Nov
16

How Aikido really got its name… Interview with Minoru Hirai by Stanley Pranin

In other words, the term “aikido” was a cover-all term that could include other things as well. Mr. Hisatomi’s idea was to intentionally select a name that would not be opposed by kendo or other martial arts, but rather an inoffensive, comprehensive term to group together all of the yawara schools. In the end, no one opposed this proposal…

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Nov
15

Over 300,000 views! Stefan Stenudd on atemi and aikido

In this video, Stefan Stenudd Sensei of Sweden, demonstrates a number of atemi sequences that can be applied as setups for the execution of aikido techniques. Some interesting training drills are shown…

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Nov
15

Last generation! Interview with Shizuo Imaizumi (1) by Stanley Pranin and Marc Abrams

Shizuo Imaizumi was among the last generation of students of the Founder Morihei Ueshiba at the Aikikai Hombu Dojo on the 1960s. He later joined Koichi Tohei as a senior instructor for the Ki Society when the latter resigned from the Aikikai. Imaizumi relocated to New York City where he has taught for some 25 years. He is now chief instructor of the Shin Budo Kai, an independent organization he founded…

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Nov
15

Hiroshi Tada, 9th dan: “Geriatric Genius in Action!”

This is a remarkable video of Hiroshi Tada, one of the last of the postwar generation of Aikikai instructors. Tada Sensei, now aged 84, reveals his highly developed sensitivity, ability to blend, and incredible stamina. What a model for all aikido teachers to emulate! Tada Sensei has always led a moderate lifestyle avoiding the excesses to which many of his generation succumbed. The obvious result is his longevity and vigorous health forged through aikido training as can be seen in this video….

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Nov
15

Video: Shoji Nishio: “The highly complex and sophisticated techniques of Aikido”

Aikido represents a major departure from its predecessor arts that focused exclusively on winning or defeating an opponent. It was created as an art to foster moral character. It is natural that the way to present aikido techniques differs greatly from that of other martial arts. It goes without saying that aikido techniques are highly complex and sophisticated…

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Nov
14

Tetsuzan Kuroda: “Martial Artist of Impossible Skills!”

Tetsuzan Kuroda, the headmaster of the martial legacy of the Kuroda family, is one of the best known and respected of contemporary Japanese koryu practitioners. He is one of Japan’s finest swordsman, a master of a variety of classical weapons, and an adept in the soft-style Kuroda family jujutsu. One quickly runs out of superlatives when attempting to describe the skills of Tetsuzan Kuroda Sensei. Watching Kuroda Sensei draw his sword is a stunning experience. It’s akin to a religious revelation where you humbly thank the Creator for allowing you to witness such a miracle of movement! This video was shot during Aiki Expo 2003…

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Nov
14

Proxies for martial ability: “Obfuscated… the martial nature of aikido,” by Charles Warren

charleswarren“Watch the videos. O Sensei just DID inspired aikido. He undoubtedly selected ukes who could handle the random without getting hurt (much, or often). It took me years to see what he was doing, and even now it’s not especially obvious. I firmly believe that if the ukes hadn’t been exceptionally aware and versatile there would have been broken and writhing bodies littering the mat…

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Nov
14

What is original about aikido? “Aikido: A Restatement of Universal Truths,” by Stanley Pranin

We have followed the principles of aikido to accomplish our task. First, we prepare ourselves by study, meditation and application. Then we study the opposition recognizing their qualities and adapting our performance, always maintaining correct principles. Then when under attack, we recognize the force and energy of the attack with respect and blend our energy with it to subtly direct the combined force in the direction that will give the opponent the greatest education of the realities at hand until he is subdued into recognition of the inevitable…

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Nov
14

Where did the art come from? Stanley Pranin’s Video Blog

“From Aikijujutsu to Aikido!” — With the aid of rare historical photos, Stanley Pranin describes the process of Morihei Ueshiba’s gradual modification of Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu techniques into the forms that would become the basis of modern aikido. The roles of Daito-ryu and Morihei’s teacher, Sokaku Takeda, in the evolution of aikido were for many years minimized before recently becoming well documented through Stanley Pranin’s published research…

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Nov
11

So you want to compete? “What you get, what it costs,” by Robert

One of the most valuable things that a beginner can learn in sparring is that you CAN continue even if you have the wind knocked out of you or a charlie-horse. That is a critical lesson to learn for self defense. If you don’t learn it, should someone unexpectedly hit you hard in real life, you’ll crumple. You won’t know if you are hurt badly or not. All you’ll know is that you’re hurt more than you’ve ever had to deal with before…

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Nov
11

Encyclopedia of techniques: Morihiro Saito demonstrates a wide variety of Morotedori throws

This is a wonderful video clip in which Morihiro Saito Sensei, 9th dan, demonstrates scores of morotedori techniques, both basic and ki no nagare. This sort of video is an excellent resource for advanced students and instructors…

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Nov
11

Sometimes the movies get it right! “Satsujinken and Katsujinken,” by Dane S. Harden

“Go seek balance Daniel-san”…these were the words Miyagi Sensei spoke to his pupil at a time in Daniel’s life when he needed help. All of us face challenging times in our lives. Those times require fortitude, discipline, persistence, bravery, and a balanced approach in order to properly address our difficulties. The swords of life and death are a metaphor regarding balance, center, and free will. In the old film, “The Karate Kid,” this idea was exemplified and ultimately proven in Daniel’s personal realization, “that you train so you do not have to fight.” It was poignantly emphasized by his teacher’s response: “Ah, Daniel-san, Miyagi has hope for you!”…

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