Aug
11

“Aikido cultural norms are obstacles off the mat,” by Jeff Dooley

“As a martial art and the product of Japanese culture, Aikido promotes within its practice communities behavioral norms biased toward non-verbal conflict management and unilateral strategies for saving face both for one’s self and for others. To bluntly challenge another, especially a superior, can be interpreted as disrespect. Yet, for example in the US, such strategies are often seen as evasive, duplicitous, and disingenuous (this does not mean people in the US do not act this way; I think they do despite perhaps a greater espoused tolerance for open verbal conflict). Acting according to these indirect strategies in the US often leads to increasing mistrust, as people grow to expect that the spoken message is a distortion or contradiction of the real message which remains unspoken.”

Click here to read entire article.

Aug
11

Recommended reading: “Morihei Ueshiba, Founder of Aikido (10)” by Kanemoto Sunadomari

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.

Morihei’s attitude during worship in the Omoto shrine in the morning and evening was so sincere and devout that all who lived with him at that time were surprised. Worship continued for many hours with the name of each kami (deity) being called out respectfully and he continues this practice today. The main aim of his study was to explain to his satisfaction the many miracles revealed by the kami that he experienced. He prayed to the kami to grant his wishes. He desired to look into and be convinced of the validity of the kotodama he was taught by Reverend Onisaburo while at work, the holy method of chinkon-kishin and other practices he learned after coming to Omoto and introduce them into the world of martial arts.

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Aug
10

Information on Morihiro Saito Sensei’s foreign travels sought

I would like to request assistance from our readers to help us gather information on the travels and seminars of Morihiro Saito Sensei during his long career of foreign travels. We will post them on our new Morihiro Saito Resources website so that they remain accessible to interested persons. If you can assist us, please provide your information in the following form.

Dates:
City/country:
Sponsor (if known)
Comments: (any particular information that might be relevant)
your name:
your email:
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Aug
10

Brian Kagen pick: “Randori” from Wikipedia.com

“The exact meaning of randori depends on the martial art it is used in. In judo, jujitsu and Shodokan Aikido, among others, it most often refers to one-on-one sparring where partners attempt to resist and counter each other’s techniques. In other styles of aikido, in particular Aikikai, it refers to a form of practice in which a designated aikidoka defends against multiple attackers in quick succession without knowing how they will attack or in what order. This form of randori is not sparring, and the attackers are usually not allowed to resist or attempt to counter the defender’s techniques. The term is used only by Aikikai dojos outside Japan. In Japan, this form of practice is called taninzu-gake (多人数掛け?), which literally means multiple attackers. In kendo, jigeiko means “friendly” free combat as in competition, but not counting the points.”

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
10

“The Perfect Throw,” by Gregor Erdmann

“Being a defensive martial art, aikido works best when confronted by a committed attacker. Although unrealistic, the ultimate attacker is not after your money, is not concerned for their safety and pays no heed to their ego. When their entire motivation is to attack you, the attacker is somewhat blinded to your defense and will not alter their strike or grip during the throw.”

Click here to read entire article.

Aug
09

New DVD launched on Aikido’s first 10th dan, Koichi Tohei Sensei!

The story of Koichi Tohei Sensei’s career in Aikido and his lasting impact on the art!

We are pleased to availability of an exciting new DVD featuring one of the most famous Aikido teachers of all time: Koichi Tohei, 10th dan. This new production is titled Koichi Tohei: Aikido with Ki, and explores the early phase of Tohei Sensei’s career while he was Chief Instructor of the Aikikai Hombu Dojo in Tokyo. This represents the heyday of postwar Aikido and the period when the art experienced steady growth to assume a prominent role among Japanese martial arts.

Tohei Sensei was known for his unique approach to Aikido based on the principles of ki. He devised an elaborate technical curriculum that included a series of ki development exercises in addition to Aikido techniques. Tohei Sensei’s theories and methodology enjoyed a large following with the Aikikai and abroad, especially in Hawaii and the mainland USA. His many publications in both English and Japanese further enhanced his popularity to the point that, by the late 1960s and early 1970s, his fame eclipsed that of the Founder and the Second Doshu.
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Aug
09

Recommended reading: “Kobukan Dojo Era (Part 2)” 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.

In part one, we saw the dramatic effect of the Second Omoto Incident and its aftermath on the life and psychology of Morihei Ueshiba. Many of the ties he had developed over a period of 15 years became instantly severed or pushed into the background due to the persecution by the Japanese government of the Omoto religion. After a period in hiding in the house of the Sonezaki police chief, Morihei was able to resume his life and teaching activities.

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Aug
09

“Toddler Aikido: What I Learned About Parenting From Martial Arts,” by Dunken Francis

“I studied martial arts for many years, and I have decided that raising toddlers is the best possible training in conflict management. As anyone that has studied martial arts (or watched Karate Kid) knows, classic martial arts are about conflict management first, and fighting second. You are supposed to avoid conflict at all costs – avoid ‘doing harm.’ Only under the most dire circumstances are you justified in using your art. The inner self-awareness and control required to do this is partially how martial arts and spirituality became linked.”

Click here to read entire article.

Aug
08

MorihiroSaito.Aikidojournal.com now online!

We have just opened a brand-new website titled “Morihiro Saito Resources” for readers interested in obtaining a wealth of information on one of Aikido’s greatest shihan: Morihiro Saito, 9th dan.

“This website is devoted to a presentation of resources concerning Morihiro Saito, 9th dan, the famous disseminator of Iwama Aikido. It serves as a repository of information of all sorts designed to facilitate the research of those interested in expanding their knowledge of Saito Sensei and his curriculum. Through his many publications and extensive foreign travels, he left a strong influence and high technical standard that remains unparalleled till this day.”

Check our the new website here!

Aug
08

“Awareness in modern life,” by Christopher Littlefair

“So we were talking about ki no sen the other day in Shorinji Kempo and from what I can grasp of this it’s a bit like using your common sense or keeping your wits about you (OK, probably a bit deeper than that but let’s work with ‘awareness’ for the time being!).”

Click here to read entire article.

Aug
08

“Gasshuku at Tenkawa Shrine with Shimamoto Shihan,” by Anna Sanner

Tenkawa Gasshuku

This year (2010), Shimamoto Shihan’s annual gasshuku at Tenkawa Shrine was held on July 24th and 25th. The gasshuku is usually offered to all his affiliated students in Osaka including his home dojo Shosenji in Toyonaka, Yano-Sensei’s dojo at Budokan Hibiki, and Tamayuki-Sensei’s dojo at Namba Parks. This year, Shihamoto Shihan has also invited Kani Sensei, chief editor of the ‘Aikido Shimbun’ (aikido newspaper) and head of a sub-division of the aikikai, and his wife.
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Aug
07

“Beating the Jitters,” by Dr. Randy Borum

“‘How do I get rid of the jitters before a fight (or match)?’ – That is probably the single most common question that martial artists ask me. I sense that many are looking for a dose of magic or a quick fix – particularly because they raise the question within 24 hours of their scheduled competition. Sometimes there are stopgap measures that will help you get over a particular psychological hurdle, but with just a little advance planning you can make a big long term difference.”

Click here to read entire article.