Apr
30

Thanks! A nice endorsement for “Aikido Pioneers”

One of our readers who just finished Stanley Pranin’s new book offers the following comments. Much appreciated!

“I’ve finally gotten the time to finish “Aikido Pioneers”, wow! What a fantastic book! The interviews are insightful and inspiring, I’ve already used numerous quotes and facts in my classes. It is mind boggling to think of the time, effort and expense it took you to put this together – Thank you!”

J.S.
Pennsylvania, USA

Apr
30

“The Roles of the Joints – Part 1,” by Gavin King

“Recently both Steve and myself have been talking about the joints and how they relate to the martial arts and health. I thought it would be a good opportunity to discuss briefly the basic roles of the major joints in martial arts.”

Click here to read entire article.

Apr
29

Brian Kagen pick: “The Swordsman and the Cat”

“The narrative features a swordsman called Shōken who is beset by a pesky rat. After the neighborhood cats fail to chase the rat away, the swordsman himself tries his hand at getting rid of the rat. Failing miserably himself, he calls on the help of a cat “widely known for her mysterious virtue as the most able rat-catcher.” This cat catches the rat with ease, and that evening all the cats get together to discuss the days events and the art of fighting rats.”

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.

Apr
29

Christian Tissier 7° Dan Aikido Aikikai

This video showcases Christian Tissier aikido at a festival in Bercy. Please take a look at this incredible DVD set we offer for more from this fantastic teacher.

Apr
28

Recommended reading: “Exploring the Founder’s Aikido” by Stanley Pranin

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.

Morihei Ueshiba’s teaching methodology that was out of synch with postwar Japanese society, his strong religious orientation, his frequent travels and irregular schedule made it difficult for most of his students to receive in-depth instruction from the Founder. To this can be added the fact that aikido developed and spread in Japan during an era of peace that later blossomed into a time of unprecedented economic prosperity. In such a societal setting devoid of the constant specter of war and a sense of physical danger, aikido training in a period of peace lacked the intensity and focus of the uneasy times of the prewar era. Also, the practice of judo and kendo was widespread before the war and taught in school. This meant that those students who learned from O-Sensei in the prewar era had a much better level of physical and mental preparation when embarking on their training compared to those after the war.

[Read more...]

Apr
28

“Budo and the unflinching gaze,” by Budo Bum

“In most Japanese classical budo, the vast majority of training is done with a partner, and in the modern budo there is generally some form of randori . Training with another person with whom you have to demonstrate the effectiveness of your technique forces you to be honest about your technique. Unless your training partner takes a dive for you, you have to be honest about how well you are doing a technique and what needs work.”

Click here to read entire article.

Apr
27

Brian Kagen pick: “Mokuren Dojo: Shihonage,” by Patrick Parker

“Shihonage is the “four-directions” throw, or the “all-directions throw.” It is derived from a practice in kendo of practicing menuchi to the front, left, right, and back. With the two hands on the sword, the basic form of shihonage looks a lot like the four-directions cutting exercise. The implication of the name of the technique is that you can throw uke any direction with it or that you can throw uke with this technique whatever direction he happens to be travelling in.”

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.

Apr
27

“OODA Loop: Developing Fighting Success,” by Kevin Leavitt

“The OODA Loop is recognized as an important concept in both Military and business Circles. ‘OODA’ stands for Observe, Orient, Decide, and Act. It is referred to as a loop because it is a continuous process that feeds back on itself as a situation develops.”

Click here to read entire article.

Apr
26

“Why do some stay?,” by Rick Berry

“Many more leave than stay. That’s a given. The hard work and seemingly small reward would be daunting to even more of they knew how truly tough the training is. A comment made today at my student’s jujitsu class was ‘we train hard so we can deal successfully with the stresses, trials and tribulations of life.’ I disagree. But why do some stay?”

Click here to read entire article.

Apr
25

Help us pin down the date and location of a Koichi Tohei Sensei seminar held in San Francisco in 1974

We are working hard on the preparation of a new DVD documenting the life and techniques of Koichi Tohei Sensei during the time of his association with the Aikikai Hombu Dojo where he served for many years as chief instructor.

One of the films comprising this documentary was apparently shot in the San Francisco Bay area in 1974. A seminar and public demonstration were conducted at unknown locations. It is possible that Hideki Shiohira Sensei who was affiliated with Tohei Sensei during that time frame was involved in this event. We know that Tohei Sensei was in Los Angeles during July of 1974 and it is likely that this event in Northern California was part of this tour to America. If any of you out there can shed light on the details of this seminar and demonstration, we would be very appreciative.

Please feel free to use the comment section below to provide any information you may have.

Thanks!

Stanley Pranin

Apr
25

“Lose Yourself,” by John Vesia

“Does anyone remember the very first time they stepped onto the mat? How about the first time you were expected to kiai for a form? Did you feel strange, awkward or embarrassed? Self-consciousness is a barrier that many new students need to overcome, and as a rule of thumb, it should be approached in its own time and way.”

Click here to read entire article.

Apr
24

Brian Kagen pick: “An Analysis of Competition,” by Donn F. Draeger

“Judo, as a classical budo, or martial “way”, of Japan, was intended by its founder, Jigoro Kano, to be less martial and to be rather a vehicle for the spiritual and physical development of man; it was deliberately designed as an educative system which gives built-in play man’s ability to demonstrate perseverance in useful endeavor. By perseverance, regardless of the superficial achievements (rank, contest successes, prestige), every judoist can realize improvement of mental and physical self, and can be prepared, therefore, to make a better application of his mental and physical energies in his daily living. Idealistically, it was additionally hoped by Kano that such concomitants would bring about a more cooperatively-harmonious society, since it was composed of persons matured as responsible citizens by Judo.”

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.