May
31

Brian Kagen pick: “Kizeme” from wikipedia.com

“Kizeme is a Japanese term describing the advanced form of seme when a kendo player has succeeded in causing shift in the mind (attention) of the opponent.[1] Kendoka at that stage takes the offensive mainly through Ki, succeeding in disconcerting the opponent via KI-projection and at much higher skill level without visible gesture.[2]

Kizeme is act of combat predominant in Kendo and should be regarded in contrast to ordinary levels of combat in which the awareness of the practitioners is limited to the most directly perceptible elements: speed, strength and sheer aggressiveness. The last can be used to delineate 3 levels of combat (see the 3 sketches on your right).[3] These 3 levels were elegantly described in a compelling allegory by Issai Chosan (1727) Neko no Myojutsu (“The Cat’s Eerie Skill”).[4] Kizeme is depicted as the perfect skill in martial art, where non-violence is still an artifice that can be detected and exploited to dismiss the naturally embedded aggression in the ego and reach harmony – the state of Muga-mushin.”

Please click here to read entire article.

May
30

“Glossary” by Stefan Stenudd

“Aikido terminology is in Japanese. It’s “all Greek” to the beginner, but by time we all learn most of it. Here is a comprised dictionary of aikido terms, with short translations/explanations.”

Stefan Stenudd is an author and aikido instructor, 6 dan Aikikai, Vice Chairman of the International Aikido Federation. He also teaches the sword art iaido. He has written several books about aikido and other Japanese and Chinese traditions.

Please click here to read entire article.

May
30

Brian Kagen pick: “What is Shugyo?” by Craig Cox

“What is this concept we refer to as “Shugyou” ? Within the context of the martial arts, constant reference is made toward it, yet how many of us stop to consider its relevance and all that it implies? As practitioners of Chito Ryu karate, we recite the word glibly each night as part of the Showa ( 唱和 ) ceremony to finish training, generally, giving it little more regard than that it serves a mere function in formality. By the conclusion of this paper we shall come to recognise the massive underestimation of shugyou and the relevance of it to every living one of us.

Shugyou is commonly translated to mean “study ” in English, however, this oversimplified definition suffers a distinctly Western loading, as we shall see. Such oversimplification is a direct result of the frequent misconception that for all lexis and expression within a foreign language, a literally direct match also exists within one’s native tongue. As martial artists, we regularly encounter Japanese expressions that have highly specialised definitions or culturally specific applications. Despite this, very few individuals question whether or not equivalent expressions exist within our own language to communicate effectively the intended meaning of the original. Actually, the vast majority are unaware that such incongruence exists between languages. Such being the case, it is extremely relevant, even necessary that in order to progress in our martial studies, we are mindful of the importance to fully appreciate the full range of connotation one may apply to these extremely interesting expressions.”

Please click here to read entire article.

May
29

“Koichi Tohei” from wikipedia.com

“Koichi Tohei was born 1920 in Shitaya ward (下谷区), presently Taitō, in Tokyo. As a boy he was sickly and frail, leading his father to recommend Tohei for judo studies. He trained hard and his body prospered, but soon after he began his pre-college studies at Keio University, he developed a case of pleurisy, an inflammation of the lining of the chest (lung) cavity which causes great pains in the chest area with breathing. This forced Tohei to take a year off.

Tohei was distressed at the thought of losing his newfound strength of body and his means of training it, so he decided to replace his judo studies with Zen meditation and misogi exercises. As with his judo studies, Tohei entered the training of the mind with fervor and soon excelled despite his serious health issues. After his recovery from pleurisy, of which the doctors could find no trace, Tohei became convinced that it was his efforts in training his mind and cultivating his ki that had helped him to heal and recover.”

Please click here to read entire article.

May
29

“Lots and Lots of Techniques” by Nev Sagiba

I’ve heard it said that “some individuals ‘know’ lots and lots of techniques.”

I’m not sure what this means.

Of what use are “lots and lots of techniques” since all you need is clear noticing of attack and one lucid response flow that deals with the attack at hand.

There is no point doing an irrelevant techniques because quite simply it will not deal with the attack that is imminent.
[Read more...]

May
28

Brian Kagen pick: “Aikido Exercises for Teaching and Training” by C.M. Shifflett

“Exercises, tools, and toys for illustrating and honing basic Aikido skills from rolling to specific techniques, with extensive cross-referencing to other writers, other styles, other resources. Page references are provided to standard texts such as Total Aikido (used by Yoshinkan styles) Aikido and the Dynamic Sphere (used by Aikikai and Ki Society styles).

The Dynamic Sphere translation table translates the notoriously unwieldy numbering system of this otherwise excellent book into more common dojo terms complete with page references. For example, “Immobilization #2 against Attack #1″ is better known as Katate-tori nikyo. Find this throw on page 180 of Aikido and the Dynamic Sphere or get details on nikyo itself on pages 174-177. For still more information, you will be referred to pages 96-97 of Total Aikido.”

Please click here to read entire article.

May
27

“It’s Child’s Play” by Gregor Erdmann

“If I asked you to repeatedly toss someone weighing 80kg two meters into the air, and not break a sweat you would think I am crazy. Yet with a casual flick of your quads and perfect timing it is readily possible.

There is already a good chance that you have done this many a time without stopping to think about how it all comes together. I am talking about the swing at your local park of course. It is amazing how a handful of correctly timed leg movements can translate to the incredible power you can generate in a children’s playground.”

Please click here to read entire article.

May
27

“Masamichi Noro” from wikipedia.com

“Masamichi NORO 野呂昌道 was born January 21, 1935 in Aomori, Japan. One of the characteristics of his early years is the musical universe that surrounded him, and which strongly influenced his sensibility. His education destined him to take on his family’s business affairs, but one encounter re-directed the course of his life toward the martial arts, irrevocably. In 1955, while pursuing university studies, his uncle arranged for him to be presented to a famous master of Ju-jitsu, Master Morihei Ueshiba 植芝盛平, the founder of Aikido 合気道. This event proved to be decisive and that same day he decided to renounce his plans in order to become uchi deshi, an internal student of this master. His training, in the ancient manner, took place night and day at the master’s side. In this way, from 1955 to 1961, Masamichi Noro followed Master Morehei Ueshiba from Tokyo to Iwama where he had his private dojo. At this time, 5 uchi deshi (including Yasuo Kobayashi and Nobuyoshi Tamura) encircled the founder of Aikido, and from this breeding ground sprung the generation which would form a great part of Aïkido worldwide.”

Please click here to read entire article.

May
27

“Aikido pioneer, ‘true legend,’ dies” from Maui News

“WAILUKU – Aikido pioneer and Maui police “legend” Shinichi Suzuki died Friday at Maui Memorial Medical Center. He was 92. A 32-year veteran of the Maui Police Department, who trained a generation of police recruits in self-defense techniques, Suzuki was one of only four people in the world to hold the rank of ninth-degree black belt in the discipline of ki-aikido. He was chosen to help introduce the Japanese martial art to the United States in the 1950s, and became its most pre-eminent teacher in the west.”

Click here to read entire article.

May
26

Photos from 2009 All-Japan Aikido Demonstration from Eric Holcomb

“I volunteered to work instead of demonstrating and was assigned to “patrol” the 2nd and third floor. This meant that we had a lot of opportunities to chat with visitors, watch the demo and take pictures. Aside from having to wear a tie in the heat it didn’t really feel like work… After the event, we walked through the Budokan cleaning up and then went for drinks with visiting luminaries. Pictures follow…”

Click here to view photos.

May
26

“Feelings on ‘open mat’ policy” from aikiweb.com

“Hi have just recently joined an aikido class in my area. I just recently found out that my sensei has an “open mat” policy, this meaning that anybody who would like to “test” aikido can do so again my sensei (shihan/6th dan). He does so in front of his students as well. There seems to be a lot of MMA stuff going on around here and some of those guys don’t seem very fond of our style of martial art. Some of them even seem to have enough nerve to be disrespectful directly to my sensei, in those cases he offers anybody wishing to test him onto the mat. I have not seen anybody attempt to “take down” my sensei, but I have heard a few stories from many of his senior students about it. I personally think that it’s nice to see his confidence in his art and standing up for it without breaking Aiki principles. Any thoughts or opinions?”

Please click here to read entire article.

May
25

“Kyu Requirements” by Aikido of Monterey

“Aikido of Monterey has become a large part of the Aikido community since its beginning in 1973. We are affiliated with California Aikido Association (CAA) and Hombu Dojo (Aikido World Headquarters in Japan). Sensei Danielle Smith has been practicing Aikido since 1973 and has been chief instructor since 1976. See about teachers. Adult classes are held 7 days a week for all levels from beginning to advanced. We also offer an active program of classes for youth.”

Please click here for a list of kyu and dan requirements at Aikido of Monterey.