Archives for April 2012


Featured Dojo: Aikido Arts of Shin-Budo Kai of Marc Abrams Sensei

In an effort to encourage readers to register their dojos for exposure on the Aikido World School Directory, we would like to highlight especially well-done listings to give you an idea of what can be achieved to promote your school.

“Aikido Arts of Shin-Budo Kai is an Aikido school that is dedicated to passing on the teachings of Shizuo Imaizumi Sensei, founder of Shin-Budo Kai and direct student of O’Sensei. Instruction is strongly oriented toward developing the Aiki and internal body skills that are at the foundation of the art of Aikido. The teaching of Aikido techniques is viewed as an expression of those underlying body skills. The curriculum and testing criteria include work with the Bokken and Jo. Classes are available for adults, teens and children. The school is conveniently located near major highways and within walking distance to the local train station. Visitors and potential students are encouraged to not only watch, but try classes to decide if this school is a good fit.”

Aikido Arts of Shin-Budo Kai in the Aikido World School Directory

Click here to sign up your dojo today!
* We strongly recommend our “Basic Package” to produce a beautiful listing for your dojo


Spotlight on Your Dojo: World Aikido School Directory

Many of you have begun entering your dojo information into our brand-new World Aikido School Directory website. This software is designed especially for the purpose of displaying business address information and offers a wealth of options.

We are offering two packages initially as follows:

Free package for dojos to enter dojo name, instructor, style/affiliation, website URL, a thumbnail image of your website, address, telephone, and Facebook, Twitter, Google+ share buttons!

Basic package at only $4.95 per year which includes all of the above plus contact email, the ability to upload images, HTML tags, Google Mapping, a “Featured Banner,” and more! You can enter in you dojo schedule, mission statement, instructor biographies, and any other helpful information.

If you select the Basic Package you can actually construct a mini-website within the World Directory. This can serve as a “second” website for your dojo and an attractive interface to the international aikido community.

Here are some excellent examples of what can be achieved:

Aikido Eastside
Aikido of Santa Cruz
Aikido Sangenkai
Roswell Budokan

The entire website is instantly searchable and user friendly.

Go here to check out the new website. Do you Sensei a favor and sign your dojo up!


“Two extremes pushing on me from either side,” by Charles Humphrey

Photo credit:

“I used to only be sick of people who sport an aggressive mentality to hide their deep fears, but I’m just as sick of plain old cowardice and the empty moral superiority with which it adorns itself.”

This lengthy comment by Charles Humphrey was among those received in reply to my recent blog titled “Risking your life to help someone.” I thought readers would find the content and viewpoints expressed very interesting reading, and therefore have posted it as a blog on its own. I’m sure it will generate even more commentary on this timely subject. – Stanley Pranin

It’s funny to see you post something like this right now because I had a similar experience just a few months ago and I still can’t figure out what I did wrong. I ask myself if I shouldn’t have intervened, but the possible alternative of watching four men who, if not friends, I was at least acquainted with for years, beaten up and potentially killed by more than twenty men motivated largely by xenophobia would have left me more damaged than the actual incident that happened.

I was pulled to a bar I don’t normally frequent by some good friends I’d met up with earlier. I’d gone out for a walk when my girlfriend went to sleep early and I felt wide awake. The bar is normally a bit loud and a bit of a pickup place, but my friends insisted there would be good music so I came along. They weren’t lying. I spent a good two hours dancing to the music in what was an unusually good atmosphere. Everybody was smiling and laughing and dancing in their own way. I should preface this story by making it clear that I live in a relatively rural part of China. Calling 911 is not really an option, and is as much likely to provide reinforcements to the attackers in these situations as it is to bring calm.
[Read more…]


Updates for April 2, 2012 by Stanley Pranin

New World Aikido School Directory

Put a smile on your Sensei’s face: Have you ever wanted to do something to help your instructor gain more recognition and visibility in the aikido community? Well, here is one idea, that costs a little more than a cup of coffee. Go to the World Aikido School Directory, sign up, choose the “Basic Package” ($4.95), and fill in all of the relevant information for your dojo and instructor. Your dojo will be literally “on the map,” and your instructor’s name will be instantly retrievable when a search is conducted. With these tools you can even fashion a mini website just for your dojo. You can make a difference!

Tags make you visible: When entering a dojo listing in our new directory, among the most important bits of information are the tags you enter. These are the little bits of information that can help rapidly identify your dojo through a site search. You should be sure to enter the names of your city, instructor(s), style, etc. in this field.

This week’s Special Offer

Remember that this week we are once again offering 3 free DVDs with every 2-year subscription to the Aikido Journal Members Site. You can choose any 3 DVDs from our extensive catalog. Paid subscribers have access to all available materials on the Members Site. At the present time, this includes over 2,000 articles, encyclopedia entries, interviews, chronologies, images and videos. The vast amount of content covers virtually every aspect of aikido and related disciplines. This offer ends on Saturday, April 7.


“World Aikido School Directory” enters beta-testing phase

We are pleased to announce that we are beginning beta-testing of our new “World Aikido School Directory.” This is a WordPress plugin designed specifically to manage and display directory databases. It offers many attractive built-in features and is greatly extensible. Aikido schools all over the world will have an excellent tool to present themselves to the world martial arts community.

We will keep our legacy school listing site open temporarily while we transition to the new site.

During this initial phase, we need a comparatively small amount of data for testing purposes and to gather feedback on how to polish the website so that it is ready for our official launch, hopefully in the very near future.

For this reason, we wish to temporarily limit participation to aikido schools located in the USA. We appreciate your cooperation in this regard.

So, if your school is located in the USA and you would like to submit a listing, you may do so now by going to Complete instructions on how to proceed can be found in the FAQ on the navbar. Also, please feel free to provide your feedback here.

We invite those of you located elsewhere to drop in and have a look at what we are building and to offer your suggestions.


“Risking your life to help someone,” by Stanley Pranin

“I kept imagining what had transpired and tried to conceive of some alternative courses of action that would have spared him this beating.”

I attended an aikido seminar recently. I had a very interesting conversation with an attendee that I would like to relate to you.

This young man, an aikido black belt, was involved in an altercation in which he was badly beaten. He fortunately emerged without any permanent damage other than a black eye and several noticeable facial lacerations. Here is what happened as far as I can recall.

The man exited a building at night to find six attackers beating up a lone man who was on the ground and bloodied. The aikidoka immediately entered the fray to help the victim and successfully dealt with a couple of the attackers. However, the entire group stopped their attack and turned their fury toward him. The victim ran away leaving our aikidoka alone to fend for himself.

The group of six proceeded to pummel and kick the aikidoka until several people saw what was going on and intervened. Obviously injured, he was taken to the emergency room of a nearby hospital where he was treated.

Forgive me if I don’t have all of the details exactly right, but that is the gist of the story. As I lay in bed that night, it took me a while before I fell asleep. I kept imagining what had transpired and tried to conceive of some alternative courses of action that would have spared him this beating. I came up with a couple of scenarios that are, of course, pure speculation. Nonetheless, it occurs to me that it might be an excellent mental exercise to go through in case one should find himself in a similar situation that required immediate action.

Ironically, I was speaking with two other long-time friends at the same event who told me about a somewhat similar incident in which a couple of aikidoka confronted a gang to “test their skills,” and one ended up seriously injured and in the hospital.

So using this channel of the Internet where we can reach a worldwide audience, I would like to open the discussion to all of you to gather your feedback, which I highly value. Here are some relevant questions:

What are some possible alternatives that the young man had in the situation in which he found himself?

Was he right to act immediately by himself without first calling for help?

Have you ever found yourself in such a situation? What did you do and what was the result of your actions?

How can we use aikido in such situations where we feel compelled to physically intervene?

Please post your comments below.