Jun
14

Gallery of screenshots from Morihiro Saito’s Aiki Ken and Aiki Jo DVDs!

Take a look at this wonderful selection of screenshots from Morihiro Saito’s Aiki Ken and Aiki Jo DVDs that we have prepared for you on our facebook page!Our special for this week is the famous Aiki Ken and Aiki Jo DVD set by Morihiro Saito Sensei, 9th dan. These DVDs cover all of the basic Iwama weapons forms of the aikido sword and staff curriculum as taught by Saito Sensei over a period of several decades. These are the forms that Saito Sensei learned from Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba during the years following World War II in Iwama. Saito Sensei gradually systematized these practices resulting in the Aiki Ken and Aiki Jo forms we practice today.

We offer this set at the special price of $24.95 for both the ken and jo DVDs, allowing all serious practitioners to build their video libraries.

Click here for more information and to order the Aiki Ken and Aiki Jo DVD set at special price of $24.95

Album of screenshots from Morihiro Saito’s Aiki Ken and Aiki Jo DVDs on Facebook

Jun
13

Recommended reading: “Dan Rankings” by Stanley Pranin

The article below has been selected from the extensive archives of the Online Aikido Journal. This essay by Aikido Journal Editor Stanley Pranin broaches the topic of dan rankings from a somewhat different perspective. He proposes some unorthodox ways of dealing with the handling of dan certifications which would eliminate some of the current problems that arise which make it difficult to ascertain their true value.

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.

There are few areas which elicit as much emotion and comment as the topic of the recognition of the ability and service of practitioners through the awarding of ranks. In Aikido as in every martial discipline, there are individuals who are clearly competent and those whose backgrounds and lineage cannot withstand even cursory scrutiny.

[Read more...]

Jun
13

Morihiro Saito’s Aiki Ken and Aiki Jo preserve O-Sensei’s weapons research

Our special for this week is the famous Aiki Ken and Aiki Jo DVD set by Morihiro Saito Sensei, 9th dan. These DVDs cover all of the basic Iwama weapons forms of the aikido sword and staff curriculum as taught by Saito Sensei over a period of several decades.

The material presented in these DVDs preserves the weapons legacy of Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba. Saito Sensei was taught these forms in Iwama during his study under O-Sensei and later systematized them into an elaborate bukiwaza curriculum.

Here is the content of these authoritative DVDs:

AIKI KEN: the Aiki Ken DVD covers the 7 ken suburi, ki musubi no tachi, 5 kumitachi and henka no tachi.

AIKI JO: the Aiki Jo DVD includes the 31 jo kata, 20 jo suburi, 31 jo kumijo, 10 kumijo, and 13 jo awase.

Both discs offer you a choice of three languages to view the presentations: Japanese, English, or French.

We offer this set at the special price of $24.95 for both the ken and jo DVDs, allowing all serious practitioners to build their video libraries.

Click here to order the Aiki Ken and Jo DVD set for $24.95 now!

Jun
12

Stanley Pranin’s Video Blog: “Aikido History 101″

We have uploaded a video clip of Aikido Journal Editor Stanley Pranin introducing an outline of a six-article series on the life and work of Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba available free of charge to readers. He briefly presents the contents of each article in the series which collectively touch upon the highlights of Morihei’s life and the creation of aikido.

Below are links to each of the six articles:

Morihei in Tanabe
Morihei’s Ueshiba Juku
Kobukan Dojo Era (1)
Kobukan Dojo Era (2)
Iwama: Birthplace of Aikido
Aikido in the Postwar Years

We encourage all readers desiring to deepen their knowledge of aikido history and its relevance to their training today to download and study these articles.

Jun
12

“Aikido and Knees,” by Bartłomiej Gajowiec

Knee joints are the biggest joints of the human body. With several axes of mechanical load meeting, there they are one of the most mechanically complicated complexes of the body. Every day they bear tons of load, making thousands of movements that are not just flexing and extending.

Knees are strictly “ligamentous” joints. That means that their stability and basic functions are governed by ligaments and ligaments only. Muscles are only for precise and fluent joint play. Healthy muscles only – to our surprise – decelerate those joints, but also influence their range of movement if they are not elastic enough to let them work in their natural range of movements.

To any aikidoka in the world, suwari techniques are also historical connection with tradition of Japan. It is a part of inherent integrity of AIKIDO.

Since aikido techniques do not involve mechanically fully flexed or extended joints they work in semi-flexed and semi-extended positions. For knees, this means we are in an unstable situation that deserves more attention than locking in maximal extension or flexion. And here is the moment where we need good muscle action.
[Read more...]

Jun
11

Improve your Aikido dramatically with Morihiro Saito as your mentor!

COMPREHENSIVE INSTRUCTION IN THE SECRETS OF IWAMA AIKIDO FROM MORIHIRO SAITO, 9TH DAN!

Aikido Journal offers some of the most important aikido pedagogical materials available anywhere. The crown jewel of our collection is the 7-DVD set of instructional seminars by the famous Morihiro Saito Sensei, 9th dan.

This 7-DVD set contains detailed contents of seminars conducted by Morihiro Saito, 9th dan, during his foreign travels in the period of 1985-1994. A study of these excellent materials will provide aficionados of Iwama Aikido and in-depth glimpse of the teaching methodology of this great instructor, one of Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba’s closest disciples. This set includes more than 14 hours of seminar footage and literally hundreds of techniques. Each DVD contains complete English subtitles allowing viewers to closely follow Saito Sensei’s instruction.

If you already have some of the “Lost Seminars” DVDs and just need certain ones, feel free to take advantage of our special discount offer and choose only the titles you are missing.

Jun
11

Recommended reading: “Interview with Kenji Shimizu” 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.

I began in 1953 when I was 13. I was good at it and continued regularly through my days as a student at Meiji University. As a boy I practiced judo with the people around me and became strong. As I got older my competitive range increased and I fought many big and strong competitors. I was stimulated and tried very hard but I couldn’t overcome the difference in physical strength. That’s why I switched to aikido and really became involved with the art.

[Read more...]

Jun
10

Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu: Foundation of Aikido techniques

“This had to do with the desire of decision-makers of the headquarters
organization to create an “official history” of the art that bore its stamp of approval.”

Sokaku Takeda & Morihei Ueshiba

Many who have practiced aikido for sometime are surprised to learn that the basis for most modern aikido techniques is the jujutsu forms of Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu as disseminated by Sokaku Takeda in the early twentieth century.

This fact was downplayed in early accounts of aikido history for a variety of reasons, mostly having to do with the desire of decision-makers of the headquarters organization to create an “official history” of the art that bore its stamp of approval.

For this reason, aikido practitioners today will have an eye-opening experience when seeing Daito-ryu techniques for the first time. The powerful, precise nature of these earlier forms will serve to remind aikidoka today of the martial origins of the art. This is an indisputable, though perhaps inconvenient, historical fact.

In the Aikido Journal product catalog, we have an excellent two-DVD set, and a bilingual technical book on Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu by Menkyo Kaiden Katsuyuki Kondo Sensei–today’s leading authority of the art–that will provide a thorough introduction to this traditional martial system that so greatly influenced modern aikido.

Click here for further information on Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu and its connection to aikido

Jun
10

An Interview with Steven R. Cunningham: “The Dynamic Nature of Judo Kata,” by Linda Yiannakis

Jigoro Kano executing hiki-otoshi technique

This excellent interview is relevant to aikidoka since it was Kenji Tomiki Sensei–also a high-ranking judo instructor–that devised the Kodokan Goshin Jutsu kata. Tomiki attempted to apply a similar philosophy to aikido, providing a theoretical and practical basis for a form of competitive aikido.

“The idea is also that the basic syllabus of the Kodokan—the Go Kyo, and the Nage, Katame, and Ju no Kata—all give you the foundation to understand Kime and Koshiki, but these operate at a higher level. They have more advanced principles and they are designed to teach you things like strategy, ma-ai, riai, all these other kinds of higher concepts. They are designed to elevate you even more beyond these basics. So to do Kime or Koshiki without first having a good grounding in the Go Kyo and the Randori no Kata and so on, would just be meaningless. You’re totally unprepared to take the lessons that these kata are going to provide you.”

Click here to read “The Dynamic Nature of Judo Kata”

Jun
10

“Ki no Musubi – A Meeting of Minds,” by Nev Sagiba

To Melanesian islanders, being of “one mind, means exactly that. And this is why the more heavily populated Niuginis never successfully invaded them for over 50,000 years of trying to do so.

In principles of law, A Meeting of Minds (consensus ad idem) is the primary requirement for, and the definition of a contract.

In natural thinking there can be seen what could be called a Divine Principle at work.

A platoon who are indeed “of one mind” are invincible.

That, united we stand and divided we fall, is more than a cliché.

Where two or more are gathered together with proper intention, all things become possible.
[Read more...]

Jun
09

All Daito-ryu Instructional Set by Menkyo Kaiden Katsuyuki Kondo!

We would like to bring to your attention that we offer the authoritative instructional work by Katsuyuki Kondo, Menkyo Kaiden, titled Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu Hiden Mokuroku.

This is the first book in English to introduce the technical curriculum of Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu as originally taught by Sokaku Takeda. It contains the 31 techniques of the ikkajo series of the Hiden Mokuroku, the first level of study in Daito-ryu.

You may also wish to consider our special discounted set consisting of Katsuyuki Kondo’s two outstanding instructional DVDs together with the Hiden Mokuroku book.

Click here to order the Daito-ryu set!

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Jun
09

Recommended reading: “Exploring the Founder’s Aikido,” by Stanley Pranin

Morihei Ueshiba in Iwama

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.

Morihei Ueshiba’s teaching methodology that was out of synch with postwar Japanese society, his strong religious orientation, his frequent travels and irregular schedule made it difficult for most of his students to receive in-depth instruction from the Founder. To this can be added the fact that aikido developed and spread in Japan during an era of peace that later blossomed into a time of unprecedented economic prosperity. In such a societal setting devoid of the constant specter of war and a sense of physical danger, aikido training in a period of peace lacked the intensity and focus of the uneasy times of the prewar era. Also, the practice of judo and kendo was widespread before the war and taught in school. This meant that those students who learned from O-Sensei in the prewar era had a much better level of physical and mental preparation when embarking on their training compared to those after the war.

[Read more...]