Nov
14

“Would You Have Fallen Prey to These Real Knife Attacks?,” by Adam Dean

“Knife attacks seem to be more and more common these days. This is likely to continue as authorities place more and more restrictions and controls on the possession of firearms. As has previously been discussed on this site many times, knives are the most common form of weapons used today in attacks, except in the US where a firearm is most common, followed by knife attacks.”

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Nov
14

Kanshu Sunadomari Sensei passes on November 13

Reader Leo Tamaki has notified us of the sad news of the passing of Kanshu Sunadomari Sensei yesterday, November 13. He apparently was active teaching until August of this year.

Sunadomari Sensei was born in 1923 in Kagoshima Prefecture. He began his training under Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba during World War II in Tokyo in 1942. Sunadomari Sensei resumed training in Tokyo after the war, relocating to Kyushu in the early 1950s. He opened his Manseikan Dojo in Kumamoto in 1954, and built an extensive organization named “Manseikan Aikido” centered mainly in Kyushu. He was promoted to 9th dan in 1961. Sunadomari Sensei authored a number of books on aikido, including one in English.

Sunadomari Sensei hailed from a family of devout Omoto believers that was close to Founder Morihei Ueshiba. His sister, Fukiko was a confidante of O-Sensei and “Fujin Bucho” (director of the women’s section) of the Aikikai Hombu Dojo during the 1950s and 60s. Sunadomari Sensei’s elder brother, Kanemoto, wrote the first biography of Morihei Ueshiba published in 1969.

Aikido Journal offers its heartfelt condolences to Sunadomari Sensei’s family and many students.

Photos and comments by journalist and martial artist Leo Tamaki from August 2010:


“Sunadomari Sensei enjoyed practice very much. He had the chance to have a very supporting circle of family and students. (By the way I am seated in the center of the picture with a ponytail)”


“Sunadomari sensei talked with passion about the teachings of O-Sensei and the spirit we have to cultivate.”


“Lately it seems that Sunadomari Sensei took pleasure in playing the harmonica like when he was a boy. He took it on himself to go give concerts to entertain the elderly in retirement homes, even though he was now older than many of the people living there! Sensei kindly played for us classics like ‘Ue wo muite arukou’ (Sukiyaki) each time we came.”

Nov
13

“Absolute Evaluation,” by Shinichi Tohei

“In order to experience our highest ability in an important situation, we need to ‘calm our mind’. For this purpose, we must know where our mind is. If you are getting tense in your body, then your mind comes up to your head or upper body, your posture will be unstable, and you will not be able to use your body as you wish. If you set your mind into the infinitely small point where you cannot put physical tension (one point in the lower abdomen), your posture will be stable and you can use your body as you wish.”

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Nov
13

Recommended reading: “Interview with Nobuyoshi Tamura (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 am sure that there are people who remember that the former Hombu Dojo was a large, old wooden building attached to Ueshiba Sensei’s residence. In the front alcove there was a hanging scroll of a dragon which had been painted using O-Sensei as a model. To the right of the scroll, bokken, jo, wooden rifles (Juken) and training sticks were displayed in a row. There were strips of wood bearing the names of persons holding black belt ranks hanging proudly together one against the other on the right upper wall. On the left wall there was a large sheet of paper on which the dojo rules were skillfully brushed as if fiercely glaring at us.

[Read more...]

Nov
12

Avocados with bad intentions…

Scott Lawski writes: “I was walking home late one night, and I found myself in a less than desirable part of town. It was dark and deserted on the street when I heard a noise behind me. I turned, and there they were. Three of them. Avocado’s with bad intenti…ons.

I’ll not go in to the details overmuch, but all of my training in Silat and everything I learned as a Marine came in to play.

It was quick and brutal combat, but in the end, experience and determination overcame semi-firm fruit. I limped away and made my way to friendlier environments, leaving the bruised and battered berries (which they technically are) leaking their guacamole-like innards into the grime of the mean-streets that spawned them. I’ll never forget that night or my brush with death by fruit-it has burned itself in to my memory like PTSD, and I still wake up screaming from the memories.
[Read more...]

Nov
12

“Why Are White Belt Fighters So Dangerous?,” by Chris Pearson

“Many experienced martial artists believe that, of all the different categories of training partners, absolute beginners are the most dangerous. To outsiders, this sounds like a paradox. Shouldn’t those with the least martial arts training be the least dangerous?”

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Nov
11

“Linda Holiday – A Martial Artist Making a Difference,” by Paul Rest from examiner.com

I asked Linda Sensei this question: “If you could have tea with O Sensei, what question or questions would you ask him?” Linda replied, “When I was in my 20’s I lived for several years in the remote Kumano area of Japan where I trained intensively under traditional Aikido teachers who had studied directly with Osensei. As I studied Aikido with them, I was also immersed in learning Japanese language, culture, and etiquette. In traditional Japan, students do not question the teacher. Rather, they observe, intuit, absorb, and emulate. So when I try to imagine what question I would ask Osensei, my first response is: I wouldn’t.”

Click here to read entire article.

Linda Holiday’s school: Aikido of Santa Cruz

Nov
11

“There is no time and space for Ueshiba of Aikido…,” by Nev Sagiba

What did he mean? I have no idea. But this much is clear: Time and space don’t really exist. Our mind and our design make it appear to be so. So much so that it is real. For us. As real as we make it.

And yet.. Have you ever been so ill that everything runs into one painful long moment where any semblance of time disappears? A person in a dark cell such as sensory deprivation or solitary confinement experiences something similar.

Now, here’s an interesting point. To a person having chosen sensory deprivation, an hour passes in what feels like a minute (especially if you paid good money to access the experience); whereas to a person being detained against their will, an hour can feel like weeks.
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Nov
11

“Self Discipline- The Bedrock of Martial Arts Training,” by Neal Martin

“The problem with this predilection towards laziness and ill-discipline is that it doesn’t serve us very well in terms of achieving our goals and becoming who want to be. If you are training in martial arts for instance, then in order to advance and get good you have the discipline to show up to class and actually train on a regular basis. Showing your face only once in a while is not going to get you anywhere.”

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Nov
10

Recommended reading: “Interview With Minoru Mochizuki (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.

The point which Ueshiba Sensei and Kano Sensei had in common was their “Wa no Seishin” or Spirit of Harmony. It meant a mutual development of the self and the other, you and your partner going forward together. In sports, however, the situation is quite different. In sports it is a case of doing your opponent in and coming out on top as the lone winner. This is the spirit of sport and it will never do. Times have changed and now we hear people asking if the U.S.A. is going to win or is it going to be the Soviets? Talking like that is going to bring about the extinction of the human race. The sporting mentality is going to bring the world to an end because it doesn’t contain the spirit self-salvation and the helping others.

[Read more...]

Nov
10

“Aikido on the mountain,” by Sue Peterson

“Not too long ago, I reconnected with an old college buddy via Face Book. We had lost touch with each other about 25 years ago and as it turned out, we had both migrated from the east coast to Colorado and he was living about 40 minutes away from me!”

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Nov
09

Brian Kagen pick: “Hawaii Karate Museum Collection” from University of Hawaii at Manoa

“The Okinawa Collection of UHM’s Hamilton Library received a major donation of books, magazines and multi-media resources (over 700 books and CDs/DVDs/video tapes) on karate from the Hawaii Karate Museum. With this important donation, UHM Hamilton Library has become a major resource for Okinawan/Japanese martial arts. The majority of the books are accessible at the Asia and East general collections (3rd & 4th floors). Over 260 rare books and journals have been placed in the Asia Special Collections (4th floor). Advance appointments are necessary to use materials in the Asia Special Collections.”

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.