Archives for December 2010

Dec
26

“Who are you?,” by Gregor Erdmann

“If you have attended any Kokikai Aikido seminars before, you would have heard Maruyama Sensei stress the importance of ‘being natural’. This natural state is about identifying who you are physically and mentally. It requires one to strip away the layers created out of fear, ego, anger etc.”

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Dec
25

“Gendai Budo, A Balancing Influence,” by Nev Sagiba

Gendai-Budo is the label used to indicate the “softened” budo training following the post Meiiji Restoration – i.e., after 1868 which instead of existing for military preparation, Kobudo, has continued to exist as a heritage of personal discipline for self improvement.

Aikido, Judo, Kendo and other so-called “modern” budo are considered gendai budo. However, all budo have origins in kobudo and still contain the same potentials, albeit now covered or dressed up in a “softer” façade appearing to leave out the deadly potentials.
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Dec
25

“Counter riposte,” by Christopher Littlefair

“This made me think of something we worked on in boxing a week ago and that is to continue the attack even when your opponent is attacking. In other words parry and attack (in this case punch) a the same time. This tactic can of course yield great results but often in our kata work and one step techniques we can overlook this by assuming: block, punch, block, punch in sequence. If we don’t understand the forms we can step through them in quite a linear fashion. The boxing counter punch is almost simultaneous.”

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Dec
24

Merry Christmas from Aikido Journal!

The Aikido Journal staff and I would like to take this opportunity to wish all of you who celebrate Christmas a wonderful holiday! We hope that you will be able to spend quality time with your family and loved ones. We wish you, also, a very Happy New Year, and wonderful things for 2011!

Stanley Pranin and the AJ Staff

Dec
24

“Review: Surviving a Traditional Dojo,” by Bob Blackburn

“As you might gather from the title of the e-book, the first half of the book covers what to expect before and at the very beginning of your training. Chapters on What is a Traditional Dojo, Beginners Mindset, Gi and Obi, and etiquette will help make the student’s transition into a tradition dojo much smoother. Many useful pieces of information that would have been nice to have when I started.”

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Dec
23

Recommended reading: “Interview with Thomas Makiyama” by Norm Ibuki

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 learned aikido for the first time around 1947 or 48. I was attending two or three different classes a week in jujutsu and karate, mainly because of my duties and my small size. From what I had read judo was great stuff, though of course I found out later it ain’t necessarily so. All martial arts were banned at the time, so I had a hard time locating a teacher.”

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Dec
22

Recommended reading: “Morihei Ueshiba and Isamu Takeshita” by Stanley Pranin

The article below on the relationship between Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba and the famous Admiral Isamu Takeshita 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.

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Dec
22

“Does an 8-year-old’s black belt reflect on mine?,” by Serpentstaff

“It’s a much-discussed topic on forums, blogs, and in pubs after workout, whether the widespread awarding of black belts to children in some styles—and for that matter, the churning out of black belts of all ages by ‘black belt mill’-type schools—dilutes or cheapens the value of the black belts the rest of us feel we’ve legitimately earned.”

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Dec
22

“Introduction to Daito-ryu Aiki-jujutsu,” by Guillaume Erard

“It is the end of week one; I am training like a lunatic, trying to emulate the dedication of Philippe Gouttard now he has left Tokyo. While I am enjoying the 30 minutes break between the Doshu s and Yokota Sensei s class, I see approaching a tall, well built gentleman who looks kind of familiar. I must admit that this impression is quite common when you practice at the Aikikai because of the numerous famous individuals that roam the premises. Still, the man stepping on the mat that morning looks even more familiar than that… In fact, I will soon realize that the gentleman is in fact Olivier Gaurin, long time student at the Hombu Dojo, author of many books and true martial researcher with whom I had worked via email when he wrote a very interesting article for Aikidoka Magazine.”

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Dec
21

Recommended reading: “Founder of Aikido (40): This Old Man Must Still Train” by Kisshomaru Ueshiba

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 social climate was such that people rejected martial arts as if they were an enemy of democracy. The food shortage caused a decline in our physical strength making hard training difficult. The sad state of the public transportation system created hardships for those who came for morning training. As a result, there were usually fewer than ten people attending morning practice and the average was only two or three. If the weather appeared threatening, no one would turn up.

Aikido Journal Online has the world’s largest archive of Aikido-related material including articles, interviews, photographs and video clips. As an Aikido Journal Online subscriber you will have access to a variety of website resources reserved exclusively for members. These include:

  • Full access to the ever-growing Aikido Journal archives consisting of more than 650 articles.
  • Full access to Stanley Pranin’s “Encyclopedia of Aikido” featuring some 900 entries with over 200 rare photos.
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Besides these advantages, by becoming an Aikido Journal Online subscriber, you help support our staff in its continuing work of researching and documenting the history of aikido, Daito-ryu aikijujutsu, and related martial arts.

Finally, we are pleased to offer two free gifts for those readers who subscribe or renew for two years. In an effort to avoid any duplication of gift items, we have expanded the options to choose from. Click here to find out more information about our subscription/renewal options.

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Dec
21

“Martial Arts Training Tip #62,” by Kris Wilder

“The negative thinking of, all or nothing, is an absolute killer. You will know this behavior by these words rattling around in your head, ‘Always, Never, Can’t, Every Time.’ All or nothing thinking is associated with negative thinking. ‘Oh, I always do that!’ when you make a mistake, or ‘I’ll never get that right.'”

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Dec
20

Discount sale of “Aiki Budo” featuring Morihei Ueshiba at 50% off!

Weekly Discount Sale Starts Now!

Our weekly sales of Aikido Journal DVDs at a 50% discount continue today with one of the most exciting selections from our catalog! Aiki Budo, featuring Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba in 1935 at age 51 is now available for 24 hours for only $19.95.

This is the incredible film shot in Osaka at the Asahi News Dojo. The fact that this film survived the fire-bombing of World War II is a miracle in itself. You will see O-Sensei in his physical prime executing a wide array of empty-handed techniques, multiple-man attacks, and defenses against the juken (wooden bayonet). This is the only known prewar film of the Founder. It was shot in 16mm, and is of excellent quality and includes a soundtrack.

This DVD also includes a lengthy documentary section with video and audio recordings of several prewar Aikido figures commenting on their remembrances of the Aikido Founder. Among those who appear are Kisshomaru Ueshiba, Gozo Shioda, Rinjiro Shirata, Takako Kunigoshi, and Kiyoshi Nakakura. You will be fascinated!

Order link for Aiki Budo” featuring Morihei Ueshiba in 1935

Product description for “Aiki Budo” featuring Morihei Ueshiba in 1935

This offer can only be accessed through the link above. Please click on the “Order link” to access your discount, place the item in your shopping cart, and proceed to checkout.

The 24-hour clock starts NOW!

Thank you!