Oct
26

Brian Kagen pick: “Ashley’s Secret: “Aikido Chess,” Review by Michael Jeffreys

“Like with Aikido, you are using your opponent’s movement/energy against him. ‘Okay, he pushed a pawn… now the two old squares it was guarding are no longer guarded… how can I use this to my advantage?’ or ‘His bishop came off of the a2 – g8 diagonal and now his knight is no longer defended. How can I exploit this?’”

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.

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Oct
26

“The Trend towards Cross-Training in Aikido,” by Dave Goldberg

“I am aware of the growing trend of Aikidoka to cross-train in other martial arts. It has received a lot of support over the past few years from some high ranking and influential people in the Aikido world. I find this trend to be really unfortunate for Aikido, and it saddens me that people are being encouraged to go in that direction.”

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Oct
25

“Guide To Training,” by Jerry

“To follow Buck’s excellent post, I thought I’d republish our training guide, which you can also find in a printable format on our class information page.

1. Sink with every movement: Martial arts proficiency depends on a solid base from which to direct energy. Postures should have a continuous structural connection between the base, the waist, and the extension of the arms/hands.”

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Oct
25

Recommended reading: “O-Sensei’s Fame Spreads” by Kazuhiko Ikeda

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.

He sold all his possessions in Tanabe including his house and land and with his wife, Hatsu, moved to Ayabe. He built a home on the outskirts of the city of Hongu and called on Deguchi at the Omoto Headquarters everyday. At that time, Ueshiba was strongly attracted by the personality of Deguchi and deeply respected him as a spiritual guide. He became a personal follower.

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Oct
24

Brian Kagen pick: “George Ledyard on Aiki, Kaeshiwaza, and more”

“One of the biggest problems Aikido has is that somehow it has evolved into an art in which the practitioner strives to understand some very sophisticated techniques and principles while working with a partner who acts handicapped. Ukemi, as it is generally taught, has evolved into something that makes the teacher look good. This is terrible martial arts and really doesn’t require any degree of skill on the part of the practitioner to do technique. If you partner breaks his own balance, disolves his own structure just because his attack missed its target, throws himself simply because he perceived incoming in tent from his partner, no one really has any idea what is going on. The practitioner can’t know whether he actually did the technique or his partner “tanked” for him.”

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.

Oct
24

“Practice,” by The Budo Bum

“Practice. This is the single most important attribute for becoming good at budo. It doesn’t matter how talented you are. It doesn’t matter how nature gifted you with strength and speed. Without regular, ongoing practice, you won’t be good. Period.”

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Oct
24

Recommended reading: “Interview with Robert Nadeau” 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.

Robert Nadeau was 22 years old when he boarded a ship bound for Japan. His odyssey brought him face to face with the founder of aikido, Morihei Ueshiba, who would remain a constant source of inspiration and guidance to the young foreigner. A full-time aikido instructor in Northern California for over 30 years, Nadeau reminisces about his early days in budo and the evolution of his unique body and spiritual training methods.

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Oct
23

Recommended reading: “Fundamental Principles of Aikido” 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 selection of the topic for this article came about as the result of a very kind letter from a totally unexpected quarter: Minoru Mochizuki Sensei of the Yoseikan Dojo in Shizuoka. Mochizuki Sensei’s letter was in response to the editorial I wrote in the last issue entitled “Suggestions for the Elimination of Abuses in Dan Rankings”. I was asked to elaborate on my view of the essential nature of Aikido in light of the subject covered in the above article.

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Oct
23

“A KIND WORD AND AN OPEN FIST,” by Ralph Pettman

“If anything above sounds obscure, then this is to be expected. The spiritual dimension of aikido is the hardest to talk about. It is hard to say anything about the spirit or the soul without using religious-sounding language. This language talks about people’s most diffuse feelings. It talks about big questions like “what is God?” or “what does God want?” It puts these feelings into words and it answers these questions with words, but words alone are not really adequate to the task.”

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Oct
22

“What Really Works,” by Nev Sagiba

People will talk at length about Aikido and how invincible someone else was using it.

You invite them to face a real fighter and suddenly they are doing Aikido for “spiritual reasons.”

Well, it either works or it does not.

The trouble is that there are all sorts of things being passed off as “aikido, ” but undefined as to what this word really means.
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Oct
22

“All Roads Lead to Tai No Henko,” by Jeff Dooley

“The Bay Marin Aikido dojo was empty this morning, just half a day after 100-odd aikidoka bowed out with Saito Hitohiro Soke to end his two-day seminar in Northern California. I had expected students to show up for noon class today with renewed enthusiasm, ready to practice what we had learned over the weekend, but as the noon hour chimed the parking lot remained empty.”

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Oct
21

Aikido Journal presents Nobuyuki Watanabe, 8th dan, at 1987 All-Japan Aikido Demonstration

We have just uploaded a demonstration by Nobuyuki Watanabe Sensei on youtube. Watanabe is an 8th dan instructor at the Aikikai Hombu Dojo in Tokyo, Japan. He is known for his soft, no-touch style of aikido that leaves viewers scratching their heads wondering about his technique. This particular demonstration from 1987 is closer to a more traditional style where the usual aikido techniques are easily recognizable. Watanabe Sensei’s demonstration here takes place around the time he was featured prominently in two “Do Sports” tv documentaries that greatly expanded awareness of his approach to aikido.
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