Dec
09

“Science proves … eternity is an illusion,” by Bruce Baker

Time and Space are one in the Eternal Mind …. just what the hell does that mean anyway?

Have you ever sat in on some swami or some wise man, or woman, and listened to their words of wisdom, and sometimes folly, as they “PERCEIVE” the truth of the universe around us?

Now wait a minute … there is .. in fact, .. and in the study of science, some validity to what they perceive, believe it or not.

Why just look at the ground you stand upon. You perceive it to be solid, or at least solid enough for you to stand upon, and in some ways it is is eternal compared to your short span of years, but if you were to look at it in thousands of years, or hundreds of thousands of years, … it would be a liquid that moves and seems to be alive. We see some of this “aliveness” with time-lapse-photography, don’t we.
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Dec
09

“5th Kyu Shihans,” by Jerry Akel

“Although it may appear a contradiction, a compliment, if
accompanied by judgment, is in fact identical to criticism!”

I am plagued by 5th Kyu Shihans. Or rather, was plagued, before receiving my black belt. And like Dr. Bennell, I still see them, these pod people, everywhere, at seminars, at other dojo, and sometimes, close to home. They are a contagion.

But I am getting ahead of myself. Allow me to explain.

Several years ago, as a kyu-holder with some experience, I noticed a peculiar pathology, which exhibited itself primarily at seminars. The subject, namely me, would pair with an obviously new student, one with whom I had not trained previously. The new student, or carrier, would then proceed to instruct, correct and otherwise comment on my technique, despite the obvious gulf in skill between us.
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Dec
08

“Aikido and Life,” by Mike Smith

Pranin Sensei has been gracious enough to invite me into his home in Las Vegas and allow me to practice the Iwama style of aikido with him and his other students. I’ve been practicing aikido with him for over a year now and it’s been a life changing experience. I’ve studied other forms of martial arts in the past, but, aikido has opened up some new ways of looking at not only self defense, but life for me.

I’ve spent the greater part of my life fighting against “what is” instead of accepting and blending with it. It’s an approach that has made my life harder than it needed to be and far less fulfilling. Too much of life is wasted focusing on the minutia of life, deliberating over details that are often superficial, self-created and speculative and hardly ever turn out the way we fear. Our fear of results that we don’t desire, paralyze us not only in the dojo but in our lives. Aikido his given me a different perspective, a perspective that allows me to not only look at the bigger picture, but to act with harmony not opposition.
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Dec
07

Featured video clip: “Gozo Shioda Demonstration on YouTube”

A search of the Internet has yielded the following video clip which may be of interest to Aikido Journal readers.

Click here to view video clip

The famous Gozo Shioda Sensei was an early student of Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba who began training in 1932. After World War II, Shioda founded Yoshinkan Aikido and was one of the those most responsible for the success of aikido as one of Japan’s newest modern martial arts.

Dec
06

“Longitudinal vs. Transverse Waves – Learning from the Ocean,” by Charles Humphrey

I want to share something I was reflecting on today that has been with me for a while. This is about the imaginary distinction made in human perception between longitudinal and transverse waves. Anyone who has studied physics in high school will be well familiar with these two concepts. Light is generally described as having the properties of the former, with sound being the latter. In martial arts we often talk about waves as being the ideal for movement. I think many of us, like myself, fall into the trap of only thinking in longitudinal terms. Longitudinal movement is much more apparent to the eye and hence we are more conditioned to think of waves as longitudinal, never mind the fact that the two are co-dependent in a manner of speaking.

I think with few exceptions whenever we speak of “waves” we tend to use the image of water. This is a good starting point since we are often exhorted to be like water. It was from water that I learned that the longitudinal metaphor was a partial image that impeded my development. The up-down motion of the waves is the most apparent expression of what is fundamentally a transverse (back-and-forward, or compression-expansion) phenomenon. Rather than being a static system rippling, the longitudinal waves we easily perceive are an attempt to accommodate the excess pressure produced by transverse waves. In geology this is the same phenomenon which produces mountains. Pressure between the tectonic plates, or the “sea of earth” force the earth upward in ultra-slow motion longitudinal waves. The sea is no different save for the timelines being shorter.
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Dec
02

“Junbi Taiso,” by Nev Sagiba

Junbi Taiso, Junbi Undo or simply, Undo or Taiso or Junbi Undo Taiso are defined as “warming up exercises,” or “preparation exercises” or “warm-ups.”

Nowadays everyone is hung up on “throwing” people before they have any inkling of the principles of kusushi. And so they struggle for years. It’s much like a beginner selecting the sheer face of a mountain on their first climb.

Why do things the hardest possible, long way around when you can get better, faster, results by taking a slower path training with consistency?

Practicing basics techniques as warm-ups without forcing any kuzushi has immense value. Let me offer an analogy from a similar field of discipline.
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Dec
01

Brian Kagen pick: “Psychology of Self Care: Aikido as a tool for reflection,” by Susan Harrow

“One Nage (the thrower or attacker) in particular is rough and strong. A few weeks ago he cracked every bone in my hand doing Nikyo “A technique which works through the wrist to lock the body”. We all heard it. Of course he was concerned. The instructor, a black belt student, admonished him to be more gentle. My hand ached for weeks. It still does. This Nage is super compact and dense, like a sack of cement. My feet have taken the brunt of his weight a number of times and they are black and blue. He always manages to step on my feet and, as a beginner, I’m not yet fast enough yet to get out of the way.”

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
01

The perfect way to select your Aikido holiday gift!

As the holiday season approaches, we would like to offer you the opportunity to create your own special discounts that will allow you to get the most out of your investment in martial arts educational materials sold through Aikido Journal. Do you have someone in mind as the recipient of an Aikido gift? Perhaps you yourself… We now have a special interface that will allow you to easily choose the products comprising your special package.

If you would like a particular combination of products—books, DVDs, posters, etc.—which are not already offered as a set at a discounted price, this is your chance to tailor-make your own special purchase at a more affordable price.
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