Mar
13

Brian Kagen pick: “8th-degree black belt awarded to Ki-Aikido instructor”

“WAILUKU – The president of the World Ki Society in Japan has named the acting head instructor of the Shushinkan Ki-Aikido dojo in Wailuku a hachi dan, or eighth-degree black belt – the 16th person in the world to reach the rank.

Christopher Curtis, who is also chief instructor of the Hawaii Ki Federation, received the hachi dan certificate awarded by Shinichi Tohei at a banquet at the dojo on Jan. 24. He received the certificate from the retired head instructor and founder of Maui Ki-Aikido, Shinichi Suzuki.”

Please click here to read entire article.

Mar
13

“Lessons in Survival” by Ben Sherwood from newsweek.com

“He ended up in southeastern North Carolina at Fort Bragg, home of the Army’s elite Airborne and Special Forces. This is where the Army’s renowned survival school is located. It’s also where they believe in something called stress inoculation. Like vaccines, a small challenge or dose of a virus in your system prepares and defends you against a bigger challenge. In other words, they expose you to pressure and suffering in training so you’ll build up your immunity. It’s a kind of classic psychological conditioning: the more shocks to your system, the more you’re able to withstand.”

Please click here to read entire article.

Mar
12

From AJ forum: “On Kashima Shin-ryu and Aikido”

There is an interesting thread on the Aikido Journal forum of which the following is an excerpt on the relationship between Kashima Shin-ryu and aikido started by froggy that may be of interest to some readers:

Mr. Tissier’s swordwork derives from Kashima-Shinryu, via Inaba Minoru, the head Aikido instructor at the Meiji Grand Shrine in Tokyo. It is NOT, however, Kashima-Shinryu–in either a formal or a practical sense.

Inaba has worked a bit of Kashima-Shinryu kenjutsu and some other weapon training into his aikido curriculum at the Meiji Grand Shrine. Neither he nor his teacher, Tanaka Shigeo, however, has any formal connections with the current Kashima-Shinryu soke or shihanke, and neither has any Kashima-Shinryu license or diploma from either Kunii Zen’ya (the previous soke/shihanke) or Seki Humitake (the current shihanke; Inaba has a diploma written by Kunii, but unsigned, which he received from Kunii’s widow).
[Read more...]

Mar
11

“The Highest Art: Affirming the Art of the Martial” by Charles Humphrey

“My art is martial. The beauty which I can realize in
my practice does have the potential for violence.”

I work at and attended a stereotypical liberal arts teaching-college. It is populated by idealistic young minds who seek to better understand the world through the study of philosophers and writers both ancient and modern. While it succeeds in fostering intense, active debate between students, more often than not the students’ ardour exceeds their understanding of the material. Much more concerting is the tendency to discount the value of understanding one’s immediate situation and thinking in practical terms.
[Read more...]

Mar
11

“How to Get Bruce Lee Like Strength Without Ever Going to a Gym” by Jonathan Mead

“While you may not get to Bruce Lee’s level overnight, you can start getting in shape without the use of a lot of fancy (and expensive) equipment. You can do it from the comfort of your own home, in a space as large as a bathroom.

Part of the reason I started training without a gym was because I began training in Jeet Kune Do (Bruce Lee’s method of martial arts). But I also got tired of paying monthly gym dues. At the time, I was looking for things I could cut out of my monthly budget to save a little extra money.

I thought about getting rid of my gym membership altogether, but I didn’t want to sacrifice my health or physical fitness. So I found another way. For months, I haven’t had a gym membership, yet I’m getting stronger and faster than I’ve ever been in my life.”

Please click here to read entire article.

Mar
11

Charles Warren pick: “Kendo Thoughts & Ideas” by David Aguero

“Yagyu Munenori was known to be a great rival of Miyamoto Musashi. Yagyu Munenori was the kendo teacher to the shogun, a great and gifted swordsman who was the founder of the “No Sword” school of kendo and just as famous as Musashi. Munenori was known to have favored using an early form of kendo bogu for the safe practicing of kendo. His mentor the the zen priest Takuan Soho was instrumental in forming his ideas for his kendo style and his book that he wrote for the shogun “The Life-Giving Sword”. It is unclear how much he knew or if Musashi read this great and insightful book “the life-giving sword”. But it was clearly on his mind since soon after the book was released the Musashi wrote his own book on kendo “a book of five rings” the most famous of all kendo books and unmatched in its wisdom. I am only speculating on what motivated Musashi to write his book but it is interesting to note that in the last chapter “the wind book” he criticizes by inference the kendo style of Munenori and other great swordsmen? This was very provocative in an age where one wrong word would mean a duel to the death. Great rivals? YES. We are fortunate that both of these great masters decided to write these treasures of kendo books, treasures for all time.”

Please click here to read entire article.

Mar
11

“Beginner’s Lessons” by Mary Stein

The other day while we were warming up at morning practice, the conversation turned to the gloomy economic situation. One of us was out of work, another couldn’t sell his house; anyone with an IRA account had seen it leak thousands. Somebody remarked on the poignancy of hindsight, of seeing too late how a situation might have been handled differently, how one might have noticed something in time, but hadn’t. The atmosphere of the dojo suddenly filled with wistful should-haves, could-have-beens, and ought-to-have beens. Then the warm-up was over and we got down to practice. As blows were aimed and struck, there was the clear recognition that our interests lay in responding to what was needed, just then. We quieted down, and the should-haves evaporated.
[Read more...]

Mar
10

New DVD on Noriaki Inoue, Morihei Ueshiba’s nephew, soon to appear

We are currently working on a new DVD project that is somewhat of a departure from our normal fare. Allow me to elaborate.

Few involved in aikido have ever heard the name of Yoichiro Inoue. Who is this man? Actually, he was a nephew of Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba who spent much of the first 40 or so years of his life at the side of his uncle and who was himself an expert martial artist. Inoue was also a major contributor to the creation of Aiki Budo, the precursor form of aikido. I know it sounds improbable but it is historical fact and thoroughly documented.
[Read more...]

Mar
10

Brian Kagen pick: “A tribute to Kenji Tomiki & Hideo Oba Sensei” by Dr. Ah Loi Lee

“The descriptive names help to focus on the intent of the techniques. Atemi implies a hit or strike but since we are practising aikido (harmony with your opponent) the hitting/slamming/punching is replaced with a controlled contact push/throwing feeling. This is extremely difficult to achieve. Atemi-waza throw someone on their back, either by a frontal, sideways or rear application of technique on uke. Without first controlling uke, by catching their hands, it is extremely difficult to apply technique, especially when they are attacking forwards and if your timing is out obviously with avoidance (tai sabaki), you will meet their incoming power and obviously get stopped in your tracks, unless you are bigger.

Timing the opponent’s footwork is of the essence here. When the opponent’s front foot lands the throw happens at that split second before they can use the other foot to regain balance. Obviously the angle of your attack also matters.
[Read more...]

Mar
10

Brian Kagen pick: “A History of the Kodokan” by Kim Sol

“The founding of Takenouchi Ryu in 1532 is the earliest reliable record of what we think of as ju jitsu, and appears to have been a formulation of unarmed fighting techniques which were undoubtedly present in the culture, and surely as an adjunct to the armed combat systems of Japan, which were reaching their maximum influence and development during that century.(2)

After the Battle of Sekigahara in 1601, the Edo Period began. During this long interesting era, authentic armed combat systems began a decline as the long period of peace associated with the Tokugawa Shogunate sapped martial ardor from the military classes. Ju jitsu, on the other hand, began a flowering and development which continued into the nineteenth century, resulting in the establishment by then of more than 725 documented schools of ju jitsu, expressing a wide variety of unarmed combat methodologies and specialities. They were referred to as “ryu” which means school, but these were not educational schools, to the contrary, they were typically businesses, teaching these various fighting methods which could include grappling, throwing, kicking and punching techniques.”

Please click here to read entire article.

Mar
09

Recommended viewing: “Aiki Expo 2005 Demo Clip”

Below is a link to a video clip featuring highlights from the exciting 2005 Aiki Expo Demonstration held in May 2005 in Los Angeles.

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.

Click here for available DVDs from the 2005 event.

Mar
09

Kenji Ushiro Sensei to conduct USA seminars

Kenji Ushiro Sensei teaches a style of Okinawan Karate called Shindoryu. His teacher, Nikichi Zaha, was a direct student of Choshin Chibana, a pivotal figure in the development of modern Okinawan Karate. Ushiro Sensei is an 8th dan Kyoshi of Shindoryu Ushiro Karetedo and 7th dan Kyoshi of Iaido, All-Japan Kendo Federation.

Ushiro Sensei’s mastery of ki, as expressed through his karate, is at a level rarely seen in the world of martial arts. He is a highly sought-after instructor in Japan and author of several books on martial arts. His second book, Karate and Ki, has recently been released in an English version (reading this book before the seminar is strongly recommended).
[Read more...]