Jul
22

Step by step analysis: “Ken and Jo forms devised by the Founder and systemized by Morihiro Saito”

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…

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Jul
22

Stanley Pranin’s Video Blog: “The Zone Theory of Aikido”

“Moving to the side or rear of uke, into his “blind spot,” makes it extremely easy for nage to safely execute an aikido technique.”

In this video, Aikido Journal Editor Stanley Pranin introduces a model describing the interaction between nage (defender) and uke (attacker) called “The Zone Theory of Aikido.” He explains how it is dangerous for nage to remain in front of uke when attempting to counter an attack and why the attacker has the advantage in this situation. By contrast, moving to the side or rear of uke, into his “dead zone” or “blind spot,” makes it extremely easy for nage to safely execute an aikido technique.

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Jul
22

Stanley Pranin’s Video Blog: “The Zone Theory of Aikido”

stanley-pranin-zone-theory-throw

“Moving to the side or rear of uke, into his “blind spot,” makes it extremely easy for nage to safely execute an aikido technique.”

In this video, Aikido Journal Editor Stanley Pranin introduces a model describing the interaction between nage (defender) and uke (attacker) called “The Zone Theory of Aikido.” He explains how it is dangerous for nage to remain in front of uke when attempting to counter an attack and why the attacker has the advantage in this situation. By contrast, moving to the side or rear of uke, into his “dead zone” or “blind spot,” makes it extremely easy for nage to safely execute an aikido technique.

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.

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Jul
20

“Even in old age, O-Sensei still preserved his impressive physique”

This is a most unusual photo snapped by Jean Greslé in February 1969 at the Aikikai Hombu Dojo in Tokyo. Given the late date, this is certainly one of the last classes taught by Morihei O-Sensei. As you can see here, the Founder is performing a stretching exercise. This is one of five or six photos from the same series that shows O-Sensei executing a variety of warmup exercises…

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Jul
20

Keep a healthy core! “Aikido and the Longevity of Your Training,” Lisa Allaire, DC

All of the great masters were in top physical condition as they honed their skills. They were also quite active outside of the dojo. In contrast, many people today are deconditioned due to sitting for hours on end and they often suffer from the weekend warrior syndrome. On the other side of the equation, there are hard-core people who suffer from general over-training and/or repetitive training patterns. Either of these scenarios opens the door to imbalances and weak links that decrease your abilities and promote injuries…

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Jul
20

PDF Free Download: Aiki News No. 74 – “Daito-ryu study ‘mandatory’ for Aikido history”



“It’s time for us to have a little heart-to-heart chat. I was recently asked about the significance of the appearance of regular articles on Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu in these pages. After all, we are a publication devoted to Aikido. To be perfectly honest with you, I was somewhat taken aback by the question since I had dealt with this topic in editorials in the past. My first reaction was….”

Contents


     ● Editorial – The Ascent of Daito-ryu by Stanley Pranin
     ● Yukiyoshi Sagawa Interview: Daito-ryu Aiki Jujutsu Master, by Aiki News Staff
     ● Heard in the Dojo
     ● Noriaki Inoue Interview (2): Shinei Taido Doshu, by Stanley Pranin
     ● Japanese for Aikidoka: Language Instruction
     ● Morihiro Saito Interview (1): Iwama Dojo Chief Instructor, by Stanley Pranin
     ● Morihiro Saito Technical Notebook — Spear technique, by Morihiro Saito
     ● Sokaku Takeda Biography (1): Daito-ryu Historical Background, by Tokimune Takeda
     ● An Aikido Life (5): “Aikido Basics”, by Gozo Shioda
     ● Morihei Ueshiba Biography (3), by Kanemoto Sunadomari
     ● Aiki News Book Service: Books on Aiki, Daito-ryu
     ● Aikido and Police Tactics (5), by John Lamont
     ● The Martial Arts Background of Morihei Ueshiba, by Laszlo Abel
     ● Letters to the Editor: Our Readers Speak Out
     ● Aiki News Video Collection: World’s Largest Film Library

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Jul
19

Constant connection… “Early Wu style Taijiquan demonstration by Chinese master Chu Minyi (1937)”

This is a remarkable early film showing Chinese master Chu Minyi demonstrating Taijiquan selected by Leo Tamaki who offers the following comments: “I discovered this video while exploring martial arts subjects on the Internet. This is a Taijiquan form called ‘Wu’ demonstrated by a Chinese dignitary named Chu Minyi. Apparently, this is one of the oldest surviving videos on this discipline…

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Jul
19

Performs the splits at 79! “Morihei Ueshiba… A Model of Physical Fitness!” by Stanley Pranin

Morihei maintained a high degree of physical fitness throughout his career. He possessed a powerful, yet flexible body as a young man. With time, his body became lighter, but even in old age, he still preserved his impressive physique. A 16mm film from 1962 survives where Morihei is seen doing excercises such as those described above. He even performs the splits at 79 years of age. How few of the aikido masters have followed his example!…

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Jul
19

Adopt the perfect stance! “An extensive array of jo exercises and katas that enhance empty-handed forms”

Whatever the sources of his jo may be, by the 1950s in Iwama Morihei had elaborated a rather extensive array of jo exercises and katas that enhanced his empty-handed forms, and his ability to adopt the perfect stance, distancing, thrusting and striking skills when executing aikido…

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Jul
19

Morihiro Saito: “Little by little, without realizing it, the movements evolved into the 31 jo kata.”

“The 31 jo kata has been preserved exactly as the Founder taught it. Since the content
of the kata was quite difficult, we would practice it in the form of 31 movements…”

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Jul
18

Free PDF download! Magazine: Aikido Journal Number 100, 1994 –

Contents

● Editorial – Aikido: A Legacy from the Past, a Vision for the Future, by Stanley Pranin
● Aikido Journal News
● Letters to the Editor
● Interview with Minoru Hirai, by Stanley Pranin
● Aiki is not Always Pretty, by Ellis Amdur
● Interview with Takefumi Takeno (1), by Stanley Pranin
● Coping in a Violent World, by Mike Mello
● The Omoto Religion and Aikido, by Yasuaki Deguchi
● Takemusu Aikido — Shomenuchi sankyo omotewaza, by Morihiro Saito
● Kobudo & Kobujutsu, by Meik Skoss
● Morihei Ueshiba & Gozo Shioda, by Stanley Pranin
● Interview with Mark Jones, by Meik Skoss
● Famous Swordsmen of Japan, by Takefumi Hiiragi
● Heard in the Dojo
● The Book Page, by Diane Skoss
● Events & Announcements

Click here to download free pdf

Jul
18

Morihiro Saito: “The Founder taught the 31 jo movements for beginners. In addition, he also left many other jo kata.”

The exact origins of the Aiki Jo remain somewhat of a mystery. Some have found traces of Morihei Ueshiba’s jo movements in the “juken” or rifle with bayonet he practiced as a young soldier. Others point to the influence in the Aiki Jo of the “yari” or spear that he studied with intensity during the Ayabe period. It might also be noted that the Founder was exposed to many classical systems due to his wide network of associations in martial arts circles…

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