Jul
11

Recommended reading: “Manchukuo and The Noted Sumo Wrestler Tenryu” 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.

In April of 1942, a martial arts demonstration was held there to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the “Founding of the Nation.” The demonstration took place in the great dojo of the Shinbuden, and “Emperor” Pu-yi, the Prime Minister, and other military and government dignitaries as well as famous civilians attended as guests. Only the greatest Japanese experts and masters of the day were invited to demonstrate. Of course the Founder was among them. A high level of skill was exhibited, and the Founder attracted the interest of all. This was partly because not very many people had actually seen his art despite the Founder’s fame. Emperor Pu-yi is said to have been the first to stand to give his applause.

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Jul
11

“Joint-Lock Techniques,” by Marc Abrams

“It is not uncommon to hear people discount joint-lock techniques as not being very practical in a real fight. How many times have we observed two people wrestling with and against one another in a vain attempt to execute a joint lock? It seems as if this technically straight-forward class of techniques is much more involved that we initially perceive them to be.”

Click here to read entire article.

Jul
10

Passing of Nobuyoshi Tamura Shihan of France on July 9

We have just been notified of the passing of Nobuyoshi Tamura Sensei in France on July 9. Tamura Sensei was one of the giants of the aikido world, and one of the last of the early postwar generation of Hombu Dojo instructors. In his youth, he was one of the leading uchideshi at Aikikai Hombu Dojo under Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba. Tamura Sensei was a favored uke of the founder and can often be seen in the old aikido films of the 50s and 60s.

Tamura Sensei lived and taught in France starting in 1964 and became one of the leading figures in European aikido in both the technical and organizational sense. He authored several books on the art and was frequently featured in the media. Tamura Sensei traveled far and wide during much of his career and his influence was widespread.

Our sincere condolences go out to his family and students on this sad occasion.

Further information in the French language is available here.

Jul
10

“Shugyou,” by Bob Blackburn

“‘Practice the technique 1,000 times and you may learn 10%.’ – Hayawo Kiyama, Daito Ryu Shihan

When you read the quote above, what was your first thought? If it was something like “That is crazy. I can learn a technique long before a 1,000 repetitions let alone only 10% of the technique,” you should consider two things. First, your approach to learning. Secondly, is you may be taking the quote too literally.”

Click here to read entire article.

Jul
09

Recommended reading: “Founder of Aikido (25): The Founder Becomes a Golden Body” 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.

The founder said, “Fine. Let’s start, you with a wooden sword and me empty-handed. Come, try to hit me any way you like.” The officer appeared slightly offended by how small the founder looked when they faced off. He must have seen an opening for the next instant he struck sharply but the founder had swiftly turned his body with perfect finesse. The kendo man then took a more cautious stance and seeing a good opportunity, he again gave a quick blow but his sword came nowhere near the founder. Now the officer was dead serious. He launched a breathless series of lightning-like strikes, but each time Morihei turned out of the line of attack in an easy and lightly flowing manner. At the end, the officer collapsed, out of breath, on the floor.

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Jul
09

Epilogue: “A Personal Journey,” by Charles A. McCarty

For several years I have devoted a significant portion of my time and energy to the study of Aikido, both in the traditional fashion as a student of technique and spirit, and in the unusual form of academic study and research into the philosophical and psychological sources and implications of the martial ways. This synthesis of studies has provided a focus for my future, a motivation toward the realization of my potential to live a meaningful existence and to assist others in their own search for meaning. I expect that the rest of my life will include the study of Aikido and the sharing of it with others.
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Jul
08

“Six Seconds of Precognition,” by Nev Sagiba

“If you have ever experienced déjà vu or had an intuitive foresight that came true, or a kindred experience, you will, if reasonable, be driven to ask questions.”

Magnetic resonance scanning experiments with the living human brain reveal that the brain already knows the decision you are going to make, fully six seconds before you become conscious of it!

This means that the man reading the machine knows what you have decided, before you do, (or have become conscious of it.)

It won’t be long before some major idiot will try to play “god” and try to find “military” potential for this knowledge and then add even more harm to the world than the damage that’s already been done. Hopefully not.

Conversely a positive approach could have equally, if not greater immensity of constructive potential.

Precognition relies on predictability. This is computed from collected knowledge based on experience. Of note, some old warriors, such as Morihei Ueshiba and many of his predecessors, had this ability functioning well, and it enabled their survival in conditions of adversity.
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Jul
08

“Overcoming The Fear Of Falling,” By Neil Ohlenkamp

“While everyone has an innate fear of falling, most martial artists should learn basic falling techniques not only to avoid injury but to better learn the transition from standing techniques to those on the ground.”

Click here to read entire article.

Jul
07

“10 easy steps to determine how healthy you really are,” by Adam Dean

“Most people know how healthy they really are but are uncomfortable with acknowledging it to themselves if they know that they are not as healthy as they should be. No-one else needs to know. However, YOU need to acknowledge it to yourself!

Here are a few simple questions which can highlight your true health. What you look like or what your waistline is often has little to do with your true health. And sometimes, fitness has little to do with health…”

Click here to read entire article.

Jul
07

“My Visit to Budo Yoseikan and Thoughts on Visiting Dojos,” by Mark Sternlicht

During my recent vacation, Aikido Journal published “Morihei Ueshiba and Minoru Mochizuki” by Stanley Pranin. Master Mochizuki founded Budo Yoseikan. Coincidentally, I saw Budo Yoseikan’s dojo in Torrance, CA, where my wife and I were visiting. I stopped in and found Patrick Augé Sensei Shihan, who had studied with Master Mochizuki, teaching a children’s class. He was kind enough to speak to me after class, and I explained that I was visiting from North Carolina, where I study aikido, and asked if I could attend one of his classes while I was in town. He agreed and even offered a gi since I had not packed mine.

A few days later, I returned for the class. I was a bit early, so I had another chance to watch Augé Sensei teaching a children’s class. Beyond technique, he taught the importance of values such as respect, obedience to parents, and keeping promises.
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Jul
06

Recommended reading: “Face to face with Sokaku Takeda” by Yoichi Ozaka

The article below dealing with Sokaku Takeda 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.

He was wearing a checkered summer cotton kimono with a belt wound around his waist. Anyone would think he was a poor peasant judging merely by his appearance. He didn’t look his age which was 72 years. He looked younger and appeared vigorous. He was small, probably less than five-feet tall. I found out later that he weighed only about 100 pounds. Nonetheless, his eyes stared at me fiercely and I had the distinct impression they wouldn’t be satisfied until having penetrated to the depths of my soul.

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Jul
06

“Chaos and Harmony,” by Carl Frederick

“For as long as I can remember, I have been involved with the martial arts. I connected with it, and like a musician to his instrument, I seemed to have a talent which I was able to tap into. I remember my master in Tang Soo Do, very early on in my training, explaining to me the power of martial arts, and in particular Tang Soo Do. He stated that what we are learning was meant for one thing, and one thing only: war. The techniques we were learning were tried and true battlefield tactics, and were meant to kill. But we don’t live in feudal Korea; we live in a world that prefers movie flash to real tactics. The fact remained, however, that what we were learning was deadly, warlike, and chaotic.”

Click here to read entire article.