May
12

“Yoshida Kenji Photograph Verified?” from Aikido Journal forum

“The original photo in question was unevenly faded and fogged when I first saw it around 1988. I had it examined along with several others owned by Don Angier at The Brooks Institute of Photography. Verne Miller, Chairman of the Industrial/Scientific Dept said this particular photo suffered from what appeared to be improper fixing and washing which left trace amounts of silver halide and sodium thiosulfate in the emulsion. Crystals from these chemicals were responsible for the image degradation. Several years later I tried to produce a superior copy by re-shooting the image on a 4 X 5 copy camera and extending the tonal range thru sensitometric manipulation. This produced only marginal improvement. In the early to mid 1990′s Don Angier allowed me to scan the original photo on a drum scanner. I opened it up in an early version of Adobe’s Photoshop. By manipulating the histogram I was able to even out the gradation, create a more pleasing tonal scale and improve the shadow/highlight detail signifcantly. One thing immediately stuck out that was not obvious when viewing the original. The person in the photo, presumably Yoshida Kenji, had a nasty black eye and broken nose….LOL Afterward, I had a digital negative made at a BWC Photo Labs in Dallas. From this negative I produced several prints. As far as I know, one of those is the source of the image that appears in the article in question.”

Click here to view forum thread.

May
12

“The Psychology of Life and Death,” by Jeff Dooley

“Sometimes when I see people doing the 31 kumijo partner practice I get the impression that they are moving through a sequence of dance steps, memorized and practiced until they become automatic. Often it looks smooth and coordinated, as if each person knows what their partner is going to do next, which of course they do.”

Click here to read entire article.

May
11

“Giving and Receiving,” by Drew Gardner

From even before my baptism in the Methodist Church (Protestant Christian), I was raised attending each Sunday with my family. A common theme that was delivered to many others and me was the concept surrounding, “It is better to give than to receive.” I can’t say I have always lived by this dogmatically, but I was and am somehow fascinated by this concept nonetheless.

I feel that giving can be pure pleasure that might more often exceed the enjoyment of receiving a gift. Then again, giving would accompany no intrinsic reward if not enjoyed by the recipient.
[Read more...]

May
11

“Aikido as an Elite Sport,” by Daniel James

“Scientists and talent scouts have long understand that specialised skills are developed over a long period of time and through rigorous training and a diversity of experience. Diversity is often gained whilst an athlete is in developmental stage through an exposure to a broad base of different sports prior to specialisation. Specialisation in a skill is then developed in order to gain mastery of a particular sport. Early experiences are among the most powerful contributing factors in long-term mastery of a skill and can shorten that time significantly. The scientific literature suggests that around 4,000-10,000 hours is generally required to gain expertise.”

Click here to read entire article.

May
11

“Stretching As An Important Tool In Preventing Martial Arts Trauma,” by Bruce Everett Miller

“The issue of health to the martial artist is one that carries a lot of emotional impact. Whether it is because of illness or because of injuries, when we are not in full health we cannot, in most cases, enjoy the martial arts we love best.”

Click here to read entire article.

May
10

“Aikido is true,” by Stefan Stenudd

“I was seventeen when I first heard about the remarkable Japanese martial art Aikido. It was Krister, a friend some years my senior, who told me that he had practiced it. Just how seriously he regarded Aikido, I understood partly from how long he had taken to reveal his knowledge of it – although he must be convinced that it would impress a teen age boy – and partly from his elaborate and solemn way of talking about it.”

Click here to read entire article.

May
10

“Commitment Resistance,” by Michael Aloia

As many of us have come to know, Aikido is an endless basket of fish and loaves. Just as we seem to near the supposed bottom, the basket overflows with more. We never go hungry. We may also realize that regardless of style, system, instructor or approach, Aikido can be a life changing experience. We find changes both big and small, internally and externally, expected and unexpected, known and unknown – each of us seeing a unique manifestation of individual character.

Many of us may also agree that a common issue plagues the very channels of Aikido training. This issue resides at all levels and seems to infringe upon the very essence of progress for each participant as it rears its head during our time on the mat. This issue is the struggle to resist committing.
[Read more...]

May
10

Teaching Aikido to Children Educators Seminar in Virginia, USA

Instructors of Aikido to youths are invited to participate in the 2010 Teaching Aikido to Children Educators Seminar June 19-20 in our fabulous new dojo in Spotsylvania, Virginia. Taught by teachers for teachers, this innovative program is a great event if you have a kids program or are contemplating adding one to your Aikido class schedule.

Prior events have gotten rave reviews from participants. We’ve assembled an experienced group of Aikidoists, Senseis, and Educators to provide “how-to” resources and share best practices. Learn and network!

Go to http://www.gashuku.net for the flyer which lists topics and instructors.

Aviv Goldsmith, Chief Instructor
Aikido in Fredericksburg

May
09

“Getting Started In Aikido, Or Any Other Martial Art,” by David Harvey

“Go to your local library and borrow one or two books about Aikido. Skip through them, but don’t read too deeply. You may end up doing a different style in a week or two, so you don’t want to confuse things at this stage. Make a few written notes of stuff that interests you, and leave it at that.”

Click here to read entire article.

May
09

Recommended reading: “Interview with Mariye Takahashi (2)” 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.

At this moment, I felt my whole body beginning to sink into the floor. O-Sensei kept asking me if I was conscious and what happened to me and questions of this sort. I had the impression that O-Sensei realized something was up and started looking concerned. I could hardly answer him. Even though I felt that I was causing him trouble I tried to hold myself up but it was impossible. Suddenly, I heard clearly O-Sensei talking to someone using very humble words: ‘Oh Divine Spirit, you were here.’ He started to gather cushions and other things to support me. He moved rapidly to prevent me from falling down and then he backed away a little from me and placed his hand on the floor in immaculate form and bowed down. He said using honorific terms, ‘This young maiden’s body is still frail and it will be impossible to take it. Therefore, come into my body.’

[Read more...]

May
08

Brian Kagen pick: “W.E. Fairbairn – The Legendary Instructor,” by Phil Matthews

“A few years ago most persons in Combatives circles would have shaken their head at the mention of his name. A little later some of them would nod but the knowledge was limited. Now it seems that the world and his brother is quoting Fairbairn chapter and verse (often wrongly) in order to further their own goals, some of them completely at odds with what the man himself tried to achieve.”

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
08

“The Case for More Body Awareness,” by Dave Goldberg

“The underlying principle that points to a true expression of Aikido is non-resistance, and that implies receptive values. That doesn’t mean we don’t take action, but simply that we’re not in opposition to what is. Aikido is obviously an art form that is expressed through the body, which gets information from our sensory awareness.”

Click here to read entire article.