Mar
22

Shoji Nishio: “When stepping in front of uke, atemi is your best friend!”

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Mar
22

Angular Attack Theory: An Aikido Perspective by Todd Jones

“The cornerstones of physical interactive success are skill, conditioning, and experience. All things being equal, a shortcoming in any of these three categories virtually insures defeat. A budoka with superior skill, who is in top shape, and is experienced at physical interaction, should never fail”

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Mar
22

“Sokaku Takeda: Bodyguard in Hokkaido,” by Tokimune Takeda

Under cover of darkness, Sokaku, carrying his cherished sword, went directly to the house of Tsunekichi Morita, the head of the Mo group, instead of the headquarters of the mobsters set up at the inn, for a fight to the finish. There are said to have been three people at the front door when he arrived. When one of them saw Sokaku’s face, he said: “You must be Takeda Sensei…”

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Mar
21

Shoji Nishio: “I have serious doubts about some aikido techniques…”

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Mar
21

Shoji Nishio: “Aikido represents a major departure from its predecessor arts”

“Certain people in the world of Japanese martial arts began to doubt that aikido was a martial art. This doubt concerning the martial nature of aikido is often voiced both in Japan and abroad. We have done our best to convey the words of O-Sensei to present-day practitioners and exemplify these principles in our own practice…”

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Mar
21

Duel to the Death: Kyuzo the Swordsman from the “Seven Samurai”

Kyuzo, a master swordsman, is part of the group of “Seven Samurai” who have been assembled to protect a terrorized village from bandits. In this scene, the swordsman reluctantly dispatches an opponent who refuses to admit defeat and insists on dueling. Outstanding sword choreography in this famous film by Akira Kurosawa…

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Mar
21

Self-defense:”Defense against one’s self,” by Lynn Seiser

One of the first things we learned in Aikido is to relax the body and calm the mind. To get the most out of training, we do not deny the uke is attacking and we do not tell them how they should attack. The Aiki way is to greet the attack, accept it, and blend with it. We redirect rather than resist. We take balance with finesse rather than by force. We attempt to control the situation and do no harm…

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Mar
21

Video: Nobuyuki Watanabe, 8th dan — Fake or real? You be the judge…

Nobuyuki Watanabe is an 8th dan instructor at the Aikikai Hombu Dojo in Tokyo, Japan appears in this video clips from the 1987 All-Japan Aikido Demonstration. He is known for his soft, no-touch style of aikido that leaves viewers scratching their heads about his technique. Watanabe Sensei’s unique aikido has come under close scrutiny and many deride his approach. Nonetheless, he is ranked 8th dan by the Aikikai Hombu Dojo and always elicits an enthusiastic response during the All-Japan event…

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Mar
20

Angular Attack Theory: An Aikido Perspective by Todd Jones

Angular attack theory is a conceptual framework that is taught in many martial traditions in one form or another. A fundamental comprehension of attack theory is essential to successfully effectuating defensive strategy and tactics. Ignorance of the construction, tactics, and strategy of attacking guarantees defeat. That said it is a difficult task to convey these concepts in writing, but here goes…

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Mar
20

Video: “Shoji Nishio’s dilemma… and his solution”

Shoji Nishio began his aikido training at the end of 1951 when there was little activity at the Aikikai Hombu Dojo. Kisshomaru Ueshiba and Koichi Tohei, and a small cadre of relatively inexperienced instructors conducted classes. Although Nishio Sensei was captivated by aikido and the art of Founder Morihei Ueshiba, he felt disillusioned at the lack of martiality and weapons training. Being unable to get satisfactory answers to his questions, and absent weapons training, Nishio Sensei set out to crosstrain in other martial arts to fill the gaps. He already had a background in judo and karate. He expanded his training by studying the use of the jo and ken, and also took up iaido training…

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Mar
20

Historical photo: “Morihei Ueshiba captivates budo aficionados among Tokyo’s elite” by Stanley Pranin

The photo below is one of only a few that survive from Morihei Ueshiba’s early years in Tokyo. Here in a single image that tells a story with many threads, we see a 43-year-old martial arts phenomenon at the outset of his illustrious career. Some names you will recognize, others are essentially lost to history, but several of the individuals appearing here played important roles in Morihei’s early success in Tokyo…”

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Mar
20

Shoji Nishio: “I had no choice but to taken up weapons study!”

I always say that if a teacher of Aikido takes up the ken, he can re-apply his knowledge to the ken. And the same is the case for the jo. (When I was a beginner) I asked how they applied the body techniques to the ken, but no one showed me. Since there was nothing to be done about the situation, I began practicing the ken in 1955 soon after I began Aikido training. What else could I do? Nobody taught me! O-Sensei did sword techniques at lightning speed and would say, “That’s how you do it,” and then disappeared from the dojo. I tried in vain to understand what he was doing and the next moment he was gone.

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