May
26

“Martial arts and Spirituality,” by Christopher Hein

“Martial arts and spirituality. What does that even mean? This is a question almost all of us ask. But few of us ever get any real answers. Some say it’s mixing religions such as Christianity or Islam with martial arts. Some think it’s dressing up in flowing clothes, spouting koans, and seeming esoteric. Some say it’s simply, ‘a bunch of crap’. However I believe It isn’t any of these things.”

Click here to read entire article.

May
26

Recommended reading: “Fundamental Principles of Aikido” by Stanley Pranin

The article below from 1986 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.

The selection of the topic for this article came about as the result of a very kind letter from a totally unexpected quarter: Minoru Mochizuki Sensei of the Yoseikan Dojo in Shizuoka. Mochizuki Sensei’s letter was in response to the editorial I wrote in the last issue entitled “Suggestions for the Elimination of Abuses in Dan Rankings”. I was asked to elaborate on my view of the essential nature of Aikido in light of the subject covered in the above article.

[Read more...]

May
25

“Everyone thinks there’s a trick,” by Christopher Hein

“Many people engage in martial arts training to learn a ‘trick’. They think they are going to learn a cool wrist lock, or some other kind of almost magical unknown technique, that will flip everyone for real. After a few years most of us learn that this really magical unknown technique, doesn’t exist. We realize that the body is a machine and it’s limitations can be readily understood by all.”

Click here to read entire article.

May
25

Recommended reading: “Interview with Kyoichi Inoue (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.

I was also studying at the Logos English language school in Mejiro as I wished to become a diplomat. One of my classmates was a seaman who was practicing aikido. When I asked him what aikido was, he twisted my wrist applying what we call “nikajo”. I found it interesting and asked him to get me a brochure from the Yoshinkan. I told Mr. Kushida, who is now instructing in the United States, about the school and we immediately went to visit the dojo in Tsukudo Hachiman. Mr. Kushida and I went to the same junior high school, high school and university. We would always practice together in the beginning. We attended only the class where the roll was called and would practice aikido at the dojo from morning till night.

[Read more...]

May
24

Brian Kagen pick: “Should You Ever Give Up on Someone?,” by Jeff Broderick

“So, what do you think? Should some people just be encouraged to take up bird watching? Weapons kata are not usually very dangerous, but I’m not crazy about the idea of training with somebody who often does the totally unexpected, or without any control of his motions.”

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
24

“The Myth of ‘Pressure Testing’,” by Phil Elmore

“Practitioners of Reality Based Self-Defense — martialists and others who take seriously the need to train in-context and with realistic, asymmetrical goals — grow very weary of this argument, especially when it comes from those who assume (wrongly) the levels of contact used by RBSD practitioners in their training (which, unlike MMA training, also includes extensive weapons training and scenario drills, coupled with elements of survivalism (preparation before the fact, including the stockpiling of supplies and the carrying of personal weaponry) and ‘street’ evasion tactics.”

Click here to read entire article.

May
23

“Learning by Failure,” by David

“The primary focus of the session was on koshinage. The session is typically for beginner-to-intermediate kyu grades, so things are fairly well explained. Everything’s broken down step-by-step. For myself, this tends to make things difficult, which is perhaps ironic. When sensei explains a technique, I watch and listen intently. I don’t want to miss anything. I like to think that I pick up on a reasonable amount of nuances when doing this. And then I try to replicate what has just been explained so in-depth.”

Click here to read entire article.

May
23

Morihiro Saito, 9th Dan, in action!

(31 March 1928-13 May 2002). 9th dan Aikikai. B. Ibaragi Prefecture. Retired Japan National Railways and Aikikai Shihan. First taught by Morihei UESHIBA in Iwama in the summer of 1946. Received the property on which his house was built directly from Ueshiba out of gratitude for helping to settle a land dispute. Considered the leading expert on the AIKI KEN and AIKI JO based on his long tutelage under Morihei Ueshiba in Iwama and subsequent refinement of weapons curriculum. Author of six books on aikido, a Japanese-English five-volume series entitled Traditional Aikido and a short training manual entitled Takemusu Aiki. Former head of the Ibaragi Dojo in IWAMA and guardian of the AIKI SHRINE. Appeared in all four of the AIKI NEWS-sponsored FRIENDSHIP DEMONSTRATIONS. Taught on numerous occasions in the U.S., Europe, and Australia. Initiated a traditional style certification for the aiki ken and aiki jo beginning May 1989. Interviewed AN#32-34, 74-75.

If you enjoyed the video here are several products that we think will help you learn the material in the video.

1. Morihiro Saito: The Lost Seminars, Part 5

2. Morihiro Saito: The Lost Seminars, Part 7

3. 1st Friendship Demonstration, Part 2

4. Takemusu Aikido: Background & Basics (Vol. 1)

5. Takemusu Aikido: Kokyunage (Vol. 4)

If you would like to get more than one of the products listed Request a Custom Discount.

May
23

Recommended reading: “Interview with Kenji Shimizu” 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.

I began in 1953 when I was 13. I was good at it and continued regularly through my days as a student at Meiji University. As a boy I practiced judo with the people around me and became strong. As I got older my competitive range increased and I fought many big and strong competitors. I was stimulated and tried very hard but I couldn’t overcome the difference in physical strength. That’s why I switched to aikido and really became involved with the art.

[Read more...]

May
22

Shoji Nishio Sensei: Aikido’s Great Innovator on DVD!

We would like to bring to your attention the availability of a DVD by Shoji Nishio Sensei that features the long-awaited final videos of the outstanding instructional series he produced in the late 1990s. The fourth DVD of this series features Volumes 7, 8 and 9 that correspond to Katadori Menuchi, and Aikido Toho Iai, Parts 1 & 2.

Click here to take advantage of the special offer of all 4 DVDs of this series plus Nishio Sensei famous technical tome titled Yurusu Budo, his only book publication.
[Read more...]

May
22

“Building Sensitivity – Musubi Version,” by Aikido Doushin Juku

“In Aikido, there is a principle called ‘Musubi.’ We learn to feel and control connection between you and your partner. This musubi practice will help you build sensitivity. You learn to feel little changes that are not even visible to your own eyes. If you are big and macho, it may be easier to move your partner with your size and muscle power.”

Click here to read entire article.

May
22

Brian Kagen pick: “Aikido and Dad,” by Yuhri

“Dad (Yoshihiko Hirata) had a complicated relationship with the leading figures in Aikido, not least with Tohei-sensei. His friendship with Maruyama-sensei, on the other hand, seemed very straight-forward to my admittedly youthful eyes at the time. He was one of Dad’s best friends, and came over at least once that I remember; I recall a lot of laughter and a lot of drinking, and several drawings. Maruyama-sensei drew cartoons at the drop of a hat, and one of the clearest memories from my childhood, bizarrely, is of a cartoon he drew of my Dad cavorting happily with a bottle of beer while my impatient mother looked on.”

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.