Feb
22

Recommended reading: “Aikido” by Fumiaki Shishida

The article below by noted professor/martial arts historian, Fumiaki Shishida, 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.

This article was written for a sports encyclopedia by Sensei Fumiaki Shishida, 7th Dan. Shishida Sensei is a Professor at Waseda University, Tokyo, where he instructs Tomiki Sensei’s original Aikido Club. He is Shodokan Aikido’s Shihan for the Kanto, or Western Japan. In addition to his duties as a professor and as an Aikido sensei, Shishida Shihan is also a noted martial arts historian, focusing on the first half of the 20th Century.

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Feb
22

“For Anonymous,” by Rory

“Not all the comments make it to the comment section. I personally only ever delete obvious spam, but occasionally I get an e-mail notice and the comment isn’t on the blog, so I assume the author deleted it.

A recent one wanted to share a criticism: that I focus mostly on ambush and he has felt it far more likely, for him, for things to get physical because he chose to intervene in a third-party situation.

First thing- I hope the comment wasn’t withdrawn out of fear of my reaction to criticism. Sure, I may go off into a dark room and cry a little, but that won’t come out on the blog. No one needs to know.”

Click here to read entire article.

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Feb
21

Recommended reading: “Aikido: A Restatement of Universal Truths” 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.

It will come as no news to long-time readers of Aikido Journal that we make a constant effort to keep alive and vibrant the figure of aikido founder Morihei Ueshiba. One of the reasons for this is simply a fascination with the events of his adventure-filled life—a life that lends itself to endless inspection from a multitude of perspectives. Another reason is the fact that, to my knowledge, no other rigorous, ongoing effort is being made to preserve and disseminate the life and work of Morihei Ueshiba. This is all the more surprising when you think of how successful aikido has been internationally.

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Feb
20

Morihiro Saito Sensei: “An inspiring teacher sharing his encyclopedic knowledge!”

Morihiro Saito Sensei, 9th dan, in action!

Imagine being able to turn back the clock and be present at a seminar given by an Aikido great of a bygone era. Imagine being taught by Morihiro Saito Sensei, 9th dan, up close and personal and being able to understand every word he speaks in English. Imagine no more as this opportunity does indeed exist! Think of the possibilities to improve your Aikido practice and teaching skills!

The “Lost Seminars” featuring Morihiro Saito Shihan, 9th dan!

Feb
20

“Duty and Responsibility,” by Teh Beng

“Sensei has just gone back. Yet the burden which is not a burden has not lighten in the slightest. In this 3 weeks that he has been here, he has taught us much. Some I have seen, some totally new. Whilst I can say that I have learned much in the time he was here, there are many things left that I have to learn. Not just the refinement of Aikido waza and tai sabaki, but also the principles and foremost.. the matters of the heart.

In Budo one requires 3 things:
1. Self Abandonment
2. Self Sacrifice
3. Duty and Responsibility”

Click here to read entire article.

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Feb
20

“To Take A Life,” by Nev Sagiba

The Buddha’s advice on killing?

The Dhammapada expresses this sentiment succinctly:

“All tremble at the rod. All hold their life dear. Drawing the parallel to yourself, Neither kill nor get others to kill..”

Dhammapada V 130
“Seeking one’s own happiness, he, who harms other sentient beings, will not experience happiness hereafter. Seeking one’s own happiness, he, who does not harm other sentient beings, will experience happiness hereafter..” (Dhammapada vv. 131-132).

The Sutta further advises a transformation away from these violent contexts through self-reflection and by the active practice of non-violent means:

“Let me kill no-one, let no-one kill me…”
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Feb
19

Recommended reading: “Interview with Yoshio Sugino” by Stanley Pranin

The article below with famous swordsman and student of Morihei Ueshiba, Yoshio Sugino Sensei, 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 about 1932, I visited Ueshiba Sensei’s newly-built dojo in Wakamatsu-cho through an introduction of Konishi Sensei and saw O-Sensei’s technique. I felt that his technique was really great and became an ardent admirer. I also studied Katori Shinto-ryu. The Founder of the Kodokan, Jigoro Kano, encouraged his high-ranking students to study other Japanese traditional martial arts because he thought that Judo alone was insufficient. So he sent a messenger to the Katori Shinto-ryu dojo. Katori Shinto-ryu is a dojo as well as a school which has a history going back about 600 years.

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Feb
19

“Fundamentals; It’s Always About Fundamentals,” by L.F. Wilkinson

“Last couple of Saturdays we’ve spent the class covering multiple attack(s) training. The Tomiki Ryu has a greater focus on individual (toshu or hand) randori but when the mood strikes we’ll bunch up and go after it; or as an old S. Texas saying goes, ‘All you big guys line up and all you little guys bunch up; it’s time to dance.’

Multiple attacks (in my view) provide a window into the Aikido players’ head in that some uke attack with full vigor, others with less vigor and others holding back as if they are concerned about the ukemi; their not knowing with certainty the exact type, configuration or force the fall (they are getting set to take) will contain.”

Click here to read entire article.

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Feb
18

Recommended reading: “In My Own Way: Early days as an uchideshi in the Yoshinkan” by David Lynch

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.

Taking a line through my various sensei, it is impossible to avoid major contradictions in the philosophical bases upon which their different organizations have been built, in the training systems, and even in the aikido techniques themselves. Human life is a complex thing and differences between people can be vast, so perhaps it would be strange for different teachers and organizations not to develop different approaches. What I found difficult initially, though, was the fact that many of the sensei and their followers would insist that their system was right and the others were wrong. I admit I was quite demoralized at first when, shifting from one dojo to another, I was told that what I had been doing in the previous dojo was entirely wrong.

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Feb
18

“The Teacher,” by Marc Abrams

“The role of the teacher is a complex and difficult role to fill. Many different skill sets and personality characteristics help to shape the type of teacher that a person becomes. I have spent a lot of time thinking about this topic over the last couple of weeks and would like to share my thoughts with you.”

Click here to read entire article.

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Feb
17

Morihiro Saito: Aiki Ken and Jo in Japanese, English and French!

LEARN AIKIDO BUKIWAZA FROM MORIHIRO SAITO, 9TH DAN!

We are now offering the outstanding Aiki Ken and Jo DVD set by Morihiro Saito Shihan in a multilingual edition. When viewing the DVDs, you can choose to listen to Saito Sensei in the original Japanese or your preferred voiceover in English or French.
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Feb
17

Recommended reading: “Interview with Seiichi Sugano” by Fuyuo Nanaura

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 found it difficult to understand [O-Sensei] when he used Omoto ideas and doctrines to explain aikido, because they were very vague. Someone with a deeper knowledge of Shinto probably would have gained a better understanding than I did. He was speaking in Japanese, of course, so I understood the words, but it was the way he expressed things that was difficult to understand. It was difficult to follow his logic, to feel that I had really grasped his meaning in a coherent way. In the same way children may not understand precisely what their parents are saying, even though they do in a general sense. O-Sensei was also from a different era, so he communicated in a somewhat different way.

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