Aug
06

“Who Is To Blame?” by Nev Sagiba

The vilest people in the world revel in blame, making excuses, finger pointing and passing the buck, gossip and throwing mud. In so doing they slowly and eventually destroy themselves, but sadly also do a lot of harm on the way. I’ve known of instructors who after inflicting injury on a student, then try to make the victim feel at fault.

If there is any injury in the dojo, who is to blame, the instructor or the victim?
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Aug
06

Brian Kagen pick: “David Lukoff, Ph.D. a martial artist making a difference” by Paul Rest

“His work in the field of ‘spiritual emergency’ has resulted in this condition no longer being viewed as a psychopathological disorder, but rather one now recognized in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual- DSM-IV (which, as he notes, everyone calls “the Bible of mental illness”) as a valid psychological emergency. This critical work has helped end the pathologizing of a spiritual emergency or crisis—situations that can result from any number of body/mind practices such as yoga, meditation and qigong as well as from life changes.

David maintains the Spiritual Competency Resource Center site which provides information to both health professionals and the public “about types of spiritual crises, differential diagnostic issues, and treatment, as well as a spiritual emergency forum for posting personal experiences.” He has addressed a wide variety of issues over the years, from questions about the use of herbs to information requests about the validity of an on-line dream site as a resource for helping someone plagued by chronic nightmares.”

Please click here to read entire article.

Aug
05

Brian Kagen pick: “Sempai – Kohai Relationship: Week of July 19, 2009″ by Marc Abrams

“The Sempai – Kohai relationship is an integral part of Japanese societal structure. The word “Sempai” can be understood to mean your senior (someone who is senior to you in rank, or if the same rank, senior to you in experience). The word “Kohai” can be understood to mean your junior. I speak about these two roles in terms of an important relationship that exists in a healthy dojo environment.
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Aug
05

“Mitorigeiko: “Watch & Steal” Aikido Observations of a (temporarily) Crippled Aikido Student” by Sean Hannon

“I am always surprised and somewhat saddened to see Aikido students stop coming to class to train at the dojo when they sustain any injury, only to return once that injury is healed. Incurring an injury simply means, to me, that I must train differently until I am able to return to the mat. I regret that some students miss out on the total experience of Aikido; that, in my opinion, they don’t quite understand or embrace the comprehensive value and benefit of Aikido. I regret that they perceive Aikido only as a physical art and not as a way of life.
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Aug
05

An Unsolicited Reader’s Comment

“Woke up to all three of your mails this morning and the glad tidings… I don’t know if you post praise on your site or not, but here goes. I found your site listed on a blog, which was heavily criticizing a company I’d just bought something from. The criticisms were spot on. Your site was held up as a model of how an internet site should be run and so it is. So to everyone out there, use this site to the limit. At some stage I’ll get around to subscribing as well. So thank you for all your efforts to sort this order out, good luck and prosperity in the future.”

N.R.

Aug
04

“Simplify!” by Gregor Erdmann

“Aikido really is quite simple! It follows the laws of nature and hence is based on every day movements. Yet we often tend to complicate matters both physically and mentally.

Looking for answers and staring closely at any problem leads to blindness, and the same goes for learning the techniques of aikido. Realise that as aikido is based on universal laws, you have all the answers inside of you. Simply wait for them to bubble up to the surface.”

Please click here to read entire article.

Aug
04

Brian Kagen pick: “Articles/Essays” by Mark Chiappetta

“What is “reality” when it comes to training? Does “reality” mean that each encounter on the mat has a true life and death outcome? Not in my training. My instructor is normally terse but he has shared one piece of advice that I rehash in my mind regularly. Paraphrasing, he said something to the effect, “…at your level, both you and I are responsible for maintaining a martial sense on the mat. It’s my job to create the proper atmosphere that demands and fosters constant awareness with an appropriate level of intensity and it is your job to make use of this. For example, what this could mean is that you must not take for granted that a hand is just a hand. A hand can be a knife. It can be a broken bottle or a club or a foot or a chair. Visualization of this type will help build martial awareness……” What am I getting at? That in class, nobody pulls out a live blade and tries to cut me. Does this make my training any less “real”? If I am training properly (which I don’t always do because it’s very difficult) then NO I don’t believe that it does.
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Aug
03

Brian Kagen pick: “Aikido Beginners: Hints & Tips” from JaseOnAikido

“When we first start training aikido it can all seem a bit overwhelming. There’s a lot to take on board & our minds are a little overloaded. Hopefully, these hints & tips will help to clarify things by removing some of the ‘noise’ (excessive thoughts & superfluous movements) that can distract you when training in the dojo.

When studying aikido we’re like the sculptor, chipping away at the stuff that isn’t needed until we reveal the beautiful art hidden within. I hope you find something here that helps you with your ‘sculpture’.”

Please click here to read entire article.

Aug
03

“Everyday Application of Aikido” by Patrick Parker

“Ever had a co-worker, or perhaps a business phone call from someone, who wanted to attack you but still appear professional? Throughout your interaction they keep throwing out feints or thinly-veiled attacks… If you’ve ever had a job then you know the type.
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These veiled attacks – the strategic purpose of them is to draw you out so that you will retaliate, thus granting the other guy the high moral ground by making it appear that you were the aggressor. Do you know the best way to deal with this sort of attack?”

Please click here to read entire article.

Aug
03

Brian Kagen pick: “PR Training: Aikido, Calligraphy and Kototama” by Susan Harrow

“This weekend John Stevens, a 7th dan Aikikai and Buddhist priest came to our dojo, Bay Marin Aikido. Stevens, who has written over thirty books on Buddhism, Aikido and Asian culture, is considered one of the foremost authorities on Aikido. The experience was enriching, wild-hearted and intense.

Beginners and experienced Aikidokas (Aikido practitioners) were challenged by Stevens’ examples of how to practice. He demonstrated eight ways of practicing the first pillar of Aikido, Shiho-Nage, 4-directions throw, which we were then to practice. A bit of chaos ensued. The mood of the dojo was filled with excitement, joy, bewilderment, a place of opening, which had us laughing and sometimes straining to understand.”

Please click here to read entire article.

Aug
02

“Interview with Saito Sensei” by Franziska Roller and Miles Kessler

” Morihiro Saito Sensei: The main difference is surely that there are no tournaments or competitions in aikido. The Founder studied a variety of different martial arts, competed against many other disciplines and realized that competition is not necessary. The aim is to create, with the assistance of the traditional budo style of aikido, a beautiful world that is like the house of a big family; to never compete again. The Founder wrote a poem that says, “This beautiful form of heaven and earth is a single family created by the guardian spirit.” This world is like the house of a big family. This is the feeling of aikido.

Besides that, this martial art is completely rational. I think that every martial art is rational; however, for aikido this is especially true. Anyone can practice, understand, and reason with it. It is not a martial art only for strong or fit people. Children and elderly alike can all enjoy training and become good Aikidoka. I have tried many different martial arts, but I think it was this that I liked about aikido.”

Please click here to read entire article.

Aug
01

“Aikido: The Art of Peace” by Gaia Thurston-Shaine

“In September the sun slid into the dojo through the western windows as we began Aikido class and the red light of sunset was reflected in the mirrors as we ended. We opened all the windows and welcomed the cool breeze against our sweaty skin and flushed faces. In February I struggled to keep my hat and socks on as long as possible in the drafty women’s changing room, then ran to the mat and let the industrial-style heater blow my hair back and warm my toes. Now it is March and a short warm spell allows us to imagine the day when we will be opening the windows again.
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