Archives for April 2011


O-Sensei’s iriminage from “Budo” book!

The “Iriminage” technique of aikido is considered one of the crowning jewels of the art. Many consider the technique to be an original creation of Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba. It is a powerful and sophisticated movement of great beauty. We have created a photo album on Facebook with images of O-Sensei performing this technique together with another set of Morihiro Saito performing the same one. Below is the accompanying description of the technique. Both of these are extracted from Morihiro Saito’s “Budo” book available as part of this week’s special.

1-2. When your partner grabs your left wrist firmly with his right hand, put ki energy into the fingertips of your left hand and turn your palm upward. Take a large step to your partner’s right side with your left foot, while extending your left hand diagonally to the right. Then grab your partner’s right wrist with your right hand and release your left hand from his grip. At the same time, turn your body to the right 180 degrees and look in the same direction as your partner.

3. Hold your partner’s collar from behind with your left hand. The Founder said on this point, “Bring your hand toward your chest.”

4. Step through with your right foot and throw your partner as though pushing his neck down with your inside right elbow.

5. Be stable and stay in a correct hanmi position after throwing your partner. Put ki energy into your fingertips and protect yourself from any further attack.

Click here to view O-Sensei’ iriminage photo album on Facebook

Click here for more information on O-Sensei’s “Budo” book and to obtain it together with Morihiro Saito’s companion DVD as part of this week’s Aikido Journal special


Recommended reading: “The Nature of Modern Martial Arts” by Kenji Tomiki

The article below written by Kenji Tomiki, a top martial artist and educator and student of both Jigoro Kano and Morihei Ueshiba, 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 famous duel on Ganryu island between Musashi and Kojiro Sasaki is one example. Kojiro was, despite his youth, one of the best swordsmen of the western region of Japan, while Musashi, though a middle-aged man, was known to be the best in the eastern region. People were curious about which of the two was strongest, and so the duel on the island was set up.

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What does this man have to do with Morihei and Aikido?

A lot it turns out… This man was named Prince Tsunenori Kaya, and he was a member of the collateral branch of the Japanese Royal family. The famous “Budo” technical manual that we often allude to was prepared specifically for Prince Kaya, who would later ascend to the rank of Lieutenant-General in the Imperial Army.

Prince Kaya had a fascinating career and was also an avid sports fan and loved baseball. He even met famous baseball player Babe Ruth during a world tour he made that included a visit to the United States. Prince Kaya was also fond of the martial arts and became the honorary president of the Kokusai Budoin (International Martial Arts Society) from 1953-1957.

Morihei Ueshiba maintained a connection with Prince Kaya even after the war. He is an example of yet another member of the elite of Japanese society of the prewar era who supported Morihei and helped insure the birth of aikido.

We have prepared a free pdf file containing the entire introduction to “Budo” by Morihiro Saito that documents the history of this important technical volume that stands as a milestone in Morihei Ueshiba’s technical evolution that culminated with the creation of modern aikido. Saito Sensei carried this book with him wherever he went to demonstrate the pedigree of the techniques he was teaching.

Download free pdf file containing the entire introduction to “Takemusu Aikido Special Edition: Budo” written by Stanley Pranin.

Click here for more information on how you can obtain Morihiro Saito’s fascinating commentary on the book “Budo” and the accompanying DVD which comprise this week’s special.


Weekly Special! O-Sensei’s “Budo” DVD + Book at $24.95

This week’s special includes two treasures for those interested in studying directly the techniques taught by Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba. The first item is a fascinating DVD titled “Budo” by Morihiro Saito, 9th dan, that is a recreation of all of the 50 techniques of Morihei Ueshiba’s 1938 training manual “Budo.” This video is a gold mine for aikidoka desiring to go to the source and familiarize themselves with the actual techniques executed by the Founder, rather than the various derivative forms seen today.

The second product, titled Takemusu Aikido Special Edition: “Budo,” expands upon the contents of O-Sensei’s “Budo” manual, and contains the same material in book form. This manual by Saito Sensei takes you through the execution of O-Sensei’s techniques in great detail with numerous notes describing the evolution of the Founder’s thinking from the prewar to the postwar era. “Budo” the book, contains hundreds of photos of both O-Sensei and Saito Sensei demonstrating, and breaks down each technique for you in easy-to-follow steps.

Click here for more information and to order this week’s special.


“Learn and Forget!”, by Nev Sagiba

I think we’ve fallen a long way behind those ancients, who at least regards combat, had half a clue about what they were doing.

Some people think they have to intellectually “learn techniques” and others like to imagine that untrained simplification will be sufficient. Then we have the academic masters of opinions and also the sports contest specialists.

Sporty mindsets will not save you in real combat. I’m not talking about some little old lady or someone half your size raising their voice, but real and deadly attack outside the cozily predictable protection of “the ring” with its single and unarmed opponent. The paradigm of sport is riddled with the bending of context. We all know what these fake constructs are. If you don’t, I can’t help you. Find out while there is still time for you.
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“Interview with Yukiyoshi Takamura” 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.

Some aikido teachers talk a lot about non-violence, but fail to understand this truth. A pacifist is not really a pacifist if he is unable to make a choice between violence and non-violence. A true pacifist is able to kill or maim in the blink of an eye, but at the moment of impending destruction of the enemy he chooses non-violence. He chooses peace. He must be able to make a choice. He must have the genuine ability to destroy his enemy and then choose not to. I have heard this excuse made. “I choose to be a pacifist before learning techniques so I do not need to learn the power of destruction.” This shows no comprehension of the mind of the true warrior. This is just a rationalization to cover the fear of injury or hard training. The true warrior who chooses to be a pacifist is willing to stand and die for his principles. People claiming to be pacifists who rationalize to avoid hard training or injury will flee instead of standing and dying for principle. They are just cowards. Only a warrior who has tempered his spirit in conflict and who has confronted himself and his greatest fears can in my opinion make the choice to be a true pacifist..

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O-Sensei’s amazing aikido on DVD!

I have been involved in aikido for 48 years now. Most advanced students and instructors I have come into contact with express great admiration for the founder of aikido, Morihei Ueshiba O-Sensei. For most, he represents the highest level of skill so far attained in the art. If this is so and you, too, aspire to greatness in the art, why not investigate exactly what O-Sensei was doing, technically speaking? Fortunately, many priceless films of the founder have been preserved and are available through Aikido Journal. Why not make the commitment to take your skills to the next level by scrutinizing the amazing art of Morihei Ueshiba?

Stanley Pranin
Editor-in-chief, Aikido Journal

We have released the last installment of the Morihei Ueshiba video series titled “Divine Techniques,” which completes the set of six DVDs on the life and technique of the Founder of Aikido.

Click here for information on ordering the complete 6-volume set of DVDs at more than 30% off the retail price.
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“An Introduction to Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu,” by Stanley Pranin

Sokaku Takeda in action, Osaka 1939

We present here a link to “An Introduction to Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu,” an article excerpted from Stanley Pranin’s Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu: Conversations with Daito-ryu Masters, published in both English and Japanese editions, the first book to appear on this subject. This book is one of two volumes comprising Aikido Journal’s Weekly Special together with Kyotaro Deguchi’s authoritative biography of his grandfather, “The Great Onisaburo Deguchi.”

Click here for more information and to purchase this week’s special on Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu and the Omoto religion.

Click here to read Stanley Pranin’s article, “An Introduction to Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu.”


“Close Quarter Combat Lesson from a Sniper,” by Jeff Anderson

“For anyone familiar with the objective of a sniper, you know that it all comes down to basically one thing…

…one shot — one kill!

And of all the considerations that go into this one objective, the single most important factor, even more than calibre of the projectile, is TARGETING!”

Click here to read entire article.

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Weekly Special: “Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu & the Omoto religion”

We have another outstanding offer for you this week in the form of two essential books for every serious aikidoka. The first is Stanley Pranin’s Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu: Conversations with Daito-ryu Masters, the first book in any language published on the subject of Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu, the main technical influence on Morihei Ueshiba’s aikido. Our second book offering is Kyotaro Deguchi’s excellent biography of his grandfather, The Great Onisaburo Deguchi. Onisaburo, the co-founder of the Omoto sect, had a tremendous impact on Morihei Ueshiba, both in terms of his spiritual views, and as one of Morihei’s greatest supporters. Deguchi played a pivotal role in launching Morihei on his career as a professional martial artist that would culminate in the creation of aikido.

Click here for more information and to order this week’s special


Donations to Restore O´Sensei’s Iwama Dojo


As you know, the Founder’s Dojo in Iwama was severely damaged in the Japan earthquake that occurred in March of this year.

Aikido Doshu, Moriteru Ueshiba, has decided to restore the Dojo. This is important, since the Dojo must be preserved for the future. Together with the Aiki Jinja, it is unique in the Aikido and Budo world. This is where O´Sensei completed Aikido, and we always have had a close relation to Iwama.

The restoration will take 4–6 months and is, of course, very expensive. This initiative of accepting donations is taken to appeal to the Aikido world for financial support, and is supported by Doshu.

Everyone is welcome to contribute a donation of any amount. Please send your donations to the following bank account:

Account No: 1 0 1 5 0 0 7 (Current Account)
Bank Address: 3-14-5 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, JAPAN 160-0022

Doshu will receive your goodwill with gratitude. Hombu would like to be informed of the name of the donor and amount given, the same procedure followed in collecting donations for the bronze statue of the Founder at the Aiki Jinja.

Please forward this message to as many as possible.

Yours in Aiki,

Ulf Evenas


“Survival Training,” by John Will

“Working defense is a great way to BE on the mat. It’s easy to do, as most opponents are more than happy to attack you if given the opportunity. It’s also a less-competitive way of rolling and therefore a good alternative if you have an injury or for some reason or other want to back off a little on the ‘pace’.”

Click here to read entire article.

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