Jan
22

Frank Doran Sensei’s Amazing Demonstration at Aiki Expo 2002

Frank Doran Sensei, 7th dan, is one of the founding fathers of aikido in Northern California. He began training in 1959 in San Diego, California under Tokuji Hirata, an early student of Koichi Tohei in Hawaii. Doran Sensei is one of the main instructors in the San Francisco Bay area and a leader of the California Aikido Association heading Division 2 of that organization. He has traveled extensively in the U. S. and Europe giving aikido seminars. This video presents Frank Doran Sensei’s demonstration at Aiki Expo 2002 held in Las Vegas, Nevada. Doran Sensei’s aikido is very precise and powerful and stresses the importance of posture and body alignment…

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Jan
22

“Morihei in Tanabe,” by Stanley Pranin

Unlike other periods in the life of Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba, his early years in Tanabe and family circumstances are not well documented. Our principal sources of information on this period of Morihei’s life are the biography of Morihei Ueshiba published by his son Kisshomaru in 1977, later interviews and conversations with the author, and a few pages from the first biography of the Founder written by Kanemoto Sunadomari in 1969. To this can be added the recollections of members and relatives of the Ueshiba and Inoue families.

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Jan
21

Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu: “What Morihei Ueshiba Learned from Sokaku Takeda”

“Katsuyuki Kondo — Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu Hiden Mokuroku: Ikkajo.” This 236-page volume is the first book in English to introduce the technical curriculum of Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu as originally taught by Sokaku Takeda. Menkyo Kaiden Katsuyuki Kondo explains and demonstrates the 31 techniques of the ikkajo series of the Hiden Mokuroku, the first level of study in Daito-ryu. The arts of Daito-ryu form the basis for most of the techniques of modern aikido, the martial art created by Morihei Ueshiba O-Sensei.

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Jan
21

Video: Stanley Pranin’s “Nasty Nikyo”

Recently, we posted a video with a demonstration and explanation of an especially effective nikyo shown by Stanley Pranin. Uke will usually fall backward. Many people have commented on nikyo done in this manner and have been experimenting with it in their dojos. Stanley Pranin explains this nikyo further in a closeup video that will give you a better view of the mechanics of this technique.

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Jan
21

Video: Koichi Tohei, 10th dan: “Pioneer of Aikido in the USA”

Koichi Tohei Sensei was one of the first Aikikai shihan to disseminate aikido in the USA. His first trip abroad was to Hawaii in 1953 where he remained for a year. He set up a large network of dojos in the islands, and visited made other times subsequently. Tohei Sensei’s first trip to the mainland USA took place in August 1965…

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Jan
21

Morihiro Saito: “I was lucky enough to have a job, otherwise, I wouldn’t have been able to continue.”

The widespread poverty of Japan in these years made it increasingly difficult for the few students at the Iwama Dojo to continue practicing. One by one, work and family obligations compelled them to abandon their training until only a few students came to practice. Seeing Morihiro’s devotion and enthusiasm toward training, Ueshiba gradually began to rely on him more and more in his personal life. Finally, only young Saito was left to serve the founder on a regular basis. Even after his marriage, Morihiro’s passion for training continued unabated. In fact, his young bride began to serve the Ueshibas too, and personally looked after O-Sensei’s elderly wife, Hatsu.

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Jan
20

Video: Shoji Seki’s powerful display of technique at 10th International Aikido Congress

Shoji Seki, 7th dan, is one of a group of Aikikai Hombu Dojo instructors who began their careers in the late 1960s. He has maintained himself in excellent physical condition, and his technique is fast and precise. Although Seki Sensei is not verbose in his explanation, he repeats the technique he is demonstrating many times, and it is possible to catch the fine points of his movements through careful observation.

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Jan
20

Morihiro Saito: “O-Sensei got angry and broke it with his wooden sword!”

These morning practices consisted of about forty minutes of prayer while seated upright in front of the altar of the Aiki Shrine, followed by weapons training as the weather permitted. At this stage of his life, the founder was engrossed in the study of the aiki ken and jo and their relationship to empty-handed techniques. He was experimenting with the basic weapons forms which Saito would later formalize into a comprehensive system to complement the empty-handed techniques of aikido.

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Jan
20

Morihiro Saito: “Imparting Morihei’s techniques to the next generation”

These morning practices consisted of about forty minutes of prayer while seated upright in front of the altar of the Aiki Shrine, followed by weapons training as the weather permitted. At this stage of his life, the founder was engrossed in the study of the aiki ken and jo and their relationship to empty-handed techniques. He was experimenting with the basic weapons forms which Saito would later formalize into a comprehensive system to complement the empty-handed techniques of aikido…

Click here to read entire article on Morihiro Saito

Jan
20

Stanley Pranin’s Video Blog: “Aikido History 101″

We have uploaded a video clip of Aikido Journal Editor Stanley Pranin introducing an outline of a six-article series on the life and work of Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba available free of charge to readers. He briefly presents the contents of each article in the series which collectively touch upon the highlights of Morihei’s life and the creation of aikido.

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Jan
19

Video: Masamichi Noro of Kinomichi demonstrates Jo Kata in late 1970s

Masamichi Noro entered the Aikikai Hombu Dojo as an uchideshi in 1955. He was dispatched to France in 1961 as a 5th dan rising to 6th dan in 1963. Noro Sensei later separated from the Aikikai Hombu organization. In 1979 established KI NO MICHI (The Way of Ki), which consists of aiki-like movements done in a slow-motion manner. He currently instructs at his Kinomichi Dojo in Paris.

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Jan
19

“There was this old man doing strange techniques up in the mountains near Iwama.”

Ueshiba was in his sixties and the possessor of a powerful physique resulting from decades of hard training. Freed for the first time in many years from heavy teaching responsibilities, the founder could at last pursue his personal training and ascetic activities with undistracted intensity. Although Ueshiba had taught tens of thousands of students prior to the war, the aftermath of the horrible conflict left him severed from all but a handful of his former disciples. The practice of martial arts had been prohibited by the General Headquarters of the Allied Forces, but this edict was unevenly enforced even in urban areas and was of little consequence in the countryside of Ibaragi Prefecture.

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