Sep
24

“On Forging,” by Dave Goldberg

“In the most basic terms, that is what a training pattern on a path of mastery looks like. There are many who never really get to the ‘forget’ part, which is a shame, but that is a future topic. Forging is the focus of most peoples’ training, and that’s why I’m writing about it first. I think that ‘forging’ in the context of our training is a little misunderstood and slightly misleading. I think the problem is that we all seem to follow the model of sword forging for obvious reasons of history and lineage, and that is normally interpreted as something we do to steel in order to create something more refined, strong, and sharp.”

Click here to read entire article.

Sep
24

Recommended reading: “Interview with Rinjiro Shirata (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.

The Aikido Journal archives now include more than 800 articles in twenty different languages and numerous video clips. We are constantly adding new articles and translations in our effort to document aikido and related disciplines past and present. If you would like to support us in this effort by taking out a subscription to the Online Aikido Journal we welcome you to do so by clicking this link. Remember that if you subscribe or renew for two years you will now receive the Aiki News / Aikido Journal Archival DVD absolutely free of charge. Don’t pass up this special offer!

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Sep
23

Mitsunari Kanai on O-Sensei from upcoming “Aikido Pioneers – Postwar Era”

“I think that O-Sensei is the man who was able to underpin the ideal of brotherly love with security. That is to say, his art has a person move back and forth between life and death, to experience enlightenment of the self, and to express love for mankind. It was in this sense that he was different from previous martial art practitioners.”

The above comment by the late Mitsunari Kanai Sensei is excerpted from our upcoming “Aikido Pioneers – Postwar Era,” to be published soon. It will contain interviews with 21 of the leading figures of the Aikido world from the postwar period. Stay tuned for more information.

Click here for information on the recently published “Aikido Pioneers – Prewar Era.”

Sep
23

“Managing A Break In Your Martial Arts Training,” by Michele

“As an instructor, I have been notified by email, phone, voice mail and face-to-face when a student is taking a break in training. There have been instances when a student just stops coming to class. I will only find out later, when I run into them in the grocery store or at the mall, they are taking a break. The conversation sounds something like this….”

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Sep
23

“A Solid Foundation,” by Nev Sagiba

“A piece of paper, a coloured piece of cloth
and a long list of names is proof of nothing.”

Imagine this: You commission a builder to build you a house. He does not put foundations in. Even before you move in, the building starts to tilt and properly accredited, duly experienced builders make comments and ask questions.

You question the guy who built it. He replies, “Well, I believe it has a good chance of standing in the event the wind may come up, but we really can’t tell because I’ve never really had to build a house. But look, I don’t really build so that people can live in houses. I have a philosophy, and I dabble in building for spiritual reasons and because I really love architecture and shapes…”

Of course, you move in after paying him double because of the nice shape and what he says are his spiritual aspirations.

Then you need a security guard. He tells you his brother is one.

After the house falls on you, you would definitely hire this man’s brother to conduct your security. It really warms your heart when he tells you, he’s never really had to confront anyone, and he’s in favour of Gandhi’s approach of sending hundreds of people in to get beaten up, in the name of “passive resistance.”

You would pay him double too. Of course. And when he asks you for that amount for each of the hundreds he proposes to send in, in the event of a real situation happening, to get beaten over the heads with clubs, you would cheer and wish you had a money tree. As you do.

Of course you would.

Well, I would not!
[Read more...]

Sep
22

“Slapping: The Lesson,” by Bob Patterson

“Rather than repeat the same stuff we do in class, for this new school I’m trying to only blog about that which is new or interesting. We’ll see how that goes. For learning purposes it often helps me just to type out what we did the night before. Anyhow, I think I’ll try it this way for the time being.”

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Sep
21

“On Training and Injuries,” by Buck Pittman

“Much has been posted over the years on training and the inevitable injuries that follow. Aikido has its roots in brutal martial arts designed to kill and maim, tested and refined under combat over centuries. Despite Aikido’s goal of harmony and non-injury, it remains a very powerful martial art that can cause serious injury in short order.”

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Sep
21

Recommended reading: “Sticks and Stones Will Break Your Bones: A Look at Jo and Bo” by Meik Skoss

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.

One of the nicer things about both the staff or stick, to my way of thinking, is that they are pretty innocuous; i.e., they are not immediately, or invariably, lethal. Most weapons used in the classical Japanese martial arts are meant to kill or to cause serious injury. One can, however, use the bo or jo to subdue an opponent without causing permanent damage, although they are still capable of dealing with more “deadly” weapons, and overcoming them if need be. Lastly, they can, in extreme cases, be used to lethal effect, so there’s a great degree of flexibility in response, a better solution both morally and legally.

[Read more...]

Sep
20

Recommended reading: “Sokaku Takeda in Osaka” by Tokimune Takeda

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.

Here I would like to record the relationship between Sokaku Takeda and the city of Osaka. This relationship also has a deep connection with both Morihei Ueshiba and Takuma Hisa who were the most outstanding disciples of Sokaku Takeda. First, I would like to describe how it was that Sokaku came to teach Daito-ryu in Osaka.

[Read more...]

Sep
20

“Techniques and Arts,” from Budo Bum

“At practice last night, while we were doing iaido, there were some no-gi grappling guys using another piece of the dojo for their practice. Being a judoka, I’ve rolled around with them a little bit, and they are good at what they do. They study individual techniques for take-downs and submissions, and they can apply them in sparring quite well.”

Click here to read entire article.

Sep
19

Recommended reading: “Interview with Ikkusai (Hajime) Iwata, Part 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.

At that time I was staying in Tokyo in a place similar to present student dormitories, which was called Kojosha at the Shuyodan [a private school where the cultivation of mind and spirit is pursued]. The superintendent was Kenzo Futaki Sensei who was studying at Morihei Sensei’s dojo and was also known as a brown rice enthusiast. He also took on the role of father for all the students there. I did my own cooking for the first time in my life, using brown rice. Since it was a place for moral training, life was really strict. We got up at six in the morning and the person in charge cooked breakfast for everybody. We started our meals after we recited a pledge to pursue “Diligence, training and friendship.”

[Read more...]

Sep
19

“Aikido Stick Figure Photo,” by Jack Wada

“The stick figure in the photo is something Robert Nadeau sensei put on the black board at Aikido of San Jose’s original location in Japan town. At the time Nadeau sensei was doing a lot of workshops at Esalen. This was put on the board and left there, indicating perhaps that it had some lasting significance. So much so that I took a camera and preserved it as a photo.”

Click here to read entire article.