Aug
22

Brian Kagen pick: “World War II combatives,” from Wikipedia.com

“Distinctions between World War II combatives and modern combatives include: 1) The former tends to be proactive by attacking the attacker, whereas the latter is generally reactive with specific defenses to specific attacks. 2) The former is based upon explosive high percentage gross motor strikes to vital targets, whereas the latter is based upon fine motor skill grappling. 3) The former seeks primarily to disable the enemy as quickly as possible at all costs, whereas the latter seeks primarily to build “warrior ethos” and the courage to close with the enemy.”

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.

Aug
22

“Aikido as a Tool for Positive Personal Transformation,” by Marc Abrams

“I am back home from celebrating my teacher’s (Imaizumi Shizuo Shihan) 50th year in Aikido. A number of years ago, Imaizumi Sensei and I were walking back to my house from a hike and in our discussion, he told me that his ‘shrine’ to Aikido were his students. That statement stayed with me and led me to come up with a gift from all of Shin-Budo Kai to present to Sensei at his celebration banquet. I solicited from former and current students stories, vignettes, etc. as to what impact Imaizumi Sensei had on their lives. Steve Self, from Durango Shin-budo Kai took those submissions, along with photos of Sensei and turned them into a beautiful book that we presented to Sensei at the celebration banquet (9/19/09). Those reflections re-affirmed my belief that Aikido can be a powerful tool for positive, personal transformation.”

Click here to read entire article.

Aug
21

“Reality Based Weapons Training,” by Adam Dean

“Do you train weapon defenses, counters and use, realistically? What weapons do you use in training? Wooden swords? 6 foot staff? Swords, staffs and spears were used on battlefields many years ago and once, were the weapons mostly used in combat. Today, the weapons used on the streets and inside homes are much different, more compact and easily concealed.”

Click here to read entire article.

Aug
21

Recommended reading: “O-Sensei’s Weapons Legacy” 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.

The reasons no other high-ranking teacher had attempted to broach the subject of Aiki weapons were little understood at the time. Still today a great deal of confusion persists over what emphasis the Founder Morihei Ueshiba actually placed on weapons and when and whom he taught. In fact, many instructors and advanced students the world over practice iaido (live-sword drawing) thinking that there exists a historical relationship between Aikido and Iaido or that the use of the sword in the two arts is similar or complementary. In some dojos, proficiency in the use of the live blade is required on examinations for dan rankings.

[Read more...]

Aug
20

“FINDING A TEACHER,” by Janet

“Over the past 14+ years, I’ve paid dues at five dojos. If you ask why, there was a specific reason for each change, all under the heading of ‘my evolving understanding of what I wanted to learn.’ Only recently have I come to see that a related issue is that I was looking for a teacher and only finding instructors.”

Click here to read entire article.

Aug
20

Recommended reading: “Founder of Aikido (42): Passing On” 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 1959 the publication of the “Aikido Shimbun” (Aikido Newspaper) began. When the first issue appeared the Founder was in an unusually good mood and jokingly encouraged us to make the newspaper become as big as the Asahi or Yomiuri publications. The Founder published his oral “Dowa” and “Dobun” serially each month until just before his death. They left a deep impression on the minds of readers.

[Read more...]

Aug
19

“Shoji Nishio (1927-2005): Aikido’s Innovative Genius,” by Stanley Pranin

“Born in 1927 in Aomori Prefecture, Nishio made his way to Tokyo as a teenager to work just prior to the outbreak of the war. He soon took up judo at a local dojo in order to improve his frail physical condition. When the war ended, training in martial arts was severely limited by the occupation forces and the famous Kodokan Judo headquarters had all but ceased operations.”

Click here to read entire article.

Aug
19

“Aiki: The Ethic of Non-Imposition,” by Nev Sagiba

The Buddhas and wise people highly recommend non-infringement where interference is not requested. The reason for this is that the results generated lead to an entangled mess.

Whilst some cultures took this to the extreme and misunderstood non-imposition to mean to not ever intervene, and on this basis not assist other living beings based on a complacently resigned view of so called “karma;” others never learned to stop interfering in the affairs of others at all.

But cause and effect is more complete than such extreme views. It enables credit as well as debit and there is right and wrong action as well as right and wrong inaction. Knowing the difference comes from clarity of mind. Sometimes less is better, other times more.

What is “right?” and what is “wrong?”

Right begets harmony. Wrong begets discord.
[Read more...]

Aug
19

“The Yoga of Aikido and Zen,” from swordmountain.org

“We begin with the rigid forms of uke and nage, perfecting what it is to be each, seeing how adopting the form defines the interaction within different circumstances.

In some cases practitioners are satisfied with this basic practice of forms, but sometimes the practice evolves to experience the fluidity between the forms. In time, perhaps the practice may evolve to include the formless itself.”

Click here to read entire article.

Aug
18

“6 Steps for Self Defense,” by Bob Blackburn

“When you hear Self Defense, what do you think of? Many will think of firearms, pepper spray, or martial arts classes. But, these should be the last step in self defense. Throughout history, society has used walls, moats and other barriers as a defense or deterrent. Personal self defense should also start with deterrents. Predators will go after the easiest target. This goes for wildlife and human predators. The less you look like easy prey the better. This will reduce your chances of being attacked; but, unfortunately it can not eliminate it.”

Click here to read entire article.

Aug
17

“Excuses…excuses,” by Elizabeth Castor

“About a month ago, I overheard an exchange between sensei and another student. Sensei asked the student to reach up a little higher to achieve the proper unbalancing that makes the technique smoother. The student did so, but laughingly remarked that uke was pretty tall and she was pretty short and that made it hard to accomplish. Now, I can’t remember what sensei’s exact reply was, but he said something along the lines of ‘tough… you’ll have to get used to it. No excuses.’”

Click here to read entire article.

Aug
17

Recommended reading: “Takemusu Aiki – Lectures of Morihei Ueshiba, Founder of Aikido (1)”

The lecture below by Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba 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.

Aikido Journal is pleased to publish the first of a series of lectures by Morihei Ueshiba, the founder of aikido. These talks were transcribed and edited by Hideo Takahashi of the Byakko Shinkokai (see interview in AJ115) and originally published as Takemusu Aiki in 1976. The importance of these lectures as the primary source of reliable material on the spiritual views of Morihei Ueshiba cannot be overstated. [Read more...]