Dec
12

Principles are important! “The use of weapons and the question of changing form in Aikido,” by Matthew Hill

O’Sensei brought his study of the spear, sword, knife and aiki jujitsu together to form a martial system that he called Aikido. Some ask why we practice with weapons. There are many reasons ranging from the practical fact that as O’Sensei lived in a world where there were such things as swords, knives and spears and therefore we have to learn to cope with them, and due to the fact that they reveal aspects of our Aikido that practicing empty handed alone cannot…

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Dec
12

Surrounded by opponents! Breaking away from Daito-ryu: “Morihei’s technical Tour de Force still amazes after 78 Years!”

I had known about the existence of the 1935 film of Morihei for a number of years. A few of the old-timers had actually seen the old Asahi News documentary, and spoke about it in terms that fired the imagination. Why was this precious document being withheld? Since the film was no longer shown and had been locked away, my only hope was to find an outside source; it was like looking for the veritable needle in the haystack…

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Dec
12

Aiki Ken and Jo: “To do or not to do… What do you think?”

Aikido Journal Editor Stanley Pranin offers a video blog in which he discusses the issue of whether or not Aikido training should involve the practice of weapons. He provides some historical background on Morihei Ueshiba’s study of weapons, and explains the reasoning for the two major stands on this subject. One school of thought is that because the Founder Morihei Ueshiba was keenly interested in practicing weapons from at least the 1930s forward, and taught his Aiki Ken and Jo forms to his students — notably Morihiro Saito — after the war in Iwama, weapons training should be considered an integral part of aikido…

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Dec
11

Strange coincidence? Aikidoka takes down robber with kotegaeshi!

Is it just a coincidence or a quirk of fate that we have this news report of an employee of a Baskin-Robbins Ice Cream store successfully defending himself with aikido? Gabe Sutherland of Portland, Oregon – after having studied aikido for only three months – managed to apply a kotegaeshi on a masked robber who pointed a gun close to his side. Sutherland says, “Instinct just kicked in.” He succeeded in wrested the gun from the assailant’s hand and the man fled the store…

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Dec
11

Action wisdom… “Styles Don’t Work” by Nev Sagiba

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. This is Iwama Aikido at its best…

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Dec
11

Free PDF Download: Magazine: Aiki News Number 37, 1981

“I think O-Sensei is the man who was able to underpin the idea of brotherly love with security. His art has a person move back and forth between life and death, to experience enlightenment of the self, and to express love for mankind.” — Mitsunari Kanai

Contents
● Editorial on Mitsunari Kanai, by Stanley Pranin
● Interview with Mitsunari Kanai, by Stanley Pranin
● Morihiro Saito’s Technical Notebook — Katatedori koshinage, Katatedori koshinage,
Ryotedori koshinage, by Morihiro Saito
● World Aikido Directory
● The Founder of Aikido, Morihei Ueshiba, “Idol Among the Soldiers, Chapter II – Part 4,
by Kisshomaru Ueshiba
● Back cover: Noma Dojo photo with Morihei Ueshiba and Shigemi Yonekawa

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Dec
11

Stanley Pranin’s Video Blog: “Aikido History 101”

Decisive action is born of an understanding of that which is in accord with the principles of Heaven and Earth. A lack of this understanding leads to “unreasonable effort,” or muri, the literal meaning of which is “lack of principle,” and should be avoided. This has always been my way of thinking and the reason I have scrupulously avoided acting in ways that involve unreasonable effort or that go against these principles…”

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Dec
10

One’s ability is the substance of the technique: “A Common Sense Look at Aikido by Yoshio Kuroiwa

In training we practice many techniques but they are all variations of a single stance. Therefore, ikkyo, shihonage and other techniques are the same. The reason they appear different is only because their outer appearance is seen. Kata are the expression of a number of variations through movements from a single stance and are nothing more than a tool for training the body to move freely. The idea that one is all and all are one is not just a spiritual matter. It is true for our bodies as well…

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Dec
10

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. This is Iwama Aikido at its best…

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Dec
10

Powerful and precise: Christian Tissier at Suginami Aikikai (2007)

A beautiful compilation of techniques from Christian Tissier Sensei’s seminars at the San Francisco Aikido Project in 2007. Tissier Sensei is noted for his powerful, flowing style of aikido. Many of the technical sequences also appear in slow motion…

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Dec
10

Mastering the art of relaxing! “Interview with Koichi Tohei (1)”, by Stanley Pranin

Decisive action is born of an understanding of that which is in accord with the principles of Heaven and Earth. A lack of this understanding leads to “unreasonable effort,” or muri, the literal meaning of which is “lack of principle,” and should be avoided. This has always been my way of thinking and the reason I have scrupulously avoided acting in ways that involve unreasonable effort or that go against these principles…”

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Dec
10

You ALWAYS fall back on your training! “Why is it Different on the Street?” by E.C. Estrella

This video features a beautiful demonstration by Seishiro Endo, 8th dan, at the 2004 All-Japan Aikido Demonstration. Endo Sensei moves with grace while remaining centered and eschews the use of any physical strength while executing techniques. Seishiro Endo was one of the last generation of Aikikai instructors to have received training from Morihei Ueshiba and the senior instructors of the headquarters dojo in Tokyo beginning in the 1960s…

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