Jan
19

“Aiki Ken and Jo Suburi: Part 25 – Go No Ken Suburi” by James Neiman

Introduction

O’Sensei developed the Aiki Ken and Jo Suburi, which thankfully have been faithfully preserved and transmitted as excellent forms from which Aikidoka can develop precise technique in both empty-handed taijutsu and weapons partner practices. The basis for the utility of Suburi is the introduction of large external objects that increase visibility and awareness of all aspects of Aikido technique.

At Shugyo Aikido Dojo we teach the Suburi to beginners as part of a standardized curriculum in the traditions passed to us through our lineage with Morihiro Saito Shihan, Hitohiro Saito Shihan, and Pat Hendricks Shihan, and we encourage advanced students to continue exploring the Suburi as a means to deepen competence in all aspects of Aikido.

The Suburi are helpful exercises that enable students to put into meaningful practice their understanding of lines and positioning, develop hanmi, kokyu, and dynamic balance, establish effective movement from center and hips, and work on timing of movement and breath. They are the subatomic particles that comprise our more complex movements, and provide an invaluable opportunity to refine and perfect the innumerable details that go into each technique. The more deeply we explore and live with the Suburi, the greater the connection we find with all forms of Aikido technique. The Aiki Ken and Jo Suburi truly are a magnificent creation by O’Sensei, and his beautiful gift to all of us contains the key and gateway to mastery of the art. The more advanced we become, the more deeply we are invited to explore the Suburi, and the greater the reward of discovery this path offers.

This is the 25th in a 27-part series on the Aiki Ken and Jo Suburi, and the 5th 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.

Go No Suburi

In this article on the Aiki Ken, we examine Go No Suburi, which is the fifth of the Aiki Ken Suburi. In summary, Go No Suburi is an application of the quintessential yokomen strike, including the symmetry of both left and right orientation. 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. Right and left side yokomen strikes
  2. Pivot and shomen strike
  3. Right and left side yokomen strikes
  4. Pivot and final shomen strike

[Read more...]

Jan
19

Morihiro Saito in his own words: “Learning to fight for the benefit of society”

Morihiro Saito was a skinny lad of eighteen when he summoned up the courage to seek out the founder in the summer of 1946. He was born on March 31, 1928 in a small village a few miles from the Ueshiba dojo. A typical Japanese youngster, young Morihiro admired the great swordsmen of feudal Japan such as Matabe Goto and Jubei Yagyu. Boys in Japan prior to and during World War II were embarassed not to have some understanding of judo or kendo, and these arts were taught as a part of the required school curriculum…”

Click here to read the entire article

Jan
18

Free PDF Download: Magazine: Aiki News Number 37, 1981


● Editorial on Mitsunari Kanai, by Stanley Pranin
● Interview with Mitsunari Kanai, by Stanley Pranin
● Morihiro Saito’s Technical Notebook — Katatedori koshinage, Katatedori koshinage, Ryotedori koshinage, by Morihiro Saito
● World Aikido Directory
● The Founder of Aikido, Morihei Ueshiba, “Idol Among the Soldiers, Chapter II – Part 4, by Kisshomaru Ueshiba
● Back cover: Noma Dojo photo with Morihei Ueshiba and Shigemi Yonekawa

Click here to download magazine

Jan
18

Video: Yoshimitsu Yamada, 8th dan: Highlights from instructional video

This video is an excellent introduction to Yoshimitsu Yamada Sensei’s videotape, “Aikido: The Power and the Basics 1.” A rather young Yamada Sensei performs a lively demonstration with an equally young Donovan Waite as uke. Yoshimitsu Yamada, a direct student of O-Sensei for more than ten years, is an 8th dan and the chief instructor at the New York Aikikai.

Click here to watch video

Jan
18

Straight from the Founder’s Mouth: “Morihei’s Revolutionary Training Manual” by Stanley Pranin

When I discovered Morihei’s little 1938 training manual during an interview in 1981, little did I realize how important a find it was. I immediately showed it to my teacher Morihiro Saito who had no idea that such a document existed. Saito Sensei was delighted at the discovery because “Budo” contained irrefutable evidence that his way of teaching in Iwama was faithful to the Founder’s curriculum as he had learned it after the war directly from Morihei…”

Click here to read more

Jan
18

Video: Steven Seagal at 1995 All-Japan Aikido Demonstration

This video clip is from the 1995 All-Japan Aikido Demonstration and Steven performs in the center mat in deference to his celebrity status to an appreciative audience. On this visit to Japan, he was also awarded 7th dan ranking by Second Doshu Kisshomaru Ueshiba.Steven Seagal is a well-known action movie star who has showcased aikido in many of his films. Early in Steven’s movie career, there was somewhat of an “aikido boom” due to the popularity of his movies. He was instrumental in familiarizing millions of people with his dynamic aikido technique, which was often portrayed in a brutal manner in his films…

Click here to watch video

Jan
18

Advantages of ebooks over printed books for the aikidoka

Ebooks — that is, books in digitized form that are downloadable to a wide variety of computing devices — have gained a major foothold in the publishing world. Amazon now sells more digitized books than printed works. Aikido Journal has embraced this trend and now offers many titles in both ebook and tangible versions. Here are some of the major advantages of ebooks over their physical counterparts. Ebooks are far cheaper, typically selling for 1/3 to 1/4 of the price of regular books. Since ebooks are delivered electronically, there is no more paying of postage or customs fees, a boon to customers are the world. Also, the world’s postal systems can’t lose these books because there are not involved in their delivery at all! And for many, one of the main benefits to ebooks is that there is almost no wait time for delivery. In most cases, customers are able to download their digital copies in a matter of minutes… and we keep a backup copy for you “in the cloud.”…

Click here to view products

Jan
17

Stanley Pranin’s Video Blog: “How I Started Aikido”

Aikido Journal Editor Stanley Pranin relates how he first began aikido in Southern California in 1962. This led to a lifelong study of the art where he found his calling, all due to the profound message of Founder Morihei Ueshiba.

Click here to watch video

Jan
17

Video: Tv documentary: Inside the Iwama Dojo with Morihiro Saito, 9th dan

This is an excellent Japanese tv clip from 1992 featuring Morihiro Saito, 9th dan, in the Iwama Dojo and outdoors in the Aiki Shrine. Saito Sensei gives an excellent demonstration as does his son, Hitohiro Saito. There is an interesting split-screen section where ken and taijutsu variations of techniques are shown at the same time. In addition, Saito Sensei and Hitohiro Sensei are interviewed close-up, and viewers will gain a good glimpse of their respective personalities.

Click here to watch video

Jan
17

Morihiro Saito’s Morotedori Kokyuho

When your partner stands in right hanmi and grabs your left hand, move your left foot to your partner’s right foot and turn your hips to change from left to right hanmi. Do this movement with the feeling of dropping your shoulder, elbows, and hips slightly. Turn to a position beside your partner, looking in the same direction. This is basic for all kokyuho exercises. The spacing, or maai, between you and your partner will be wrong if you look at him. If you face the same direction with the feeling of enveloping him, you will stay close to him and he will be unable to escape…”

Click here to read the article

Jan
17

Morihei Ueshiba: “True Budo is a Work of Love” (También en español!)

This image of the Founder of Aikido, Morihei Ueshiba, bearing his profound message was inspired by this remarkable video appearing on the TED website. Its amazing content will touch you deeply. O-Sensei’s universal message of harmony has the same potential to spread across political boundaries and reach the hearts of individuals all over the world. Please share it freely.

Click here to view and download hi-res photo (English/Spanish)

Jan
17

Screencast: Focus on History — “The Old Aikikai Hombu Dojo: Inside and Out,” by Stanley Pranin

In this screencast, Stanley Pranin presents a detailed layout of the old Aikikai Hombu Dojo as drawn by Mariye Takahashi. Also, shown are several fascinating photos from the 1950s and 60s taken inside the dojo. In this episode, you will actually have a chance to enter the dojo and prepare for training. We will guide you every step of the way!

Click here to view screencast