Mar
08

Motomichi Anno Sensei, 8th dan, receives the Japan Martial Arts Distinguished Service Award for Aikido, 2009

The following articles were submitted by Linda Holiday Sensei of Aikido of Santa Cruz:

On January 12, 2009, at the Budokan in Tokyo, Motomichi Anno Sensei was given the Japan Martial Arts Distinguished Service Award for Aikido. Anno Sensei, 8th dan, is the current chief instructor of the Kumano Juku Dojo in Shingu, Japan, succeeding the late Michio Hikitsuchi Sensei. Anno Sensei began his study of Aikido in 1954 and received direct instruction from the founder of Aikido during Osensei’s frequent visits to the Kumano area. Anno Sensei has traveled many times to teach Aikido in the US and Europe; he is well appreciated for his emphasis on the heart and spirit of the art.
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Mar
07

Brian Kagen pick: “The Complete Guide to the Alexander Technique”

“The Alexander technique is a way of learning how you can get rid of harmful tension in your body.”* Although certainly not a full definition of the Alexander Technique, this is a good start.

A more complete description is offered in “Changing The Way You Work: The Alexander Technique”:

“The Alexander Technique is a method that works to change (movement) habits in our everyday activities. It is a simple and practical method for improving ease and freedom of movement, balance, support and coordination. The technique teaches the use of the appropriate amount of effort for a particular activity, giving you more energy for all your activities. It is not a series of treatments or exercises, but rather a reeducation of the mind and body. The Alexander Technique is a method which helps a person discover a new balance in the body by releasing unnecessary tension. It can be applied to sitting, lying down, standing, walking, lifting, and other daily activities…”
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Mar
07

“Aikikai” from wikipedia.org

“The Aikikai Foundation (財団法人合気会, Zaidan Hōjin Aikikai?) is the original organisation for the Japanese martial art aikido, officially recognized by the Japanese government in 1940. It is also frequently referred to as “Aikikai Honbu”, or more simply, just “Aikikai”. It describes itself as “the parent organization for the development and popularization of aikido throughout the world”, although there are several offshoots whose arts all are named aikido. The Aikikai is often referred to as an umbrella organisation for various national and other aikido organisations. Its headquarters, the Aikikai Hombu Dojo, is located in Tokyo, Japan.

After the passing of Morihei Ueshiba, his son Kisshomaru Ueshiba took over the leadership of the organisation. The current dōshu of the Aikikai is the grandson of Morihei Ueshiba, Moriteru Ueshiba. The system of having the heir of a martial arts school be the son (either natural or adopted for the sake of succession) of the previous headmaster, was common in koryū (traditional schools) and is referred to as iemoto.”

Please click here to read entire article.

Mar
07

“Natural Movement” by Nev Sagiba

What is “natural movement”?

When you walk, or drive or brush your teeth, walk the dog, or do other things you are accustomed to doing often, you do not feel a need to contrive your action, or “learn” it or seek to understand the “hidden mystical meaning” of it, or analyze it, or wonder about the “spiritual ” meaning or any other irrelevant nonsense.

YOU SIMPLY DO IT.

And this with a minimum of fuss.

When you walk, you place one foot in front of the other. What does this “mean”? Probably that you want to go somewhere.
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Mar
06

“Engaged Budoism” by Gaku Homma

“I first published my first book, “Aikido for Life” in 1990 which summarized the basic philosophies, teaching and practice at Nippon Kan General Headquarters at that time. Even then, my main philosophy was that of “motion and sweat”. At the time, there were many instructors that focused on the teaching of “Ki” and “Ki Power”. In “Aikido for Life” I outlined my thoughts on the pursuit of Ki power and the ways in which ideas of Ki power were being sold to attract students. I have always believed that if you focus on Ki and search to find it, you will never succeed. Motion and sweat, in my opinion is a much better model for lifelong practice.

When “Aikido for Life” was released, I received some criticism. It was said about me that “If Gaku Homma says that Aikido has no Ki, then he must be practicing AI__DO instead of Aikido.” This withstanding, within the next five years, I received many requests for permission to translate “Aikido for Life” in countries abroad; especially in countries formerly part of Soviet Union and in Islamic areas. In all, “Aikido for Life” has now been translated into eight different languages officially (there may be more that I don’t know about) in many parts of the world. Along with these requests to translate my book, it was around this time that I began to receive invitations to come to other countries to teach. ”

Please click here to read entire article.

Mar
06

“Interview with Shimizu Sensei on “Strength” from tendoryu-aikido.org

“This year again we asked the head of Tendokan, Shimizu Kenji, for an interview, that embroiders the begin of our 2001 New Year`s edition. Shimizu sensei will talk about ‘What is real strength’ and ‘Why polite manners are so important’. Issues, which reflect the ideas of Tendoryu aikido and which are being mentioned untiringly by Shimizu sensei during practice. Additionally, among others, we will learn further details about one of this year’s current issues, i.e. about the video project, that has been a popular request already for a long time and which finally will be taken up.”

Please click here to read entire article.

Mar
05

“What is your Aikido” by Gregor Erdmann

“Just as any maple tree is recognisable as a maple tree, yet at the same time unique, everybody has their own aikido.

So what is your aikido?

Even if as an absolute beginner, our aikido is being formed by personality, teacher and peers. As we progress in our training, the chaff in our techniques is lost to reveal more and more of ourselves through our aikido. As has been through the ages, the question “Who are you?” has baffled us all, and we often spend an entire lifetime to discover the answer and live life truly as ourselves.”

Please click here to read entire article.

Mar
05

Recommended reading: “An Aikido Life – Part 9″ by Gozo Shioda

The article below has been selected from the extensive archives of the Online Aikido Journal. We believe that an informed readership with knowledge of the history, techniques and philosophy of aikido is essential to the growth of the art and its adherence to the principles espoused by Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba.

To resume the thread of my story, Ueshiba Sensei and the three of us finally arrived at the house of Razan Hayashi which was our destination as I mentioned before. When we settled down after cleaning the house, Ueshiba Sensei admonished us with the following words: “We are going to lead an ascetic life for 20 days starting today. During this period we will eat meals consisting of one kind of soup and a serving of fish or vegetables and rice. We are also going to train at night. So get yourselves in the right frame of mind.”

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Mar
03

“Past The Mechanics: A Discussion with Hal Lehrman Shihan on Kuzushi” by Jesse Kaufman, Open Sky Aikikai

“I had an interesting discussion with Hal Lehrman. I wanted to ask him to help me clarify what he does in his Aikido that is so unique. I’ve been having trouble describing it to others. Recently I learned about the concept of kuzushi and wondered if he agreed that execution of kazushi was what I noticing in his Aikido.

Kuzushi means “breaking down.” It is that moment in Aikido technique that breaks the balance. My hombu correspondent, John Presley, says that kuzushi can mean “taking something apart to the point that it can no longer stand on its own.” John says, without kuzushi, the technique just wonÕt happen.”

Please click here to read entire article.

Mar
02

“My Little Bokken … ” by Bruce Baker

“I have a number of sticks I use for my practice, and one of them is my little bokken I made out of an ax handle that I had John Stevens put his thumbprint on during one of his seminars in Philadelphia.

I put three coats of poly-urethane varnish on it, so I expect the thumbprint will be there until the varnish wears off despite the abuse and use it gets now and again.
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Mar
01

“Aikido Kid” by Brian Kagen pick: by Daniel Newberry

“Fourteen-year-old Hanna Kolias stands alone, barefoot beneath the bright lights and low ceiling of the Medford Judo Academy. Her white Aikido robe is cinched with a yellow belt, the symbol of her accomplishment.

The White City Middle School eighth-grader is practicing rolls and blocks on a blue, rubber mat. She must master them to graduate to the rank of orange belt. Her curly, dark hair bounces on her shoulders, and her cheeks are flush with exertion and excitement.
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Mar
01

“What is the most likely attack on the street?” by from lowtechcombat.com

“What is the most likely attack going to be on the street? That is the big question. And do you practise counters to it? In theory, you should spend the greatest amount of time training for the most likely attack you may come up against rather than less likely attacks.

The last poll that was held here on this blog was titled, ‘What is the most likely attack on the street?’ From the Poll, 9% said edged weapon, 18% said multiple attackers and both King Hit and Blindside had 36% a piece. This Poll and the mixed responses was the catalyst in starting a series utilising statistics from large bodies of people.”

Please click here to read entire article.