Las Vegas Seminar: “An unforgettable aikido weekend among peers,” by Stanley Pranin

Front row kneeling left to right: Mike Sverdlov, Alan Morton, Stanley Pranin, Francis Takahashi, Patrick Augé, Alan Kerr, Jay Guerin. Back row left to right: Robert Kordoski, Craig Constantine, John Driscoll, Tom Collings, Scott Santarpio, Matt de Heras, Joshua Kuntzman, Jim Clark, Ricky Tam. Not pictured is Kambiz Sakhai.

“Training, sharing, and polishing technique!”

We just finished yesterday our weekend seminar here in Las Vegas consisting of a special group of 16 top aikido instructors. The theme of the event was “Exploring Morihei Ueshiba O-Sensei’s Aikido,” that concept being the central thread of the workshop.

We drew several ideas from Morihei Ueshiba’s 1938 training manual “Budo” and applied them to our training. I also explained various historical events that affected the course of the development of aikido. Over the course of the weekend, we practiced numerous techniques analyzing them each in turn in light of a theoretical model that I have been formulating based on one of O-Sensei’s key principles.

In coming days, we will be posting a number of photos and videos from the seminar which will give you a good feel for the content, setting, and participants.

I will be conducting a similar event in Las Vegas, November 2-4 addressing the same theme. Three spots are left, so if any one is interested in joining us, we would be happy to welcome you on a first-come, first-served basis. Click here for information.


  1. Sounds wonderful! Wish I’d been able to make it.

  2. Matt Fisher says:


    This is very good news for the wider aikido community! At some point, I would strongly encourage you to put down in writing the theoretical model you have developed and that you refer to in passing in your blog entry. For those of us who teach in our dojos but can’t physically travel to Las Vegas to work with you, having those ideas in writing would be a tremendously valuable resource. And given the clarity that always characterizes your writing, I am confident that it could be written up in a way that would be useful to a wide range of people…particularly given the visual resources (photos and film) that Aikido Journal also makes available.

    Matt Fisher
    Allegheny Aikido
    Pittsburgh, PA

    • Matt,

      Thank you very much for your feedback. Actually, one of the purposes of our weekend seminar was to get the reaction of participants to the ideas I was advancing. I think it went very well and we will have a second seminar in November to continue working on fleshing out the model. I will definitely write something in the near future and it will probably be accompanied by video as well.

  3. Thank you Pranin Sensei for sharing this interesting event, looking forward for photos, videos and to read about the content of the seminar.

    • Tom Collings says:

      Thank you Stan for a great weekend. Your dedication and hospitality, Patrick Auge’s humility, and Francis Takahashi’s wit and insights were the highlight for me. I also enjoyed making 15 new friends both on and off the mat – Quality training topped off with a lot a laughs. Bravo!

  4. Let me echo Tom’s remarks regarding an outstanding weekend of collegial training! It was unforgettable experience – imagine training with aikidoka collectively having nearly a half a millennium of experience, no egos, no concern as to style, and a true feeling of camaraderie – just aikidoka training, with Stan serving as a compass and providing his historical insights. With nearly fifty years in Japanese combative arts – Kodokan Judo, Aikido, Isshinryu Karatedo, and Nakamura-ryu Battodo – I have been to my share of seminars and workshops, and consider last weekend to have been the best. Again, Stan thanks for coming up with the concept, the plan, and hosting the workshop!

    • John,

      It was a pure delight having you and the other great instructors on hand for a weekend of training, brainstorming, and friendship building!

  5. Jay Guerin says:


    Much thanks to you and your family for being such gracious hosts over the weekend. The aikido knowledge that was present over these 3 days was simply outstanding!! To have the opportunity to work with and exchange ideas with such fantastic practitioners was simply priceless. The weekend and the seminar have ended, but the avenues for new training ideas and resources has just begun.

    What was most impressive of all was the willingness and candor of all the participants in sharing their particular aikido with the group. I know I made some invaluable new friendships, on and off the mat. I think that friendship is a strong, but oftentimes overlooked component of O’Sensei’s Aikido. In a short but intensive 3 days, I think you were able to accomplish for all of us that important component.

    Thank you for an outstanding weekend!

    • Jay,

      I’m so glad you could come and be part of our group. Your ukemi is outstanding and I was happy to have you help me throughout the seminar!

  6. frederic veer says:

    Hi Stan,

    It sounds like a great event. I would love to read about your theoretical model.

    I eagerly await your next posting.


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