Archives for December 2012


Video: Seishiro Endo, 8th dan: Grace and centeredness at the 2004 All-Japan Aikido Demo

This video features a beautiful demonstration by Seishiro Endo, 8th dan, at the 2004 All-Japan Aikido Demonstration. Endo Sensei moves with grace while remaining centered and eschews the use of any physical strength while executing techniques.

Click here to watch the video of Seishiro Endo, 8th dan


Aiki Ken: “The Suburi and Ki Musubi no Tachi”

“Among the basic ken practices left by the founder are the ki musubi no tachi and the five kumitachi.”

“He steps backward to raise his sword and I match his movement, cutting him at the wrist.”

Click here to watch the Aiki Ken video


Video: A Better Aikido for You… Morihiro Saito, 9th dan — “Highlights of the Aiki Ken”

Morihiro Saito, one of Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba’s closest students from the postwar era, is the acknowledged master of the Aiki Ken and Jo. He learned at the side of Ueshiba O-Sensei for over 20 years and codified the Founder’s teachings on the sword and staff of aikido into an elaborate weapons curriculum. This video contains highlights of the Saito Sensei’s instructional video on the Aiki Ken.

Click here to watch the video featuring highlights of Morihiro Saito’s Aiki Ken


Video: Kisaburo Osawa, 9th dan, at 1986 All-Japan Aikido Demonstration

Here is a fascinating video clip from a demonstration given by Kisaburo Osawa Sensei, 9th dan at, the 1986 All-Japan Aikido Demonstration. Osawa Sensei was known for his light touch and smooth technical execution, punctuated by sudden bursts of speed. He was 76 years of age at the time of this demonstration. Osawa Sensei had many devoted students at the Hombu Dojo from the 1950s through the early 1980s. He also traveled abroad on a number of occasions to conduct seminars.

Click here to watch the demonstration of Kisaburo Osawa, 9th dan


Historical photo: “Time Machine Back to Osaka in 1935,” by Stanley Pranin

This is a rare photo of unusually high quality depicting Morihei Ueshiba in Osaka with the leading figures of his Asahi News dojo. The photo is almost certainly from 1935 judging by Morihei’s visage, and the fact that it was taken at a time prior to Sokaku Takeda’s arrival in Osaka in June 1936. The people who appear in the photo reflect aspects of Morihei’s activities that extend beyond his martial arts teaching into family areas and the political realm.

Click here to read the entire article


Aikido Journal Number 108, 1996: In Memoriam Seigo Yamaguchi (1924-1996)

Aikido Journal Number 108, 1996: In Memoriam Seigo Yamaguchi (1924-1966)

● Editorial – Aikido & Weapons: The Last Word?, by Stanley Pranin
● Journal News, by Diane Skoss
● Letters to the Editor
● Seigo Yamaguchi: In Memoriam
● On Writing Zen Combat, by Jay Gluck
● Interview with Fumio Toyoda, by Mark Binder
● Improvisations, by Ellis Amdur
● In My Own Way, by David Lynch
● Takemusu Aikido — Yokomenuchi Iriminage Kihon, by Morihiro Saito
● The Omoto Religion and Aikido, by Yasuaki Deguchi
● Kicks & Aikido, by Roger D’Onofrio & Hans Goto
● Famous Swordsmen of Japan: Toru Shirai, by Takefumi Hiiragi
● Heard in the Dojo
● Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu: Kubi Hineri, by Takeshi Kawabe as transmitted by the Takumakai
● Events & Announcements
● The Book Page
● Our Contributors



“Teaching and Shu-Ha-Ri,” by Yukiyoshi Takamura

“Shu-ha-ri” literally means embracing the kata, diverging from the kata and discarding the kata. The pursuit of training in a classical Japanese endeavor almost always follows this educational process. This unique approach to learning has existed for centuries in Japan and has been instrumental in the survival of many older Japanese knowledge traditions.

Click here to read the entire article


More on O-Sensei’s Warmups: “The goldfish wiggle”

Here is another warmup from the same series called the “kingyo undo,” or goldfish exercise. This is a very good way to gently loosen the spine prior to the more vigorous movements of aikido. It’s a good exercise to do after waking up or before bed.

Click here to view the video with the warmup exercises


“Every second holds an information packet from the past… a gift to us in the present,” by Stanley Pranin

Many AJ readers are discovering the aikido of Morihei Ueshiba O-Sensei for the first time through the medium of photos. Did you know that every second of video holds 30 frames of images? This is a virtually inexhaustible source of material for us to scan for gems of wisdom.

Four hours or so of video — the approximate amount of film of the Founder in our archives — yields over 400,000 images. The surviving film of the masters thus offers us many millions of still photos to analyze and learn from.

It only takes access to these documents, and the energy and foresight to mine them, for the past to reveal its secrets. We provide the access…


Morito Suganuma: “O-Sensei’s Warmups Alive and Well”

This is an outstanding video featuring Morito Suganuma Sensei, 8th dan, of Fukuoka, Japan. In it, he expertly performs the jumbi taiso or warmup exercises taught by O-Sensei in his later years. These exercises were taught in various forms and combinations at the Aikikai Hombu Dojo in the 1950s and 60s. These are an important legacy and a reminder of the importance of throughly warming up the body prior to practice. Notice the outstanding physical condition of Suganuma Sensei, a man now 70 years old.

Click here to watch Morito Suganuma, 8th dan, perform O-Sensei’s warmups


Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba: “A dynamic warmup you’ve never seen”

This is an amazing still that captures Morihei in mid-air having executed a two-fisted thrust downward. Look at the width and muscularity of his back. In this film from 1955, Morihei leads the class in a series of seldom seen warmups.

Click here to view video with highlights of the Founder of Aikido from 1952-1958


Morihei’s peerless technique: An inescapable sankyo topples Koichi Tohei

Morihei applies a powerful sankyo to the wrist of a young Koichi Tohei. Saito Sensei said that this film was made for Tohei Sensei to take to Hawaii on his first visit in 1953.

Click here to watch the Founder effortlessly upend young men 50 years his junior