May
30

No margin for error: Hayato Osawa Sensei demonstrates “Go no Sen” techniques at 2013 All-Japan Aikido Demo”

The physical practice of Aikido follows different strategies and patterns of movement than most martial arts. Coming from a bashing background, it was initially very hard to get my body to move according to the principles and concepts of Aikido. Blend rather than resist? You have to be kidding. Move in a circular motion rather than a linear direction? I did not even do that when I danced. The body did not want to do it and the mind did not understand it. The body and the mind were not fighting each other, they were fighting Aikido…

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May
30

The main focus is Doshu… “Looking Back at the All-Japan Aikido Demonstration” by Stanley Pranin

All of this being said, the main focus of the event is on the Doshu. In O-Sensei’s time, his presence was largely symbolic. He would give a brief speech to open the event and then retire to a back room before reappearing for the finale. During the Second Doshu’s active years, Kisshomaru Sensei would give a lecture demonstration in which he articulated his vision of aikido with an emphasis on the importance of center and the circular nature of aikido movements. The present Doshu’s approach is by comparison short on words. Instead, he lets his techniques speak volumes. He is among the best I have ever seen at suwariwaza. Moriteru Sensei’s demonstrations are always precise, quick-paced, and beautiful to watch…

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May
30

Rarely studied treasure! “A Look Inside Morihei’s Revolutionary Training Manual”

When I discovered Morihei’s little 1938 training manual during an interview in 1981, little did I realize how important a find it was. I immediately showed it to my teacher Morihiro Saito who had no idea that such a document existed. Saito Sensei was delighted at the discovery because “Budo” contained irrefutable evidence that his way of teaching in Iwama was faithful to the Founder’s curriculum as he had learned it after the war directly from Morihei…

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May
29

Pinnacle of classic Japanese martial arts! Tenshin Shoden Katori Shinto Ryu Documentary

This is Tenshin Shoden Katori Shinto Ryu – Japan’s oldest and most traditional sword school – considered the pinnacle of classic Japanese martial arts. This clip features part of a rare interview with Otake Risuke, the school’s instructor. See the full clip as part of the feature length movie, “Art of the Japanese Sword.” Produced by Empty Mind Films…

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May
29

Long, fateful bond: The First Encounter with Master Sokaku Takeda

It was in February of 1915 while visiting Engaru in Kitami that O-Sensei met Takeda. They were both staying at the same inn and they met in the halls of the inn. Ueshiba, who was about 30 then, studied with him at the inn for only a month, but while he was being taught he felt some kind of inspiration that spiritually he didn’t quite understand, so he invited Takeda to come to the Shirataki area where about 15 of Ueshiba’s deshi and servants received instruction from Takeda in Daito-ryu…

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May
29

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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May
28

You are naturally what you should be… “Bestowed Mission,” by Richard Moon

The process of calming the spirit and returning to the source is in essence connecting to the source of your original or bestowed mission. Implied is a falling away of that which makes it difficult to discern what’s important to your mission. It is not as mystical as it may seem. Sometimes we get out of sorts enough, we sigh, or exhale deeply and let go of some of our tension. The intelligence of the system tries to calm the spirit and return us to the source even without our thinking about it…

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May
28

A visionary on a unique voyage… One Man, One Vision by Stanley Pranin

But, Morihei Ueshiba’s broad appeal by no means ends there. He was a heroic figure in many respects who lived in exciting times and whose life was interwoven with those of many exceptional individuals of Japanese society. The Founder was the proverbial “driven man” who focused his energies on his own training and ventured forth on a unique voyage of inner discovery that culminated in the birth of aikido…

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May
28

Passing of Masatake Fujita Shihan at age 77

Masatake Fujita Shihan (1937-2014)

Masatake Fujita Shihan (1937-2014)

“I knew nothing about aikido at the time, but from the moment I saw O-Sensei’s face I could tell he wasn’t an ordinary person,”

We are saddened to announce the passing of Aikikai Shihan Masatake Fujita Sensei in Japan yesterday, May 28, 2014, after a long illness. Fujita Sensei started aikido at Takushoku University in 1956 and in 1967 joined the office staff of the AIkikai. He later became the head of the international division of the Aikikai Hombu Dojo and traveled extensively abroad both in a teaching and administrative capacity.

The staff of Aikido Journal expressed its condolences to Fujita Sensei’s family and followers all over the world.

Editor Stanley Pranin conducted an interview with Fujita Sensei to be found here:
http://members.aikidojournal.com/public/interview-with-masatake-fujita/

Here is another article on Fujita Sensei by Peter Goldsbury published recently entitled “It Had To Be Felt #50: Masatake Fujita: When is a Hombu Deshi Not a Deshi? When He’s the Secretary”: http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=23622

For more information on Fujita Sensei and to express condolences, please visit the following Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/AikidoMasatakeFujita

May
28

“Bestowed Mission,” by Richard Moon

“You are naturally what you should be, once the forces in your system are in harmony with each other and that which is not essential to your being dissolves.”

richard-moonMorihei Ueshiba O Sensei’s term ‘bestowed mission’ has resonated with me since I first began Aikido over four decades ago. In my experience Aikido, is commonly seen as a martial art, a physical form of self-defense. Though that view is not incorrect, O Sensei left us words that tell us he saw it as more than that. As such, I believe it benefits those who study the art, to read the words of the founder. Absent that guidance, and perhaps thinking of it only as a series of physical techniques, I fear we may miss Aikido’s greater mission and the incredible gifts it offers.

I entered the Aikido dojo thinking I was looking for ‘martial capability’, though as a yoga instructor, I was also interested in ‘self-development’. Luckily, upon entering the dojo I was introduced to the founder’s writings. Reading his words told me, this was exactly what I had been looking for, personal and spiritual development through martial practice. When I heard he called it ‘the art of peace’, I was confused, but totally hooked. Once I understood it as a path to, “Create a beautiful world”, I have devoted my life to the study. I have been pondering the inspiration of O sensei’s words now going into my fifth decade. Here are a few that are always with me:

The secret of Aikido is to harmonize ourselves with the movement of the universe and bring ourselves into accord with the universe itself.
Winning means winning over the mind of discord in yourself. It is to accomplish your bestowed mission.
Understand Aikido first as budo and then as the way of service to construct the World Family.
True budo is the loving protection of all beings with a spirit of reconciliation. Reconciliation means to allow the completion of everyone’s mission.
The devil-mind will go down in defeat and the Spirit rise up in victory. Then Aikido will bear fruit in this world. This is the mission of Aikido.

[Read more...]

May
27

Using natural, relaxed movements! Seishiro Endo, 8th dan, demonstrates how to disrupt uke’s balance from shomenuchi

A stunning video with excellent production values in which Seishiro Endo Sensei, 8th dan, explains and demonstrates various ways to disrupt uke’s balance using natural, relaxed movements. His commentary that appears in English in the subtitles is particularly illuminating. If studied carefully, this video will suggest new avenues to explore in your personal training…

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May
27

Essentials skills for sword mastery: “Ken suburi and kumitachi”

The basics of the Aiki Ken are centered on the suburi and kumitachi. Familiarity with these fundamentals leads to an ability to acquire more advanced sword skills such as tachidori or “sword taking” techniques as shown above…

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