Recommended reading: “Interview with Todd Jones” by Ikuko Kimura

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]t’s a good observation because many people plateau. They stop challenging themselves. Unfortunately, many very talented Sensei fall into that trap. It’s easy to get lazy. One of the reasons, even at fifteen years old when I started aikido, I realized that gosh, this is really something I could do at eighty or ninety years old. So I knew that someday I would not be able to do side kicks seven feet in the air anymore, not that they are practical anyway, but because of the nature of aikido practice, you can do it your whole life. We’ve seen it many, many times. How many Tae Kwon Do or karate masters do we see doing kumite at eighty or ninety years old? You don’t. You see ippon kumite, you see kata, and that’s great, because they can still convey and teach the concepts that are necessary for their students. But it’s kind of like gymnastics… if you study gymnastics from the time you are three until you’re sixteen, unless you go to the Olympics, you’re pretty much done. In aikido that’s not true.”

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  1. I’m in my 60’s now and have been doing aikido since 1974. I hope to train all my life. My students think I’ve learned something. Maybe so, but I don’t think I’ve “mastered” aikido. I just seem to have more questions and only the universe to ask. It’s a little bit like “how many numbers are there between zero and one”?

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