Oct
21

“Day 10: Fight!,” by David Shevitz

“An unexpected bonus today on the mat: not one, not two, but three guest instructors arrived on the mat!

The first two were not unusual. Greg and Shari are two instructors who live in Yakima, WA. They are great folks, and deeply knowledgeable about aikido and martial art training. Greg, in particular, has over three decades of karate experience, and has the dubious honor of beating the heck out of me as I was training. That may sound cruel, but it wasn’t. I refused, for the longest time, to really acknowledge that my uke was trying to attack me. Greg had no problems letting me know that he fully intended to land the punch, kick, or grab. I learned quickly from him how important it was to be ready prior to the attacker’s movements–out of all the lessons I have learned in aikido, I think this was the one I most needed. I am very grateful to him for that.”

Click here to read entire article.

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Oct
20

Aikido History 101 continues…

More of the best of aikido history for your study and edification!

Many of you are by now aware of our offer of a free download of Stanley Pranin’s lectore on aikido history. Over 300 readers have opted in and are studying or have recently completed listening to the lecture.

We want to continue to educate our readers about the subject we are so passionate about: the life and work of Morihei Ueshiba, Founder of Aikido. Here is a paragraph taken from our email to aikidoka who have finished the first part of the course consisting of the 4-hour lecture.

“… We have some good news for you. We have prepared a selection of articles from our extensive archives that deal in great depth with many of the subjects touched upon in Stanley Pranin’s historical lecture. We affectionately refer to this material as “Aikido History 101,” as a reading of these articles will give the budding historians among you an opportunity to deepen your knowledge of the roots of aikido. We can assure you, the historical truth of Morihei Ueshiba’s path in pursuit of the creation of aikido is far more interesting than the many myths that have sprung up around him.”

We will be providing the links to a total of five important historical articles that will really bring you up to speed on the life and times of O-Sensei that culminated in the birth of aikido.

You need to get in on this course and expand you knowledge while we are still offering these materials!

Click here to opt-in for the audio lecture followed by the five-article series.

Thanks!

Oct
20

“Awareness: A Soldier’s Experience,” by Terry L. Bryan, Kyoshi

“I have traced my family back to 990 A.D. and throughout the years our family served as soldiers much of the time. My ancestors fought in the Crusades in the 1200′s, and served against the Scotts during the 1300′s. In the 1500′s my ancestors fought beside William the Conqueror and even served as a bodyguard for King Henry the 8th. In the 1600′s we were sent to America for taking sides with Ireland. We continued to serve in the Revolutionary war and the war of northern aggression. Family members served in all the world wars including my Grandfather in World War Two and my father in Korea. I guess it should be no surprise that when I turned 18, I enlisted in the armed forces and headed for Viet Nam.”

Click here to read entire article.

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Oct
19

Aikido Journal presents Hiroshi Isoyama at 1987 All-Japan Aikido Demonstration

We have just uploaded an excellent video clip to the AikidoJournalOnline video channel that features Hiroshi Isoyama Sensei’s performance at the 1987 All-Japan Aikido Demonstration. Isoyama Sensei, an Aikikai 8th dan, is known for his powerful technique executed with great gusto. He was for many years a favorite at the All-Japan Demonstrations for his breathtaking overhead slam throws, always garnering loud applause.

Aikido Journal interviewed Isoyama Sensei in issue #119. You can read the article here.
[Read more...]

Oct
19

“The long lost Goshin Jutsu kata post,” by Patrick Parker

“Several months ago I had a great, extended blog discussion with some of my blogospheric Tomiki Aikido buddies about the nature of the Judo exercise titled Kodokan Goshin Jutsu. This discussion went on for week after week and spilled over at least three blogs that I can think of right off the bat. If you have good endurance, you can click on the Goshin Jutsu tag below and read through them, but if you just want a summary, the discussion basically went something like…”

Click here to read entire article.

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Oct
19

Linda Holiday Sensei’s 40 years in Aikido

Hello Aikido friends!

It’s less than a month until we celebrate Linda Holiday’s 40 years of Aikido practice, along with 41 years of Aikido in Santa Cruz! I’m sending this friendly yet urgent reminder regarding our creative collaborative project–a Memory Book for Linda!

We need anecdotes, photos old and new, artwork, poetry, whatever the muse moves you to do. We all lead busy lives, but I invite you to take a moment, and think about the ways that Linda has influenced your life, & the lives of others…and then consider a way to express your thoughts.

Emails stack up, this one will be followed by countless others, so I’d like to suggest that you write yourself a note right now–a reminder to spend a few minutes tonight, or this week-end, putting something together. It can be simple! But please give it a little thought, and then irimi! Roll with it! Blend your ideas, and then….

send it to: Aikido of Santa Cruz, 306 Mission St., Santa Cruz, CA 95060

or email it to: info@aikidosantacruz.org

Oct
18

“The Open Hand Guard,” by Markos Markou

“Boxing, before MMA was considered the world’s number one combat sport. The idea of two fighters gloved up in order to slug it out was most popular. However, when MMA did finally make an appearance it took over boxing as the world’s number one combat sport. It also brought more into the public eye, finger less gloves, which also brought to the attention of some, the open hand guard.”

Click here to read entire article.

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Oct
17

“Collecting, preserving, and publishing Aikido’s heritage,” by Stanley Pranin

I have been actively involved in aikido for 48 years. About 12 years after starting my practice of the art, I began to take a serious interest in the collection of historical materials about the Founder Morihei Ueshiba and the creation of the art. Without my realizing what was happening, this became a passion and the substance of what started out as a humble newsletter, then a magazine, and finally this website.

To be sure, this is a niche market, if not a micro-niche. No one knows how many people currently practice aikido, but certainly there are at least a few hundreds of thousands, perhaps even more than a million. Of those, what percentage considers a study of the roots of the art as an important part of their training? I don’t profess to know, but I do know it is to this audience I have addressed my work all these years, and it is these people who have sustained my continuing research activities. I can’t imagine what my life would have become had it not been for this strange mix of happenstance.

There will always be newcomers to aikido. Of these, a few will display an interest in the fascinating odyssey that culminated in the creation of Morihei Ueshiba’s art. The material available here on Aikido Journal will provide the answers to many of their questions. Due to the miracle of the Internet, only a good dose of curiosity, a few strokes of the keyboard, and a bit of reading, is all it takes to become knowledgeable in this subject.

As much as we have published all these years, there is even more material that remains in unpublished form: hundreds of thousands of photos, hundreds of hours of film and video, a mountain of untranslated documents and articles. It is unrealistic for me to assume that we will be able to finish the task of organizing and publishing all of these materials during the time I have left on this earth. Still I am optimistic that we will be able to significantly increase the number of publications beyond the considerable amount that has already seen the light of day. Our ability to achieve this end will depend to a great extent on our ability to harness the viral power of the Internet, and on your level of engagement as devotees of aikido. Please join with us!

Now here are your assignments… I already have mine, and am struggling under their weight!

If you have not already done so, sign up to receive my free 4-hour lecture on aikido history.

Also, have a look at the covers of the 119 issues of Aiki News/Aikido Journal that were published over a 26-year period. Then, seriously consider a two-year subscription or renewal to this website. You get a bunch of free stuff with this, including all of the magazines ever published!

Thanks for listening!

Stanley Pranin

Oct
17

“What Does Uke Want?,” by Mary Stein

“There’s a mystery in aikido about the role of uke, the attacker. When I’m uke, what is happening? What do I intend? Is my intention always the same? Is there a beginning, middle and end to the process of ukemi with subtle differences as the technique progresses? What is going on here, anyway? In my own case, there are different answers to that one, and they are all right or partly right at different stages of my understanding of aikido.”

Click here to read entire article.


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Oct
16

“Shinshin Toitsu Aikido for Children,” by Shinichi Tohei

“I began training Shinshin Toitsu Aikido when I was two years old. Although I do not remember much about the training when I was two, I do remember very well that I have been taught by Koichi Tohei Sensei the way of holding Bokken since the days of my earliest recollection.

When I was a young child, I did not think about the purpose of training, but now I think that it was meaningful for me to have trained since early childhood.”

Click here to read entire article.

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Oct
16

Recommended reading: “Morihei Ueshiba and Kisshomaru Ueshiba” 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.

Our article on aikido for this issue of Wushu focuses on Aikido Doshu Kisshomaru Ueshiba. As the son of aikido founder Morihei Ueshiba, Kisshomaru succeeded his father as Doshu upon the former’s death in April 1969. As we will see, the role of Kisshomaru Sensei in the postwar development of aikido has been one of extreme importance, and the present image and status of the art both in Japan and abroad is directly related to his efforts. It goes without saying that various other prominent aikido sensei such as Gozo Shioda, Kenji Tomiki, Koichi Tohei, and Morihiro Saito to name only a few have made significant contributions to aikido’s prestige, but Kisshomaru Sensei as “Doshu” and the major decision-maker of the “mainstream” of aikido has been in a position to leave a strong personal stamp on the art.

[Read more...]

Oct
15

Recommended reading: “Hiroaki Kogure Sensei: Part Two” by Stanley Pranin

The interview below with Hiroaki Kogure Sensei one of the leading exponents of Tomiki Aikido 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 think, in fact, that there are two ways in which we use kata techniques. the first is in set groups for demonstration, and the second way uses the same techniques in condensed and abbreviated patterns derived from competition, in form of free practice. there is also another form, randori. Tomiki Sensei always conducted kata style free practice with, of course, randori style movement in mind. from this period, Tomiki Sensei began conducting various experiments such as putting on protective gear, or executing techniques against karate practitioners, boxers, or Sumo wrestlers.

[Read more...]