Sep
20

Iwama Aikido: Morihiro Saito: “Taijutsu, Aiki Ken, and Aiki Jo combined into a single curriculum!”

Morihiro Saito, 9th dan, was one of aikido’s most respected teachers. Saito Sensei was one of O-Sensei’s closest students and achieved worldwide recognition due to his numerous international seminars and the publication of many authoritative technical books. He gave one of five unforgettable lecture demonstrations at the 1986 Aiki News Friendship Demonstration in Tokyo that also included: Minoru Mochizuki, Gozo Shioda, Yoshio Sugino, and Kenji Shimizu. These experts bring you the benefits of their decades of training to provide insights that will stimulate your own practice and deepen your understanding of martial essentials. Here are some highlights…

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Sep
20

Hombu vs. Yoshinkan! “Dan Inflation in the Early Years of Aikido,” by Stanley Pranin

What caught my eye was an announcement listing the dan promotions awarded on January 15 of 1962 at the annual Kagami Biraki celebration. A number of famous names are mentioned in that list, some of them prewar students of Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba, while others began training following World War II…

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Sep
20

Stable base, powerful extension, total focus! Historical photo from 1974: Morihiro Saito brings Iwama Aikido to America!

There was a particular episode from this trip that I will never forget. Sensei was teaching a class at Aikido of San Francisco and was demonstrating a kokyunage technique, if I remember correctly. His uke was David Alexander. Sensei threw David horizontally but misjudged the amount of space he had free. Right in the middle of the throw when it had become apparent that David would crash into the people who had crowded in close to better observe, Sensei stuck out his left arm and caught David in mid-air thus preventing a collision…

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Sep
19

Total control! Wally Jay on Small Circle Finger Locking

This is a very interesting video featuring the famous martial arts master Wally Jay. In it he shows a variety of very effective finger and hand manipulations that allow one to control an opponent simply and effectively. “Wally Jay (June 16, 1917 – May 29, 2011) was an American martial artist who primarily studied and taught jujutsu and judo. He was the founder of the Gendai Budo martial art Small Circle JuJitsu…” [from Wikipedia]…

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Sep
19

Aikido greats in action! Video: Highlights of 1st Aikido Friendship Demonstration featuring Kanshu Sunadomari, Mitsugi Saotome, Morihiro Saito, Shoji Nishio, Yasuo Kobayashi, Yoshio Kuroiwa

This video contains highlights of the First Aiki News Friendship Demonstration that took place in 1985 in Tokyo. It featured lecture demonstrations by six Aikido greats: Morihiro Saito, Shoji Nishio, Kanshu Sunadomari, Yasuo Kobayashi, Mitsugi Saotome, and Yoshio Kuroiwa…

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Sep
19

No power required! “The secret to performing tai no henko against two uke,” by Stanley Pranin

First, some background. This is a simple exercise anyone can try where two uke grab nage strongly. If nage attempts to use physical strength, he will be easily overwhelmed by the combined power of two people grabbing. In such a situation, nage must relax and attempt to blend. Nage has the ability to move his wrist because he is grabbed on his forearm. Nage can also adjust his hips and move to a certain extent as long as he does not oppose the power of the ukes….

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Sep
19

Performance at 2nd Friendship Demonstration: The Last Swordsman: The Yoshio Sugino Story, by Tsukasa Matsuzaki

His friend Minoru Mochizuki (present head of the Yoseikan) once commented about his judo skills: “Sugino? That guy has the kami [divine] in him!” One of Sugino’s favorite judo techniques was utsurigoshi (hip shift), a somewhat acrobatic technique in which the opponent’s throwing power is taken advantage of to throw him instead. He was also fond of urawaza (rear techniques) and kaeshiwaza (reversals) and always exploited openings left by opponents who carelessly underestimated him because of his small size….

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Sep
19

Iwama Aikido: Morihiro Saito: “Taijutsu, Aiki Ken, and Aiki Jo combined into a single curriculum!”

Morihiro Saito, 9th dan, was one of aikido’s most respected teachers. Saito Sensei was one of O-Sensei’s closest students and achieved worldwide recognition due to his numerous international seminars and the publication of many authoritative technical books. He gave one of five unforgettable lecture demonstrations at the 1986 Aiki News Friendship Demonstration in Tokyo that also included: Minoru Mochizuki, Gozo Shioda, Yoshio Sugino, and Kenji Shimizu. These experts bring you the benefits of their decades of training to provide insights that will stimulate your own practice and deepen your understanding of martial essentials. Here are some highlights…

Click here to watch video

Sep
19

Foundation of urawaza! “Morihiro Saito explains tai no henko in detail!”

Notice in particular how Saito Sensei’s grabbed hand hardly moves at all when he performs the basic tai no henko. For this reason, he is not resisting uke’s grab. Uke does not sense how Sensei will move because his grab is not challenged. Sensei then blends, executes an ura pivot thereby unbalancing uke, while his posture remains rock solid…

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Sep
18

Fast & precise! Shoji Seki’s powerful display of technique at 10th International Aikido Congress

Shoji Seki, 7th dan, is one of a group of Aikikai Hombu Dojo instructors who began their careers in the late 1960s. He has maintained himself in excellent physical condition, and his technique is fast and precise. Although Seki Sensei is not verbose in his explanation, he repeats the technique he is demonstrating many times, and it is possible to catch the fine points of his movements through careful observation…

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Sep
18

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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Sep
18

Common Sense Look at Aikido: “Yoshio Kuroiwa Sensei at 1st Friendship Demonstration”

Yoshio Kuroiwa Sensei one of aikido’s least known but finest innovators participated in the 1st Aikido Friendship Demonstration. On that occasion, he gave a fascinating demonstration which displayed his technical virtuosity. Kuroiwa Sensei was also a fine writer whose original thinking is clearly evident in this article titled “A Common Sense Look at Aikido” …

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