“Iwama Aikido,” by Kristen Kuebler

“I did not begin my aikido training in the Iwama tradition. When I first heard about it, I was told that Iwama style was based on the knowledge that Saito Sensei gained from O-Sensei during the many years that he lived and trained as an uchi deshi at Iwama. Although I knew this definition, I didn’t understand what it meant until I saw Saito Sensei conduct a seminar. Seeing Saito Sensei in action and hearing his explanation of why he taught in a particular manner was a humbling experience. After just one day of training, I understood why it was important to Saito Sensei, and should be important to the whole aikido community, to preserve the styles and forms that O-Sensei taught at Iwama. ”

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  1. Saito sensei used to say something like, ‘begin with kihon waza. then go on to ki-no-nagare…’ After a few decades I think I’m mostly working with ki-no-nagare trying to be absolutely sure that I leave none of the kihon details behind.

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