Aug
27

Recommended reading: “Psychology of Combat” by James Williams

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 pleased to see a review of the book Bloody Iron in Volume 24, No. 3 of Aikido Journal. Here is a book that speaks plainly about the reality of conflict with edged weapons in circumstances involving lethal force. The authors, both long time residents of some of Americas finest prisons, describe in detail the prison environment as regards to the edged weapons conflict that is a part of daily life. The nature of such situations is presented graphically so that there will be no mistake as to their grim reality. There is much to learn in this volume and perhaps some of the information can give insight into the training that was necessary for the feudal era warriors of Japan.

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Aug
26

“Aikido Classics” — Five Aikido Masters on One DVD!

Would you like to see the most famous Aikido figures of all time demonstrating their technique in their primes? This incredible program, titled Aikido Classics, Vol.:1: Postwar Greats, contains rare video footage of aikido’s greats: Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba, Second Doshu Kisshomaru Ueshiba (son and successor of the Founder), Gozo Shioda (Founder of Yoshinkan Aikido), Koichi Tohei (former Chief Instructor of the Aikikai Hombu Dojo who later established the Ki Society), and Morihiro Saito, one of aikido’s preeminent technicians and author of many important books on the art.

Below is a detailed look at the amazing contents of this one-of-a-kind DVD:

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Aug
26

“Wrestling With Devils And Angels,” by Nev Sagiba

The whole of Budo is for dealing with adversity. From the very first beginning, adversity was present.

The exercise of arguing against a cause or position, not as a committed opponent, but to determine the validity of the cause or position, is an ancient practice. In the end, if valid, it strengthens the position. If not, it starts the search for other approaches that may work better.

From the late Middle Ages, this practice became known as Devil’s Advocate. From the Latin Advocatus Diaboli. The supporter was called Advocatus Dei – ‘God’s Advocate’. Interestingly The Devil’s Advocate’s formal title was Promoter of the Faith (Promotor Fidei).
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Aug
26

“Stretching…,” by Steve Wildash

“To be honest it only seems like yesterday that I turned Thirty and had all the energy and fitness I could ask for, now nearly 20 years on and approaching 50 things are somewhat different these days. Training is defiantly harder going and my flexibility is somewhat reduced and try as I might I just cant do the things I used to be able to do.”

Click here to read entire article.

Aug
26

Recommended reading: “Morihei Ueshiba and Gozo Shioda” 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.

When it comes to showing aikido to the general public in a way both attractive and easy to understand, Gozo Shioda stands alone. He combines a lucid analysis of aikido theory with crisp technique and a liberal dash of humor. The observer of a Shioda aikido demonstration is almost invariably caught up in the mood of the experience and is ready to join an aikido dojo without the least bit of coaxing. Moreover, Shioda never fails to acknowledge his teacher Morihei Ueshiba and the fact that aikido evolved from the techniques of Daito-ryu aikijujutsu. In part seven of this series, Aikido Journal’s own editor-in-chief, Stanley Pranin, relates some of the highlights of Shioda’s fascinating career.

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Aug
25

“International Aikido Peace Week announcement,” by Paul Linden

“September 21 is the United Nations International Day of Peace. Every year, hundreds of peace-oriented organizations worldwide celebrate that day with thousands of Peace Day events. Aiki Extensions (an international nonprofit organization dedicated to the application of Aikido principles in daily life situations) is organizing International Aiki Peace Week, and we would like you to join us. Aikido schools around the world are joining the global collaboration by teaching free classes paced for beginners, focusing on Aikido as a joyful practice of reconciliation, compassion, and nonviolence.”

Click here to read announcement.

Aug
25

“Top 10 Things Not to Stress About in Martial Arts,” by Matthew Apsokardu

“Here is something I say with confidence – martial arts can be unnerving! It’s not all butt kicking and black belts, after all. While I’m no master, I HAVE experienced (and seen others experience) a few common concerns that seem to crop up during martial arts training. Have a read through these top 10 stressors, and hopefully, I can help you shrug a little weight off your shoulders.”

Click here to read entire article.

Aug
24

Koichi Tohei’s trip that never was: “Aikido Master to visit U.S.,” by Stanley Pranin

One of our readers, Mark Murray, sent us information about articles and announcements concerning Koichi Tohei’s early visits to the U.S. appearing in Black Belt magazine. Of particular interest was a news blurb appearing in the May-June 1964 issue of Black Belt reporting Tohei Sensei’s planned U.S. tour scheduled to last a full year starting in April 1964. In checking subsequent issues of the magazine, no articles were found documenting Tohei Sensei’s U.S. tour.

I was puzzled at first because I frequently trained at the Los Angeles Aikikai in 1964 and don’t remember Tohei Sensei visiting at all. Instead, he made the tour the following year in 1965, a visit I remember clearly as it was on that occasion that I received my shodan directly from Tohei Sensei.

Click here to read the Black Belt news announcement on koichitohei.aikidojournal.com.

Click here to view information on new DVD featuring Koichi Tohei, 10th dan.

Aug
24

“The Element of Suprise,” by Markos Markou

“For stand up fighting (punching, kicking, clinch work and stand up grappling) as you progress with your martial arts and spar for a few years, not only will you improve(hopefully) but your sparring partners will also improve. This is great, however, it will become much harder to be successful during sparring. There may be times when you spar without striking your opponent at all.”

Click here to read entire article.

Aug
24

Recommended reading: “Aikikai Hombu: Doshu and Moriteru Ueshiba” 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.

There are some groups which have become independent whose instructors have trained at the Hombu Dojo and which wish to receive ranking from here at a later time. Since Aikido is a path of harmony, we would like them to get along with each other. If everyone were to declare himself the head of a different style, the Aikido world would consist of a number of isolated, rival schools and could not be united. The act of attempting to win recognition only for oneself is against the spirit of harmony and can only be criticized. If the Aikido world becomes united, society’s view of Aikido will become higher. It is important for us to cooperate with each other and make an effort to take a bold leap. This is democracy, isn’t it? A dictatorial approach is unsuitable. I think we should all unite under the banner of Morihei Ueshiba.

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Aug
23

Recommended reading: “Interview with Kanshu Sunadomari (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.

This is because those who teach don’t explain the spirit of O-Sensei. It is a matter of teachers having a goal while teaching Aikido. In the Manseikan I teach techniques which focus on the spirit of the Founder, Morihei Ueshiba. I always talk about this and I emphasize and express the spiritual side of 0-Sensei in the “Mansei Newspaper” which is a monthly publication. Without this, Aikido has no value other than as an old-style martial art. The spirit during training must emerge through actual techniques not in the form of idealistic words.

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Aug
23

“Every Moment Is An Opportunity,” by Christopher Caile

“The greatest of all the truly wonderful gifts that life gives us is freedom in each new moment. Unfortunately most people never recognize they have this gift. Instead they are too focused on something else – mesmerized by habit, occupied by responsibility or driven by their emotions or wants.”

Click here to read entire article.