Dec
21

Brian Kagen pick: “Martial-arts trained ‘lady guards’ latest security craze in Egypt,” by Ben Wedeman, CNN

“In a slightly musty gym in the Cairo suburb of Heliopolis, three young women in head scarves are learning how to defend themselves.

Their teacher, a huge man in loose black trousers and a white tunic, is instructing them in the finer points of Aikido, a Japanese martial art.”

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 read entire article.

Dec
20

Are you a professional graphic artist and willing to help AJ with a book cover design?

A bit of exciting news! We are well along in the preparation of a new and historically important book on aikido titled Aikido Pioneers. Let me tell you a bit about this project. Built on the foundation of the now out-of-print Aikido Masters, this new title includes extensive interviews with 20 of the most prominent figures in aikido history. All direct students of the Founder Morihei Ueshiba, these early disciples were eyewitnesses and participants in the creation of the genial art of aikido. The list of those interviewed who appear in Aikido Pioneers to share their stories reads like a Who’s Who of Aikido: Noriaki Inoue, Kenji Tomiki, Hisao Kamada, Hajime Iwata, Minoru Mochizuki, Shigemi Yonekawa, Rinjiro Shirata, Gozo Shioda, Yoshio Sugino, Kiyoshi Nakakura, Takako Kunigoshi, Zenzaburo Akazawa, Bansen Tanaka, Tenryu, Kisshomaru Ueshiba, Minoru Hirai, Koichi Tohei, Kisaburo Osawa, Shigenobu Okumura and Kanshu Sunadomari. These interviews were conducted by AJ Editor Stanley Pranin in Japan over a 25-year period. The 20 painstakingly edited interviews fill more than 350 pages of fascinating reading. Aikido Pioneers will certainly constitute one of the most valuable resources on aikido history published to date.

We would like to have a really eye-catching image to grace the cover of this work. So if you are a professional graphic artist and would care to assist in the cover design of Aikido Pioneers, we would love to hear from you. Here is the procedure for getting our information packet with the information and images needed to put together a design to be submitted for consideration:

- Go to http://www.aikidojournal.com/askaway
- Enter your name and email address.
- Click on the “Topic” heading and choose the “Cover design for “Aikido Pioneers” topic.
- Please request the “information packet” and provide details about your professional experience and, if available, links to examples of your work.

Thank you.

Dec
19

Brian Kagen pick: “Review of Ellis Amdur’s Hidden in Plain Sight by Peter Goldsbury from aikiweb.com

“The last column was actually an extended review of several books on kotodama, thought to be one aspect of aikido. Since then, another book has appeared and this, too, is immensely relevant to aikido and especially to aikido training. Ellis Amdur’s Hidden in Plain Sight has been long awaited and even in the short time since its publication, has spawned much discussion in Internet forums, mostly of a laudatory, even adulatory, nature.”

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 read entire article.

Dec
18

“Interview with Guillaume Erard,” by Aurore Mamet

“On the tatami, as far as I am concerned, words only serve as lying to oneself and others by deforming the reality of the movement. It also follows the principles of Chinese whispers; the teacher says something that a student will interpret and then try to explain to his partner because he noticed (rightly or not) a mistake. Then the partner will not necessarily understand this correction and might even be offended by it. It basically complicates what we already feel through the technique.”

Click here to read entire interview.

Dec
17

“Aikido’s Koshinage,” by Autrelle Holland

“On one of their scrolls from their mokuroku, they have a technique called Kin Katsugi. This is one of their advanced techniques. Imagine my surprise when it was simply jodan tsuki koshinage as we have it in Aikido. This really got my brain running.”

Click here to read entire blog.

Dec
16

“You Have To Understand With Your Whole Body,” by Nev Sagiba

seiichi-sugano-belgium

“To produce true mastery and not dead clones that mimic and paraphrase rote blindly like parrots, it is necessary to create an environment conducive to learning…”

ablogicon_nevTo “get” Aikido you have to understand with your whole body. This means DOing. Aikido is a DO so we must do before we can understand. The attrition of regular doing wears away the dust and blockages in the body-mind connection, the psyche.

Ideas are good, but ideas not based on experience are usually in error, or at best mere guesses.

Opinions, the Buddha cautioned against as being pitfalls of error.

There is some pain associated with real ACTIVITY because it requires OVERCOMING INERTIA.

Intellectual comprehension comes later. Indeed, it may never come, but so long as your training makes you a better person and enables you to survive the next physical attack, does it really matter?
[Read more...]

Dec
16

Recommended reading: “Fewer Words – More Understanding” by David Lynch

The article below by contributor David Lynch 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.

This was the scene I witnessed at an aikido grading examination. It all seemed fairly normal, except for one thing–the commands were all in Japanese, even though there were no Japanese people present, the instructor himself was not Japanese and the dojo was many thousands of miles away from Japan.

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!

Click here to read entire article.

Dec
15

“The Non-Violence In Aikido,” by Paul Linden

“…[I]t is clear that Aikido does use physical force. No matter how gentle or efficient our technique, to the extent to which we use any physical pressure on uke’s body, we are using some measure of force. The ‘official’ purpose in an Aikido technique is to not be violating or abusive, and it is fair to say that most Aikidoka in fact are not intending to violate or abuse, though of course there are violent Aikidoka. There remains the issue of whether the force used in Aikido is damaging and whether the force is meant to be damaging.”

Click here to read entire article.

Dec
14

Brian Kagen pick: “In Time and Out of It,” by Stefan Stenudd from aikiweb.com

“Aikido practice is so devoted to the here and now that we have a hard time thinking farther ahead than to the next step of the technique we are involved in at the moment. That’s as it should be. When the mind leaves the present, we risk stumbling on the aikido technique and losing control of it.
Leaving the tatami, though, we can safely indulge in thoughts about the past as well as the future. Those two directions are twins. It is by the former that we can get some glimpse of the latter. The present has no baring on what was and what will be. It is stuck in the moment, and gone the next. That limit is also its charm, and the reason for its capacity.”

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 read entire article.

Dec
13

“Finding the Centre,” by Gregor Erdmann

“There was a time when it was commonly accepted that the Sun rotated around the Earth. Such thinking is born out of our ego, and it is also reflected in our Aikido techniques whenever we attempt to drag our opponents around.”

Click here to read entire article.

Dec
11

Brian Kagen pick: “Fighting through life’s challenges,” by Kevin Gleason

“They are some pair, these guys. One has Parkinson’s disease, the other cerebral palsy. One has hands that shake uncontrollably, the other has arms that give him power. One teaches martial arts across from the firehouse in this quaint town. The other learns martial arts from a wheelchair.

By now you might wonder exactly how this works. This is how it works: A man named Ken Marvin refuses to give in to his disease. A man named Doug McGlynn refuses to give in to his condition. They are the perfect pair.”

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 read entire article.

Dec
10

“The Value of Gradings as Initiations and Rites of Passage,” by Nev Sagiba

Life is not linear, but a progression of changes, cyclical peaks and dips from conception to death in an ocean of its own progression, change, cycles, peaks and dips. The Human body-mind, the *Hito Jinja, is a vehicle which can unfold consciousness of our true and complete nature, the universe.

Definitions of – “Initiation,” are as follows:

A formal entry into an organisation, position or office; the act of starting something for the first time; introducing something new; knowledgeability; wisdom as evidenced by the possession of knowledge; or a trigger such as an act that sets in motion a course of events.

The term “initiation” is generally used in reference to the expansion or transformation of a person’s consciousness. An “initiate” is one whose consciousness has been transformed and now perceives realities previously unconscious.
[Read more...]