Jul
17

Don’t miss out on the benefits of atemi! Kyusho Jitsu, strikes to vital points, demonstrated by Evan Pantazi

This excellent clip by Evan Pantazi show examples of strikes to kyusho, or vital points, and their powerful effect on the human body. Atemi strikes in aikido are little emphasized despite the fact that Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba used them extensively in his techniques. This video should be viewed by aikido practitioners to whom the huge benefits that the judicious use of atemi offer should be obvious…

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Jul
17

Centered on Kisshomaru and Tohei… “The spread of aikido abroad in a nutshell,” by Stanley Pranin

What is perhaps less understood is the importance of these influential figures in the early growth of aikido beyond the shores of Japan. With the exception of Minoru Mochizuki who was the first to teach aikido in France starting in 1951, the dispatch of Aikikai instructors to foreign lands was also overseen by Kisshomaru — first and foremost — and Tohei whose focus was Hawaii and the continental USA…

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Jul
16

A forgotten era: “Morihei’s Ueshiba Juku, Launchpad of a Martial Arts Career,” by Stanley Pranin

Early in my career as a researcher into the life of Morihei Ueshiba, I was misled by two prevailing myths concerning the history of aikido. The first was that Daito-ryu jujutsu was merely one of a number of older martial arts that influenced the technical development of aikido. This proved to be a misrepresentation of historical fact in that Daito-ryu was, technically speaking, by far the predominant influence on aikido. The second myth was that Morihei Ueshiba had something akin to a “star” status within the Omoto religion that placed him almost on a par with Onisaburo Deguchi, and that he was somehow a “non-member” member of the sect…

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Jul
16

Relaxation is the secret… “What I most wanted to learn from O-Sensei…”

In any case, I began studying aikido because I saw that Ueshiba Sensei had truly mastered the art of relaxing. It was because he was relaxed, in fact, that he could generate so much power. I became his student with the intention of learning that from him. To be honest, I never really listened to most of the other things he said…

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Jul
16

Ken to the end! Morihei Ueshiba demonstrating Aiki Ken at Aikikai Hombu Dojo in 1968 — Part 2

This film is a fascinating document in that it includes scenes of Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba teaching at the Hombu Dojo in Tokyo toward the end of his life. Lo and behold, there are several clips that show O-Sensei demonstrating paired movements of the Aiki Ken right inside the headquarters dojo…

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Jul
15

Son and successor of the Founder: Doshu Kisshomaru Ueshiba demonstrates morotedori techniques at Aikikai Hombu Dojo in 1980

This is an early film clip of a class taught by Second Doshu Kisshomaru Ueshiba at the Aikikai Hombu Dojo in Tokyo in 1980. These scenes will give the viewer a good feel for the atmosphere and practice at the Hombu Dojo during this time frame Kisshomaru Ueshiba (1921-1999) was the son of Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba…

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Jul
15

Do we really get it? We think we know Morihei’s true philosophy…

I feel it incumbent upon anyone who publishes a work attributed to Founder Morihei Ueshiba to clarify the source of the original Japanese, and any modifications to these texts and the reasoning behind such editorial determinations. I believe this holds true for translated texts as well, particularly given the difficult subject matter…

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Jul
15

Morihei’s unique philosophy… Shoji Nishio: “There was a world of difference between the two spirits”

I was really impressed by Mifune Sensei’s reaction at that time. However, there was a big difference between O-Sensei’s and Mifune Sensei’s words. One was saying he would catch him even if he was killed and take him to the police. The other was saying that the thief took it because he wanted it and that he should be let to have it, that it was the person who was robbed that was at fault. There was a world of difference between the two spirits…

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Jul
14

Flowing counter techniques: Aikido Kobayashi Hirokazu Kaeshiwaza (11 Techniques)

An interesting video showing an exercise of chaining aikido techniques based on kaeshiwaza (counter techniques) to produce a flow of movement between two partners… studying complex sequences, with several techniques, makes sense, where one needs to work on the fluidity and sensitiveness, “feeling” the partner in a smooth continuum…

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Jul
14

Newly discovered film! Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba at Aikikai Hombu Dojo in 1968

This is a film of Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba shot at the Hombu Dojo in Tokyo in 1968. Notice that O-Sensei is leading his uke throughout the demonstration. In other words, he is proactive when executing his techniques…

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Jul
14

Morihiro Saito explains… “Secrets of an effective nikyo”

In this video taken from “Morihiro Saito: Lost Seminars, Volume 4,” Saito Sensei explains in detail the fine points of Aikido’s nikyo. This wrist pressure application is one of the most effective techniques in aikido, but takes great skill to be able to apply effectively. This video clip gives an excellent insight into how to successfully apply this difficult technique…

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Jul
11

Vladimir Vasiliev on Systema: Fundamentals of Knife Disarming

A wonderful demonstration by Vladimir Vasiliev of the soft and effective techniques of Systema against various knife attacks. Notice the use of strikes to disrupt the structural integrity of the opponent…

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