Jan
28

Alternative perspectives: “Risking your life to help someone,” by Stanley Pranin

The man exited a building at night to find six attackers beating up a lone man who was on the ground and bloodied. The aikidoka immediately entered the fray to help the victim and successfully dealt with a couple of the attackers. However, the entire group stopped their attack and turned their fury toward him. The victim ran away leaving our aikidoka alone to fend for himself…

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Jan
28

Hilarious old film! Early Women’s Self-defense Video from British Pathe

Rare early jujutsu video showing many women’s self-defense scenarios from British Pathe. The dialog throughout is quite hilarious and camp. Great fun!…

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Jan
28

Technical mastery! Morihiro Saito Sensei performs ushirowaza

Morihiro Saito Sensei performs numerous ushirowaza (rear techniques) in this amazing video. He provides the name and then proceeds to demonstrate each technique in term in an incredible display of technical mastery. This video will give you an understanding of what is meant when it is said that Morihiro Saito Sensei had an encyclopedic memory!…

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Jan
28

Complex and sophisticated: “Shoji Nishio — “Aikido represents a major departure from its predecessor arts”

Aikido represents a major departure from its predecessor arts that focused exclusively on winning or defeating an opponent. 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 very complex and sophisticated…

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Jan
27

Internalizing aiki principles: “What is Aikido?” by Alister Gillies

When I went to Japan in 2007, I learned that one must find one’s own way in Aikido, regardless of style, affiliation, or teacher. Two teachers confirmed this, one ancient (85), and one relatively modern (53), each separately affirming what the other said without any collusion and without ever having met. I did not ask them a direct question, but they seemed to know what I was looking for…

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Jan
27

Can you handle kicks? Jose Andrade Sensei demonstrates Aikido defenses against kicks and groundwork

This is an interesting video in which Jose Andrade Sensei of the Aikido Tenshinkai of Florida presents a number of approached to defenses against kicks and groundwork, topics seldom covered in dojo training…

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Jan
27

Intense crosstraining: “Shoji Nishio — Reaching outside the Aikikai Hombu Dojo for answers”

Being unable to get satisfactory answers to his questions, and absent weapons training, Nishio Sensei set out to crosstrain in other martial arts to fill the gaps. He already had a background in judo and karate. Nishio Sensei expanded his training by studying the use of the jo and ken, and also took up iaido training…

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Jan
25

A look into his character’s head… Hiroyuki Sanada: Interview with star of “Tasogare Seibei” and “The Last Samurai”

This video consists of an interview in English with Hiroyuki Sanada, star of “Tasogare Seibei” (The Twilight Samurai) about his impressions and experiences of filming this classic samurai film. Sanada also had a prominent role in “The Last Samurai” starring Tom Cruise as the latter’s rival in swordsmanship…

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Jan
25

Waiting can be fatal… Aikido as Self-Defense: “Stuck in the World of Go and Sen,” by Stanley Pranin

Aikido is almost universally defined as an art of self-defense. If this is so, then understand that there are implications to such a view. One of the most important is that the aikido practitioner does not initiate the exchange with an opponent. The aikidoka waits to be attacked and responds in self-defense…

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Jan
25

Complete series: “Takemusu Aiki: Koshinage,” by Morihiro Saito

This ebook consists of a rare technical manual originally published in 1981 containing a detailed treatise on the koshinage techniques of aikido. A total of 26 koshinage – hip-throw techniques – are presented with sequential photos accompanied by both English and Japanese explanations. This volume is the most complete compendium available on this portion of the aikido curriculum by one of the art’s most famous masters…

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Jan
25

Circle, triangle and square: “O-Sensei often had me draw a circle, triangle and a square.”

He rarely came down from Iwama. It was half a year after I joined the dojo that I saw his face for the first time. Until then, I only knew about him by hearsay. There weren’t any pictures of him like we have now. When he smiled, his eyes disappeared. But when you just caught a glance of him, the impression was really strong. When he looked at something for a second, his face disappeared into his eyes. (Laughter) O-Sensei used to tell us a story. We were really cheeky. For the most part, people did not approach O-Sensei… Whenever I had a question I went up to O-Sensei and asked, “O-Sensei, there was something I didn’t understand of what you said a little while ago.” Sensei would say, “Oh, good you noticed that.” O-Sensei often had me draw a circle, triangle and a square and would say, “Keep it with you and bring it to me when I need it…

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Jan
24

Harmonizing with the Universe: “Memoir of the Master,” by Morihei Ueshiba with commentary by Stanley Pranin

One of the first aikido books published in English appeared in 1963. It was authored by Morihei Ueshiba’s son, Kisshomaru Ueshiba, who later became the Second Doshu. This book contained a short section titled “Memoir of the Master.” It is a collection of aphorisms attributed to Morihei that encapsulates the essence and principles of Aikido…

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