Jul
25

Morihiro Saito: “Aikido’s taijutsu incorporates sword principles”

The aikido that I learned consisted of both taijutsu and weapons techniques. We can use any type of weapon, but we mainly use the ken and jo. This is the only explanation I can give you. The founder explained aikido from many different viewpoints depending on the period and his state of mind. He said aikido was taijutsu that incorporated sword principles. So I believe aiki-ken and aiki-jo correspond to hanmi-ken and hanmi-jo. In other words, weapons techniques are expressed in the form of taijutsu, enabling you to enter into your opponent’s space and throw him.

Click here to watch video

Jul
24

Disseminating Iwama Aikido in Europe: Highlights of Daniel Toutain Sensei at the 2013 FFA Summer Camp in Auray, France

This highly polished video features highlights of the recent FAA Summer Camp held in Auray, France directed by Daniel Toutain Sensei. Toutain Sensei was a close student of Morihiro Saito Sensei and teaches the Iwama approach to aikido in France and Europe. He is an excellent technician and this is readily evident throughout this video clip. Toutain Sensei has made great efforts to disseminate Saito Sensei’s vast aikido curriculum to his students in many countries…

Click here to watch video

Jul
24

Stanley Pranin’s Video Blog: “The Biggest Mistake in Kotegaeshi!”

In this video, Stanley Pranin describes a major error commonly seen in the application of aikido’s kotegaeshi, a wrist turn throw. This strategic mistake can be seen everywhere across the spectrum in modern aikido.

Basically, the first task of nage (defender) prior to applying kotegaeshi is to avoid the attack, and unbalance uke (attacker). But then as nage sets up to execute kotegaeshi, he spins uke around for the throw. Here, uke ends up facing nage square on. At this point, nage becomes vulnerable to uke’s counterattack and is only spared an unpleasant outcome by the cooperative nature of his interaction with uke. From a martial art standpoint, this is a major strategic blunder.

Click here to watch video

Jul
24

Developed in Iwama after the war: “Origins of the 31-Jo kata”

By the time I learned it, the 31-jo kata was already complete, but when Koichi Tohei Sensei came to practice in Iwama it had not yet been perfected. What he learned was different from what I learned, probably because O-Sensei’s way of instructing was not yet fully developed. When I learned under O-Sensei his teachings included all of the weapons techniques including the kumitachi. At one stage, there was no one left in Iwama except me, so I trained with O-Sensei by myself. His teaching gradually became more elaborate…

Click here to watch video

Jul
24

Stanley Pranin’s Video Blog: “The Biggest Mistake in Kotegaeshi!”

stanley-pranin-kotegaeshi-atemi

“From a martial art standpoint, this is a major strategic blunder!”

In this video, Stanley Pranin describes a major error commonly seen in the application of aikido’s kotegaeshi, a wrist turn throw. This strategic mistake can be seen everywhere across the spectrum in modern aikido. This clip applies “The Zone Theory of Aikido” to analyzing this problem area in kotegaeshi techniques.

Basically, the first task of nage (defender) prior to applying kotegaeshi is to avoid the attack, and unbalance uke (attacker). But then as nage sets up to execute kotegaeshi, he spins uke around for the throw. Here, uke ends up facing nage square on. At this point, nage becomes vulnerable to uke’s counterattack and is only spared an unpleasant outcome by the cooperative nature of his interaction with uke. From a martial art standpoint, this is a major strategic blunder. Other problem areas exist in today’s aikido and should be addressed.

Jul
24

“Avoiding injury while practicing the 31-jo kata”

“The Founder said you could either press down his jo, or attack his arm and thrust. He said that whichever you do, you should be careful to avoid injury in the basic practice…”

Click here to watch video

Jul
23

Taught Daito-ryu secretly! “Sokaku Takeda in Osaka” by Tokimune Takeda

In 1929, Admiral Isamu Takeshita, who studied Daito-ryu with Sokaku Takeda, published an article in the magazine entitled “The Story of the Bravery of Sokaku Takeda.” In this article, he described how Sokaku became a budo instructor serving in the capacity of a bodyguard for Marquis Tsugumichi Saigo, an army general, and how he performed acts of bravery in various places. This article came to the attention of the Tokyo Asahi Newspaper Company which sent a journalist to Hokkaido in 1930 to interview Sokaku who was travelling around the northern island teaching…

Click here to read more

Jul
23

Bequeathed by O-Sensei… “The 31-jo kata must not be modified”

During his years living in Iwama, Morihei Ueshiba had a unique opportunity to focus on his personal training and development for the first time in many years. The result of this extended period of devotion to aikido practice, meditation, and farming was “Takemusu Aiki,” Morihei’s concept of the ultimate goal of aikido where one becomes capable of spontaneously executing techniques exactly suited to the circumstances…

Click here to watch video

Jul
23

“I joined under false pretenses!” Interview with Kisaburo Osawa by Katsuaki Terasawa

If something is too difficult, nobody can do it. If the true goal of the aikido way is to achieve paradise or a happy life everybody should be able to do it: a child, an old person, a woman, a handicapped person, a weak or a strong person. I believe this to be the true path…

Click here to read more

Jul
23

The Zone Theory of Aikido: “Avoiding strategic weaknesses”

It is dangerous for nage to remain in front of uke when attempting to counter an attack. “The Zone Theory of Aikido” is an attempt to define a framework for understanding how and where to move vis-a-vis an attacker in order to set the stage for a favorable outcome.

Click here to watch video

Jul
22

Never give up! Yoga Miracle Story with over 9 million views!

Arthur Boorman was a disabled veteran of the Gulf War for 15 years, and was told by his doctors that he would never be able to walk on his own, ever again. He stumbled upon an article about Diamond Dallas Page doing Yoga and decided to give it a try — he couldn’t do traditional, higher impact exercise, so he tried yoga and sent an email to Dallas telling him his story…

Click here to watch video

Jul
22

The Zone Theory of Aikido: “An attempt to define a framework for understanding how and where to move”

It is very common for aikidoka to operate inside uke’s sphere of influence when practicing and demonstrating without questioning the strategic weaknesses of this approach. “The Zone Theory of Aikido” is an attempt to define a framework for understanding how and where to move vis-a-vis an attacker in order to set the stage for a favorable outcome.

Click here to watch video