Jan
05

Brian Kagen pick: “Marin aikido teacher to become rare seventh-degree black belt,” by Christian Goepel

“‘This is totally befuddling to me – I can’t tell you I expected it or wanted it,’ said Hans Goto, 59, of San Anselmo, who credited his students, family and colleagues for his promotion to seventh-degree black belt, known also as 7th dan black belt. ‘But it is a great honor, and the reality will sink in when I return to the U.S.’”

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
04

Francis Takahashi pick: Aikiweb discussion on Non-Japanese Shihan

“I too, was told by Senseis Kobayashi Yasuo, Kanai Mitsunari, Fujita Masatake, and others, that the traditional understanding was similar to what Leyard Shihan alluded to. Anyone who was in good standing with Aikikai, was actively teaching the Founder’s Aikido, and was awarded 6th dan, were automatically considered ‘Shihan’. There were no separate certificates, no special announcements, and there was no need to maintain a formal hierachical classification that gave favored status to one individual or nationality over another.”
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Jan
03

“Mastery through ukemi,” by Gregor Erdmann

“Remember that training in class is not the same as ‘on the street’ combat. The Dojo is place to perfect your technique and discover a better way to achieve all things in life. It is a place of study and research, in which you need to throw all of yourself to make progress. Taking the position of the thrower and the thrown are both essential to understanding the mechanics of aikido.”

Click here to read entire blog.

Jan
02

Recommended reading: “Sokaku Takeda Biography (8)” by Tokimune Takeda

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 was not in a particular hurry, so if he had not heard of these notorious three bandits, he would have crossed the pass with the other travelers the next morning. However, having just heard the story from the old man, Sokaku disregarded his advice due to his natural sense of justice and spirit of adventure. The pass crossing the mountain was in bad condition and narrow. By the time he reached the summit, he had failed to find even a single bandit. At that point he began to descend. It was gradually becoming darker as the sun had set. Then, as he rounded a curve, he suddenly encountered the so-called three bandits who looked very strong as they carried mountain swords at their waists.

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Jan
02

“Pre-emptive Aiki: No touch throws,” by Nick Lowry

“Real kuzushi at a distance has real effects as it disrupts ukes initializing, targeting, tracking and capability to launch attack. It is a sort of preemptive aiki.”

http://www.aikidojournal.com/blog/media/lowry.jpgThe venerable Sugino sensei once remarked that if you are seeing aiki for the first time and you can understand what you are seeing, then you are not seeing aiki.

It’s interesting seeing the beautiful variety of “no touch work” throwing/control applications demonstrated by several sensei on YouTube and Google videos lately — and it’s interesting to read the diversity of reactions to these demos. I remember back to the first time I felt the effect of “kuzushi at a distance” and to my green belt mind it did seem like magic ki powers.

It was in the early 1980’s and I was in a bout of intense toshu randori with my sensei. I had just gotten back to my feet and was maybe 12 feet away. I was locked on to my target and stepping forward to reengage my sensei with a frontal attack when, at this great distance, he made a sudden pointed gesture that seemed to freeze one half of my body in place. As the other half of my frame continued to move, the frozen side created postural distortion and collapse. I was laughing nervously to myself as I went into side fall, knowing that I had just bumped up against something strange and incomprehensible. It had felt like he had zapped me with a beam of pure will power and had somehow thrown me long before I could lay a hand on him.
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Jan
01

“Character Building,” by Nev Sagiba

Every time you go to learn some fighting art, as part of the propaganda spiel, you are told that; “It is character building.” At the same time you can smell the needy insecurity and see the dollar signs in the eyes of the teacher or whoever it is that’s trying to recruit you.

Character indeed! The other thing that is usually evident from body-language etc, is that the “teacher” has never survived a real fight where someone was attempting to murder him.

You could eat the poor fellow for breakfast before he could even realise it. Many people can’t tell the difference, but if you’ve grown up rough, very rough, you know exactly what I’m talking about.
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Jan
01

Now in English & French! “Noriaki Inoue: Aikido’s Forgotten Pioneer”

We would like to announce the availability of a rare DVD featuring Noriaki Inoue, nephew of Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba, one of aikido’s trailblazers. This new offering in both English and French is titled Noriaki Inoue: Aikido’s Forgotten Pioneer. Few people in the aikido world know of this incredible teacher who served as O-Sensei’s right hand man for some 20 years.

Noriaki (Yoichiro) Inoue was raised in the Ueshiba home in Tanabe in the early part of the 1900s. He was with Morihei when his uncle studied Daito-ryu Jujutsu in Hokkaido under Sokaku Takeda. Inoue also became a devout member of the Omoto sect having extensive personal contact with Onisaburo Deguchi, and developed a deep spiritual understanding paralleling that of Morihei. When Morihei taught his budo in Tokyo and Osaka during the 1920s and 30s, Inoue served as his senior assistant playing a pivotal role in the creation of Aiki Budo.
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Jan
01

Improve your Aikido dramatically with Morihiro Saito as your mentor!

COMPREHENSIVE INSTRUCTION IN THE SECRETS OF IWAMA AIKIDO!

Aikido Journal offers some of the most important aikido pedagogical materials available anywhere. The crown jewel of our collection is the 7-DVD set of instructional seminars by the famous Morihiro Saito Sensei, 9th dan.
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Jan
01

Interview with Såzen Larsen Kusano Sensei

“[Yoshio Sugino Sensei] was also very balanced in his character. By this I mean, he could be strict, in a nice way. Like a schoolteacher, he knew what you needed. This is what you need and he would point it out. But even in doing this, he was very kind. He corrected you when it needed to be corrected”

Click here to read entire interview.