Oct
10

Brian Kagen pick: “Kathleen Bloom – A Martial Artist Making a Difference,” by Paul Rest

“Kathleen began her martial arts training in Seattle at the Seattle School of Aikido. Moving to California brought many changes in her life—three children, an undergraduate degree and graduate school but alas no time for Aikido. She notes that there were “years of ballet and yoga, but nothing could replace Aikido as a path of transformation. Not just physically, but spiritually as well. I was hungry to return to a dojo.”

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.

Join us on Facebook

Oct
10

“Dealing With Lawsuits,” by John Vesia

“Every now and then I’ll go down to train at a local school. This place does some cross training in other styles in addition to karate which I think gives this club a fresh perspective from a traditional dojo. I know one of the owners, he never charges me, so I don’t wear out the welcome. I must confess though, one reason I like to drop in is to see what kind of clientele shows up. I don’t know what it is, but this particular venue seems to be a magnet for some strange types now and then.”

Click here to read entire article.

Join us on Facebook

Oct
09

Recommended reading: “Interview with Doshu Kisshomaru Ueshiba (2)” 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.

During his later years, rather than teach, my father demonstrated movements which were in accord with the flow of the universe and unified with nature . Thus, it was a matter of students watching his movements, learning them by themselves, in that way understanding his technique. He wasn’t deeply concerned about teaching students… his movements were so spontaneous and natural. I think we should attain that point in the end. But since we have dojos, we tend to think in worldly terms, how to get people to come, how to develop a lot of strong students… and we get these egotistical, selfish things as a matter of course. But this was not the case with the Founder.

[Read more...]

Oct
09

“Know Yourself,” by Gregor Erdmann

“As I have mentioned in my previous articles, Aikido is a martial art which derives its effectiveness through the ability to adapt, change and be flexible. By spontaneously creating technique based on principles of non-attachment, non-contention, yin and yang, the aikidoka is able to transform aggression, almost as a means of expression or art.”

Click here to read entire article.

Join us on Facebook

Oct
08

Brian Kagen pick: “7 Samurai Myths,” from the spaciousplanet.com

“The popular image of the Japanese Samurai warrior as a well educated, spiritual and honorable gentlemen does not tell the whole story. Each generation tells the story of the Samurai according to its own values and attitudes rather than based on history. Some common myths about Samurai include…”

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.

Join us on Facebook

Oct
08

“Why we train,” by Dan Djurdjevic

“Some of you might be familiar with Freud’s theory that humans are subject to the competing instincts of Thanatos (death) and Eros (life). The former makes you want to lie down and do nothing, the latter to get up and achieve something. I have often found this paradigm a useful analysis of the human condition. Rarely a day passes where I don’t experience conflict between these instincts.”

Click here to read entire article.

Join us on Facebook

Oct
07

Recommended reading: “Morihei Ueshiba and Admiral Isamu Takeshita” 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.

One of the fascinating aspects of the study of aikido history is the many important figures from a large-cross section of Japanese society that one encounters. Throughout Morihei Ueshiba’s long life he had close relationships and contact with many extraordinary individuals not only from the world of budo, but also from political, military and financial circles. One person in particular, though largely unknown to practitioners of aikido today, played an essential role in the spread of this art in prewar Japan. His name was Admiral Isamu Takeshita.

[Read more...]

Oct
07

“Beyond Martial Arts: 3 Essential Steps Towards Personal Security,” by Lucas Gregson

“Most adults feel incredibly capable of functioning in their day to day activities. They have bought insurance, put locks on their doors and generally adhere to the standard commonsense notions of maintaining their personal security. Occasionally they will be caught unawares and become the victim to some form of crime. After bemoaning the loss of their wallet or iPod, they will either assume that they could not have avoided the burglary or will step up their precautionary measures and go back to feeling safe and prepared.”

Click here to read entire article.

Join us on Facebook

Oct
06

“The Lessons of Empathy,” by Nev Sagiba

More than anything else, Budo training teaches empathy. If you can dish it out, you can take it in equal measure. Otherwise don’t.

Aikido, more so, researches the finer nuances.

How many times have I experienced big, tough, macho, sissies frightened of the small woman in the class, because when they escalate, she reciprocates. It still has not sunk, and for some fools, it takes a long time.

But that’s the rule of the dojo. Your escalation is a request to match the intensity.

Respect is paramount. Lack of self-respect is reflected in lack of respect for others.
[Read more...]

Oct
06

Recommended reading: “Interview with Morihiro Saito Sensei (3)” 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.

People think light of basics and are attracted to fancy techniques. Also, nowadays one cannot be regarded as good unless he does fancy things. Otherwise a teacher won’t attract students. It’s wrong for a martial artist to try to make a living from students’ tuition by teaching budo. A martial artist shouldn’t be worried about his personal financial situation. Otherwise, he will end up giving ranks to weak students, or if someone brings him something he will give him special treatment and be biased in his favor.

[Read more...]

Oct
06

“Common Sense Self-Defense for Women,” by Felicia H.

“Some day, I’d like to instruct self-defense classes for women. Eventually, that means certification, I suppose, but between Fight Like a Girl, R.A.D., S.A.F.E. and other systems, there are a lot of different types of programs out there, it seems. I think I know what the type of course I want to teach should contain, but I haven’t quite found it yet. So I’m still looking.”

Click here to read entire article.

Join us on Facebook

Oct
05

Recommended reading: “Aiki: A State of Union” by Ellis Amdur

The article below by Ellis Amdur 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 the 1920′s Morihei Ueshiba Sensei taught his martial art to a group of high-ranking military officers, among whom was Admiral Isamu Takeshita. Some years ago, I spoke with Masao Muto Sensei, a noted kobudo teacher and researcher of Japanese martial history, who possessed a copy of Admiral Takeshita’s diary of his training sessions. According to Muto Sensei among Ueshiba Sensei’s statements quoted in this diary was the following: “Aiki is a means of achieving harmony with another person so that you can make them do what you want.”

[Read more...]