Dec
24

Merry Christimas from Stanley Pranin and the Aikido Journal Staff

The Aikido Journal staff and I would like to take this opportunity to wish all of you who celebrate Christmas a wonderful holiday! We hope that you will be able to spend quality time with your family and loved ones. We wish you, also, a very Happy New Year, and wonderful things for 2013!

Stanley Pranin

Dec
24

“Aikido: A Legacy from the Past, a Vision for the Future” by Stanley Pranin

This editorial was written back in 1994. It is surprising to me how little the goals of Aikido Journal have shifted during the intervening 22 years. “Our concern in Aikido Journal is with aikido as a body of techniques and a tool for achieving the peaceful resolution of conflict. This means that our starting point is the art formulated by Morihei Ueshiba, with its inseparable humanistic premises. This is the standard by which we measure the content of technique and the morality of behavior. The aims of aikido also constitute our vision for a future world in which peaceful interaction in society is achieved through the presence of a skilled sword that remains sheathed.

Click here to read the entire article

Dec
23

Video: “Morihiro Saito — 20 Jo Suburi… striking, thrusting, and parrying”

There are 20 jo suburi that cover all of the basic striking, thrusting, and parrying movements of this versatile weapon favored by the Founder.

Click here to view Morihiro Saito’s video featuring the 20 jo suburi

LAST DAY OF SPECIAL KEN AND JO STUDY COURSE OFFER!

Dec
23

Video: “Morihiro Saito — Bukiwaza in front of the Aiki Shrine”

This video depicts highlights of a longer film of weapons demonstrations shot in 1979. Saito Sensei is in his prime and his handling of the ken and jo is powerful and fluid. In the 1970s and 80s, the uchideshi at the Iwama Dojo would have early morning sessions in front of the Aiki Shrine near the Iwama Dojo. Literally hundreds of live-in students had intensive Aiki Ken and Jo training under the guidance of Morihiro Saito Sensei.

Click here to view the video of Morihiro Saito performing ken and jo in front of the Aiki Shrine

LAST DAY OF SPECIAL KEN AND JO STUDY COURSE OFFER!

Dec
22

Hiroshi Isoyama and Shigemi Inagaki: “Iwama Dojo featuring on NHK in 2009″

This is a video documentary shot by NHK at the Iwama Dojo in 2009. It features and interview with Hiroshi Isoyama, and a demonstration by Shigemi Inagaki. Foreign practitioners also appear and are interviewed. English subtitles.

Click here to watch the video of the Iwama Dojo

Dec
22

Morihiro Saito, 9th dan: Aiki Ken & Jo Instructional videos

Dec
22

“How Can You Tell If You Have The Warrior Gene?,” by Nev Sagiba

Some indicators are:
If you feel intense dislike of bullies and cowards.
When you feel like stepping in to stop injustice.
When you feel like “taking out” those who lie, con, cheat, and predate on the weak, innocent and gullible.
When you feel an obligation to stop harm and protect society.
When you are aware and like to minimize risk where you see it.
When you feel motivated to protect and instruct those who are too weak, ignorant or unprepared to do so for themselves.
When you like to see people happy, productive and at peace.

The warriors way walks a fine line. The risk is that an often legitimate warrior may, with excess of zeal and insufficient training, tip out and become part of the problem.

Here is the good news: In order to maintain and administer a society there are numerous career paths that require warrior types capable of facing danger to minimize risk for the gentler folk. Such active servers thereby establish a healthy balance both within themselves and in society that they serve.

You will seldom be thanked (Watch last 3 minutes of the movie The Seven Samurai) but the job satisfaction is always rewarding.

If you are an Aikido practitioner, in these cases the skill you obtain as part of your career will be augmented with additional strategic insights, and in turn your career will increase your Aikido skills.

Whatever your work, Aikido properly addressed will enhance your ability and your daily life.

A well protected and properly administered society is in a good position to uplift itself and step up to higher standards of happiness.

Nev Sagiba
aikiblue.com

Dec
22

Video: “Ken and Jo forms devised by the Founder and systemized by Morihiro Saito”

During his years living in Iwama, Morihei Ueshiba had a unique opportunity to focus on his personal training and development for the first time in many years. The result of this extended period of devotion to aikido practice, meditation, and farming was “Takemusu Aiki,” Morihei’s concept of the ultimate goal of aikido where one becomes capable of spontaneously executing techniques exactly suited to the circumstances.

Click here to watch the video on the 31-jo kata, kumijo, and 13 jo kata

Dec
22

Video: “O-Sensei’s deep study of the Aiki Jo and Ken in Iwama following the war led to the inclusion of weapons in aikido training”

“The kumijo movements are rapid. O-Sensei disliked the 1-2-3 approach to training. However, this approach is the only one which will work when training with a large number of people.”

Click here to watch the Morihiro Saito’s video on the Aiki Jo

Dec
21

Video: “The origins of Morihei’s Jo are somewhat mysterious with several theories being espoused…”

“In order to learn the kata, we’ve broken it down into component parts. There are some places where these movements differ when applied in the kumijo.”

Click here to watch Morihiro Saito’s video on the Aiki Jo

Dec
21

Video: Aikido’s Versatile Weapon… Morihiro Saito: “Highlights of the Aiki Jo”

The exact origins of the Aiki Jo remain somewhat of a mystery. Some have found traces of Morihei Ueshiba’s jo movements in the “juken” or rifle with bayonet he practiced as a young soldier. Others point to the influence in the Aiki Jo of the “yari” or spear that he studied with intensity during the Ayabe period. It might also be noted that the Founder was exposed to many classical systems due to his wide network of associations in martial arts circles. Whatever the sources of his jo may be, by the 1950s in Iwama Morihei had elaborated a rather extensive array of jo exercises and katas that enhanced his empty-handed forms, and his ability to adopt the perfect stance, distancing, thrusting and striking skills when executing aikido.

Click here to view Morihiro Saito’s video on the Aiki Jo

Dec
21

“Aiki Ken and Jo Suburi: Part 23 – San No Ken Suburi” by James Neiman

Introduction

This is the 23rd in a 27-part series on the Aiki Ken and Jo Suburi, and the 3rd in a series of 7 articles on the Aiki Ken Suburi. All articles in the series are paired with YouTube video demonstrations of each of the Suburi (click here to subscribe to the channel). These paired demonstrations and articles are offered to Aikidoka who would like to more fully understand the precise mechanics within each of the Suburi, how they can be practiced in both solo and partner settings, and how one can align the Suburi with taijutsu to develop increasing competence and precision with both basic and advanced technique.

San No Suburi

In this article on the Aiki Ken, we examine San No Suburi, which is the third of the Aiki Ken Suburi. In summary, San No Suburi adds a ki-filled hidden component to the shomen strike, yielding a basic exercise in the fundamental use of energy as part of basic technique. Click here to view a video demonstration of the components of this Suburi. The exercise requires a fluid combination of movements that can be divided into 4 major sections:

  1. Drop Back
  2. Gather Energy
  3. Enter
  4. Strike


[Read more...]