“Hypnotic Fraudsters – Fakekido,” by Nev Sagiba


“The ‘no touch’ fantasies flew out the window, as did the pushing people over with silly gestures and fake kiais and other circus tricks”

A real warrior cannot be hypnotized or deceived by anyone. Not his teachers, not his adversaries. Indeed the whole purpose of the Way or Do is to un-hypnotise the mind to see clearly and lucidly existence in the moment as it is. And to respond impeccably.

Hypnotic frauds and charlatans seductively select followers who make them look good because they are susceptible to hypnotic suggestion, brain massage and blowing smoke up their ego. They then fit sycophantically to following a leader.

Such people do Budo a disservice. Sadly they do themselves a disservice as well because most often, once their followers begin to treat them a certain way, they end up believing their own act. As in a biofeedback loop this creates a bubble of reality that is only real for those inside it. A cult is born.

With religiosity this deception can be gotten away with for extended periods of time. With Budo, only until the next real attack.

Rest assured, nor can a real, hell-bent attacker be hypnotized. You either have real skill or you will have a rude awakening. It is then hoped that you will survive the attack so that you can re-evaluate and gain a sense of perspective.

Whilst the crutch seeking mentally weak, needy or insecure are easily seduced into such quagmires, the wolf in sheep’s clothing generally deploys certain mind trapping techniques that appeal to the ego. For example, ensnaring you with too early promotions, telling you that your ability is more than it is, and fortifying this by placing even weaker followers under your charge, bribery, sexual exploitation has been known to be used, rewards and fear to steer, appealing to pride and so on. The carrot and the stick is older than both religion and politics.

Such stupidity is to be disdained. Often when such cults grow to large proportion, they, in fact, become dangerous to the world.

Conversely, more than one charlatan “master” has been downed by a young fighter too dumb to have his mind entangled with hypnotic bullshit. Some got severely injured in their moment of awakening. And a rude and painful awakening it was.

The “no touch” fantasies flew out the window, as did the pushing people over with silly gestures and fake kiais and other circus tricks unworthy of recognition as anything more than either stupidly inane at worst, or at best training techniques with limited merit.

Budo is not like training dogs to compliance. Rather it should produce individuals of high moral caliber, discernment and initiative. In other words better, human beings.

Budo serves specific purposes. Mainly to prepare individuals to meet themselves spiritually without deception of any kind, and also to prepare individuals for real active service in a field where combat skill is required.

The real teacher does not care for his own popularity or whether you stay or go. He will pare away the ego, this often severely, cut you down to size repeatedly, scold you, humiliate you, prove you wrong, correct you, smash your pride and ruthlessly steer you towards factuality, truth, awakening and authentic skill.

The false teacher may be appearing to do the same, but the core motives differ. One is serving light in the world, and the other merely himself.

If you want to make money, go sell real estate. If you want to deceive people, go start a religion.

If you want to serve people towards awakening, then first gain some measure of it yourself by going through the trials, tribulations and pain of training transformation that enables it. Then serve sincerely without thought of gain, fame or recompense.

Here are the cold, hard facts. Kuzushi cannot be deployed remotely or from a distance. Anyone who implies that it can, is a fraudulent shyster with bad intent. Or stupid and deceived. Such circus does no-one any favours.

Further, non existent magical ability cannot be absorbed by association or osmosis, so sycophantic behaviours only waste years of life better spent willingly going through learning of what is factual and functional.

Instead of wasting your life and years chasing after non-existent and impossible magical ability only possible with tricky editing, deceit, collusion and any of a variety of dishonesties, a wise person will seek to improve their authentic and functional skill.

Practical and real Aikido is found in practice and its deployment may never be needed to survive real violence, but because when practiced properly and honestly it serves to un-deceive the mind, it will improve all other areas of your life with clarity and insight.

Clarity and insight cannot be gained by believing or participating in lies. Nor can human survival be so served. You have to choose. Do you want the Path of awakening? Do to want to tread the Way of authenticity with the real skill it imparts? Or merely participate in a circus of silliness to impress the gullible and illicitly grab some temporary gains.

If you want ruthlessly unmitigated honesty, then Budo is for you. But realise this. Either way you are preparing for the day when you will be tested by the angel of death himself!

Don’t play with Aikido insincerely.

Nev Sagiba

“Now an e-book:
FOUR DIAMONDS 1024 – Basic Transitions and Counters of Aikido

by Nev Sagiba

4 Diamonds 1024  - The Book

Get the e-book: "FOUR DIAMONDS 1024, Basic Transitions and Counters of Aikido"

The ability to adjust seamlessly between techniques defines mastery. In most cases, this essential attribute of Aikido has been either ignored or guessed at. This book not only reveals the innate simplicity behind the apparent complexity of Aikido Transitions and Counters, but it provides a full spectrum of possibilities for practicing. Here it is, simplified in drills of two techniques. When you can do these drills easily, you will be able to effect spontaneous responses to any attack. If you know your basic techniques this book is recommended and will enrich your Aikido. FOUR DIAMONDS 1024, provides complete sets of exercise drill guidelines to enable exploration of the available range of basic transitions and counters and unlock their potentials.


  1. “The real teacher… will pare away the ego, this often severely, cut you down to size repeatedly, scold you, humiliate you, prove you wrong, correct you, smash your pride and ruthlessly steer you towards factuality, truth, awakening and authentic skill.”

    My understanding is that the samurai co-opted the quest for truth/awakening from monks the samurai fought. Is that true or false and if it is true, do you have a reference to support that teaching in the monasteries followed your description of teaching?

    Then, if you’d share your opinion on the matter, if the monks didn’t train like that but they were the go-to guys for enlightenment, why support apparently unnecessary degradation?

  2. A, I’m not sure I understand your question? statement?

    In simpler terms, what I’m saying is that if a teacher is true, he will do whatever it takes to make sure you reclaim yourself and get the skills that maintain true integrity; and when battle is necessary come back from battle alive.

    Conversely, others use deceit to self-serve, create a cloud of confusion between truth and falsehood in order to attain their own goals and to serve their vested interests. These produce arrogant dunderheads and blind followers.

    Their students fail to survive battle, or never go to battle preferring to practice what they were taught, the practice of toxic charlatanism which does humanity no favours.

    In the old days, life was tough and people could not afford the somnambulistic pampering of today’s suburban consumers.

    I have no clue who co-opted what from whom. Unnecessary degradation is and remains unnecessary, and is different from necessary real battle preparation. If a student is not fully present in the moment and misses even one millisecond, that is sufficient for a cut to penetrate or a bullet or arrow to find its mark, he will not survive the ultimate price of battle.

    A teacher exists to get the job done, not massage egos. With the learning curve too, timing is of the essence or you miss the boat.

    The conclusion is that skill and awakening has to be real not faked.

    This in all things.

  3. It sometimes does happen 😉

  4. Sagiba, first off, thanks! Your article not only gave me a view into the martial arts/aikido culture that I’ve denied for years but I haven’t opened “Secrets of the Samurai” in years.

    “A, I’m not sure I understand your question? statement?”

    Westbrook and Ratti, in “Secrets of the Samurai”, explain it. On page 451 to 458, the samurai took the truth-hunting gig from Zen but threw out the decency of Zen. What was left behind was a hodgepodge of nonsense (my word). What you’re describing is that hodgepodge and stating that it’s “the” Way. I am challenging your claim.

    “In simpler terms, what I’m saying is that if a teacher is true, he will do whatever it takes to make sure you reclaim yourself…”

    I don’t think so. I think that the Japanese recognized the samurai training philosophy for what it is: a system in which bad characters exploit foolish characters. However, because the Japanese are, culture-wide, so dishonest, they don’t say that Japanese martial arts are shady. Instead, they nod as foolish Westerners bow to the heads (idol worshipping or participating in cults of personality).

    The premiss upon which your argument rests is, in my opinion, wrong. The “true” martial arts teacher does not exist because martial arts has little to nothing to do with the self-realization to which you allude. The performance of techniques, at best, can only be used as measures of self-awareness in that as self-awareness increases the performer’s techniques improve to a degree that the end technique no longer resembles the simple form. However, to believe that the technique leads the mind is to believe that the tail wagged the dog.

    What I’m getting at is what SotS alludes: your true teacher is a dead end to awareness, truth, etc.

    “The conclusion is that… awakening has to be real not faked.”

    Here’s a gift, Nev Sagiba, in return for your help:

    The mirror is a disk that sits on, and is the width of, the bridge of your nose. In it, you stare at yourself and with life experience, you adjust that image because you realize that the image you see is not consistent with reality. After many experiences, ultimately, only one belief remains that holds together the false image. Then, experience proves the image false and the image disappears and in the mirror, for a series of moments, is absolute hopelessness. Then, a new reflection appears and it is light. With experience, that light grows stronger until the image reflects the light through a prism. That’s what truth and awareness is.

    You can’t get that through martial arts and SotS practically says it when they contrast samurai Zen with real Zen.

    Take care and be nicer to yourself.

    • I would like to make sure that the conversation remains on a courteous, civil basis. Thank you.

      • Please excuse any ill chosen phrasing; it’s very difficult to paraphrase (my interpretation of) SotS and the socially accepted dishonesty found in the Japanese culture (konei?) without using terminology that is a bit harsh. I believe that is the case because the comparable ideas in English are typically frowned upon and an average American, such as myself, is unlikely to have the vocabulary to communicate the ideas in a non-offensive manner.

        With that said, I intended no offense.

  5. Thanks Stan:)

    A – Glad to help and always welcome comments. Particularly varied viewpoint worth considering such as yours. Thank you.

    Have you ever confronted death? Have you ever been in a situation in which to all means and intent it was curtains for you, and then something shifted and you survived?

    If not, when you have, whether as a choice or serendipity, we may be able to augment this discussion.

    What you are saying is only partly true of all cultures. There are also good people everywhere whose contributions do in fact maintain a measure of balance and security.

    Opinions are the entitlement of everyone who lives in a safely protected environment. The worth of opinions with individuals who serve in practical protection, is that they help grow poppy fields. They are required to KNOW! As for me, if one of my working students comes back injured or dead, I AM RESPONSIBLE! No excuses exist.

    Everyone I know who has faced death without assurance of survival gains some measure of awakening not had by hobbits. Sometimes this may first require a recovery of PTSD and other hyper stress related psychic distress.

    Hobbits who gain their theories out of books and fantasizing about reality, the past and “others” do not qualify to comment in a meaningful way.

    Be careful of sweeping statement and generalisations. They give rise to contentious, “them and us ” attitudes that breed war. Japanese, other than on the surface, are no different as human beings than anyone else on the planet. That people adjust to environmental necessity as best they can is simply survival necessity unique to each culture.

    I think the trick is get one’s own house in order and respect the other’s for what it is. We may even learn something.

    Keep well and stay safe.

  6. Nev Sagiba

    How refreshing to read such a hard hitting to the point article. I enjoyed it, I will keep it on file. From my own experience I can assure you that you will not make many friends by telling the truth. To be honest the people that find the truth upsetting – I would not want as a friend.
    My son Rik Ellis is often accused of knocking Aikido, he said to me a few days ago, ” why can’t people see that I am not knocking Aikido, I am knocking the idiots that bring this great martial art into disrepute, with their ribbons and no touch throws and breathing through their toes “.

    Take care

    Henry Ellis

  7. “Have you ever confronted death? Have you ever been in a situation in which to all means and intent it was curtains for you, and then something shifted and you survived?”

    Yes. However, I don’t think we need to augment the discussion; I was wrong to challenge you as I did and I am sorry for doing so. I didn’t notice the condescending tone I took until it was too late and the fact is that public exchanges such as these don’t go well for a variety of reasons, even under the best of circumstances. I could have and should have contacted you privately to find out more about your opinion.

    Again, I intended no offense and I am sorry.

  8. A – No hard feelings. Good discussion is always fruitful in some way.

    Henry – Thanks for your clear headed support.

  9. Dear Sagiba Sensei,

    May I confess to not always being able to appreciate or understand certain articles you write so brilliantly. I always have respect for the research and thought you put into each one that you share so generously.

    This latest article, however, is one of your best, hard hitting as Henry Ellis Sensei affirms, shedding much needed light on the dark corners of ignorance too prevalent in the world of Aikido. Thank you very much!

  10. “My son Rik Ellis is often accused of knocking Aikido, he said to me a few days ago, ”why can’t people see that I am not knocking Aikido, I am knocking the idiots that bring this great martial art into disrepute…”

    I felt the same way, in regard to effective technique, until after two exchanges, which include this one, during the past week. Typically, my premature criticism has been directed at aiki-hippies. However, I think I understand them now.

    As I understand it, Ueshiba viewed the art as an expression of his religious beliefs. As such, the art must have been a vehicle to convey those beliefs– a missionary medium. If that was the intention, then as teachers advanced, they must have increasingly grasped the religious (or, if you prefer, psychological or spiritual) emphasis. With an emphasis on the spiritual, the techniques necessarily orbited around the premiss of thoughtfulness, rather than effectiveness.

    When ones focus is effectiveness, an inordinate amount of energy is lost from the real goal of spiritual awakenings. As I say the following, it’s with my recently added understanding that I never practiced real aikido. When a person criticizes the effectiveness of aikido, to the spiritually oriented aikidokas, the criticism is about them as people, rather than fighters.

  11. And, a criticism related to effectiveness, assuming Ueshiba created a vehicle for religion, is knocking aikido. The criticism is, because it comes from a person focused on effectiveness, a non-aikidoka attacking aikido.

    I assume that the perspective of the spiritually oriented aikidokas is that effective techniques are codified in all arts, everywhere in the world. However, there is only one that is truly predicated on spirituality. The question they must be asking to those of us concerned about effectiveness is Why don’t you practice one of those arts.

    I believe that many contradictions to my hypothesis exist, but aikido is an art and art is deception.

  12. Keith E. McInnis says:

    I experienced the delusion. I was working as a uniformed patrol deputy sheriff. I had good training from the law enforcement end (my agency had awards for its training in tactics and special teams). I also had begun training Aikido with a gifted teacher though his teaching was Ki school based. While the Ki Aikido was fun on-the-mat, the fact was that on the street people didn’t cooperate. “No touch” led to no apprehension–or worse, an angry offender in a better position to harm me or bystanders. My training now with a Sensei I admire greatly is much different. He trained in Japan with Saito and Nishio Senseis and teaches strong technique with great precision and repetition. We still have fun on the mat. What Huffman Sensei teaches really works in the real world though. In the 8 months my young son and I have been training, my son has had small incidents at school which lent themselves to the application of techniques Huffman Sensei taught. Another youth student of the dojo found the ‘bear hug’ escape useful the next day when he was grabbed roughly. In all these incidents the Aikidoka youth applied an effective technique…then stopped. Young teens will have incidents. Effective, non-harfmul techniques have diffused them. Budo is experienced, not just discussed.

    Thank you for this very frank, effective conversation.

  13. If it’s not practical it’s not spiritual. Effectiveness and awakening go hand in hand. How can you serve the world for uplift if you’re too lazy to meet the pain of change and overcome the challenges and obstacles that get in the way of practical harmony?

    Harmony that is a stagnant head trip and cannot be applied is incapable of protecting itself to stick around and be useful in bringing about improved conditions and is no harmony at all. Merely a feel good trip.

    One of the core precepts of Aikido, not opinion based but founded in observable universal principles is that of non initiation of aggression. This does not mean a limp rag approach, or waiting to notice something is amiss, rather an awakened vigilance that, whilst most often invisible because it focuses on constructive creativity, contains the in depth backup in case it becomes necessary in the face of real danger.

    But once harmony is restored sanity prevails. It does not get hooked on some empire building ego trip. It goes back to creative constructively and serving life, building the infrastructures that support harmony. This too is not a “too idealistic” romantic fantasy but what works in the face of attrition.

    That we live in a world, whilst so imperfect, yet capable of so many good things, arts, sciences, human and not in the jungles and caves of Niugini hunting each other for heads and body parts to use in superstitious rituals that merely degrade the human spirit further; it tribute to those who chose to lift their consciousness above that of the reptilian brain, to look up and notice the glories of the universe all around us and made the choice to add to what is best in the world, the good, the beautiful and the true.

    Most people aspire to better than jungle behaviours and are good and reasonable human beings at risk of becoming vengeful and hateful, hurt and damaged in the aftermath of any criminality they may be subjected to in this also imperfect word.

    Effective Budo, good, well rounded, contextually correct and complete Aikido puts you ahead of the game with a plenum of revived abilities such as predictability, confidence, ability and too many more to list here, so you can continue to navigate life creatively, responsibly and in charge without adding harm (“Your creative mission” – Morihei Ueshiba.)

    Thereby continue to forward to human evolution with all that’s best in the face of that which would pose a threat without fear of being broken in the process of meeting challenges.

    I think that can only be a good thing.

    Again there is not enough space here, but I can list thousands of individuals who turned their lives around at the brink, at the last moment because of the personal power and skill Aikido gave to them in facing otherwise crushing life challenges which would have destroyed them. Fighting in the street is the least of it.

    Practical harmony is applied compassion The LOVE, NURTURING CARING AND PROTECTION that Budo protects and more so Aikibudo. That’s why training must be authentic and add to the quality and standard of life. Fraudsters detract from this adding to risk and human suffering in their deceit.

  14. Very good article, well thought through. I have known someone who not only had a real skill but also propagated a cult status, still does. People like him make real damage to those who truly want to learn martial arts in order to improve the world around them, to do if you may, a greater good for a sake of good.

    Teachers like that should be banished, removed from teaching.

    There also should be systematized college based program on every campus where good teachers, instructors are trained so there are less out there of those who do the damage.

  15. I didn’t know I could disappear until I did it one time in the process of evading a 3 man mugging team. Long story. The short is that from my perspective, I was just working a 3 man freestyle. I didn’t know I had disappeared until I looked back for #1 after seeing off #3, expecting him, like in the dojo, to be back on my case. He was looking around for me in front of him with perplexed body language (‘Where’d that little cracker go?’). All I had done was bypass and enter. The other two were equally perplexed, if for different reasons, and none of them were interested in pursuing the question. All done in a matter of maybe 10 seconds or so.

  16. Chuck

    Here is a true story I c/p from my son Rik’s blog ” Aikido in MMA “.

    Are you Prepared to Die ?

    My father told me of an incident when training with Kenshiro Abbe Sensei in London.

    1959 – As Kenshiro Abbe Sensei left the Sandwich Street dojo in the King Cross area of London, Sensei was just a few minutes ahead of the following students.

    As Abbe Sensei walked towards the underground station there were four yobs sitting on a wall, as Sensei approached they made a semi circle in front of him and the leader demanded “ Give us yer wallet mate !! “ – Abbe Sensei stopped, eyed them all carefully, he then reached inside his jacket for his wallet, he slowly pulled out his wallet and dropped it between his feet.

    For a moment the yobs looked at each a bemused, the leader spoke up again “ Kick yer wallet over ere mate or else “ – Abbe Sensei calmly replied “ No ! – I am prepared to die for my wallet – are you ? “ – with that the yobs again looked at each other, unsure what to make of this man. Without speaking they all took a few steps backwards, with a few defiant words of abuse as they bravely retreated into the night.

    Abbe Sensei didn’t tell them that Aikido is love and he would give them his wallet and a cuddle, his very presence was so intimidating they knew he would destroy them.

    We now live in a world where so many grade themselves or each other as if they are swapping cigarette cards. Abbe Sensei summed it up perfectly.

    Kenshiro Abbe Sensei

    “ No matter your pretence – you are what you are, nothing more “

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