Apr
12

Brian Kagen pick: “The Development of Judo Weight Classes,” A Letter from Emilio Bruno

“Regarding my interest to assist the development of sport judo as well as the Japanese Martial Arts in the U.S. in the early days, I am forwarding the attached package of bits of material for your review and research. I am sorry to send you my personal materials involving public relations, letters, etc.; however, you may need to evaluate the authenticity of other materials.

On future correspondence on the work you have in mind, I suggest you initiate contact with Donn Draeger, c/o CPO Box 270, Tokyo, Japan, as I personally feel he is the most qualified and best source to provide you much and authentic information on the Martial Arts, (world-wide) and no doubt provide accurate records on judo competitors, World Judo Tournaments. He has in his research much information from the beginning to the present on the development of Sport Judo internationally. On hand-to-hand combat, Wes Brown and Karl Kitt are also very reliable on past hand-to-hand combat history background in the U.S. With your contact sources there and other officials, you should do very well.”

Please click here to read entire article.

Apr
11

“Using Tohei’s Model as a Baseline” by Mike Sigman

One of the big problems with many of the Aikido articles printed by westerners is that they are opinion articles, often with fuzzy interpretations of numerous Aikido or Aikido-related ideas. Sometimes the idea of “Aikido-related” is a far stretch indeed, getting into self-help, psychology, and other areas that Ueshiba never directily mentioned or advised on in his life.

Although Koichi Tohei is treated by many Aikido practitioners as someone who does “a different brand” (or some other minmization), Tohei had some innovative ideas that I think the other styles would do well to borrow, particularly in light of the recent (and very late) realization that many of the “ki” things Tohei speaks of are substantive and they are essential components of Aikido techniques.
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Apr
11

Ellis Amdur reviews “Noriaki Inoue: Aikido’s Forgotten Pioneer”

Ellis Amdur has written a review of our recently-released DVD titled “Noriaki Inoue: Aikido’s Forgotten Pioneer” hosted at aikiweb.com.

“The few minutes of film on AikiNews’ Asahi Shinbun film of Ueshiba Morihei have engendered endless discussion and speculation. It is from this film clip that many assert that they understand Ueshiba’s aiki-budo, when he was at the peak of his physical powers.

As many know, Ueshiba was in the company of his nephew, Inoue Noriaki, 18 years his junior, through most of his studies in Daito-ryu. As a teenager, Inoue witnessed his uncle train with Takeda Sokaku, and the two of them worked out together as Ueshiba, over the years, tried to figure out what he learned. Due to personal matters, Inoue and Ueshiba broke with each other and after WWII, rarely had contact. Inoue continued to associate with the Omoto-kyo, and in addition, continued to develop his own interpretation of aiki-budo under a variety of names, finally entitled Shin-ei Taido.”

Click here to read Ellis Amdur’s review.

This DVD is available here.

Apr
11

Brian Kagen pick: “Defending Against Grappler Using Aikido” from aikiweb.com

“Hi Tim
I spend time training with grapplers who ask if they can just go at it (no strikes though-that’s different training) all out to try and take me down. I never fight back and don’t do a single definable waza, until they collapse in a sweaty heap. I don’t think someone who just started re-training their bodies are going to get there. It takes time to strengthen and tune your connections so that speed and direction become axiomatic. I only know what we do, and I am not privy to others methods. From the beginning steps I have people moving against resistance and in short order resistance from all sides and angles. With that, there are ways to train to have your connections hold while being fluid and ever changing, then certain things to do, and ways to do them that make instant change of directed forces coming into you. The real key is learning to nuetralize and “change” fast moving power. Grapplers aren’t going to use single point forces, or continue a push something that isn’t working, we will change. Add in fients and dodges and their own changes and it becomes easy to see that trying to “do” things is not the answer. Usually when the body feels vulnerable its resorts to waza or “fight back.” It will forever vex you and hold you back until you “train-through-it.” Most people won’t. They will forever continue to fight back and use waza to bolster vulnerable position changes and engage.”

Please click here to read entire article.

Apr
10

Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba on DVD!

Save over 30% off retail price! We are offering a special set of 5 outstanding DVDs featuring Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba. We feel that it is important for aikidoka to be familiar with the life and art of this incredible martial artist. These DVDs contain rare film clips of Morihei Ueshiba O-Sensei at various stages of his life. If you’ve never see O-Sensei in action before you’ll be dazzled and inspired by his wizardry on the mat! The 5 DVDs retail normally for $199.75, but during this special you will save more than 30% off as this special offers sells for $134.95 plus shipping & handling.

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Apr
10

Brian Kagen pick: “Grandmaster Helio Gracie’s final interview”

“The technique sometimes substitues strength. It’s difficult for someone to defeat me until today.”

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 view video clip.

Apr
10

“Interview with Michael Sheahon Sensei” by Greater Hartford Aikikai

“I feel the integration of centering, breathing and projection are fundamental to effective movement in aikido, both for nage and uke. I say this because no matter how precise the alignment of your hanmi to the line of attack, the width of your stance or the maai (tactical distance) between you and your partner, an application may be a complete failure if you are not centered, your breathing is not focused and you are not projecting power through fully extended arms.

Conversely, if you are well centered with good posture, you have good control over your breathing and you project fully and all of these events are integrated within focused movement, often the power you generate will in itself throw a committed partner, even if other things are not well executed.”

Please click here to read entire article.

Apr
09

“Widen the Gap” by Gregor Erdmann

“If we look at our average uke, we notice that they have an internal structure made up of bones, joints and muscles. This structure in a static state has a high intrinsic strength in certain positions and is vulnerable and weak in others. Generally, forces along the bone line are easily absorbed and those applied at 90 degrees to the bone line require effort from the uke to maintain structural integrity. Joints too have varying degrees of movement and can be quite complex. Fortunately, all humans are roughly the same in their physical structure and so any questions we have regarding the easiest way to move a body can be answered through examination of ourselves.

The uke also has inertia towards us. In fact, it is only when the inertia is towards us that we need concern ourselves. It is important to take note of this as applying forces in line with this inertia will increase the speed of the uke, whereas a force 90 degrees to their inertia will create a circular movement which generally increases the relative speed between the uke and yourself. Both of these cases will reduce an ukes stability.”

Please click here to read entire article.

Apr
09

“Taking Measures” by Mary Stein

A couple of mornings ago I was walking down the street toward the dojo. I had come for the usual morning practice, carrying something that felt unusual and a little uncomfortable. It was what is euphemistically called an “advance health care directive”—one of those papers you sign stating what measures, if any, you’d like taken when you’re dying.

A few days before I had tuned in to a radio program on which a doctor described the experience of seeing his mother through to the end of her life. She had been perfectly clear that she didn’t want to be kept alive at any cost, and he spoke of being relieved that she had fully communicated that. He said it is quite horrible to be put on a ventilator, a torment that can occasionally last for months—that you have to be heavily drugged to keep the body from instinctively trying to rip the thing out.
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Apr
08

“Yin Yang 2″ by Gregor Erdmann

“The outlining principle of Yin and Yang is easy enough to grasp in theory, but translating it into something physical we can repeatedly execute is usually another matter. The difficulty of this was reinforced for me when observing one of my student executing the basic ikkyo technique.

Whenever we are asked to ‘do’ something, the natural tendency is to ‘try’. As a result we lose our centre. In a grappling fashion, we attempt to wrestle our opponent’s arm and if we are more skilled, their body towards the mat. This approach to ikkyo results in a sense of over-extension which is manifested by having to catch up with our opponent as they fold in submission. This is even more apparent from a kneeling position. We have all seen this before – the uke falling away from a nage who is struggling to maintain control.”

Please click here to read entire article.

Apr
07

“Doshu Kisshomaru Ueshiba’s Visit to the Aikido Club of Atlanta on April 19, 1974″ by Lamar Sanders

“I was a hydrologist for the U. S. Geological Survey for 43 years, and have been a hydraulic engineer for the South Carolina Department of Transportation for 4 years. I began Aikido in Atlanta in 1972. I studied with Rodney Grantham from 1972-79, Clyde Takeguchi and Gordon Sakamoto in Washington, DC, 1979-84, and have been sensei of Columbia Aikikai in Columbia, SC since 1984.

Sensei Rodney Grantham founded the Aikido Center of Atlanta in Atlanta, Georgia, around 1966. As far as I know, this was the first Aikido school in Georgia. Other pioneers of Aikido were Sensei Tom Walker of Titusville, Florida and Sensei Ed Baker of Orlando, Florida. Sensei Clyde Takeguchi founded a school in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina only a few years later.”

Please click here to read entire article.

Apr
07

“Lost Seminars Volume 6″ latest in Morihiro Saito DVD series!

The finest in aikido instruction from Morihiro Saito, 9th dan!

We now have available yet another DVD featuring Aikido legend, Morihiro Saito Sensei, one of Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba’s most skilled disciples. This outstanding DVD presents precious footage of Saito Sensei as he appeared in 1992 while conducting a seminar in San Diego, California. Like the preceeding five DVDs, this one is chock full of explanations and demonstrations from the vast repertoire of Iwama Aikido techniques.

Click here for promotional clip of new DVD!!
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