Mar
26

Morihiro Saito ebooks: This week’s special for your consideration

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Mar
26

“A Dilemma Deferred: An Identity Denied and Dismissed,” by Minoru J. Shibata

In the mid 20th century, Morihei Ueshiba O-Sensei introduced a martial art that is unique to this day. There are many witnesses living worldwide today who were there, saw him, heard what he said, and physically touched him. There also is a significant amount of recorded and anecdotal history about him and his art, as there are practices and seminars that have been proliferating for many years that appear to be directly related to what he founded…

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Mar
26

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…

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Mar
26

Why did O-Sensei choose the name “Aikido” for his art? The best answer wins a prize…

“What is the meaning of “Aikido” and why was it chosen?”

The name of “Aikido,” though perhaps not a household word, is widely known by the public, especially those who are interested in martial arts. The founder of Aikido was Morihei Ueshiba (1883-1969), often referred to reverently as “O-Sensei,” a man born in Meiji era Japan. The art itself has achieved a certain degree of popularity after World War II, and was spread to many different countries.

The name “Aikido” consists of three Japanese characters, “Ai,” meaning to join or match, “ki” referring to energy, and finally “do,” which means path or road.

Literally hundreds of books in many languages have been written about the art of Aikido, and many of them touch upon the subject of the meaning of the word “Aikido,” and what the founder had in mind when he chose it.

Please give your interpretation of the term “Aikido,” and why it was chosen by Morihei Ueshiba.

The person judged to have provided the best answer will be given a free ebook. We await your comments below!

Mar
26

“Morihei Ueshiba and Minoru Mochizuki,” by Stanley Pranin

“You have the makings of a leader… In the future you will be a top teacher here at the Kodokan,” were the words of encouragement of the famous Kano. Mochizuki was to report to Kano on a monthly basis on his training progress…

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Mar
26

POPULAR! Rinjiro Shirata: “After nikyo, and you couldn’t hold chopsticks. After yonkyo, you would swell up purple!”

Morihei was reading Rinjiro’s intentions as if they were an open book. As soon as Morihei felt the faint signals, he immediately stopped those movements, and in the next moment, he bent Rinjiro’s body like a large bow, immobilizing him. Afterwards, the finish was said to be like yonkyo, but Rinjiro didn’t even have a chance to confirm that; all he could do was endure the intense pain and struggle to somehow slip out of the technique even though he knew it was useless. Contrary to the struggle in his mind, his body didn’t even twitch…

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Mar
25

“Morihiro Saito learned O-Sensei’s Vast Technical Repertoir in Iwama in the late 1940s and 50s”

Through a quirk of fate, Morihiro Saito, one of Ueshiba’s closed disciples, found himself in a unique position to be the beneficiary of Morihei’s vast knowledge. The flexibility of his job allowed him to spend large amount of time with the aikido founder on alternate days, this in contrast to the few others students who had to struggle to eke out a living in these years of great struggles…

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Mar
25

“What then are the possibilities as to the origin of Iwama Aikido?”

As I see things, they are three: (1) Morihei Ueshiba did teach a technically rich system including weapons in Iwama over a protracted period of time with Morihiro Saito as his leading student. Saito passed on the Founder’s teaching methods essentially intact, changing or adding little; (2) Saito took the loosely-organized aikido basics he learned from the Founder and devised an elaborate curriculum of his own without outside input that is substantially different from what the Founder taught. (3) Saito acquired a deep knowledge of aikido from his long association with the Founder and systemized this body of information into a modern, pedagogically sound system. The third conclusion seems the most convincing to me. If readers see other possibilities based on available evidence I am overlooking I would be glad to entertain them.

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Mar
25

Video: Yasuo Kobayashi, 8th dan, demonstrates aikido atemi and pressure points

In this video, Yasuo Kobayashi, 8th dan, demonstrates aikido atemi and pressure points. During his demonstration, he shows a variety of atemi (combative strikes) and pressure points whose application increases the level of effectiveness of aikido techniques…

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Mar
25

“The Street – Many Shades of Violence,” by Nev Sagiba

“There is more to violence than, “the street”…”

When we hear about violence, often “the street” is mentioned, as if that’s the only place that violence takes place. Well I’m here to disillusion you. Only a small percentage of violence takes pace in the mythical “street.” But it is often serious, so not to be taken lightly.

Violence is all around us. Violence is when a line is crossed that infringes unto the boundary of others. Some violence is unconscious. Much of it deliberate. There are many shades of violence.

Whether bullying at school or the workplace, child abuse or domestic violence at home, sexual abuse or rape (most goes unreported), whether theft of any form, inflated prices or interest rates, any totalitarian tactic, the creation of unjust laws or the misuse of law to bring about a breach of justice, poor or unjust governance, the corrosive effects of poor relationships, office politics, poor job conditions especially around remuneration and occupational health and safety. Wherever someone becomes, “interested” in something not rightfully theirs, but belonging to someone else, deception, cheating, any form of exploitation, infringement, transgression and the causing harm of any kind constitutes violence.

In recent war footage on the news, I heard an anchor man say that the local inhabitants had the temerity to be engaging in “violence” while the invaders were bombing the smithereens out of them. Such a level of idiocy and mental entrapment borders on the microcephalic. The modus of war is aggression and violence on a grand scale. Whether plain dumb and hypnotized by propaganda or intended as deceptive “spin” such attempts at dressing it up as something else are never helpful. Any normal person would strive to defend the land of their birth. It’s the inalienable birthright of every sentient being alive!

The list of violent, violational and violatory possibilities is virtually endless and these are the battles of life everyone experiences and participates in to some degree or another, depending on where they live and the conditions around them. Violence always causes pain. Change is the nature of the Universe. When change moves too fast, spiritual blindness may arise and infringement will tend to happen. When it does, we have no alternative than to learn to “dance” with it as best we can, in order to protect our integrity.
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Mar
25

POPULAR! Video: Aikido – “The Ascent to Beauty” featuring Seishiro Endo and Christian Tissier

This film documentary is a beautiful documentary in high definition featuring Seishiro Endo Sensei and Christian Tissier Sensei. There are some fascinating randori scenes in slow motion. The production values are very high and English subtitles are included. It was directed by Manuel Radons.

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Mar
24

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

This undated photo of Tohei Sensei was probably taken about 1967 during one of his instructional tours of the USA. Notable are his powerful physique and massive forearms. 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…

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