May
11

Gallery of Screenshots from O-Sensei’s rare 1935 Film “Aiki Budo!”


We have just uploaded a gallery of 30 amazing screenshots from O-Sensei’s 1935 Film “Aiki Budo” on our Facebook page. This DVD, together with Stanley Pranin’s essential book “Aikido Pioneers – Prewar Era,” comprises the two products of our special sale for this week!

Click here for Album of screenshots from O-Sensei’s “Aiki Budo” film on Facebook!

This week’s special offer will provide you with key materials for an understanding of Morihei Ueshiba’s fascinating odyssey as he transformed the techniques he had learned from Sokaku Takeda into something fundamentally different: the graceful, dynamic forms of aikido that seek to neutralize violence without sacrificing their martial integrity.

First of all, we bring you the most significant document from the prewar era to have survived. I refer to the rare 1935 Asahi News film of Morihei Ueshiba shot in Osaka. Morihei demonstrates a wide array of splendid Aiki Budo techniques whose power and grace will make you marvel.

The second item comprising our special offer is Stanley Pranin’s essential book, “Aikido Pioneers – Prewar Era.” This monumental work contains carefully edited and footnoted interviews with 20 of Morihei’s closest disciples prior to World War II. These early students provide first-hand accounts of the personality and activities of Morihei Ueshiba during his early career.

Click here to order Morihei Ueshiba’s “Aiki Budo” DVD and Stanley Pranin’s book “Aikido Pioneers – Prewar Era” at the special price of $29.95 during this week’s sale!

Get free PDF file of Stanley Pranin’s “Aikido Pioneers – Prewar Era,” available as part of this week’s special offer!

This week’s special package includes two documents essential to an understanding of Morihei Ueshiba’s early career. His herculean efforts during this turbulent period of prewar Japan culminated in the creation of aikido. The first item we offer is our DVD titled “Aiki Budo,” which includes the rare 1935 Asahi News film in its entirety. Morihei Ueshiba presents an incredible demonstration at the age of 51 in the Asahi News dojo in Osaka. This is the only film from this era to have survived. If you have never seen it before, you will be quite amazed at the fluidity and dynamism of Morihei’s techniques.

Next, our package features Stanley Pranin’s seminal book “Aikido Pioneers – Prewar Era,” which contains carefully edited and footnoted interviews with 20 of Morihei’s closest disciples prior to World War II. Collectively, these first-hand witnesses to the process of the creation of aikido present a detailed recounting of the highlights of the Founder’s career and deep insight into his complex character.

The scope of “Pioneers” is extensive and we have prepared a 90-page PDF file containing approximately one third of the book’s contents. This will provide you with an excellent idea of what you can expect and why this important work belongs in your collection.

Click here to download the free PDF file of “Aikido Pioneers – Prewar Era.”

Click here for more information and to order this week’s offer at the special price of $29.95 for both items.

May
10

Recommended reading: “Improvisations: Aiki is not Always Pretty” by Ellis Amdur

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.

According to the party line in the “soft” martial arts, we lead our opponents in the direction of their intentions and desires; therefore, aikido is nonviolent because we don’t “interfere” with what they are trying to do. Somehow, though, I never quite grasped the idea that my opponent was attacking me with a plea to be wristlocked into nikyo, or flung ass-over-tea-kettle in a kokyunage throw. OK, I’m being flippant; aikido is not so intellectually vulgar. Yeah, yeah, it is instead an embodiment of principle, of the smooth and economical resolution of conflict—of doing, as the Buddhist precept requires, no unnecessary harm.

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May
09

Weekly Special: O-Sensei’s “Aiki Budo” DVD + Stanley Pranin’s “Aikido Pioneers – Prewar Era”

This week’s special offer will provide you with key materials for an understanding of Morihei Ueshiba’s fascinating odyssey as he transformed the techniques he had learned from Sokaku Takeda into something fundamentally different: the graceful, dynamic forms of aikido that seek to neutralize violence without sacrificing their martial integrity.

First of all, we bring you the most significant document from the prewar era to have survived. I refer to the rare 1935 Asahi News film of Morihei Ueshiba shot in Osaka. Morihei demonstrates a wide array of splendid Aiki Budo techniques whose power and grace will make you marvel. We are so fortunate to be able to witness and study Morihei at this pivotal point in his martial arts career.

The second item comprising our special offer is Stanley Pranin’s essential book, “Aikido Pioneers – Prewar Era.” This monumental work contains carefully edited and footnoted interviews with 20 of Morihei’s closest disciples prior to World War II. These early students provide first-hand accounts of the personality and activities of Morihei Ueshiba during his early career. Any vague notions you may have had about the origins of aikido will be replaced by a thorough understanding of Morihei’s movements and actions during this turbulent period of Japanese history.

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

May
08

Recommended reading: “An End to the Collusion” by Stanley Pranin

The article below written by Aikido Journal Editor Stanley Pranin 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 scene is the annual All-Japan Aikido Demonstration held at the Budokan one fine spring day several years ago. A high-ranking shihan commits a slight error of timing during his performance and fails to unbalance or even touch his uke. The uke, obviously at a loss at what to do, looks to the left and then the right, and after an interminably long one or two seconds, falls down.

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May
07

“A Tired Old Man – Bare Bones,” by Nev Sagiba

For those who make excuses and don’t train or who don’t take their training seriously enough to gain insights by way of mitori geiko, reading, thinking, contemplating, and above all exploring the art in seriously regular practice, I again repeat, AIKIDO IS NOT YET ANOTHER STYLE, BUT A WAY OF RESTORING THE NATURAL, EFFICIENT WAY OF MOVING AND RESPONDING IN THE FACE OF CHALLENGE!

I once came across a comment along the lines that “someone will eventually find a counter to aikido.” Such an argument does not follow.

If you are referring to the hubristic and cultish “aikido” that is a mere dance and fails in all but light exercise, well, that needs no counters other than the emerging of a little common sense.

If you are referring to the various struggles that try to mimic Aikido, well, one day they will get tired of struggling and perhaps discover the Aikido behind the forms. I wish them well.
[Read more...]

May
06

Aikido Journal Back-issue DVD Free Bonus with this Week’s Special!

As part of this week’s special featuring Koichi Tohei’s “Aikido With Ki” DVD, we are offering as a free bonus the Aikido Journal back-issue DVD. This archive contains the most complete collection available of documents on all aspects of Aikido, Daito-ryu aikijujutsu, and other Japanese martial arts on a single DVD. It includes hundreds of articles, interviews, essays, and events replete with thousands of photos. This single DVD will keep you busy reading for years!

Click here for more information and to order Koichi Tohei”s “Aikido With Ki” and the free Bonus “Aiki News / Aikido Journal Back-issue” DVD at the special price of $24.95, this week only!

May
05

“Interview with Seigo Okamoto Shihan (02)” by Stanley Pranin

The article below consists of an interview with Seigo Okamoto Sensei, the founder of Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu Roppokai, that 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.

Roppo can be understood in a variety of ways, such as the roppo of roppogumi [six groups of chivalrous young men who used to wander the city streets in the Edo period]. Or it can be equated with the roppo from the kabuki term roppo o fumu of Benkei [a priest of the early Kamakura period and a famous retainer of Yoshitsune Minamoto. Roppo o fumu means to make one's exit with bold gestures along the runway]. However, I usually compare roppo to gaming dice to describe techniques which can deal with any situation from any direction, top or bottom, front or back, right or left, like the faces of dice. But these techniques do not have square angles like dice but are round, forming six (roku) infinite circles. I am eager to get as many meanings as I can out of the term.

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May
05

“Koichi Tohei: Ongaeshi – Repayment of Kindness,” by Stanley Pranin

“In recent issues we have had a new cause to champion. We are intent on restoring the good name and accomplishments of one of aikido’s greatest teachers who has too long been overlooked or forgotten in many aikido circles. The man of whom I speak is Koichi Tohei… The name of Koichi Tohei is on everyone’s lips. He is now in his vigorous 40s, handsome, charming, and physically gifted. He is a fluent speaker of English, the author of best-selling books on the art. He is supremely confident, a wonderful teacher. He is the chief instructor of the World Headquarters Dojo, the Mecca of aikido, and he is the “ambassador of ki.” Yes, Koichi Tohei is the man every devotee wants to see in the flesh, the one whose techniques are to be emulated, the one who inspires. His interpretation of techniques represents ‘the’ standard.”
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May
05

“Founder of Aikido (1): Divine Technique of No-Self” by Kisshomaru Ueshiba

The article below is a summary of the first chapter of Kisshomaru Ueshiba’s biography of his father titled “Morihei Ueshiba, Founder of Aikido,” published with the author’s kind permission. It 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.

Those who merely saw the founder in an exhibition or during training in the dojo and, of course, those who were his students and were taught personally during his lifetime are, even now, unanimous in their comments. First, with regard to the awe inspired by the “piercing brilliance of the founder’s eyes” seemingly capable of penetrating an impregnable fortress; and also, the “deep impression of instantly victorious absolute strength” of spirit, mind and body; and finally, in their conclusion that his could only be described as “divine technique.”

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May
04

Gallery of Screenshots from Koichi Tohei’s “Aikido With Ki”

Please have a look at this excellent selection of 25 screenshots we have uploaded to our Facebook page from Koichi Tohei”s “Aikido With Ki.” This together with the “Aiki News / Aikido Journal Back-issue” DVD comprises the two products of our special sale for this week!

Album of screenshots from Koichi Tohei”s “Aikido With Ki” on Facebook!

For this week’s Aikido Journal special, we offer the first and only DVD to cover the topic of Koichi Tohei’s many contributions and activities to the early spread of aikido. This DVD also explores the preparatory exercises and basic techniques developed by Tohei Sensei aimed at developing the use of ki in aikido. The highlight of the program is a lengthy section featuring rare footage of a seminar taught by Tohei Sensei in his prime.

The second product you will receive as a bonus in this special is a one-of-a-kind DVD containing thousands of pages of magazine articles covering every aspect of aikido. It features the entire contents of Aiki News / Aikido Journal published over two-and-one-half decades in easy-to-access PDF format.

Click here for more information and to order Koichi Tohei”s “Aikido With Ki” and the “Aiki News / Aikido Journal Back-issue” DVD at the special price of $24.95, this week only!

May
04

Recommended reading: “Sokaku Takeda Biography (7): by Tokimune Takeda

The article below on Sokaku Takeda, the disseminator of Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu, 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 the spring of 1875, Sokaku Takeda returned home for a visit from the fencing school of Kenkichi Sakakibara. This incident occurred while he was back in his hometown. At that time the decree abolishing the wearing of swords had entered effect and it was popular to carry one’s favorite sword inside a cane.

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