Jun
30

“Kime, Finalization, 2 Seconds: Is The Beginning,” by Nev Sagiba

What I’m about to write is nothing new. Firstly, we as humans, have a moral obligation to avoid conflict and violence, but not assertive, albeit duly respectful, confrontation where it is due.

When constructive and respectful interaction fails, the ice starts getting thin fast. We have two options. We can be cowards and run, leaving others to become victims and face deadly music. Or we can enter the fray. Entering carries certain responsibilities. None less than having at least half a clue what to do when you get in there. If not you are merely presenting yourself to become a victim.

The vast majority of humans on the planet are victims. Real democracy is a long way from arriving. When people fail to realise that they are the political masters and not any external leaders, they fail in their responsibilities as participants to democratic process. This, however, does not mean anarchy, but the very opposite. There has to be a participatory meeting of minds. Ki-no-musubi is more than a fancy quote to recite at quasi aikido meetings. Much more. Until democracy becomes a democracy of souls, a community of responsive and responsible individuals with clarity enough to find the best common goal, it will not have arrived.
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Jun
30

“Helpful handful: 5 things aikidoka could learn from judo,” by Patrick Parker

“I thought I’d throw out a few suggestions for things that aikido folks could probably learn from judo folks to make themselves more well-rounded. Fear not – tomorrow I’ll give you a few suggestions for ways judo guys could lean from aikido guys.”

Click here to read entire article.

Jun
29

“What’s to Gain from Pain?,” by Krista de Castella

“Have you ever wondered what it’d be like to be impervious to pain? As a martial artist, it’d certainly have its perks. It’s the sort of superhuman power that belongs in comic books. Amazingly for some people it is a reality.

Congenital Insensitivity to Pain with Anhidrosis CIPA is a rare condition in which children are born without the ability to sense pain or extremes in temperature. They are normal in every other sense. They can still feel other sensations and touch from normal body-to-body contact. But these people simply can’t feel pain and never will. They can hurt themselves in all ways imaginable and may not even know it. And while this might all sound great, I’d think twice before wishing for this kind of ‘invincibility’.”

Click here to read entire article.

Jun
29

Recommended reading: “Interview with Takako Kunigoshi” by Stanley Pranin

This interview is excerpted from Stanley Pranin’s Aikido Pioneers.

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.

There were few women who practiced the Aiki Budo taught by Morihei Ueshiba in the prewar era. One of them, Takako Kunigoshi, occupies a special place in the early years of the art due to her dedication and artistic talents.

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Jun
28

Recommended reading: “Founder of Aikido (36): The Turmoil of War” by Kisshomaru Ueshiba

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.

Vigorous newcomers like Shin Tamaoki, Toshinobu Matsumoto, and Koichi Tohei arrived to replace the men of the “Hell Dojo.” Mr. Tohei began in 1941 and at present is active with his own organization called the ‘Ki no Kenkyukai’ and his system of ‘Shin-shin Toitsu Aikido.’ The present chief instructor of the Aikikai Headquarters, Kisaburo Osawa, also joined around the same time as did Hombu Dojo Shihan, Mr. Shigenobu Okumura. Their arrival seemed to dissipate the feeling of emptiness around the Kobukan.

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Jun
28

“Katsuyuki Shimamoto Shihan in Canada – Part Two,” by Anna Sanner

[This article is the second of a two part series concerning a recent seminar given by Katsuyuki Shimamoto Sensei in Toronto, Canada. The author, Anna Sanner, gives a detailed presentation of the event, with particular emphasis on the concepts explained by Shimamoto Sensei. Click here to read part one of the seminar report.]

1. Sunday – Morning Classes

Key Words Day 2: love (ai), harmony (wago, wa), invite (sasou), respect (soncho), accept – never reject (kotei, not hitei), remaining distinct while creating one harmonious sphere (ichinyo – like one, but not really one)

Ai – Love

‘O-Sensei said the 合ai in aikido that usually represents the aspect of harmony in the art can also mean 愛ai – love. L-O-V-E. Remember this when you train. No fighting.’

Shihan hunches over and tries with strength and force to push Yano Sensei down, but to no avail. ‘This doesn’t work, but this…’ He straightens his back and lets his arms and hands flow freely from his spine, now making it impossible for Yano Sensei to get up. ‘is love. It works.’
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Jun
27

An Aikido Journal subscription is your ticket to a world of compelling information available nowhere else!

Aikido Journal appeals to a niche market, no two ways about it! Our focus is the serious practitioner, the aikido instructor, and those who value the heritage of the art. One of the best tools we have to reach our valued readers with this information is our special two-year subscription offer. The material you receive at no extra cost will be among the most prized items in your aikido book collection.

Look at what your two-year subscription or renewal gets you:

  • Aikido Pioneers – Prewar Era – FREE OF CHARGE!
  • Aiki News / Aikido Journal back-issue DVD
  • More than 4,300 pages of Aiki News / Aikido Journal magazine from 1974-2000
  • Access to more than 800 archived articles
  • Access to over 100 rare video clips
  • Encyclopedia of Aikido reference book from 1991 in PDF form
  • 4-hour lecture on Aikido history by Aikido Journal Editor Stanley Pranin

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Jun
27

“The Nature of Aikido Training 3 Part Lecture,” by Dan Kawakami

“Every January we have a special class where we spend most of the time cleaning the mats. After the mats have been cleaned, they need time to dry. During that time, Kawakami sensei gives us a lecture to remind us what we should be focusing on in our training. Some of the students have been there for many years while others have only been training for a few months. Regardless of the experience level of the student, sensei’s words always sound fresh and true.”

Click here to read entire article.

Jun
27

Brian Kagen pick: “Which Martial Art Is Best for Self-Defense?,” by Marc MacYoung

“The bottom line is this: Martial arts are not self-defense. Self-defense is not personal safety. Fighting is neither self-defense nor personal safety. While martial arts training can be used in a self-defense context, it is a far better idea to create a much stronger alloy of personal safety instead of any single “fighting” system. Martial arts are part of complete personal safety regime, they are not the sole answer.”

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.

Jun
26

“Seven Lessons from Miyamoto Musashi’,” by Phil Elmore

“Gabe Suarez, whose work in the field of self-defense I quite admire, wrote an article for the May 2004 issue of Black Belt magazine in which he analyzed the five scrolls of Musashi’s Book of Five Spheres and discussed their relevance in modern times. My Wing Chun Kung Fu instructor thought so highly of Gabe’s article that he discussed it in class. This prompted me to go back to my well-worn copy of the text to reread it. In the course of that I thought I might try to distill some of the lessons I’ve taken from it. These aren’t necessarily the most important thoughts Musashi relates in the text, but they’re the ones I’ve taken most to heart in the context of my martial development and the ongoing task of self-defense.”

Click here to read entire article.

Jun
26

Recommended reading: “Interview with Shizuo Imaizumi (1)” by Marc Abrams

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.

When O-Sensei would return to Iwama, someone had to accompany him. It was easy to do, but it took a long time because you had to go back and forth between Tokyo and Iwama. Kisshomaru Ueshiba usually didn’t ask an instructor to handle this. When I went to Iwama with O-Sensei for the first time, we went to Ueno Station by taxi and then took the Joban line up to Iwama. When we arrived at Iwama Station, O-Sensei started to walk fast because he knew his way back home. I had to run after him because I was carrying his bag and some souvenirs he had received.

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Jun
25

“Bowing – Its Uses and Abuses,” by Nev Sagiba

As we all know, bowing is a Budo tradition.

We bow, we practice, we bow and then we go home. The bow is mutual and reciprocated. It is an open show of respect, a salutation akin to a military salute or a handshake, all which served the same purpose in ancient times.

We still shake hands. Most people will not misuse this, but those who do so, quickly reveal the nature of their intent and level of maturity.

Military salutes vary, but mean the same thing and are relegated to military organizations in today’s world.
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