Dec
31

Happy New Year 2013 from Aikido Journal!

On behalf of the staff of Aikido Journal, I would like to wish you a happy and prosperous New Year in 2013. Thanks to each and every one of you who have supported and shown interest in our work during the nearly four decades of our existence.

We promise to continue with full vigor our efforts to disseminate the best in aikido-related materials for our worldwide community.

Please have an enjoyable and safe holiday and plan to make 2013 your best year ever!

Stanley Pranin

Dec
31

Daito-ryu vs Aikido: “In techniques of Daito-ryu you must break the balance of your opponent the instant you touch him”

The difference between aikido and Daito-ryu in the eyes of the general public is that in techniques of Daito-ryu you must break the balance of your opponent the instant you touch him. This is because there is aiki in the technique, which we use to break the balance of the opponent. This is a major characteristic of Daito-ryu. Another characteristic is its use of atemi. This atemi is also a part of aiki in Daito-ryu. Although it is often said that Daito-ryu looks unrefined or is lacking in magnificence, Daito-ryu also has a component called aiki no jutsu (fifty-three techniques) and they are truly wonderful.

Click here for more information on Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu

Dec
31

Historical photos: Morihei Ueshiba O-Sensei performing the misogi jo

This series of photos shows Morihei Ueshiba O-Sensei performing misogi jo movements inside the old Aikikai Hombu Dojo, c. 1965. If you look closely, you will see that he is actually using two separate weapons. One is the familiar jo–a stick a little over four feet long–, and the other a pointed weapon of similar length called the “nuboko.” Mention of this nuboko, literally the “swamp spear,” will be new to many aikidoka. Its name comes right out of the Kojiki, the so-called “Record of Ancient Matters,” that contains the mythological creation stories of Japan.

Click here to view the photos Morihei Ueshiba’s misogi jo

Dec
30

Katsuyuki Kondo Sensei: “Entering the World of Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu”

Yet another dynamic photo of Katsuyuki Kondo Sensei executing a Daito-ryu throw.

Click here to learn more about Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu

Dec
30

Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu: “The relationship between Ippondori and Aikido’s ikkyo”

In Daito-ryu, the first technique you learn is called ippondori, a difficult technique where you receive, barehanded, the frontal attack of your opponent. In the traditional martial arts, a secret technique is usually taught at the very beginning. In Daito-ryu, too, we teach a difficult technique first. This ippondori, I believe, has become ikkyo in aikido and also is related to techniques like shomenuchi ikkyo, katatedori ikkyo, ryotedori ikkyo, and so on.

Click here to see Daito-ryu’s ippondori

Dec
30

Video: Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu: “The Devil is in the Details!”

This is an excellent photo of Katsuyuki Kondo, Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu Menkyo Kaiden, executing a technique in which atemi plays an essential part. Atemi, or “combative strikes,” serve the purpose of disturbing an opponent’s attack and balance paving the way for the execution of a technique. The use of atemi fell out of favor in the aikido that was spread in the postwar era due to a variety of factors. Morihei Ueshiba, for his part, regularly used atemi when demonstrating techniques.

Click here to view the Daito-ryu video

Dec
30

Video: Tokimune Takeda, Daito-ryu Headmaster, and successor of Sokaku Takeda

Sokaku Takeda’s son, Tokimune, was his father’s successor and instrumental in the spread of Daito-ryu in Japan in the postwar era. One of his leading students, Katsuyuki Kondo, was the only person to have received Menkyo Kaiden certification from Tokimune Sensei. Here Tokimune Sensei demonstrates a high-level Daito-ryu technique against multiple attackers c. 1980.

Click here to view the video

Dec
29

Video: The Daito-ryu School descended from both Morihei Ueshiba and Sokaku Takeda

This video contains a brief clip of Hakaru Mori Sensei of the Takumakai school of Daito-ryu. Among the Daito-ryu schools with the largest number of practitioners is the Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu Takumakai based in Osaka. This group was centered on Takuma Hisa who first began Daito-ryu training under Morihei Ueshiba in 1933 and then was taught by Sokaku Takeda from 1936 to 1939. In this sense technically speaking the Takumakai practices a hybrid curriculum containing techniques taught by Morihei Ueshiba and Sokaku Takeda. The current director of the Takumakai is Hakaru Mori Sensei.

Click here to watch the Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu video

Dec
29

Video: “Have you seen the “soft style” of Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu as practiced by the Kodokai?”

This is a still of a technique against 3 uke executed by Yusuke Inoue of the Kodokai, the so-called “soft style” of Daito-ryu.

The Kodokai is a Daito-ryu organization formed in 1950 around Kodo Horikawa, one of the most prominent students of Sokaku Takeda. It is headquartered in Kitami, Hokkaido. After the death of Horikawa in 1980, Yusuke Inoue, a Menkyo Kaiden Shihan, became the head of the group whose dojos are primarily located in Hokkaido.

Click here to watch the video

Dec
29

Video: Sokaku Takeda’s lineage: What does Daito-ryu technique look like?

This video contains highlights of an historically important Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu demonstration that took place at the Nippon Budokan in Tokyo in 1992. This event commemorated the 50th anniversary of the passing of Sokaku Takeda. The demonstration was hosted by the Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu organization of Katsuyuki Kondo Sensei, and also featured other schools of Daito-ryu including the Kodokai, the Takumakai, aikido and kobudo schools.

Click here to watch the video on Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu

Dec
29

“Appropriate Preemption,” by Nev Sagiba

“The pusher was bending down to pull out a pistol from a boot holster he would have used before any of the unconscious crowd could even begin to know what happened.”

Appropriate preemption is a rare thing because it requires a measure of clarity that some people imagine as “mind reading.” Not so. It is the clear and lucid reading of intention which makes itself available with regular practice of good budo, especially Aiki Budo where your practice partners know how to attack without telegraphing as do beginners and the unskilled.

Morihei, Gozo, Koichi, Seiichi and Morihiro had it. Most of the others fake it and that poorly.

Preemption is one of the epitomes of budo skill that separate the true budoka from children.

The thug, the bully and the idiot does not preempt. He merely initiates aggression. This is the pathology we are trying to heal in the species.

In order for true preemption to become available the protector must have a clear and unmitigated knowingness of the attackers intention to attack. Then be able to discern, evaluate, decide and act in less than two seconds.

The following is true recounting of something that happened:

A budoka had a job as a waiter in a large restaurant. Whilst serving a table he casually sauntered up to one male person and delivered a knockout strike. A furor ensued and as it turned out he was arrested and charged, and needless to say lost his job.
[Read more...]

Dec
29

El video blog de Stanley Pranin en Español: “Deberían ser las armas parte del entrenamiento de Aikido?

El video blog de Stanley Pranin sobre las armas en el entrenamiento de aikido con subtítulos en español.

Stanley Pranin’s video blog on the place of weapons training in aikido with Spanish subtitles.

Click here to watch video