Jun
23

Brian Kagen pick: “Robert Kent – A Martial Artist Making a Difference” by Paul Rest

“Rob is the winner of the Ben & Jerry’s “Peace Pioneer Prize.” In an excerpt from that press release Rob writes: “We live in a world where a successful resolution of the conflict between Israel and Palestine is the single most critical step in eliminating the root cause and the rallying cry of global terrorism.” There were three PeaceCamp Scholarship winners in 2008: one Jewish, one Christian and one Muslim. This year there will be five kids: three boys and 2 girls (two Jews and three Palestinians). Rob wrote in an e mail to me that, “These young men and women will also, in turn, become leaders amongst their peers, and start sowing seeds of peace and tolerance in a land where both are scare.”
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Jun
22

“Your Tegana, Your Shield” by Gregor Erdmann

“Following on from my earlier article, when receiving a hard attack we can be overcome by instinct and fear causing us to move in a non-ideal way. One common symptom of losing one’s centre is to ‘reach’ out to meet the attack with our defending arm. Taking a yokomen attack as an example, often our arm will be at the wrong angle to provide an adequately large contract area, exposing ribs, and even possibly channelling the blow there.

While it is clearly wrong from a technical point of view, that does little to help us correct this mistake until it becomes a part of our martial arts philosophy.”

Please click here to read entire article.

Jun
21

“Suenaka-Ha Aikido” from aikidorichmond.com

“It is with deep gratitude and personal honor to be one of only two dojos authorized in Virginia to teach Suenaka-Ha Tetsugaku Ho (Suenaka Style, Philosophical Way) Aikido. The second affiliate dojo is Aikido of Suenaka-Ha Ashland. We are members of Wadokai and the American International Ki Development and Philosophical Society, founded by Roy Y. Suenaka Soke.

As members of Wadokai (Peaceful Way Society) and students of Suenaka Sensei, we have a passport of privileged opportunity to a direct personal relationship to one who has devoted the majority of his life to the diligent study of the martial arts — with over 50-years dedicated to the Art of Aikido. During the course of the year, numerous events are held throughout the Wadokai organization; winter and summer camps, seminars, testing, and other gatherings which permit our students an up-close training experience under the vigilante and guiding direction of Sensei himself. He is multi-faceted filled with humility and gratitude. An unassuming and personable teacher that is deeply respected, he freely shares his vast wealth of knowledge through his tireless martial teaching throughout our organization. All that he asks is a sincere attitude toward learning. Just as O’Sensei was considered a living national treasure in Japan, Suenaka Sensei is equally considered a treasure – a priceless treasure, to those of us who have the unique privilege of calling him…”Our Sensei”. ”

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Jun
20

Brian Kagen pick: “Jeet Kune Do” from wikipedia.com

“JKD as it survives today — if one wants to view it “refined” as a product, not a process — is what was left at the time of Bruce Lee’s death. It is the result of the life-long martial arts development process Lee went through. Bruce Lee stated that his concept is not an “adding to” of more and more things on top of each other to form a system, but rather, a winnowing out. The metaphor Lee borrowed from Chan Buddhism was of constantly filling a cup with water, and then emptying it, used for describing Lee’s philosophy of “casting off what is useless”. He also used the sculptor’s mentality of beginning with a lump of clay and hacking away at the “unessentials”; the end result was what he considered to be the bare combat essentials, or JKD.
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Jun
19

Brian Kagen pick: “Does Desiring Power Impair Aiki?” from aikiweb.com

“Lately there has been much discussion of severing the ethic of aikido from practice in the matter of aiki — seeking aiki as a matter of achieving power, and then in a good relativist utilitarian manner simply applying that power in whatever way seems best to you.

I recoil at this in ways too complex to describe adequately — which is why I give a root experience of mine in the practice of violence to provide some a glimpse into it the nature of my reaction as a premise to the thread.”

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Jun
19

Recommended reading: “Gathering Moss in Auckland” by David Lynch

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.

I had thought that people involved in something as traditional as Japanese gardening would make fairly conservative tourists. It turned out, however, that most of the staff were quite young and they wanted “adventure.” In less than a week, in addition to more conventional sightseeing, they did bungy jumping, parachuting, scuba diving, horse trekking, kayaking, and “black water rafting,” which consists of floating down a subterranean river, in pitch darkness, through glow-worm caves, while suspended in an inflated truck inner-tube. They also managed to visit the hot spring resort of Rotorua, Lake Taupo, (“bigger than Singapore”) and Coromandel Peninsula, which features some of the most spectacular coastal scenery in the world. Several young women in the group were just as active as the men, but also found time to shop for sheepskins and “All Blacks” rugby jerseys.

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Jun
18

Brian Kagen pick: “Ellis’ post about cover-up and Ueshiba” from aikiweb.com

“In other words, as far as the Butokai was concerned, “aikido” is less a “”classification’ for demonstrating ‘the way of aiki’” than it is a mutually agreeable label for a bureaucratic section that was developed so that the aikibudo and jujutsu guys wouldn’t be under the control of the judo section of the Butokukai. No specific example, no broad distinction. No technical significance whatsoever.beyond the sociological recogniion that the aikibudo people were a bunch of bitchy little Heathers who couldn’t play nicely with others, or each other, so it was best to give them their own little padded room.

Any claim broader than that isn’t much more than grandiose wish-fulfillment and retrospective projection, something disgruntled humans looking to a prior golden age from the perspective of an oh-so unsatisfactory contemporary world have been doing for millenia. It’s not a bug, it’s a feature.”

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Jun
17

“Blending Physical Therapy with Martial Arts”

“Leslie Russek, an associate professor of physical therapy at Clarkson University and a chief instructor at North Country Aikido, has a unique approach to helping others.

Russek, a martial artist from a young age, believes there are overlaps between physical therapy and the martial art she has practiced for 20 years, Aikido.”

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Jun
17

“The Beginning Times of Nippon Kan” by Gaku Homma

“A few days ago I passed a milestone as I moved from my fifties into a new decade of life; at least by the Japanese way of counting birthdays. It was almost 20 years ago that I decided that I no longer wanted to celebrate my birthday with big parties or a lot of “merry making”. In the last few years I have even stopped participating in many other celebrations as well including Christmas and New Year. Most of my students understand, especially the ones who have known me for a long while. I have done this as a reflection of my philosophy towards what I have experienced in my life, and it is comfortable for me.

I have lived for 37 years in the United States as a “sensei”. There was a time when students planned birthday parties so large it would take 30 minutes to open presents and cards containing checks or cash. There was a time when I actually expected parties and presents; it was common after all to the life of a “sensei”. ”

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Jun
16

“More about Aikido” by Paulo Coelho

“Continuing the theme in Warrior of the Light #35, I’d like to say some more about Aikido, one of the few martial arts I have ever practiced. Created by the Japanese master Morihei Ueshiba (1883-1969), the word means “The art (or way) of peace.” I remember spending endless nights with my companions, learning to fight in such a way that the adversary’s negative energy is directed against himself.

Ueshiba, who is known by those who practice Aikido as “The Grand Master”, left behind a series of philosophical practices, during his conferences, in his poetry and conversations with disciples. Here are a few of his main teachings.”

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Jun
15

“The Science of Budo – Bridge of Forgotten Consciousness” by Nev Sagiba

Variety may be “the spice of life” but for some it seems not as nutrition for the soul, but uncomfortable and inconvenient. Attachment to inertia is the biggest curse lodged in the mind of man.

The beauty of Budo training is that it forces you to adapt and reconcile variables to learn to survive best.

Calcified preconceptions are the beginning of a slow seppuku leading to soul death. You have to let go and lose everything before you can realise that you are and contain everything and that there are no beginnings or endings, only continuity without end. Even the term Kannagara no Michi has by some been contained in a box that kills its real meaning. Kannagara no Michi has to be discovered for oneself because it is not a conceptual dogma but a real condition of existence, whatever the label you may assign it.
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Jun
15

“Personal history of Seigo Yamaguchi Sensei” by Tetsu Yamaguchi

“July 1958 As a national mission he officially taught Aikido to Burma ; now Myanmar National Army, for two years. It was Japanese national cultural mission but also part of compensation for the formar War.

1961-1996 Back to Japan. He taught Aikido in the central dojo (Honbu dojo) and other dojos.
At the Honbu Dojo he often conducted special seminars for those who are upper graded people. He sometimes gave lectures to the professional Japanese baseball teams.Besides the Honbu dojo, he gave lessons at Universities and other private dojos.”

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