Jan
31

“What is Aikido?” by Alister Gillies

“Aiki can be broadly and inadequately defined as unifying one’s energy or intent with that of one’s partner within the framework of prescribed forms…”

When I went to Japan in 2007, I learned that one must find one’s own way in Aikido, regardless of style, affiliation, or teacher. Two teachers confirmed this, one ancient (85), and one relatively modern (53), each separately affirming what the other said without any collusion and without ever having met. I did not ask them a direct question, but they seemed to know what I was looking for.

Now it makes much more sense than it did at the time – I seem to learn the important things by a sort of slow release process, in contrast with my cultural disposition and desire for everything right now. My own few students are always (the few that I have) asking questions about things that they will not be able to understand for a while, but this seems too patronising to say to them, so I try my best to answer their questions in the full knowledge that it won’t help them. When they do understand, they will not even remember what I said.
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Jan
29

“Kyoichi Inoue – Yoshinkan 9th dan – is back,” by Jake McKee

“Kyoichi Inoue has been a central Yoshinkan Aikido instructor for over 50 years. Frequently when there was a big aikido event – the aiki expo for example – it would be Inoue who would represent Yoshinkan aikido. Suddenly a couple years ago he was no longer seen teaching Yoshinkan aikido nor was he on the Yoshinkan web site. For reasons unbeknownst to me, he decided to leave the organization he had represented for his entire aikido career.”

Click here to read entire article.

Jan
29

Brian Kagen pick: “Zen,” The Movie

“To cast away everything, surrendering yourself to the flow of nature and just sitting in meditation. This is the essence of Dogen’s Zen Buddhism. In the 13th century, Dogen, a young Japanese monk traveled to China, determined to find his true master. There he found a monk who taught him that sitting in Zen meditation is the true and only path to enlightenment. Returning, enlightened, to Japan, Dogen risked his life to pioneer Zen Buddhism, inspiring the millions of Zen Buddhists who practice around the world today”

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 review of film.

Jan
28

“The Attitude Behind Conflict – Restoring Harmony,” by Nev Sagiba


Imagine this scenario. You are on the battlefield. The enemy is strong, well armed and advancing.

Suddenly the general calls a meeting. The minutes reveal something like this.

“Well, sir, I didn’t like the way you barked an order the other day and you really hurt my feelings.”

“Captain, I’m so terribly sorry. I don’t know what got into me. I must have been having a bad day. Will you accept my sincerest apology…”
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Jan
27

Brian Kagen pick: “Social Research in a Military Occupation,” by John W. Bennett and Iwao Ishino

“During the war large numbers of Americans and British were trained by the armed forces in the language, his tory, and culture of Japan. Still others, not so specially trained, were stationed in Japan as part of the Occupation forces and had the opportunity to learn about and appreciate the country. Out of these experiences has come a whole generation of social scientists who specialize in Japanese studies. Nearly every major American university has at least one of these people on its staff, and in several institutions, specialized institutes or study programs have developed around one or more of these scholars.”

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.

Jan
27

“Morihei Ueshiba, Founder of Aikido – Part 1,” by Kanemoto Sunadomari

“On that day Ueshiba Sensei was wearing a formal kimono bearing a crest. About five or six of his disciples attacked him all at once with wooden swords and spears. In the next moment they were all flying through the air over Ueshiba Sensei’s head. Everything took place literally in seconds. None of the students could even touch Ueshiba Sensei with their weapons. This was the incident which led to my joining his dojo later.”

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.

Jan
26

Brian Kagen pick: “Standing Locks, Effective or Not” from markstraining.com

“This is not to say that locks have no place in standing situations, but they are much harder to apply. Against a trained opponent who may expect locks during sparring, then there is a small chance of pulling one off, against someone on the street with no fighting experience, it may be easier. Following up locks after a hard strike are good times to apply them as your opponent may be stunned from the strike, and his/her reflexes and attention might not be available to react to the lock. The bottom line is that practice is needed and experience of the best way to apply locks from standing positions is necessary to be able to pull them off.”

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.

Jan
25

Reader pick: “Confronting Our Fears,” by Marc Abrams

“For many of us, we first become aware of our fears in Aikido when it is time for us to go to the ground. Some people have a very difficult time teaching their bodies to experience actions and reactions that allow them to connect with the ground in a soft manner that feels both comfortable and protecting. It is important to allow these people to actually get comfortable rolling and moving on the ground. For them, teaching them to roll from the ground up is helpful.”

Click here to read entire blog.

Jan
24

Brian Kagen pick: “Hiroo Onoda” from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

“Second Lieutenant Hiroo Onoda is a former Japanese army intelligence officer who fought in World War II, and did not surrender until 1974, having spent almost thirty years holding out in the Philippines.”

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.

Jan
23

“The San Francisco Aikido Project…” Crosstraining in Aikido and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu!

We are pleased to announce an outstanding new DVD featuring Christian Tissier, James Friedman, Bruce Bookman, and Clovis Silva as they appeared at the recently-held San Francisco Aikido Project. These top Aikido and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu instructors participated in the event hosted by the Suginami Aikikai in June 2009 in San Francisco, California.
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Jan
22

Recommended reading: “Aikido During the Pre-War and Post-War Years” by Kazuhiko Ikeda

“The individual charged with carrying forth the true Aikido is 9th dan Chief Instructor Koichi Tohei. However, the Founder’s successor, (his son) Kisshomaru, has been designated to carry on the tradition. Tohei is from a well-to-do family of Tochigi Prefecture and joined the Ueshiba Dojo as youth. He went to Hawaii as a 5th dan where he opened a dojo and has taught Aikido to several thousand Hawaiians.”

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.

Jan
22

Do you have a blog in you?

Readers have for many months been able to read literally hundreds of blogs written by a number of talented writers cum martial artists who have graciously contributed to this website. The likes of Ellis Amdur, Peter Goldsbury, George Ledyard, Nev Sagiba, Clark Bateman, Lynn Seiser, Toby Threadgill, Mark Bilson, Todd Jones, David Lynch and others have provided very thoughtful and stimulating content to the Aikido Journal website and we are very grateful for their input.

If you have something of importance to say and have confidence in your writing ability, we encourage you to submit your text for review by the Aikido Journal editiorial staff. The process for doing so is outlined below.
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