read entire article.

Mar
23

Brian Kagen pick: “The Speed of a Technique” by George Ledyard

“This actually ties in with the whole Aikido is not about fighting issue… Saotome Sensei doesn’t “fight” with you. He does not “contend”, he does not “defend”.

He accepts an attack. He joins with it. This takes place before the attacker even starts moving. On a psychic level, Sensei is ALREADY in before the physical attack commences. This is precisely what Ushiro Sensei talked about at length.
[Read more...]

Mar
23

“History of Aikido in Hawaii” from aikidohawaii.org

“In February 1961, O-Sensei came to Hawaii. During his visit he said: I have come to Hawaii in order to build a “silver bridge.” Until now, I have remained in Japan, building a “golden bridge” to unite Japan, but henceforward, I wish to build a bridge to bring the different countries of the world together through the harmony and love contained in aikido. I think that aiki, offspring of the martial arts, can unite the people of the world in harmony, in the true spirit of budo, enveloping the world in unchanging love.”

Please click here to read entire article.

Mar
22

Brian Kagen pick: “Kenpō” from wikipedia.com

“Kenpō (拳法 ?) is the name of several martial arts. The word kenpō is a Japanese translation of the Chinese word “quánfǎ. This term is often informally transliterated as “kempo,” as a result of applying Traditional Hepburn romanization (which provides for use of the letter “m” when ん precedes a labial consonant such as “p”), but failing to use a macron to indicate the long vowel. The generic nature of the term combined with its widespread, cross-cultural adoption in the martial arts community has led to many divergent definitions.”

Please click here to read entire article.

Mar
22

“Interview with Morihiro Saito Sensei” by Pad

“While re-reading some back issues of Aiki News magazines the other day, I came across an article of an interview with Saito sensei back in May 1979.

The question raised by the editor; was about the danger that what O Sensei taught us will become changed over the course of time into what can no longer be regarded as Aikido. So what would you regard to be fundamentally important points when you teach?

Saito Sensei replied: it is to adhere to basics. People think light of basic and are attracted to fancy techniques. Nowadays one cannot be regarded as good unless he does fancy things. This he said back in 1979 nearly thirty years ago, he also mention that, “It is wrong for a martial artist to try to make a living from students’ tuition by teaching budo”. The reason for this he say’s is that a martial artist shouldn’t be worried about his personnel financial situation, because he will end up giving rank to weak students or he will give special treatment and be biased favour of their gifts.”

Please click here to read entire article.

Mar
22

Aikido in Las Vegas: “Just Go!” by Mike Smith

I’ve been training in Las Vegas for several months now under Mr. Pranin. I’ve enjoyed learning from him as well as the other students. We meet twice a week in the evenings and I wish we could meet more. I look forward to the classes and learn new things about the art as well as myself every time.

I had a conversation after a class several weeks ago with a fellow student, Brandon. The topic was more or less about commitment. Sometimes life can get in the way of your goals and dreams. I have a wife and two kids and plenty of responsibilities. At times it seems impossible to fit it all in. Brandon also has his own life going on outside of Aikido and told me he had received some advice a while back which helped him. “JUST GO”. Just figure out a way to get to every class and you will reap the benefits in more ways than you could imagine.
[Read more...]

Mar
21

Brian Kagen pick: “Tru-Flyte Martial Arts Memorial” by Robert C. Gruzanski

“This website is dedicated as a memorial to the many accomplishments of my father Charles Vincent Gruzanski. Within these pages are the countless individuals that my father instructed as well as his many teachers. Yumio Nawa, Gozo Shioda, Masaaki Hatsumi, Masutatsu (Mas) Oyama, Robert Trias, Tadashi Nakamura and Harry McEvoy are just a few of the people who guided his path within the martial arts and knife throwing community. Please enjoy the many pictures, letters, weapons, documents and very rare books from my collection. I also have many rare books for sale as well.”

Please click here to read entire article.

Mar
21

“O-Sensei Morihei Ueshiba Interview” by from youtube.com

“Wonderful interview. Very humorous, but very wise person. I have great respect for this wonderful sensei.”

“‘As a household treasure’ – That means that aikido should always be practiced with high ideals in mind! And not as a mechanical way of self-defence like one often sees it practiced.”

Please click here to watch the video.

Mar
20

“Wisdom” by Gregor Erdmann

“The predominant philosophy of Kokikai Aikido is “Minimum effort, Maximum effect”. There are two parts to achieving this.

Firstly, the application of correct technique, blending and moving into our attacker’s weaknesses ensure that we don’t expend energy by fighting and aggravating the situation. This is too large a topic to effectively cover in a single article, so I will focus on the second part – efficient movement.”
[Read more...]

Mar
20

“Aikido and Job Interviews” by David Shevitz

“I recognize that I’ve been a little quiet as of late. I could blame the holiday season, which is partially true, but there have been a number of new changes to my daily routine, and it has taken me a few
weeks to adjust.

Perhaps the most significant change is in regards to my occupation.
You see, last week I had the opportunity to start a new job at Microsoft. Now, under normal circumstances this wouldn’t have anything to do with aikido. But take a moment and do a few searches on the Microsoft interview experience, and you’ll find many blogs, articles, and so on about how grueling “the loop” can be. And indeed, the experience was one of the more intense ones I’ve encountered.”

Please click here to read entire article.