Aug
05

Powerful technique… Shoji Seki, 7th dan, demonstrates ikkyo at the 10th International Aikido Congress (2008)

In this video, Shoji Seki Sensei demonstrates a very powerful form of ikkyo. A snapping movement backed by a hip twist is applied to the elbow to destabilize uke. This is a well-studied movement that should be practiced very carefully to mitigate possible harm to uke’s elbow…

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Aug
05

Blueprint for change… Expanding and Refining the Notion of Self-defense by Stanley Pranin

Self-defense can be defined as the protection of one’s life and/or property against an attack. In cases where people take active steps to safeguard themselves and their possessions, fear is often the strongest motivating factor. Take the example of a young man who decides to join a martial arts school or self-defense course. Most likely he is driven by apprehension due to some perceived vulnerability such as small physical size or weakness. Perhaps he has recently been the victim of an attack at the hands of a bully that has left him injured and humiliated in the eyes of his friends. As a teenager, I personally witnessed one such violent incident…

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Aug
05

Rare treatise on hip throws! Morihiro Saito: “The Upside Down World of Koshinage”

One of the ebooks comprising the collection of technical manuals written by Morihiro Saito, 9th dan, is a rare treatise of aikido’s koshinage techniques. Originally published in 1981, it contains a total of 26 koshinage-hip-throw techniques-arranged in sequential photos accompanied by both English and Japanese explanations…

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Aug
04

The harder your attack, the harder your fall!… “Cooperation During Demonstrations,” by Stanley Pranin

Your teacher, too, is likely to be stimulated under the circumstances and may be putting a little more “ki” into his throws than usual. In short, you have a special situation in which some extraordinary demands are going to be placed on your body. You are going to be required to absorb the application of numerous, painful techniques which, lest we forget, were originally intended for maiming and killing. Not exactly a Sunday afternoon picnic!…

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Aug
04

Explosive Aikido! Christian Tissier’s formidable demonstration at Bercy Martial Arts Festival in Paris (2009)

This video features Christian Tissier’s formidable 1999 demonstration at the huge Bercy Martial Arts Festival held in Paris each year. Tissier Sensei is extraordinary in his technical precision and total concentration from beginning to end of technique…

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Aug
04

Action star reveals his secrets: “Rare Steven Seagal Seminar videos!”

We are pleased to present the third of a series of video clips featuring movie action star Steven Seagal taken at a seminar in San Jose, California in 1990. This seminar took place just at the time of the ascent of his movie career, and as such is a rare event. Seagal Sensei is in fine form, his teaching style dynamic, and technical explanations direct and to the point. His uke here is Haruo Matsuoka Sensei. For the period, the video quality of the seminar is excellent with clear audio. As such, viewers will gain insight into the reasons why so many people were captured by his skills and charisma both on the mat and on the movie screen which contributed greatly to his rise to fame…

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Aug
01

Clear, strong, basics… An Introduction to Aikido by Yoshimitsu Yamada Sensei

This video featuring Yoshimitsu Yamada Sensei assisted by Donovan Waite presents basic techniques and principles of aikido. It begins with a free-style demonstration, followed by a presentation of etiquette, ukemi, and finally a detailed explanation of shomenuchi ikkyo. Yoshimitsu Yamada, a direct student of O-Sensei for more than ten years, is an 8th dan and the chief instructor at the New York Aikikai…

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Aug
01

Aikido’s Second Doshu: “Kisshomaru Ueshiba’s stamp on modern aikido,” by Stanley Pranin

Kisshomaru’s new activism took several forms. He worked systematically to standardize the aikido curriculum, and his efforts could soon be seen in the new generation of junior instructors, young men in their 20s and 30s, whose techniques began to closely resemble those of Kisshomaru. This was perhaps no more apparent than in the grooming process of his second son, Moriteru, as the successor to his position as aikido’s doshu. Moriteru’s technique became virtually identical to that of his father, and his pedagogical approach became likewise similar. Besides serving as the model for the young crop of Aikikai instructors, Moriteru’s education would insure the propagation of Kisshomaru’s technical and pedagogical legacy far into the future…

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Aug
01

The event that almost never happened! Video: Highlights of 1st Aikido Friendship Demonstration

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. The presentations given during the event included outstanding demonstrations and lectures on aikido principles…

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Jul
31

Frontal pushing throws… Masatoshi Yasuno at Heian Shrine Kyoto

This video consists of highlights of a seminar conducted by Masatoshi Yasuno Sensei in Kyoto in 2011. The content is unusual in that Yasuno Sensei demonstrates numerous frontal pushing throws that are seldom seen. Having viewed numerous other video clips by this same teacher, it seems that the approach displayed here is experimental…

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Jul
31

No one made any effort to stop the fight! “Applying aikido in real life on the train in Japan,” by Stanley Pranin

I don’t remember thinking about anything, but I reacted without hesitation and grabbed the arm of the victim and started quickly leading him away from the scene of the fight. He offered no resistance to what I was doing. I frankly doubt that he could even think coherently in the sad state he was in. I moved him quickly out the other end of the car and walked him down further about three cars away from the scene of the fight. I wanted to get far enough away in case the other man tried to follow…

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Jul
31

Building blocks of the art… Quotable quotes from Morihiro Saito’s “Takemusu Aikido: Background & Basics”

“Daily practice begins with tai no henko. First, open your fingers. The basis of ura movements is footwork.”

“If you look at your partner even slightly, his body will separate from you and there will be too much space between you.”

“In ura techniques, parry the strike from the gyaku hanmi position. In this way, you will be able to execute a rapid and effective technique.”

“You must use an escape to free one of your hands in order to do the technique. One way to free your hand naturally is to open your fingers and turn your body strongly inward to unbalance your partner.”

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