Mar
25

“Chelsea King and Amber Dubois,” by Felicia H.

“In my martial arts training, every sensei I’ve ever had has spoken first about two things: AVOIDANCE – as in getting out of dodge the moment it seems like a situation could go south – and AWARENESS – as in knowing what is going on around you. Perhaps Chelsea and Amber might have been even more aware than they were had they not have been accosted doing something they did on a regular (and obviously felt safe doing). Maybe prevention has as much to do with how our children – particularly our girls – are socialized than anything else.”

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Mar
24

Brian Kagen pick: “Philosophy of Martial Arts,” by Tim Cartmell

“Without formal training, the larger and stronger naturally defeat the smaller and weaker. Therefore, a basic premise of training to fight as an “art” must be that the methods employed should make it possible for the smaller and weaker to defeat (or at least successfully defend against) the larger and stronger. As we have observed, it is not necessary to create techniques for the stronger to defeat the weaker, as this occurs without formal training. So it is logical that the basic premise of creating fighting techniques which qualify, as “art” must, at least theoretically, be designed so that a smaller and weaker combatant can apply them successfully against a larger and stronger opponent. Now that we have a definition of martial art, the next logical question to ask is what type of techniques will allow the weaker fighter to defend him or herself against the stronger.”

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.

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Mar
24

“Another Boring Example of Nonviolent Self-Defense,” by Chris Pearson

“I was only twenty minutes into an outdoor routine (that is, an indoor routine stripped of any provocative elements) when I heard a group of teenage boys approaching behind me. I continued to mind my own business, but they were not content with theirs.”

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Mar
23

“Aikido is accomplished ‘between the beats’,” by Chris Howey

“In all forms of Aikido – but perhaps especially in the Yoshinkai style – there are ‘forms’ or Kata. We study these forms over and over, trying to perfect our movement and technique.”

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Mar
22

“Instructor Responsibility,” by Bob Blackburn

“His article, Self Defense Law, covers criminal liability on non-lethal and lethal force, third parties, defense of property, use of force to prevent a crime, civil liability, tort law and laws aimed at martial artists. This extensive review will give you the legal systems view of self defense. Although laws vary by location and over time, you will get an understanding of how the legal system views use of force in different situations.”

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Mar
22

“Remembering Thomas Makiyama Sensei,” by Norm Ibuki

Whenever I go back to Japan these days, it is really with more of a sense of mission, reevaluating my relationship with Japan and my identity, which being Nikkei is significant.

Even after having lived in British Columbia for three years, one in South Slocan where I lived for a short time in Lemon Creek visiting New Denver (both former internment camp sites) several times, and having lived in Japan for nine years, my understanding of who and what I am is slowly becoming a little less hazy.

The late great Hank Nakamura, a Canadian Nisei who was exiled to Japan after WW2 and worked with the U.S. Navy in Sasebo, told me a long time ago now that I needed to immerse myself in all aspects of Japan in order to better understand it.
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Mar
21

In the works: “Koichi Tohei Retrospective,” by Stanley Pranin

Here at Aikido Journal we are always working to make readers of the site aware of the efforts and achievements of those figures who have played key roles in the spread of aikido as a worldwide phenomenon. One of the most famous of these individuals is Koichi Tohei Sensei, who figures prominently in our new Aikido Pioneers title.

Due to his departure from the Aikikai organization in 1974, the memory of Tohei Sensei’s many contributions to the early spread of aikido has faded among contemporary aikidoka. He has been replaced by later figures who followed in his footsteps, many of them former students of Tohei Sensei. Since Tohei Sensei left the headquarters organization under less than happy circumstances, neither he nor the Aikikai wish to revisit his part in the heyday of early aikido. The reluctance of both sides to speak of past events is certainly understandable from the psychological and emotional standpoints, yet it serves history poorly, resulting in a nearly universal misconception of aikido’s genesis.

Having been a participant in the tumultuous times before and after Tohei Sensei’s separation from the Aikikai, I understand the sensivities that still linger after this defining event that took place 36 years ago. However, personal feelings aside, I feel the self-appointed role of Aikido Journal as a repository of information concerning the art dictates that we preserve and disseminate, in as objective as possible a manner, the record of the achievements of this giant figure of the art’s early era.
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Mar
21

“The Art of Forgetting,” by John Vesia

“One of my favorite authors on the martial arts is Donn Draeger. I find his material to contain a wealth of information and has been a reliable source for a number of my articles. As a career military man, Draeger spent decades studying and teaching the martial arts in the US and abroad. Most of his formative training was done in Japan.”

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Mar
20

“Aikido in MMA,” by Rick Ellis

“I am a MMA fighter trained by Alex Reid, I have a strong background in Traditional Aikido. I have studied Traditional Aikido since the age of 5 yrs with my father Henry Ellis 6th dan Aikido – International Birankai – .My father taught me the art of Traditional Aikido as taught to him by Kenshiro Abbe Sensei in the 1950s/60s. The modern misguided Aikidoka say ‘there is no kicking or punching in Aikido !’ Believe me ! there is in my fathers Aikido…see my photos and fight films. The same sad people say on my video comments ‘I don’t see Aikido !’ …..The reason they don’t see Aikido is because they are looking for their stylized dojo Aikido .”

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Mar
19

“Harmony Is Not Always Harmless,” by Nev Sagiba

Harmony is not harmless to those who choose to run counter to it. They take their chances and learn the hard way. Same as do base jumpers or connoisseurs of any high risk activity. Attacking others is a high risk endeavour; deserves no special dispensation, and you’ll note that you can not take out an insurance policy based on the fact you intend to commit crime hurting others.

Whether atemi-waza, kansetsu-waza, tachi-waza, even flowing kokyunage, good and real aiki will recoil the intensity of the attack back to the attacker. The outcome will depend on the attack and the force of intention behind it. Nothing else. Certainly not the subtle hubris of a fake ideal people talk a lot about, but fail to put into practice even in little daily matters.

After the disconnection or if an attacker fights, a properly conducted kansetsu, you have no (or very limited) control of outcomes, because the laws of the universe are outside of your jurisdiction and control. Live with it. No-one can predict the outcome.
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Mar
19

“Just move your hips!,” by Kevin Leavitt

“How many times in training have you been told ‘Don’t use your Arm/Shoulder, Just relax and move your hips!’.

I have been told this so many times over the years that I wanted to simply pummel the person telling me this! Well if it was so easy, then why could I not do it for so many years!”

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Mar
18

“What is Aikido,” by Rick Berry

“What is Aikido? Why do we practice this art of throwing and neutralization? To begin with, I do not practice for the sake of self-defense, nor have I felt the need to work on that aspect of life for a number of years. Although it is true that we train through the medium of attack and defense, the art-form and concept is realized mentally rather than physically.”

Click here to read entire article.