Feb
28

Total control! Wally Jay on Small Circle Finger Locking

This is a very interesting video featuring the famous martial arts master Wally Jay. In it he shows a variety of very effective finger and hand manipulations that allow one to control an opponent simply and effectively. “Wally Jay (June 16, 1917 – May 29, 2011) was an American martial artist who primarily studied and taught jujutsu and judo. He was the founder of the Gendai Budo martial art Small Circle JuJitsu…” [from Wikipedia]..

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Feb
28

Aikido greats in action! Video: Highlights of 1st Aikido Friendship Demonstration featuring Kanshu Sunadomari, Mitsugi Saotome, Morihiro Saito, Shoji Nishio, Yasuo Kobayashi, Yoshio Kuroiwa

This video contains highlights of the First Aiki News Friendship Demonstration that took place in 1985 in Tokyo. It featured lecture demonstrations by six Aikido greats: Morihiro Saito, Shoji Nishio, Kanshu Sunadomari, Yasuo Kobayashi, Mitsugi Saotome, and Yoshio Kuroiwa…

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Feb
28

No power required! “The secret to performing tai no henko against two uke,” by Stanley Pranin

First, some background. This is a simple exercise anyone can try where two uke grab nage strongly. If nage attempts to use physical strength, he will be easily overwhelmed by the combined power of two people grabbing. In such a situation, nage must relax and attempt to blend. Nage has the ability to move his wrist because he is grabbed on his forearm. Nage can also adjust his hips and move to a certain extent as long as he does not oppose the power of the ukes….

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Feb
28

Performance at 2nd Friendship Demonstration: The Last Swordsman: The Yoshio Sugino Story, by Tsukasa Matsuzaki

His friend Minoru Mochizuki (present head of the Yoseikan) once commented about his judo skills: “Sugino? That guy has the kami [divine] in him!” One of Sugino’s favorite judo techniques was utsurigoshi (hip shift), a somewhat acrobatic technique in which the opponent’s throwing power is taken advantage of to throw him instead. He was also fond of urawaza (rear techniques) and kaeshiwaza (reversals) and always exploited openings left by opponents who carelessly underestimated him because of his small size…

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Feb
27

Fast & precise! Shoji Seki’s powerful display of technique at 10th International Aikido Congress

Shoji Seki, 7th dan, is one of a group of Aikikai Hombu Dojo instructors who began their careers in the late 1960s. He has maintained himself in excellent physical condition, and his technique is fast and precise. Although Seki Sensei is not verbose in his explanation, he repeats the technique he is demonstrating many times, and it is possible to catch the fine points of his movements through careful observation…

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Feb
27

Relax the body, calm the mind… Self-defense: “Defense against one’s self,” by Lynn Seiser

One of the first things we learned in Aikido is to relax the body and calm the mind. To get the most out of training, we do not deny the uke is attacking and we do not tell them how they should attack. The Aiki way is to greet the attack, accept it, and blend with it. We redirect rather than resist. We take balance with finesse rather than by force. We attempt to control the situation and do no harm…

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Feb
27

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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Feb
27

Common Sense Look at Aikido: “Yoshio Kuroiwa Sensei at 1st Friendship Demonstration”

Yoshio Kuroiwa Sensei one of aikido’s least known but finest innovators participated in the 1st Aikido Friendship Demonstration. On that occasion, he gave a fascinating demonstration which displayed his technical virtuosity. Kuroiwa Sensei was also a fine writer whose original thinking is clearly evident in this article titled “A Common Sense Look at Aikido” …

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Feb
26

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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Feb
26

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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Feb
26

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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Feb
26

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… WATCH VIDEO

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