Oct
31

Review of “The Heart of Aikido, The Philosophy of Takemusu Aiki,” by Robert Noha

“Among many Aikido books that exist today, Takemusu Aiki has a special place. It focuses on the spiritual message of the founder, a message that needs to be appreciated and understood wherever Aikido is found.”

Review of “The Heart of Aikido, The Philosophy of Takemusu Aiki”
By Morihei Ueshiba
Foreword by Moriteru Ueshiba
Originally Edited by Hideo Takasahi
Compiled and Translated by John Stevens
Published by Kodansha International
ISBN 978-4-7700-3114-3
144 Pages
Publication Date March 10th, 2010

Introduction

This is the newest installment in a series of recent books about the life and teaching of Morihei Ueshiba, O-Sensei, Founder of Aikido.  These books include the “Secret Teachings of Aikido,” “A Life in Aikido” (both published by Kodansha) and “Aikido Pioneers” published by Aiki News. “The Heart of Aikido” is compiled from a series of lectures O-Sensei gave to a spiritual group called Byakko Shinko Kai (White Light Association).  The group was founded in 1955 by Masahisa Goi (1916-1980), a close friend of O-Sensei.

“It is an organization dedicated to world peace and to raising the consciousness of everyone and every living being on earth.  Its activities are rooted in the universal prayer for world peace, ‘May Peace Prevail on the Earth’ as advocated by the late founder, Masahisa Goi, as well as other powerful forms of easy to practice spiritual techniques.”  (Quoted from the Byakko website, www.byakko.org).
For those interested, the practices are described on the website under the Education and Learning Center Tabs.

The Byakko Shinko Kai was an outgrowth of the Omoto-kyo movement, which heavily influenced Morihei Ueshiba and the philosophy of Aikido.  Goi Sensei was a member of two groups that grew out of Omoto-kyo.  The first, Sekai Kyusei Kyo (Church of World Messianity) was founded by Mokichi Okada (1882-1955) in 1935.  The second, Seicho-No-Ie (The Home of Infinite Life, Wisdom and Abundance) was founded by Dr. Masaharu Taniguchi (1893-1985) in 1930.
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Oct
31

“More on OODA: Hick’s Law or ‘Burger King…Have it your way!,” by Kevin Leavitt

“A couple of post back I was discussing Boyd’s OODA loop and how it applied to fighting. Within that loop we have to make a DECISION (the ‘D’ in OODA). In getting ahead of our opponent in the OODA loop we need to make a fast, instantaneous decision. The more choices or options we have to reach a decision, the slower we will ACT on that decision. In a fight where split second decisions must be made, do we really have room to make a conscious decision at all?”

Click here to read entire article.

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Oct
31

New book by Ki Aikido Instructor and Consultant: “Seven Arts of Change,” by David Shaner

“Many businesses try to change…but few succeed. At best, a few buzzwords and new reports become part of the company’s structure. At worst, programs crash and burn, and everyone becomes irreparably disillusioned with the revolving door of new-mission statements. According to David Shaner—a business consultant with a 100% success rate of change at companies including Duracell, Frito-Lay, Ryobi, and Gillette—the problem is that the implemented changes don’t address either individuals or the corporate culture. They’re only on the surface.

Combining lessons drawn from four decades of Aikido with knowledge gleaned from his 30-year consulting career, Shaner merges Eastern philosophy with Western business savvy to present his ‘Seven Arts of Change’ (including the Arts of Preparation, Relaxation, and Compassion), showing how individual adjustments from CEO down can transform a company. Using exercises, strategies and real-life examples to show how to awaken the untapped potential in any organization and every person within it, Shaner shows how to create change built to last.”

“The Seven Arts of Change”
Author Biography

Oct
30

“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.
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Oct
30

“A Rant About Rank,” by David

“I find that recently I have been having frustrating feelings towards the budo I practice.

In three weeks I shall be testing for nikyu in Aikido. As much as I always feel that I am not good enough for my grade, I do acknowledge that I usually exceed the standard set for each grade I take (although that is a whole other mess of crap that I won’t get into).”

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Oct
29

Recommended reading: “Interview with Swordmaster: Kiyoshi Nakakura (1)” by Stanley Pranin

The interview below with Kiyoshi Nakakura Sensei 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 have never been aware of anything which has proved to be useful for Kendo techniques directly. However, I think that Ueshiba Sensei’s foot movements were very useful. Also, I think that it is thanks to Aikido training that I do not become disturbed when facing an opponent. I have come to develop the strong conviction that I will never be beaten by anyone no matter how strong. This is thanks to Aikido.

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Oct
29

“Kote gaeshi: how to counter it,” by Dan Djurdjevic

“Introduction

Given that I’ve just analysed the application of kote gaeshi (wrist out turn throw/projection/lock) I thought I’d discuss methods of countering it. But before I do that I thought I’d first clarify what kote gaeshi is (in other words, the purpose of this technique).”

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Oct
28

“Make Some Noise!,” by Felicia H.

“Meet my dog, K. I introduced him (here) about a year ago, but today I learned a valuable lesson while walking the dog I didn’t want: the importance of using your voice and how necessary it is to sometimes stand your ground.”

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Oct
28

Recommended reading: “Founder of Aikido (38): Training in the Way and Farming in Iwama” 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.

About that time the Founder secretly traveled to the continent accompanied by his student Mr. Tsutomu Yukawa in compliance with the wishes of Lord Fumimaro Konoe and others. They were to be part of the process of laying the groundwork for peace negotiations with China. The reason for this attempt at peacemaking was that Japan was going to be forced to divide its war potential due to the entry of the United States Into the war. The miltiary suddenly decided to seek to conclude a peace with Chiang Kai-shek in order to withdraw from the fighting on the continent. Probes were made and groundwork laid through all possible routes. The Founder took part in these efforts and journeyed to China. Those in power were hoping to use his broad range of friends and acquaintances towards this end.

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Oct
27

Daily newsletter takes an unintended break!

We apologize to all of those who look forward to our daily newsletter in the form of a digest containing links to the latest blogs, dojos, events, etc. The last newsletter to go out was on October 22. The culprit turned out to be our ISP which recently merged with another company and changed all of their DNS servers. The code triggering the newsletter was pointing to a server that no longer existed! If all goes well, you will get your newsletter today, and then normally thereafter.

Again, we are sorry for any inconvenience caused!

Stanley Pranin

Oct
27

Recommended reading: “Interview with Shigemi Yonekawa (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.

I had previously studied Judo, but since this art appeared almost completely different from Judo, I mistakenly thought it would be a lot of fun. However, it turned out that I bit off more than I could chew. Before taking the seminar, I had some experience taking ukemi (breakfalls) in Judo. So at the seminar, I helped out and Sensei handled me with great ease. As a result, I became very interested and thought that this was something I’d really like to study. So when I asked what would be the best thing to do, I was told that the fastest way to learn would be to become an uchideshi (live-in disciple). Then I requested Mr. Akazawa’s help and he asked Sensei’s permission, and so I entered as an uchideshi.

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Oct
27

“Freeze, Fight, Flight and Martial Arts Training,” by John Law

“This is the first of two posts that describe the wonders of the human response to stress. Many people in martial arts refer to the stress response (or freeze, fight or flight) in a pretty negative manner. ‘Adrenaline dump’ is a term used to highlight a detrimental natural phenomenon that needs to be overcome during a self-defense situation. In fact, the stress response involves a complex integration of the body’s systems involving a powerful mix of neural and hormonal factors, preparing the system for survival.”

Click here to read entire article.

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