Jun
11

“Zen and Aikido,” by Shigeo Kamata and Kenji Shimizu now an ebook

Zen — the Japanese philosophy rooted in ancient India and China adopted by the warrior caste to enable samurai to face death with a serene spirit. Aikido — the modern Japanese martial arts which incorporates powerful techniques applied in a spirit of harmony and reconciliation. Zen and Aikido offers a lucid interpretation of aikido viewed through the centuries-old martial tradition of Japan, long a subject of fascination to Westerners.

Kenji Shimizu, 8th degree aikido master, was one of Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba’s last and best-loved disciples. Shimizu Sensei currently operates the Tendokan School of aikido in Tokyo and makes yearly instructional trips to Europe. Combining a strong background in judo with his expertise in aikido, his smooth, powerful techniques embody the ideal of effectiveness and control. Shimizu Sensei offers clear insight into his training methods which will surely prove invaluable to both beginning and advanced practitioners of aikido and to martial arts enthusiasts in general.

Shigeo Kamata is a professor of Eastern Culture at Tokyo University. A renowed authority on Zen Buddhism, Professor Kamata has written numerous works dealing with the philosophies of China and Japan directed at both scholarly and popular audiences. An avid practitioner of aikido for more than twelve years at the Tendokan Dojo of Kenji Shimizu Sensei, he is uniquely qualified to introduce to Western readers the essential concepts of both Zen and aikido with their relevance to daily life in a conflict-riddled world.
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Jun
10

Koichi Tohei, 10th dan, and Ki Aikido 1974 Seminar, Part 1, Hi-res video download!

“Breakthrough video featuring Aikido’s first 10th dan in his prime!”

Koichi Tohei Sensei needs no introduction. He is one of the most important figures in the postwar development of aikido, and was the first and only person to be officially promoted to 10th dan by Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba. Tohei Sensei played a pivotal role in spreading the art in Japan and the USA from the early 1950s through the mid-1970s. He traveled abroad on numerous occasions during his active years conducting seminars and demonstrations. He is also a prolific author, having published many works in Japanese and English. His publications had a strong influence both technically and philosophically on early aikido practitioners.


This downloadable video is the first part of surviving footage of a seminar conducted by Koichi Tohei in 1974 in San Francisco, California. This was near the period of time of his resignation as chief instructor from the Aikikai Hombu Dojo. Tohei Sensei was teaching a mixture of his style of aikido techniques together with the “Ki” exercises that comprised his curriculum. Though physically very powerful, Tohei Sensei emphasized a relaxed, circular form of movement where the intention was to blend with one’s partner and lead his mind. His approach to aikido can be clearly seen through a viewing of this rare video.

This historical film has been digitally remastered using a high-end film frame scanner. It has been output in a high-resolution format for the highest possible image quality on any device you choose to view your video.

This important historical video will provide you with an excellent introduction to the Ki Aikido of Koichi Tohei, 10th dan. You will be watching your video within minutes of your purchase. This video is affordably priced at only $3.99. It is no longer necessary to pay for shipping, customs charges, or lost packages. Nor is there any need to wait!

Price: $3.99
Duration: 17:25
File size: 263 mb
Frame size: 720 x 480

Part 1 of the 1974 Seminar with Koichi Tohei, 10th dan, may be purchased here

Jun
08

Understanding the Evolution of Modern Aikido Technique: “Takemusu Aikido — Special Edition” now an Ebook

“Your Key to Understanding the Evolution of Modern Aikido Technique!”

Among the technical volumes authored by Morihiro Saito, certainly the most unique must be his publication of “Takemusu Aikido – Special Edition.” This 176-page book is an exhaustive analysis of the famous 1938 technical manual published by Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba in 1938. This prewar volume is a landmark document that provides the missing link to understanding the technical evolution of aikido from its Daito-ryu jujutsu origins to the modern form of the art.

Now for the first time, Aikido Journal is offering Saito Sensei’s wonderful treatise on Morihei’s technique in ebook format. This PDF publication is extremely high-quality and affords readers the opportunity of being able to zoom in to inspect details of the images of Saito Sensei performing each technique. This is a tremendous advantage in that fine points such as hand and foot position become easily discernible, something not always possible in the print edition.

Click here to view sample pages from the book

The 50 techniques covered include preparatory exercises, basic techniques, knife (tantodori), and sword-taking techniques (tachidori), sword vs. sword forms (ken tai ken), mock-bayonet (juken) techniques, and finishing exercises (shumatsu dosa).

Takemusu Aikido Special Edition also features a fascinating essay by Aikido Journal Editor Stanley Pranin on the history and background of the publication of Morihei Ueshiba’s prewar manual “Budo” containing newly-discovered findings.

About the author

Morihiro Saito, is a 9th degree black belt and author of the highly acclaimed technical series, Traditional Aikido. Saito Sensei enrolled as a student of aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba in 1946. He had the rare opportunity of being able to train in Morihei’s Iwama Dojo and privately with the Founder for many years.

One of the art’s foremost technicians, Morihiro Saito was the acknowledged authority on aikido weapons training. Saito Sensei operated Ueshiba’s private dojo in Iwama, Japan and served as guardian of the Aiki Shrine for over 30 years. He traveled extensively throughout the world teaching his comprehensive aikido methods during his long teaching career. Morihiro Saito passed away in Iwama in 2002.

Contents of “Takemusu Aikido — Special Edition”
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Jun
07

Ebook: “Koshinage” Technical Manual by Morihiro Saito — The most complete treatise ever compiled on aikido’s hip throws!

“A rare technical manual that teaches you everything
you need to know to master koshinage techniques!”

This ebook consists of a rare technical manual originally published in 1981 containing a detailed treatise on the koshinage techniques of aikido. A total of 26 koshinage–hip-throw techniques–are presented with sequential photos accompanied by both English and Japanese explanations. This volume is the most complete compendium available on this portion of the aikido curriculum by one of the art’s most famous masters.

At the time of the publication of “Takemusu Aiki: Koshinage,” Saito Sensei was 50 years old and in his physical prime. His mastery of technique and ability to organize and explain aikido’s vast curriculum are legendary. Saito Sensei’s skills and great attention to detail will be readily apparent to readers of this volume.

This manual is based on photos taken in the late 1970s inside the Iwama Dojo that record many aikido techniques, both basic and advanced. Some of the technical sequences from this collection of photos were published during this time frame in bilingual format in “Aiki News.” Saito Sensei’s uke in these photos is Jason Yee of California who was an uchideshi in the Iwama Dojo at that time.

All together, two manuals were published, this one on koshinage, and an earlier volume presenting numerous techniques from katatedori grabs. The preparation of these manuals took the form of Saito Sensei tape-recording explanations for the respective techniques while viewing photo layouts. From this, a Japanese text version was created which was then translated into English.

Only about 200 or 300 copies of this “Koshinage” manual were printed. Most of these were sold within a relatively short time. The booklet eventually went out of print. High-resolution scans from an original copy of “Takemusu Aiki: Koshinage” were made to produce this ebook. Minor layout changes–mainly the alignment and centering of elements on the page–were made using photo editing software to enhance the final appearance of the ebook. Books like this in PDF format offer a number of advantages over of the printed medium, most notably the ability to zoom in on photo details, a great aid in the study of these techniques.
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Jun
06

Video download: “Morihiro Saito: Jodori – Jonage”

“The authoritative presentation of Jodori and Jonage
techniques by Morihiro Saito, 9th dan!”

This rare seminar filmed in the Iwama Dojo in 1988 captures the seldom-taught jo taking and throwing techniques (jodori / jonage) of aikido. Morihiro Saito Sensei offers detailed explanations and demonstrations of each of the jo techniques from multiple angles. He taught these specialized weapons techniques only occasionally, and we are fortunate to have had this videotape survive.

Those who were lucky enough to attend a seminar conducted by Saito Sensei, or have viewed videos of seminars taught by this great master, will appreciate his unique ability to present the fine points of technique at all levels, from basic to advanced.

This video was shot inside the traditional Iwama Dojo where filming was normally not allowed. The occasion for the videotaping was the visit of a group of California aikidoka, led by Pat Hendricks and Bernice Tom, who join in training with the uchideshi of the day.

In this video, Saito Sensei takes great pain to stress important details necessary to be able to successfully execute these advanced jo techniques. He also describes the common errors that many practitioners commit, and explain why such methods don’t work and precisely what does.

For the first time, we are offering this video in high-resolution for download to your hard disk. What this means is that you will have a clear video image that can be watched on a large screen or your handheld device. And remember, you will have continuing access to this video saved “on the cloud” for your convenience.

Price: $3.99
Duration: 22:54
File size: 343 mb
Frame size: 720 x 480

This rare video will provide you with expert instruction in the advanced techniques of jodori and jonage under the tutelage of Morihiro Saito, 9th dan. You will be watching your video within minutes of your purchase. This video is affordably priced at only $3.99. It is no longer necessary to pay for shipping, customs charges, or lost packages. Nor is there any need to wait!

* Please log in before proceeding. After completing your purchase, go to “My Accounts” on the left sidebar where you will find the link allowing you to download your content.

Jun
05

Morihei Ueshiba’s dynamic art at age 51… a wonder to behold!

“Quite Probably the Most Spectacular Aikido Video of All Time!”

Of all of the surviving documents of the prewar era, perhaps the most important is the 1935 film of Morihei shot at the Asahi News company in Osaka. This film was shot in sound in 16mm format and runs slightly over 14 minutes. Morihei demonstrates many suwariwaza, hanza handachi (hanmi handachi), tachiwaza, multiple attacks, and sword and juken techniques. His partners are Shigemi Yonekawa and Tsutomu Yukawa. There are brief appearances by Takuma Hisa and Rinjiro Shirata.

Most of the techniques preserved in this film are advanced and are performed in a flowing style building up to a spectacular multiple attack finale! One is struck by the modernity of many of the techniques and the “ki no nagare” like style of execution. The visual and sound impact of this film is tremendous and it provides a window in time to the wonderful techniques of Morihei from that era. The influence of Daito-ryu techniques in this film is much less obvious compared to the techniques contained in Budo Renshu and the Noma Dojo photos, the latter series being taken very close in time to the Asahi film.


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Jun
04

Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu: Conversations with Daito-ryu Masters by Stanley Pranin

“These records provide convincing evidence of the extent of Takeda’s influence in prewar martial arts circles and the prominent social standing of many of his students.”

Sokaku Takeda was one of the outstanding figures of 20th century Japanese martial arts. For over fifty years he taught his art of Daito-ryu aikijujutsu to nearly thirty thousand students, including Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba. Today, Daito-ryu is perhaps the best known of the Japanese jujutsu styles, but there has been surprisingly little information in print in any language on this fascinating and complex art. Daito-ryu aikijujutsu: Conversations with Daito-ryu Masters is the first book in English to explore the life of Takeda, the history of his art, and the techniques that are practiced in Daito-ryu today.

The heart of this book consists of a series of interviews with the leading exponents of Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu–including several direct students of Sokaku– featuring Tokimune Takeda, Yukiyoshi Sagawa, Chieko Horikawa, Yusuke Inoue, Takuma Hisa, Keisuke Sato, Katsuyuki Kondo, Hakaru Mori and Seigo Okamoto. Also, a rare newspaper article from 1930 that spotlights Sokaku is featured.

In addition, Conversations with Daito-ryu Masters includes an authoritative essay on the life of Sokaku Takeda and the history of the art by Aikido Journal Editor-in-chief Stanley Pranin.

An excerpt from “An Introduction to Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu”:

There is strong argument for considering Sokaku Takeda, the disseminator of Daito-ryu aikijujutsu, as the leading jujutsu exponent of twentieth-century Japan. The art he perfected and taught to some thirty thousand students remains today the most vigorous of Japan’s classical jujutsu schools. Moreover, the Daito-ryu system constitutes the technical basis for modern aikido. Despite its relative importance within a martial arts context where most of its historical brethren have long ago disappeared or been transformed into sports, Daito-ryu has remained little known to the general public. This stands in contrast to the popular success both in Japan and abroad of its derivative art, aikido, the creation of Morihei Ueshiba.

To date, no in-depth history of Daito-ryu aikijujutsu or Takeda has appeared even though Sokaku’s activities are among the best documented of the major martial artists of the first half of this century. Active as an instructor for more than fifty years, Takeda kept meticulous track of the participation and payments of his students in the form of enrollment books (eimeiroku) and payments received ledgers (shareiroku). These records provide convincing evidence of the extent of Takeda’s influence in prewar martial arts circles and the prominent social standing of many of his students.

Price: $7.99
Pages: 218
File size: 239 mb
Dimensions: 7″ x 10″

Jun
01

New Ebook: “Takemusu Aiki – Koshinage” by Morihiro Saito Now on Sale!

“A rare technical manual by Morihiro Saito, the most complete treatise ever compiled on “Koshinage,” aikido’s hip throws, is yours for download within minutes!”

This ebook consists of a rare technical manual originally published in 1981 containing a detailed treatise on the koshinage techniques of aikido. A total of 26 koshinage–hip-throw techniques–are presented with sequential photos accompanied by both English and Japanese explanations. This volume is the most complete compendium available on this portion of the aikido curriculum by one of the art’s most famous masters.

At the time of the publication of “Takemusu Aiki: Koshinage,” Saito Sensei was 50 years old and in his physical prime. His mastery of technique and ability to organize and explain aikido’s vast curriculum are legendary. Saito Sensei’s skills and great attention to detail will be readily apparent to readers of this volume.

This manual is based on photos taken in the late 1970s inside the Iwama Dojo that record many aikido techniques, both basic and advanced. All together, two manuals were published, this one on koshinage, and an earlier volume presenting numerous techniques from katatedori grabs. The preparation of these manuals took the form of Saito Sensei tape-recording explanations for the respective techniques while viewing photo layouts. From this, a Japanese text version was created which was then translated into English.

We are pleased to offer this precious training manual, “Takemusu Aiki: Koshinage,” in ebook form for the first time. Readers will be able to download their PDF file within minutes of their purchase. The digital format allows us to offer the ebook at the affordable price of only $3.99. No more paying for shipping, no more customs charges, or lost packages, no more waiting! You can view the PDF book on your mobile device for portability and convenience. Act now and boost your skills!

“The whole purchasing process was smooth and fast. Got my copy in some 5 minutes and confirm that the download went without problems. Thank you very much for your efforts in publishing these hidden gems!” – A.V.

Click here for more information and to purchase
Morihiro Saito’s Koshinage ebook for only $3.99!
Jun
01

Christian Tissier: Special demonstration behind closed doors at Aiki Expo 2005

“Long years of training at the Aikikai Hombu Dojo
built the foundation of a marvelous skill!”

Christian Tissier gives a special demonstration at Aiki Expo 2005, shot behind closed doors, where he explains in clear detail an advanced series of techniques that take advantage of the “forgotten direction” in Aikido that bear his unmistakable trademark. Slow-motion sequences are also included to capture the nuances of the movements of this outstanding technician. Truly much food for thought for your personal training!

Christian Tissier, 7th dan, 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 starting in 1969. 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. He is the sole foreign instructor to have taught at the International Aikido World Congress in Tokyo.


French language, complete English subtitles

Price: $1.99
Duration: 8:00
File size: 106 mb
Frame size: 720 x 480

May
30

Morihiro Saito: Takemusu Aikido, Volume 5 — Bukidori & Ninindori, now an ebook!

“Rarely taught, advanced weapons and empty-handed
techniques for the serious aikido student.”

This volume entitled Takemusu Aikido: Bukidori & Ninindori is the fifth of the comprehensive series by Morihiro Saito presenting the aikido techniques of Morihei Ueshiba O-Sensei. Volume 5 covers the following series of techniques: tachidori, jodori, jonage, tankendori and ninindori. This work is profusely illustrated with more than 450 photos and includes detailed, step-by-step explanations and commentary on each technique.

The author, Morihiro Saito, is a 9th degree black belt and author of the highly acclaimed technical series, Traditional Aikido. Saito Sensei enrolled as a student of Founder Morihei Ueshiba in 1946. One of the art’s foremost technicians, he is the acknowledged authority on aikido weapons training. Saito Sensei operates Ueshiba’s private dojo in Iwama, Japan and serves as guardian of the Aiki Shrine. He has traveled extensively throughout the world teaching his comprehensive aikido training methods.

60 techniques: Tachidori (13 techniques), Jodori (13 techniques), Jonage (10 techniques), Tankendori (12 techniques), Ninindori (12 techniques)


[Read more...]

May
29

Morihiro Saito: Aiki Jo — Part 2, 31 jo kata kumijo and 10 kumijo

“Aiki Jo movements are an excellent complement
to empty-handed training in aikido.”

This is the second of two videos by Morihiro Saito covering all of the basics of the Aiki Jo curriculum as practiced in Iwama, Japan. These jo forms were compiled and refined by Saito Sensei based on his weapons training directly under Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba. These videos were shot specifically for the serious practitioner interested in learning the Aiki Ken and Jo and include detailed explanations and different angle shots to facilitate understanding of important details.

The incredible flexibility of the Aiki Jo

The jo, being a bladeless weapon, can be used with either end as a striking and parrying instrument. It is normally somewhat over 50 inches in length and thus has a greater reach than a sword. Strikes can be executed with one or two hands leading to many possible combinations of applications. It is an adaptable weapon against multiple opponents. Given its flexibility, and Morihiro Saito formulated many different exercises and forms for practice based on the movements he was taught directly by Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba.

Aiki Jo movements are an excellent complement to empty-handed training in aikido. By learning to handle a weapon with an entirely different effective range, practitioners can gain a deeper understanding of combative distance, striking, parrying, hipwork, etc.

Aiki Jo — Part 2 includes:

  • 31 jo kata kumijo – paired jo forms to that illustrate the application of the component parts of the 31-kata
  • 10 kumijo – a set of 10 paired jo kata of a more advanced level based on the Founder’s jo practice in Iwama

Japanese narration, complete English subtitles

Duration: 25:03
File size: 378 mb
Frame size: 720 x 480

May
28

Listen to O-Sensei’s actual voice: “After contests, you have a bad feeling whether you win or lose.”

“I engaged in contests… Afterwards, resentment always remains.
Then, you have a bad feeling, whether you win or lose.”

This video contains a fascinating interview of the Founder conducted about 1962 during which he is questioned about aikido. As was his custom, many of the Founder’s comments reflect his spiritual views and mention Japanese kami. This recording affords a rare chance to gain an intimate glimpse of the Founder’s warmth and personality.

You will hear the actual voice of Morihei Ueshiba as he talks about the circumstances of his birth, his daily routine, his enlightenment, his views of competition and war, his principle of non-resistance, and other subjects.

Morihei Ueshiba is the founder of aikido and was born in 1883. As a young man, he practiced a number of martial arts. Of these, the Daito-ryu jujutsu he learned from Sokaku Takeda was particularly important. Ueshiba was a very religious man and considered Onisaburo Deguchi, the co-founder of the Omoto religion, as his spiritual master. Morihei retired to the seclusion of the countryside during World War II, and continued to perfect his aikido. He was active spreading the art he created until shortly before his passing in 1969.

Excerpts from the interview:

When I entered the army I found little truth/sincerity. The goal is to always be victorious. The principle is to win at all costs. You must win the war, you cannot lose. Of course, it must be that way. The spirit of honor is the soldier’s spirit. Honor is a concept such that, if you have even a few enemies, you must kill many. This becomes a meritorious deed. Because of this everything leads to conflict…

English subtitles provided. A series of beautiful close-up photos of the Founder serve as the backdrop for the interview.

Price: $4.99
Duration: 14:24
File size: 108 mb
Frame size: 720 x 480