May
31

“Can you talk a robber out of committing a crime?,” by Giovanna Garcia

“Pauline Jacobi is a 92 year old woman of strong faith. ‘GrandPolly’ that is what her dozen of great-grandchildren calls her. One evening GrandPolly finished with her groceries shopping at Wal-Mart Super Center. She had placed groceries into the driver’s side back seat of her Toyota Corolla.”

Click here to read entire article.

May
31

Brian Kagen pick: “Kicking butt for inner peace,” by Penny Bernath from cnn.com

“I later became frustrated with many martial arts and self-defense classes that I found. At the point of attack, the victim is taught to instantly transform into a crazed aggressor by kicking, striking and screaming.

This is unrealistic, particularly for a woman who isn’t aggressive by nature. So I gravitated toward aikido, a defensive martial art that taught me to work with — instead of against — my nature. Aikido works by blending with an attack and redirecting it away.”

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.

May
30

Recommended reading: “The Martial Artist on Stage” by David Lynch

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.

In the first place, there is more to a demonstration than entertainment, promotion or education. There is also artistic expression. In this respect, the martial artist is like any other artist, and his audience is likely to judge him by the impact his art has on them on some deep level, regardless of other factors. He need not be motivated by mundane considerations at all.

[Read more...]

May
30

“The “Ground” Game: Is It Necessary to Know How to Defend from Down There?,” by Felicia H.

“This morning, as my hubby-to-be and I were doing a little spring cleaning, I playfully hit him with a pillow. Since the laundry basket was in back of me, I thought nothing at all of him walking behind me to toss the pillow cases in it – until he bum-rushed me from behind and pinned me on the bed. Not the position anybody wants to be in at all – especially since he’s a 6’3″, 215 lbs runner who lifts weights with his athletes (he’s a track coach) at least three days a week. Not only is he rock solid, he also studied judo as a kid as well as some practical self-defense stuff while in the military for 20 years.”

Click here to read entire article.

May
29

All Daito-ryu Instructional Set by Menkyo Kaiden Katsuyuki Kondo!

We would like to bring to your attention that we offer the authoritative instructional work by Katsuyuki Kondo, Menkyo Kaiden, titled Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu Hiden Mokuroku.

This is the first book in English to introduce the technical curriculum of Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu as originally taught by Sokaku Takeda. It contains the 31 techniques of the ikkajo series of the Hiden Mokuroku, the first level of study in Daito-ryu.

You may also wish to consider our special discounted set consisting of Katsuyuki Kondo’s two outstanding instructional DVDs together with the Hiden Mokuroku book.
[Read more...]

May
29

Recommended reading: “Aikido and Independence: On Not Finding One’s True Master” by Peter Goldsbury

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.

Aikido is a martial art full of paradoxes and some of these are due to the way in which instructors introduce and teach that art, especially to non-Japanese. I myself started practicing aikido because it was not a competitive sport. I was fed up with the traditional English diet of cricket and rugby, and marathon running was a painful and solitary activity. Aikido seemed much more congenial. You had to have a partner, there was no competition and so you could proceed at your own pace, without the need to break your neck training for the next tournament.

[Read more...]

May
29

“The Art of Dodging Bullets,” by Serpentstaff

“My first martial art was taekwondo, but the senior student in the club was enamored with aikido. He talked about it all the time, regaling us with tales of elderly masters who could subdue multiple attackers without striking a blow, and best of all – who could dodge bullets. One story had it that an aikido master was working for the U.S. special forces in Vietnam as ‘the little old man in the shack’ – the guy the new recruit is supposed to kill as his first assignment. Of course, the recruit would empty his gun without managing to hit the old man, who would quickly disarm him.”

Click here to read entire article.

May
28

V. “The Influence of Formal Religions,” by Charles A. McCarty

A. The Influence of Shintoism

The most basic influence on Uyeshiba’s spiritual growth may have been Shinto, the native faith of Japan. It is often regarded as the embodiment of the national spirit of Japan and the Japanese. It is more than a religion or a set of observances: It is the product of several thousands of years of attitudes, ideas and actions that have become the integral and characteristic personality of the Japanese people. It is both a personal faith and a communal way of life uniting the Japanese People as a nation under the Imperial family.(67)
[Read more...]

May
28

Recommended reading: “Interview with Tokimune Takeda (1)” 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.

Sokaku’s sword came from the traditional Onoha Itto-ryu. The first short sword technique in this art is the same as the first technique in Daito-ryu where you pin your opponent then thrust at and cut him. This technique was used only during the age of civil strife but Sokaku taught it as an important technique. Since he had practiced kenjutsu, he could easily turn his wrists. In order to cut your opponent, you need to set the blade of your sword in a specific position; you need to turn your sword this way. You receive your opponent’s sword with the back of your sword and then you turn your sword to cut him. This is not how you hit your opponent with a bokken, you know. Since a real sword has a sharp blade, you need to receive your opponent’s blade with the back of your sword.

[Read more...]

May
27

“Building a mat on a tight budget,” from AikidoSutdent.com

“For many of us the most time consuming and costly part of starting a dojo will be our mat. The ‘mat’ is the central focus of our physical Dojo, so it’s important that we have a robust mat we can be proud of. However for most of us, cost is an issue. Many start their schools out of their garages, basements, or inexpensive warehouse space. While a mat is definitely something we don’t want to ‘skimp’ on, a really nice ‘store bought’ mat can be staggeringly expensive. This is especially true if you are fortunate enough to have a large space.”

Click here to read entire article.

May
27

“The Secret of Becoming Good at What you Do,” by Nev Sagiba

Turn up anyway. If you don’t feel like it, turn up to training. If you feel under the weather, turn up. If it’s inconvenient, turn up anyway. If the weather is bad, cold, raining, miserable, whatever, turn up.

If times are tough, turn up. If you are getting married, there’s a death or a birth in the family, do your familial duties, then turn up to training. If you are suffering a really bad divorce, turn up to training in particular. It will provide good perspective.

If there’s an earthquake, flood, fire or a war and the dojo is still standing, train. If you are jet lagged, hungry, sleep deprived and there’s a training session, turn up.

Whatever happens, simply turn up and train and before too long you will have improved exponentially.

Then, instead of celebrating by taking time out, such as a grading pass, turn up. If you have broken leg or another injury, particularly turn up, to watch.

Whatever happens take the energy out of excuses and install it into the actions of turning up and training.

Budo is contingency training and no one will ever attack you when times or your mood or anything else is ideal.

Nev Sagiba
aikiblue.com

May
26

Brian Kagen pick: “Aikido’s mystical path to peace on Earth,” by Anna Kunnecke

“With its sober green cover, soft cream paper, cloth bookmark and diminutive size, this book feels designed to be carried around and studied like a sacred text. For it is indeed a spiritual manual rather than a technical one, a collection of lectures given by the founding father of aikido, Morihei Ueshiba, to members of the religious group Byakko Shinko Kai.”

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.