Brian Kagen pick: “Re: YouTube: Golden Center Sword,” by George Ledyard via

“While I am a consistent critic of Aikido with no “aiki”, that physical, muscly, art that is simply application of strength against weak lines of the opponent, at least there is something there going on that’s real. It won’t work against someone stronger or better trained than you are and it lacks any real depth but it is “real” in what it is. I know, I trained that way for years myself.”

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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  1. bruce baker says:

    Indeed, the goal of Aikido is not to overpower your opponent,or practice partner with Physical Force or Muscle them into submission for whatever technique you are practicing and yet .. there will be a time when you encounter someone who is trained who seems to anticipate your movements is is like a sack of potatoes or a statue.

    Maybe we should rig up a life sized 200 pound crash test dummy and practice some of our techniques? If nothing else … it would teach both the student and the teacher about the logistics of moving a non-living object that is much heavier than a living object in motion. Therein lies much of the secret of Aikido, a living body that responds with movement is much easier to move than a dead weight.

    And yet .. there are secrets to marshall your physical strength beyond the normal boundaries of what you think your body can do, if not only for a few seconds, it will be enough to start the motion a thereby reduce the amount of energy you will expend for the entire exercise of practicing a technique or … for defending yourself.

    The practice of Aikido is an attempt to martial and control this combination of Body, Mind, and Spirit into a living breathing example of physical control of not only your opponent… but of yourself.

    Don’t get me wrong, all the different styles of martial arts attempts to teach this in their own way, but each style takes a different road to reach this goal.

  2. I really enjoyed your comments, truth sometimes hurts but good can come of it.
    I believe that O-Sensei gave us Aikido as a physical form (way) to reach where he was coming from. Many people just do not do the hard yards physically to get there, take serious shortcuts, and it shows in their style and technique. I believe you must go through the physical over and over again for many years, to get to the spiritual. If you cheat or by-pass this process then you are just fooling yourself and will not be able to fight your way out of a paper bag. Sadly many high grades have by-passed the physical and have gotten too airy-fairy (almost pot smokingly high) in their viewpoint of Aikido. Grab their wrist hard and they collapse, unable to do anything but flounder and try to hit you to get away. Wake up people, if O-Sensei wanted you to be airy-fairy he would have given you chants, prayers, incantations to perform, not physical Aikido. Fight on Aikido lovers, train hard and true, you will eventually find more. Good luck on your journey.

  3. Having read the piece I had to look at what had annoyed Sensei so much. Followed the links and could instantly see why. Dreadful crap. Nothing here was Aikido as I know and practice it. It’s a pity that all over the world there are people who dance around the mat and have some hippie ideal that they are in touch with O’ Sensei because they are doing what he did. I have met some that unfortunately if I was to practice with normally they would break. I am not a bone breaker by any means but I do believe Aikido is a martial art and before one reaches the level of Sensei Leydard you must train hard and physically. Then you can choose whether to explore the ”Magic” of Aikido or not.
    I have had people to move away from me and others from our dojo as they thought we were rough and threw too hard. Some were Sandans! Little do they realize that we had toned down our usual style to their level so that we wouldn’t hurt them. The level of ukemi that some students practice is poor to say the least. I don’t blame them I blame the so called teachers they have. If you follow the links on aikiweb there is one vid that would be laughable were it not for the fact that people will see it and judge Aikido by it. It’s the one with Two Masters- their term not mine. All the vids from this group are dreadful but the Masters in the title makes this even more so.
    Having seen Sensei Leydard and studied his dvds I can get why he is pissed off having seen this stuff. I can only imagine what would happen to these misguided fools and the students unlucky enough to follow them in a real class. I know in one of mine they would spend most of it sitting in the corner as with the ” skills ” they have there is no way they could take part in any but the basics and even then they would be poor.

  4. So far above comments are on the money…no Aiki bunnies wanted here…and keep your bullshido to your self.

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