Mar
20

Necessary for safe practice… Etiquette and the Preservation of Well-being by Stanley Pranin

What about etiquette inside the dojo? Many teachers I have seen over the years attach great importance to this subject. In dojos which observe strict etiquette, the teacher and students bow to each other to begin and end each class. Students also bow to each other when pairing off to train and after training together. I interpret the act of bowing in the dojo not only as a custom of respect, but also as an implied promise on the part of both sides to practice within safe bounds. Thus, in the dojo as well, etiquette serves to create a training environment where inherently dangerous techniques can be practiced with a predictible outcome…

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Mar
20

Aikido secrets! Morihiro Saito’s Morotedori Kokyuho: “Envelop uke to prevent his escape!”

When your partner stands in right hanmi and grabs your left hand, move your left foot to your partner’s right foot and turn your hips to change from left to right hanmi. Do this movement with the feeling of dropping your shoulder, elbows, and hips slightly. Turn to a position beside your partner, looking in the same direction. This is basic for all kokyuho exercises. The spacing, or maai, between you and your partner will be wrong if you look at him. If you face the same direction with the feeling of enveloping him, you will stay close to him and he will be unable to escape…

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Mar
19

Powerful, yet soft and relaxed… Seigo Yamaguchi, 9th dan, at Special Aikido Seminar (1990)

This video consists of excerpts from a special aikido seminar taught by 9th dan Master Seigo Yamaguchi. Yamaguchi Sensei was known for his flowing, yet powerful free-form techniques. He emphasizes softness and relaxation, while at times demonstrating explosive finishes to techniques. There is much to study from the unique approach of this incomparable aikido master. Full English subtitles are included…

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Mar
19

Consistent drilling works best… The Martial Artist’s Dilemma: “Traditionalism vs. Innovation,” by Charles Humphrey

How many of you have consistently explored kotegaeshi in combination with GPP training for four to six weeks straight? Maybe some have. Most, I bet, have never spent more than one or two classes drilling one particular movement. Even when teachers try to impart the importance of consistent drilling, they undermine this by constantly shifting the focus of the class to new things. The best teacher I ever had in this sense at least tried to encourage us to stick to basics, but he couldn’t control himself, and would often then suddenly switch emphasis to something completely different, or use completely new training modalities or concepts that would just overwhelm us…

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Mar
18

Aikido greats in action! “Yoshimitsu Yamada and Nobuyoshi Tamura Free Style 1999!”

This video contains highlights of the instruction of aikido greats Yoshimitsu Yamada and Nobuyoshi Tamura during a seminar held in Venezuela in 1999. Uke: Gustavo Tolone…

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Mar
18

Exuberant and precise! Christian Tissier demonstrates at Bercy Festival of Martial Arts (2004)

This is an inspiring demonstration by Christian Tissier Sensei, 7th dan, at the annual festival of martial arts at Bercy, in Paris, France. Amazing poise and precision throughout! Christian Tissier began aikido as a boy in France in 1962,. He spent eight years in Japan at the Aikikai Hombu Dojo in Tokyo training with many of the art’s top masters. On his return to his native France, he brought back a new kind of aikido that soon captured the imagination of the Aikido world in his country and practitioners throughout Europe. Tissier is at present the leading figure in the FFAAA organization, one of France’s two large Aikido associations…

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Mar
18

Lest we forget… Stanley Pranin’s Video Blog: “Aikido History 101″

In this video clip, Aikido Journal Editor Stanley Pranin introduces an outline of a six-article series on the life and work of Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba available free of charge to readers. He briefly presents the contents of each article in the series which collectively touch upon the highlights of Morihei’s life and the creation of aikido. Here is a list of the six articles: Morihei in Tanabe — Morihei’s Ueshiba Juku — Kobukan Dojo Era (1) — Kobukan Dojo Era (2) — Iwama: Birthplace of Aikido — Aikido in the Postwar Years…

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Mar
17

Christian Tissier’s Sensei! Seigo Yamaguchi, 8th dan, explores the intricacies of ikkyo (1986)

In this rare video, Seigo Yamaguchi Sensei, explores the in and outs of ikkyo techniques in his easygoing, genial manner. Yamaguchi Sensei’s aikido was totally unique among the major teachers of the postwar era. He enjoyed great popularity among foreign students at the Aikikai Hombu Dojo in the 1970s through the mid-1990s. He had an especially large contingent of devoted French practitioners, chief among them, Christian Tissier Sensei…

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Mar
17

Control without trying to control! “The Secrets of O-Sensei’s Art Hidden in Plain Sight,” by Stanley Pranin

Morihei Ueshiba’s teaching methodology that was out of synch with postwar Japanese society, his strong religious orientation, his frequent travels and irregular schedule made it difficult for most of his students to receive in-depth instruction from the Founder. To this can be added the fact that aikido developed and spread in Japan during an era of peace that later blossomed into a time of unprecedented economic prosperity. In such a societal setting devoid of the constant specter of war and a sense of physical danger, aikido training in a period of peace lacked the intensity and focus of the uneasy times of the prewar era…

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Mar
17

Basics, basics, basics! Morihiro Saito Sensei explains tai no henko and morotedori kokyuho

In this video, Morihiro Saito Sensei explains tai no henko and morotedori kokyuho. Saito Sensei also talks about his training background in Iwama under the tutelage of Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba, and how he views his teaching mission. This video was shot in the early 1990s…

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Mar
16

Largest book reference in existence…. The venerable Aikido Journal Bibliography has risen from the ashes!” by Clark Bateman

Hello, fellow aikidoka! We are happy to announce that the venerable Aikido Journal Bibliography has risen from the ashes! We have reformatted and updated the entire database, and set it up to work with all our current web software. There are now more than 400 entries, covering all aikido or aiki-related books we are aware of that were ever published in English or multilingual formats. All entries have at least a short summary, and as much publisher’s info as we can find…

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Mar
16

Aikido pioneer in Hawaii… Koichi Tohei, 10th dan, escapes from bear hug of huge American soldier

This is a rare photo of Koichi Tohei Sensei, 10th dan, teaching a group of military personnel in Hawaii. Here he seems perfectly at ease even while a large American applies a powerful bear hug from behind. Tohei Sensei had an uncanny ability to easily escape from such holds by maintaining his center and a perfectly relaxed state. No doubt he won over a number of converts among the military through his convincing demonstrations…

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