Sep
18

Rare photo! “Steven Seagal can’t lift Koichi Tohei!”

Although Koichi Tohei is treated by many Aikido practitioners as someone who does “a different brand” (or some other minmization), Tohei had some innovative ideas that I think the other styles would do well to borrow, particularly in light of the recent (and very late) realization that many of the “ki” things Tohei speaks of are substantive and they are essential components of Aikido techniques…

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Sep
18

First and only time: “Mochizuki, Shioda, Saito, Sugino, Shimizu pool their collective expertise!”

Five unforgettable lecture demonstrations were presented at the 1986 Aiki News Friendship Demonstration in Tokyo by these famous teachers: Minoru Mochizuki, Gozo Shioda, Morihiro Saito, 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
18

Popular! 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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Sep
17

Rare footage! Video: Shoji Nishio and Kisaburo Osawa at 1971 Edogawa Aikido Demonstration

This is a rare video with excellent footage of Shoji Nishio Sensei, 8th dan, and Kisaburo Osawa Sensei, 9th dan, in their younger years. Nishio Sensei performs paired sword katas and related taijutsu movements. Osawa Sensei demonstrates his fluid, rock-solid style of aikido which is the epitome of grace and beauty…

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Sep
17

Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu: “Is there really a strong influence of Sokaku Takeda in Aikido?”

One of the highlights of the 3rd Aikido Friendship Demo held back in 1987 was the Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu demonstration given by Katsuyuki Kondo Sensei and members of his Tokyo-based Shimbukan Dojo. This demonstration was particularly significant because the aikido public was not very aware of the connection between aikido and Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu at this stage. Thus, there were a lot of curious onlookers wanting to find out exactly what this old art that supposedly influenced aikido was really about…

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Sep
17

Swamp spear! “Morihei Ueshiba O-Sensei performing the misogi jo, c. 1965,” by Stanley Pranin

This series of photos shows Morihei Ueshiba O-Sensei performing misogi jo movements inside the old Aikikai Hombu Dojo, c. 1965. If you look closely, you will see that he is actually using two separate weapons. One is the familiar jo, a stick a little over four feet long, and the other a pointed weapon of similar length called the “nuboko.” Mention of this nuboko, literally the “swamp spear,” will be new to many aikidoka…

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Sep
17

Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu: “Overcoming the negative portrayal of the art in aikido publications!”

The writings about Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu published by aikido authors prior to this time tended to portray Daito-ryu and Sokaku Takeda — Morihei Ueshiba’s teacher — in a negative light. The deep connection between Daito-ryu and aikido was minimized leaving aikidoka with only a vague misconception of the history of the two kindred arts…

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Sep
17

Student of Kisaburo Osawa! Katsuyuki Shimamoto, 8th Dan Aikikai, in Holland (2011)

Katsuyuki Shimamoto Sensei, an 8th dan Aikikai shihan, is also a practicing Soto Zen-Buddhist Priest. A student of late Kisaburo Osawa Sensei, he practices a style of Aikido that is sometimes soft and fluid, and sometimes very sharp and direct…

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Sep
16

You be the judge! Nobuyuki Watanabe, 8th dan — Fake or real?

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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Sep
16

Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu: “What does it really look like?”

The presentation of Kondo Sensei and his students was very impressive as they exhibited precise, energetic techniques that retained a variety of martial traits absent in modern aikido. In his demonstration, Kondo Sensei also described the historical connections between Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu and aikido and how aikido was influenced by the techniques of Sokaku Takeda…

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Sep
16

Flashback to 1927! “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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Sep
16

Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu: “Lifting the veil of mystery surrounding Aikido’s roots”

One of the highlights of the 3rd Aikido Friendship Demo held back in 1987 was the Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu demonstration given by Katsuyuki Kondo Sensei and members of his Tokyo-based Shimbukan Dojo. This demonstration was particularly significant because the aikido public was not very aware of the connection between aikido and Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu at this stage. Thus, there were a lot of curious onlookers wanting to find out exactly what this old art that supposedly influenced aikido was really about…

Click here to watch video