Jul
26

Recommended reading: “Interview with Phong Thong Dang” by Stanley Pranin

The interview 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.

It wasn’t until 1961 or 1962, when a representative from the Hombu Dojo, Mutsuro Nakazono Sensei, came to Vietnam to begin laying the foundations of aikido there, that I was able to spend more time practicing the art. Because of my ten years of judo training, I was able to absorb the essence of aikido without much difficulty, and I progressed quickly. Nakazono Sensei taught both aikido and judo at the Association for Judo and Aikido, founded by Tri Thong Dang. Since I was often able to accompany Nakazono Sensei to his many seminars at training centers for paratroopers and police officers, I was able to learn many of his special techniques.

[Read more...]

Jul
26

“Disc Golfers and Dog Walkers, Part 3,” by Mary Stein

“The club house was overflowing with people when I arrived Tuesday evening for the meeting about the proposed disc golf course at McLaren Park. There were a couple hundred people crowded together in chairs, with another fifty standing at the back of the room.”

Click here to read entire article.

Jul
26

Message from Yoshimitsu Yamada Sensei on passing of Nobuyoshi Tamura Sensei

We have been asked to provide a link to Yoshimitsu Yamada Sensei’s European website where he has posted a message concerning the recent passing of his good friend and sempai, Nobuyoshi Tamura Sensei.

“It was very sad for all of us to hear the loss of Tamura sensei. He will be missed by many people all over the world but I’m sure his Aikido philosophy will remain in everyone’s mind. To me, he was not only my Aikido senpai, but was also a very good teaching partner and somebody I look up for my life.”

Click here to read entire article.

Jul
25

“Ki — Separate and Indestructible,” by Jon Shirota from Black Belt magazine

“When Sadaharu Oh, the idolized home run king of Japanese baseball, went into a slump last year, he sought the help of fellow countryman Koichi Tohei. After only a few brief lessons, Oh’s batting average improved dramatically and he began blasting balls over the outfield fence with his old consistency and flourish.”

In November 1973, Black Belt magazine published an article written by Jon Shirota titled “Ki — Separate and Indestructible.” For those interested in learning about the teaching methodology and thinking of Koichi Tohei Sensei at this point in time, this article provides an excellent introduction.

Click here to read the entire blog on Koichi Tohei Resources, an adjunct website of Aikido Journal.

Jul
25

“Flowetry,” by Felicia H.

“Last night’s class featured a special treat: Sensei S’s sensei – Kyoshi K! Part amazing practitioner, part comedian, Kyoshi took us through kicking and punching drills as well as kata for three solid hours – but the self-defense intro that preceded all that was incredible. He still chided me for ‘fighting like a small person’ but he recognized that some of the scenarios and add ons to the one-steps (ippon kumite techniques) we’d created on the spot might not work for someone my height (6’2″). Same for my 5’4″ training partner – and he let us modify them accordingly, which was really cool.”

Click here to read entire article.

Jul
24

“Gorillas in the midst: the question of wrist grabs,” by Dan Djurdjevic

“In my view people sometimes get caught up asking the wrong question: ie. a question that contains one or more false assumptions which serve to distract you from seeing the full picture.

Consider the following video as an example. Watch it carefully and see if you can answer their question correctly…”

Click here to read entire article.

Jul
23

“How Do You Get Radar?,” by Nev Sagiba

“Get good, then reduce strength to half and still make the technique work. Halve it again and keep reducing power until you can effect good result with a feather touch.”

ablogicon_nevHow do you develop the radar-like, almost x-ray vision that some budoka have?

Are some people born lucky?

No. It is within everyone’s reach. It comes from good training process.

Some guys, especially guys, train too hard too soon. They go at it like a bull in a china shop, or as someone recently said, “An octopus on crack-cocaine.”

That’s not training but a form of insanity that will either deliver or receive injuries, or both. I worry about guys like that, since telling them verbally goes in one ear and out the other. The only way is to take them down a notch or two, but that always contains an element of danger.
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Jul
23

“The Case Against Martial Arts Tournaments,” by Chris Pearson

“Once upon a time, this was the standard response to meeting someone with a martial arts interest: yelp a few times, wave your arms around, do a judo/ninja/karate chop, then hold for applause. But times have changed. People no longer believe televised ninja movies are real. Now they believe televised MMA competitions are real, and nobody uses a karate chop in the UFC. (It’s illegal to strike the trachea, in case you were wondering.)”

Click here to read entire article.

Jul
22

From Ellis Amdur: New website on Toda-ha Buko-ryu

To my friends and associates. I’ve just uploaded a new website that centers around Toda-ha Buko-ryu. It is in a process of continuing development, so things will change as I get more historical information, etc.

“Toda-ha Buko-ryu is a martial tradition which specializes in the use of the naginata. It’s highest teachings center around the kagitsuki naginata, a weapon with a small cross-bar, against both sword and spear.”

Ellis Amdur

Jul
22

Recommended reading: “Interview with Nobuyoshi Tamura (2)” by Stanley Pranin

The interview 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 was invited to the first Kobudo (old-style martial arts) demonstration held after the war, he said he wouldn’t participate himself but told Tohei Sensei to go instead. When Tohei Sensei asked O-Sensei what techniques he should show at the demonstration, he apparently said, “Anything you want. Do what you think is appropriate.” I think he probably thought that budo was not something to show to others and worried that once he showed his techniques they would be stolen. Therefore, when I started aikido there were many people who didn’t know about the art.

[Read more...]

Jul
22

Screen grab from O-Sensei DVD “Divine Techniques!”

This screen grab from “Divine Techniques” featuring Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba will give you a good idea of what’s in store for you!

We are pleased to announce the availability of this outstanding DVD titled Divine Techniques, containing rare footage of O-Sensei. This is the fifth DVD of Aikido Journal’s definitive DVD series on the Founder of aikido. “Divine Techniques” is comprised of a collection of 12 films of O-Sensei—several of them in color—from the period of 1962 to shortly before his death in 1969. It also includes a heretofore unpublished audio recording of the Founder’s voice replete with English subtitles. This wonderful DVD completes the set of six volumes that present the aikido and philosophy of Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba.

Click here for a detailed description of the DVD and for ordering information.

Click here for information on ordering the complete 6-volume set of DVDs at more than 30% off.

See below for screen shots of some of the action highlights:
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Jul
22

“Can you teach what you don’t understand?,” by Serpentstaff

“I was put in mind of this question when I read some comments a colleague had made about board-breaking. Breaking boards is unquestionably an exercise in physics. But my colleague, through his remarks, revealed that he didn’t quite understand the physics involved. Now, he is an excellent martial artist and a fine instructor. Furthermore, if students followed the practical instructions he was stressing at the time, they’d probably be helped in their chances of breaking their boards. The only problem would come if they relied on his underlying explanation when taking a physics test. And if they were taking a physics test, they would most likely have already figured out his mistake… No harm done?”

Click here to read entire article.