Sep
13

“Aikido and/or self defence – Part 4″ by Szilard Pal

Now it’s time to talk about the last self-defence principle. I’d like to start with an example from a movie. You might remember a film called Road house, or – in case you are too young to have seen it – it’s recommended. Apart from the action scenes and some questionable momentums in the film, there are some interesting things in it as well, such as the following:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ojPVOhHhwnk
[Read more...]

Sep
12

“The Middle Way to Aikido: From the Inside Outwards” by Nev Sagiba

The paradox: It does not become Aikido until it expresses from the inside outwards. However first you need to learn forms from the outside inwards.

In action there has to be an outside influence such as an attack before the inner Aikido can come forth.

In learning you must first grasp a form before you can let it go. But only after it has acted as a key to open up natural ki no nagare.

Form is useful, but only enough to guide towards actual harmonising.
[Read more...]

Sep
11

Brian Kagen pick: “Tea and Aikido” by Kenjiro Yoshigasaki

“Tea was cultivated and developed in China about 2000 years ago – initially for medicinal purposes. Buddhist priests brought it as a medicine to Japan about 1500 years ago where the Japanese started to cultivate it not only as a medicine but also as a daily drink.

The Japanese Tea Ceremony developed from the 1300s through Zen philosophy. Matcha (pure tea) is used for the Tea Ceremony where as ryokucha (green tea) or bancha (dried tea) is used by Japanese people as a daily beverage. Matcha is rather expensive and so is normally used only for tea ceremony. Ryokucha (green tea) is for daily life but it should be drunk immediately after it is made. Bancha (dried tea) can be drunk several hours after brewing so it is more convenient than ryokucha. It is also cheaper than ryokucha.”

Please click here to read entire article.

Sep
10

Brian Kagen pick: “Kuzushi” by Marc Abrams

“Last week, I tied learning into a dialogue between nage and uke. This dialogue represents the process that maintains “Ai”- harmony between nage and uke. If you do not remember my blog page on Shisei, then please re-read this as well. Both of these topics become are important in understanding the act of Kuzushi- unbalancing.

The human being is programed to maintain a dynamic equilibrium. This simply means that a critical imperative is to remain balanced. When the human body becomes unbalanced, a substantial amount of energy and resources are unconsciously applied towards restoring balance. Unbalancing a person means that this person has few effective resources available to be able to remain an effective attacker.”

Please click here to read entire article.

Sep
10

“Aikido is great for self defense!” by Patrick Parker

“#If they are not letting you push back, you need to be doing something simple, reflexive, and extremely effective. Something like shomenate, aigamaeate, or gyakugamaeate. Or, if you don’t do Japanese aikido jargon, if they won’t let you disengage, bust them in the face with a palm-heel and drive them off of you.

#Everything else in aikido, all the wristlocks, throws, etc… is a backup plan for the above. These are all special purpose things that help fill in the corners in situations that a good palmheel to the chin won’t solve.

Please click here to read entire article.

Sep
09

“Making Aikido Work On The Street” by Michael Zartman

“Some observers, and even a few practitioners, have questioned the practicality of using Aikido for self defense outside of the dojo, claiming that they know it does not work. Many complain that the standardized attacks used for training kihon waza (basic techniques) are not seen in the modern age in real fights—wrist grabs, head chops, etc., and are often delivered so slowly and without significant power as to not be realistic at all. Further, they say, why train for an attacker to grab your wrist when a grab attack can be blocked and readily countered by even the newest student of any martial art or untrained brawler with force by a punch or kick? In addition, to some, Aikido techniques appear fake because the attackers seem to jump into falls or readily lay down. Finally, a few say that Aikido’s philosophy of minimizing harm to the attacker demonstrates weakness, not strength, since the attacker wants to do just the opposite. These views most often derive from a fundamental misunderstanding as to what Aikido is and is not. ”

Click here to read entire article.

Sep
08

“Junanahon Kata – the basic seventeen” by Patrick Parker

“Kenji Tomiki developed the Junana Hon Kata (Seventeen Fundamental Forms) based upon the countless aikido techniques that he’d been taught by Ueshiba. These seventeen basic aikido moves form the core of Tomiki aikido in most clubs in the Tomiki lineage. Following is an outline of the seventeen techniques, along with some pointers to articles I’ve written over the years about each technique.”

Please click here to read entire article.

Sep
07

“First Contact: Ikkyo” by Mark J. Norton

“In his book on Aikido, Saotome sensei indicates that Ikkyo is one of the fundamental techniques in Aikido and is somewhat underappreciated. This is so (he says) because Ikkyo is not just a name for the first technique (or first grip), but also first contact, or the moment two people begin an exchange. I taught a class that discussed this concept last night.

I demonstrated Ikkyo in response to tsuki, shomenunchi, and yokomenuchi attacks. In each of these exchanges, there is a moment of time in which contact is initiated between the two people involved. This moment is not necessarily the point of contact of the strike. Rather, it has to do with the initiation of the attack and start of defense. Thus, in tsuki, the moment of contact starts when the punch is launched. This can be seen if one imagines a dowel which extends from the fist of the attacker to the intended strike point. Contact happens when the punch is started.”

Please click here to read entire article.

Sep
07

Recommended reading: “Aikido in the Postwar Years – Part 1: 1946-1956″ by Stanley Pranin

The article below by Aikido Journal Editor Stanley Pranin 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.

Although the term “aikido” was first adopted in 1942, the growth of the art did not pick up momentum in Japan until the late 1950s. Not surprisingly, the devastating effects of World War II created a set of adverse circumstances that limited the art’s early development. Together with the economic and physical debilitation of Japan, there existed a strong negative bias toward anything connected with the prewar militaristic apparatus and mentality. As such, the martial arts that had been held in high esteem and which were an institutionalized part of the education system, fell into disrepute.

The Aikido Journal archives now include more than 800 articles in twenty different languages and numerous video clips. We are constantly adding new articles and translations in our effort to document aikido and related disciplines past and present. If you would like to support us in this effort by taking out a subscription to the Online Aikido Journal we welcome you to do so by clicking this link. Remember that if you subscribe or renew for two years you will now receive the Aiki News / Aikido Journal Archival DVD absolutely free of charge. Don’t pass up this special offer!
[Read more...]

Sep
06

“Mokuren Interview: Roy Dean” by Patrick Parker

“While there is always overlap in the kind of students each art may attract, if I were forced to generalize, Aikido tends to attract a more white collar, older demographic than BJJ. I originally thought that my Academy would bring in hot-blooded 18-24 year old males in some kind of Ultimate Fighter frenzy to learn the art, but I’ve been surprised by the number of members in their 30′s, 40′s, and even 50′s that are joining up and embracing the discipline. Aikido is often thought of as a retirement martial art, a graduate school for old judoka and martial artists interested in movement and subtle body mechanics. If you create the right kind of environment, BJJ can also serve that function, allowing older warriors to share the mat and grapple down with the younger generations, exploring movement and techniques while balancing it with healthy resistance levels.
.
One thing to note, however, is that Aikido tends to attract and retain far more female students than BJJ. Not everyone is comfortable with the closeness that ground grappling requires, and I understand that some may never truly get past that required distance. ”

Please click here to read entire article.

Sep
04

“Training with Takeda Sensei” by Ralph Pettman

“Takeda sensei is arguably the greatest living exponent of the art of aikido. I once asked him what it was like to attack O-Sensei. He said that it was like being hit by lightning, but that there was nothing there. That is how I would describe attacking Takeda sensei!

A while ago Takeda Sensei was perilously ill. He recovered quickly, but he remained for a while weaker than before. Then his strength returned. It did more than return, however. It was a new strength, a more powerful and more dramatic strength that he began to explore in a more spirited, and I believe, more spiritual way. ”

Please click here to read entire article.

Sep
02

Kenji Ushiro Sensei to teach seminar in NY October 24-25, 2009

Ushiro Sensei will be teaching two seminars in New York in 2009. These will be your only opportunities to train with Ushiro Sensei in the United States this year. This seminar is a rare opportunity for any style of martial artist to work on increasing the ability to generate and use internal power in the execution of an art. Registration for this event is mandatory and training spaces for this event are expected to fill-up quickly.”

Click here for further details and to sign up for this event.