May
24

Historical photos: Morihei Ueshiba O-Sensei warmups, February 1969

These six images show Morihei in the midst of leading the class in warmup exercises. There is anecdotal evidence that suggests that Morihei adapted some of these warmup exercises from the Makko-ho system popularlized by Haruka Nagai. The Founder took great pains to maintain his physical conditioning all of his life. This is an excellent example for both students and instructors to follow throughout their aikido careers…

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May
23

An image to inspire: “Morihei Ueshiba wielding the Nuboko”

Readers have responded in great numbers to our offer of a remarkable hi-res image of Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba. Please download your free copy now. This unusual photo shows O-Sensei performing a type of misogi purification practice that reflects his Omoto-inspired Shinto beliefs, the lens through which the Founder viewed the world, and his mission in creating and spreading aikido…

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May
23

Recapturing a bygone era… Morihiro Saito and Hitohiro Saito instruct in the old Iwama Dojo in the late 1990s

This is a rare video taken inside the old Iwama Dojo in which Morihiro Saito Sensei and his son Hitohiro Saito Sensei are seen instructing class. The training is martial in nature and many foreign students are participating in the training. Those not familiar with the atmosphere of the dojo during Morihiro Saito Sensei’s lifetime will get a good glimpse of the mood inside during a training session…

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May
23

“Invite your opponent’s yokomen strike with your ki”

“The method of parrying a yokomenuchi attack is described in the section on yokomenuchi training in ‘Budo’. “Invite your opponent’s yokomen strike with your ki. Advance with your left foot while striking the left side of your opponent’s head with your right tegatana.’”

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May
23

Quotable quotes from Morihiro Saito’s “Takemusu Aikido: Background & Basics”

Daily practice begins with tai no henko. First, open your fingers. The basis of ura movements is footwork. If you look at your partner even slightly, his body will separate from you and there will be too much space between you. In ura techniques, parry the strike from the gyaku hanmi position. In this way, you will be able to execute a rapid and effective technique…

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May
23

Morihiro Saito: “I went to strike him and tumbled over!”

Then, as I stood on the mat in the dojo rolling up my shirt sleeves thinking to myself, “Well, since I’ve come all the way here I might as well learn a couple of techniques,” O-Sensei said, “Come and strike me!” So I went to strike him and tumbled over. I don’t know whether it was kotegaeshi or some other technique, but I was thrown. Next he said, “Come and kick me!” When I tried to kick him I was gently overturned. “Come and grab me!” I tried to grab him judo-style and again I was thrown without knowing how. My shirt sleeve and my pants ripped…

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May
23

Popular 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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May
22

Historical photo: The amazing chameleon photo of O-Sensei from 1922, by Stanley Pranin

Four versions? Yes, the Daito-ryu placard first disappears altogether in the first publication of the photo. Then it reappears with the “Daito-ryu” characters missing, leaving only the “Aikijujutsu” characters. What’s a poor aikido historian to do? Then, the original photo you see here appears for the first time. Next, some of the characters are again omitted, but not in the same way as the first altered photo. Finally and miraculously, the unretouched photo again resurfaces, hopefully to remain intact. Strange workings of the kamisama?…

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May
22

Morihei Ueshiba to Morihiro Saito: “Why do you want to learn aikido?”

As O-Sensei sat down Abe immediately placed a cushion down for him. He really moved fast to help O-Sensei. Sensei stared at me and asked, “Why do you want to learn aikido?” When I replied that I’d like to learn if he would teach me, he asked, “Do you know what aikido is?” There was no way I could have known what aikido was. Then Sensei added, “I’ll teach you how to serve society and people with this martial art.”

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May
22

Morihiro Saito: “Learning to fight for the benefit of society”

There was this old man doing strange techniques up in the mountains near Iwama. Some people said he did karate, while a judo teacher told me his art was called “Ueshiba-ryu judo.” It was frightening up there and I was afraid to go. I had a very strange feeling about the place. It was eerie, but some of my friends and I agreed to go up and have a look. However, my friends got cold feet and failed to show up. So I went alone…

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May
22

Free hi-res download: “Morihei Ueshiba wielding the Nuboko”

We are pleased to offer readers an extraordinary action image of Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba for your collection. This unusual photo shows O-Sensei performing a type of misogi purification practice that reflects his Omoto-inspired Shinto beliefs, the lens through which the Founder viewed the world, and his mission in creating and spreading aikido…

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May
22

“Morotedori Kokyuho starts from gyaku hanmi and you must extend ki through your arm!”

Raise your hands upward, pulling your partner off balance and enter behind him with your left foot. Shift your weight to your left foot and extend your arms towards your partner’s head to execute
the throw. Be sure that your eyes continue to look forward to avoid a possible kicking counter….

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