Jan
16

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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Jan
16

Technical genius on display! Shoji Nishio demonstrates Aikido in Kiev

This is a demonstration performed by Shoji Nishio, 8th dan, in Kiev in 1999. Nishio Sensei shows a variety of empty-handed techniques illustrating their application through the demonstration of paired ken and jo kata. Shoji Nishio Sensei was one of aikido’s most innovative teachers incorporating elements from his extensive experience in judo, karate, iaido, and jojutsu in his martial-oriented interpretation of aikido…

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Jan
16

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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Jan
15

How to stop the fakes! “Dan Rankings” by Stanley Pranin

What is fascinating is the seemingly universal need to justify one’s present standing even by going to the extreme of weaving a false past. At least a half dozen names immediately spring to mind, several of them with successful dojos and scores of students, the latter training in blissful ignorance of the fact that the individuals in whom they have placed their trust and confidence have been untruthful to them…

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Jan
15

Taijutsu, ken, jo all the same… Morihiro Saito: “I saw nothing but the real thing for 23 years!”

“Many shihan create new techniques and I think this is a wonderful thing, but after analyzing these techniques I am still convinced no one can surpass O-Sensei. I think it is best to follow the forms he left us.These days people are inclined to go their own way, but as long as I am involved, I will continue to do the techniques and forms O-Sensei left us…”

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Jan
15

Inspirational inscription! Free download: Beautiful Morihei Ueshiba Portrait Wallpaper

It is our pleasure to offer you a a beautiful and inspiring wallpaper of Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba. This image is from one of the most famous photo portraits of Morihei Ueshiba. It was shot c. 1957 when the Founder was approximately 73 years of age. Morihei is seated facing forward, his gaze directly into the camera. His countenance reveals a man of great spiritual depth and worldly experience tinged with kindness. Included on the wallpaper is an inspirational saying of O-Sensei which reads as follows: “Aiki is not a technique to fight with or defeat the enemy. It is the way to reconcile the world and make human beings one family”…

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Jan
14

Deploying the centered mind: Centripetal and Centrifugal Aikido by Nev Sagiba

Navigating energy requires no attack. To remain stuck in the quagmires of aggression in the seeking of resolution is a primitive reptilian brain disposition that somehow failed to become extinct along with the dinosaurs. This approach is doomed to eventual failure each time. There is nothing more disgusting that Aikido techniques badly mimicked with a mind of a primitive lizard at work. It’s not Aikido…

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Jan
14

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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Jan
14

Fiery, mysterious, hypersensitive… “Morihei Ueshiba O-Sensei Electric,” by Stanley Pranin

As I began to learn about the Founder’s epic life over the years, my interest in probing deeper into how he trained himself and acquired his extraordinary skills and spiritual powers only grew greater. Although photos can only capture the essence of a fleeting moment, I have selected a few remarkable images that I feel will convey the amazing energy and electric presence of the Master…”

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Jan
13

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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Jan
13

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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Jan
13

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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