Oct
31

The Way of the Warrior: Katori Shinto Ryu with Risuke Otake

“The Way of the Warrior” was a documentary shot by the BBC which aired in the 80s. The last part of the series was called: “The Samurai Way.” It was never to be released on DVD and has become rare collectors footage for martial artists all over the world. A young(er) Risuke Otake explains and demonstrates the finer techniques and philosophies of Tenshin Shoden Katori Shinto Ryu. An must-see documentary with English subtitles for everyone who is interested in the way of the samurai…

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Oct
31

Aiki Jinja Taisai 2012 – Demonstrations by Moriteru Ueshiba Doshu and Mitsuteru Ueshiba Wakasensei

Each year since the passing of Morihei Ueshiba O-Sensei on April 26, 1969, the Aikikai Hombu Dojo has held a ceremony in commemoration of the Aikido Founder at the Aiki Shrine in Iwama, Ibaragi Prefecture. Now, 43 years after Morihei Ueshiba left us, his grandson Moriteru Ueshiba Doshu, oversees the ceremony. In this video, both Moriteru Ueshiba Sensei and his son Wakasensei, Mitsuteru Ueshiba, give demonstrations before the large audience gathered before the Aikido Shrine…

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Oct
31

Screencast: Focus on History — “Morihei Ueshiba’s Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu Teaching Certification,” by Stanley Pranin

This is the first of a series of screencasts titled “Focus on History” by Aikido Journal Editor Stanley Pranin. This video provides detailed information on the kyoju dairi, or teaching certification, awarded to Morihei Ueshiba by Sokaku Takeda in Ayabe in 1922. This award was made during a six-month long visit of Sokaku to Morihei’s “Ueshiba Juku” located near the headquarters of the Omoto religion…

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Oct
31

Yoshinkan Aikido at its finest! A spirited demonstration by Anthony Yates, 6th Dan, Yoshinkan Aikido, nearly 4 million views

A high-energy demonstration of a variety of techniques of Yoshinkan Aikido by Anthony Yates, a 6th dan instructor of the art founded by Gozo Shioda, one of Morihei Ueshiba’s most brilliant students from the perwar era…

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Oct
30

Atemi as setup! Hayato Osawa demonstrates Yokomenuchi Shihonage

Hayato Osawa, 7th dan, instructor of the Aikikai Hombu Dojo in Tokyo, demonstrates yokomenuchi shihonage at the USAF Summer Camp in 2010. You will notice the important role of atemi in his setup of uke prior to throwing. Osawa Sensei is the son of the late Kisaburo Osawa, 9th dan, one of the most important of the postwar instructors at the Hombu Dojo and has practiced since boyhood…

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Oct
30

New discoveries of clues! “Sleuthing in Search of O-Sensei!” by Stanley Pranin

From an old 3-minute reel that I received way back in 1965, to the several hours of footage professionally offered as DVDs, I have watched O-Sensei move on the screen thousands of times. Sometimes in slow motion, sometimes even frame-by-frame. For me, these films hold the secrets to O-Sensei’s genius and provide constant inspiration. I can play one of Morihei’s movies after a long hiatus, and make new discoveries of clues that have always been there, but have eluded me until that moment…

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Oct
30

Desperate attack! Scenes from the battlefront of the Russo- Japanese war where Morihei was a foot soldier

Morihei was a member of the 61st Osaka Regiment and troops from Osaka are specifically mentioned in this article. It is certainly possible that the young Ueshiba found himself nearby during this particular battle since he was stationed in Dalien, not far from Port Arthur…

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Oct
29

Koichi Tohei was an idol! Yoshimitsu Yamada: An insider’s look at Aikikai Hombu Dojo in the late 1950s

The Ueshiba family house was attached to the dojo, and Morihei himself quite often, although irregularly, appeared on the mat. O’Sensei represented the ultimate authority for all of the uchi-deshi. Through his demeanor, he personified all of the qualities a young Japanese used to strive for at the time…

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Oct
29

Nage initiates! “Stanley Pranin explains and demonstrates Shomenuchi Ikkyo Omotewaza”

This is a video taken at a recent seminar where Stanley Pranin explains and demonstrates shomenuchi ikkyo omotewaza. Reference is made to Morihei Ueshiba’s 1938 technical manual “Budo” where Morihei Ueshiba stresses that, in this technique, nage initiates the encounter counter to common practice today. The reasons for this are explained in the video…

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Oct
29

Accept the attack of the opponent! Shoji Nishio: “We practice aikido because we have fallen in love with something none of the other martial arts offer”

“In Aikido there is no preemptive strike. But in budo training, a proper shomenuchi and proper tsuki are basic. In my dojo I teach how to grab, how to stand up, how to swing the sword and the tsuki and oblique stance (hanmen) and yokomen. Proper grabbing, proper swinging and proper striking are transformed into atemi instantly. The reason I have students use the ken is to have them recognize these movements. In budo, you are inferior and the opponent is superior to you. Your opponent has more power than you. That’s very important. Techniques are for freely handling stronger people. Your power shouldn’t lessen even a little. You have to display 100% power through your body… “

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Oct
28

Neanderthal purists! Randori, an Aiki perspective” by Francis Takahashi

I have a serious bone to pick with certain Neanderthal type “purists” who insist on preserving, and even requiring that certain risk elements be incorporated into their regular training, to ensure traditional authenticity and martial integrity in such Aikido training. They say that in order to regain respect and acknowledgment of Aikido as a genuine and effective martial art, certain elements of the Founder’s reputed fighting skills, and proven theories of internal power, need to be re-introduced, and made an integral aspect of modern Aikido training…

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Oct
28

Pat Hendricks, 7th dan: “A close-up look at the rigorously precise Iwama Aikido curriculum”

This video presents highlights from a seminar Pat Hendricks conducted in New Zealand and will give viewers a feel for her clear and precise teaching style. This clip shows an interesting teaching progression that many instructors will find useful in planning their classes. She was one of the most skilled students of Morihiro Saito Sensei, 9th dan. This is Iwama Aikido at its best!…

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