Jan
12

Passing of George Leonard Sensei reported by aikiweb.com

“I have received a report that George Leonard sensei of Aikido of Tamalpais has passed away. Born in 1923, Leonard sensei was the author of aikido-related books such as “The Way of Aikido: Life Lessons from an American Sensei” and “Mastery” as well as many non-aikido books and articles. He held a fifth dan in aikido and taught at the Aikido of Tamalpais dojo in Marin County, CA. An interview with him may be found here.”

Click here to view thread at aikiweb.com

Jan
12

Brian Kagen pick: “Harry Enfield – Methods of Self-Defence” from youtube.com

“Harry Enfield’s TV prog of the 90s. Available on DVD, but these Cholmondley-Warner (pronounced Chumley) slots were a sketch each week in a mixed sketch show, similar to The Fast Show.”

“Where the devils me intended victim offted to?” hahahaha, this stuff is my fav from this show.

“Loved how the cop cuffs the ruffian on the back o’ the head and drags him off by the ear…must be a graduate of MY MOM’s school of police defensive tactics! LOL”

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 view video clip.

Jan
11

“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. ”

Click here to read entire article.

Jan
11

“Thinking About “Dan,” by Seishiro Endo

“Grading is a means of objectively evaluating one’s capacity and progress by one set of standards. However, I believe that such a viewpoint has no relevance to seeking the Tao. For how far and how deep one has gone are internal questions that only the practitioner can answer. I have come to believe that it is impossible to measure each person’s depth in their pursuit using a fixed standard.”

Click here to read entire article.

Jan
10

Brian Kagen pick: “Should a Christian Practice the Martial Arts?” by B.J. Oropeza

“Aikido means ‘the way to union with the universal force.” This impersonal force is known as “chi.” The goal of Aikido is to control both self and environment. Ironically, this martial art is the most compati­ble with Christianity in regard to its nonviolent nature, but — on the other hand — it is unal­terably steeped in Eastern mysticism.”

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
10

Recommended reading: “History of Daito-ryu” by Tokimune Takeda Sensei

The article below 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.

Sokaku Takeda was born in the Takeda residence in Aizu Oike in Oisenomiya on October 10, 1860 as the second son of Sokichi. Sokaku is said to have learned arts such as Kenjutsu, Sojutsu, Sumo and Daito-ryu from his father. He learned Onoha Itto-ryu from Toma Shibuya, head of the volunteer army of the Aizu Clan. In 1873, he visited Kenkichi Sakakibara together with his father who was a friend of the elder Takeda. He learned the secret techniques of Jiki Shinkage-ryu from Kenkichi as his uchideshi. He had matches with various martial arts masters from different schools in the Sakakibara Dojo. He devoted himself to all of the military arts (the so-called bugei juu happan which included training in sword, staff, spear, bow, short staff, etc.) and attained proficiency. He travelled all over Japan visiting many schools and engaging in matches. In 1875, when he was 15 years old, Sokaku became an apprentice priest to Ginshin Hoshina (formerly Saigo Tanomo), who had become the head priest of a shrine, and learned Daito-ryu Oshikiuchi from the latter.

[Read more...]

Jan
09

Brian Kagen pick: “Bartitsu” from wikipedia.com

“Bartitsu is an eclectic martial art and self-defence method originally developed in England during the years 1898–1902. In 1901 it was immortalised (as “baritsu”) by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, author of the Sherlock Holmes mystery stories. Although dormant throughout most of the 20th Century, Bartitsu has been experiencing a revival since 2002.”

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
08

“Dojo Busters,” by Nev Sagiba

Dojo busters still exist. Many have morphed from the wild-west type of the moves where a gang of thugs stand outside yelling profanities and challenges to either the teacher or his students, into other possibilities to be cautious and aware of.

Dojo busters are still with us in some form or another. Some more insidious than others.

I recall clearly about 1989 or 1990 visiting a dojo where the old founding sensei, a true gentleman who had pioneered a dojo at his own expense, with authentic skill, out of love and caring. It was a meeting in a hall and for some reason I was allowed to sit in. I can never forget the disgraceful treatment of this humble but weak old teacher by a bunch of whippet-snippers in suits lording it over a weeping old man. This meeting where arrogant and incompetent young bucks doing a “corporate takeover” type of deal bastardising and misusing the corporate rules and regulations of association, in order to effect said takeover. They wanted profits.
[Read more...]

Jan
08

“Hara and Aikido,” by Alister Gillies

Is Aikido a relatively modern martial art that tacitly acknowledges links with its Koryu (Japanese Classical Budo Arts) antecedents? Or is Aikido a form of Haragei – the cultivation and development of Hara in the activity of Aikido? These are important questions: how individuals or groups define themselves determines their disposition and character – “man construes himself, and disposes himself accordingly.”

If Aikido is construed as Haragei, then it is possible to locate it firmly within a broad cultural tradition that encapsulates both modern Aikido, Koryu arts, Zen training and many other art forms that have no direct martial application. If Aikido is viewed as something other, separated out from its cultural source, then problems of definition and distinctions between styles are naturally bound to arise. This might go some way to explain why there is such a lack of consensus about what Aikido is, and why there seems to be endless political disputes within and between different factions.
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Jan
07

“Conflict and Conflict Resolution,” by Ralph Pettman

“Conflicts of one sort or another happen every day. Some hit you head-on. Some chisel away at the ground under your feet. Others slip up on you from behind, seemingly unseen. Good feelings get crowded out by bad ones. The days turn sour. How can they be made sweet again? How can our daily lives ever be made strife free? The stories above, and Uyeshiba’s comments about the spiritual purpose of aikido, offer a number of clues about how this might be done.”

Click here to read entire blog.

Jan
06

Update on “Aikido Pioneers,” by Stanley Pranin

Readers may remember that we recently put out a call for graphic artists to assist us with the design of a cover for our upcoming book, Aikido Pioneers–Prewar Era. This new title includes in-depth interviews with 20 of the most prominent figures in aikido history, most of whose names will be immediately recognized by practitioners. We believe the appearance of this book will be a major event in the publishing of aikido books and that this title will constitute one of the most authoritative works on aikido history.

First of all, a progress report. I am nearly finished with the placement of photos into the interviews, quite a time-intensive task since it involves the scanning and touchup of nearly 100 images. Probably more than half of the photos included in this new book have never before been published so I believe those interested in the history of our art will be in for a very pleasant surprise. After the photo work is done, I will move on to the final editing phase, followed by the generation of an index for the book. An index is really a necessity for a work of this scope as the final page count for Aikido Pioneers will be a hefty 370 pages. Obviously, this is not something you will be reading in a single sitting!
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Jan
06

“Aikido is for losers,” by Bruce Baker

I know we have all heard the phrase from just about every fight fan, or jerky kid in an audience who watches fighting, Aikido is for losers! And that statement may be far more true than that idiot gives it credit for.

What are we Losing? We lose the attitude that aikido will make us great fighters, or movie heroes.

We lose that selfish self-aggrandizing attitude somewhere down the road by year two or three of training, and replace it with a quiet respect for knowledge learned in all styles of martial arts, right?
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