Apr
12

“Desensitised.. a good thing?,” by Steve Wildash

“The drill we were looking at involved one student throwing a punch of some description at his partner, the defender covered and then closed in to blitz the attacker with these multiple slaps causing him to retreat and at the same time deal with this overload the best way he could. As I said earlier the shut down to my system was within a few seconds, dealing with this stinging pain was very hard indeed.”

Click here to read entire article.

Apr
11

Follow-up to “An End To Collusion,” by Tom Collings

morihei-ueshiba-explosive-w

“All martial arts have the same inherent conflict: Art is about beauty / Self defense is about survival – and real survival is rarely pretty or easy.”

In re-reading the 1992 article by Stan Pranin “An End to the Collusion,” I was struck by the timeliness and increasing relevance of his honest comments about the choreographed nature and artificiality of most aikido demonstrations and much of our aikido practice. Stan also has us confront the casual and sloppy manner in which aikido is often practiced. This increasingly popular “aikido lite” with lots of eye candy and sorry imitations of the Founder is supposed to be expressing harmony and non-violence.

I love the art of aikido as I know Stan does, and when lax, casual practice passes for harmony, and when training with effort and intensity is considered “violent” then we have surely lost the Founder’s Way. We have trivialized what is profound, and made superficial that which should have depth, the Founder’s earnest struggle to learn and understand, and find new possibilities in conflict. Our modern culture attempts to make everything light and easy, even O’Sensei’s work of a lifetime.

We have all seen the cooperative choreography Stan described in which uke does what is expected of him, and when in doubt – falls down. I am often (sadly) amused when old training pals who are now Senseis perform ultra subtle-seemingly effortless movements that send the uke flying! Their first attempt often does not work well or at all – but after that (when uke knows what he is expected to do) – it works like magic! Our capacity for self deception seems to have no bounds. If these fellows would admit what they are doing has nothing to do with self protection and is purely fun, play, art, and performance that would be fine. But it is presented as “traditional aikido,” which is dishonest and demeaning to both aikido and to the Founder.
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Apr
11

“FIGHT SCIENCE: Moving into attacks,” by Chad Zoghby

“I was watching a show on National Geographic last night by the name of Fight Science. It’s basically a show which analyzes various martial arts to find how they work, their efficiency and also their pros and cons. In the one I saw, they brought in a Kung Fu master to demonstrate the use of chi.”

Click here to read entire article.

Apr
10

“The Sphere of Influence,” by Sean Ashby

“Blame it on me being a visual person, but I’ve always liked using concrete ideas and expressions to illustrate a concept or point, both to myself and to students I may be working with. One of those analogies has really intrigued me for a while now, especially how it relates to both judo and aikido.”

Click here to read entire article.

Apr
09

“Softness and structure in ukemi,” by Patrick Parker

“The jo is the embodiment of structure – it is all structure and no pliability. Take the jo and drop it onto a hard floor. It hits and clatters and bangs and rolls around. Unless you threw it down really hard it’s not likely to have been damaged because of its excellent structure. But it sure took a lot of abuse banging around on the ground. It’s pretty obvious that if you were to make your body all stiff like the jo, you’d take a lot of abuse when you hit the ground.”

Click here to read entire article.

Apr
08

“The Gospel Of Budo According To Who?,” by Nev Sagiba

There is none..

The words “according to” give the game away. It’s easy to put a convincing argument on paper. Because something is written does not make it gospel at all, merely words on paper (or now pixels as well).

Somebody’s opinion.

If it were that easy we could all become invincible, enlightened, all knowing, merely by reading; and then return back to our home planet all fixed.. or whatever it is that happens.

The written word, is mostly opinion and conjecture. Mostly, but not all.

Whilst some opinion comes out of vivid imaginings, much can also come from hard experience. That’s for the reader to discern, to match with his or her opinion and to test to REFINE THEIR OWN EXPERIENCE OF LIFE AND SKILL.
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Apr
08

“Ueshiba Morihei Sensei, Hitting Instructor,” by Denis Papathanasiou

“One day — or rather late one night — Arakawa-san confronted me as I was about to retire. “A discovery!” he said. He was waving a book in his hand. It was by yet another actor, the well-known Kikugoro. The celebrated performer had disclosed in his book that he had tried to incorporate Aikido into his own training. Specifically, what he sought from Aikido was the idea of ma, the space and/or time “in between.””

Click here to read entire blog.

Apr
08

“Doing the Right Thing For the Right Reason,” by Matthew Apsokardu

“The right thing to do, when done for the wrong reasons or motivations, is no longer the right thing. This is something I believe, but is also very contestable. I ask myself – ‘what if a bystander saves a victim of violence in the hopes of getting a reward? Isn’t that doing the right thing for the wrong reason, and isn’t it still the right thing to do?’”

Click here to read entire article.

Apr
07

“Pondering Doka,” by Drew Gardner

Although I have read O’Sensei’s doka (songs / poems of The Way) in many places online and in books, these are verbatim from The Aikido FAQ. I especially enjoy analyzing the metaphorical ones that don’t make sense to me right away. Here are just two such doka, along with how my mind deciphers them.

“His sword raised to the attack
The enemy flies at the man he thinks before him
But from the very start
I was standing behind him”
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Apr
07

“What Do You Mean When You Say ‘Relax’,” by Marc Abrams

“If a person has been studying Aikido for any length of time, it is likely that this person has heard the phrase ‘just relax…’ The answer seems so simple, yet remains so elusive. Discovering the meaning of this phrase is a process of becoming increasingly aware of and in control of one’s own body. This burgeoning awareness leads to subtle, yet substantial improvements in ones’ ability to execute techniques.”

Click here to read entire article.

Apr
06

“Morihei Ueshiba, Founder of Aikido, Part 8″ by Kanemoto Sunadomari

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.

I have described the circumstances of how Morihei and his family moved to Ayabe from Hokkaido in the previous chapter. The area at the foot of Mt. Mountain where Morihei’s house was located was quite different from the newly developed land in Shirataki in Hokkaido where the air was full of wild vigor. His new shrubbery-fronted house was in very quiet surroundings. Although Morihei had conquered the wilderness of Hokkaido by cultivating the land, he still was not satisfied. His search for spiritual nourishment led him to the Omoto religion.

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Apr
06

“11 Key Differences Between Training and the Real Thing,” by Adam Dean

“We all know that the training environment is quite different to the environment we will likely find ourselves in if we ever have to use these skills for real. Our busy lifestyle these days often means that only little thought is given to these differences. We know we must take responsibility to protect ourselves so we go to work, go to the gym, dojo or dojang or whatever to train, go home, sleep and repeat.”

Click here to read entire article.