May
10

Hi-res video: “Morihiro Saito ventures to America for the first time in 1974”

“An undisputed technical genius goes abroad for
the first time and captures the hearts of the Americans!”

This long-lost film was made in 1974 in San Francisco and Oakland, California on the occasion of Morihiro Saito’s first American seminar. He was 46 years old and in his prime and traveling abroad for the first time. Saito Sensei made a lasting impression for his technical and teaching skills and was invited back many times.

Sensei’s uke and traveling companion on that trip was Shigemi Inagaki Sensei, then a 5th dan and a formidable aikidoka. David Alexander and Dennis Tatoian also formed part of Sensei’s entourage from Japan. A number of his early foreign uchideshi including Bill Witt, Bruce Klickstein and Hans Goto were based in northern California, and Sensei had been invited to conduct seminars on this occasion by them. He taught back-to-back seminars at the old Aikido of San Francisco and at Stanford University on October 5-6 and October 12-13, respectively. Saito Sensei also taught a class at the Oakland Aikido Institute during this tour.

Below is a report by Stanley Pranin on Saito Sensei’s visit from Aiki News dated October 1974:
[Read more...]

May
09

Morihei Ueshiba O-Sensei welcomes two Americans dressed like cowboys to Hombu Dojo to test their mettle. A true adventure… with humor!

This film presents the full, uncut version of a fascinating U.S. television documentary on aikido produced in 1958. It follows the adventures of an American tv crew who first cover the opening of the majestic Tokyo Tower with all its pomp and ceremony. Next, they pay a visit to the Aikikai Hombu Dojo in Tokyo to find out what aikido is all about. There they meet famous Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba, his son Kisshomaru, and Koichi Tohei. Two members of the crew don training uniforms and try the art out for themselves, often with humorous results.

An unforgettable scene is the “challenge” by one of the skeptical journalists handled by Koichi Tohei. Another highlight of this film is the interview of O-Sensei, with Koichi Tohei acting as interpreter. You will hear the Founder’s actual voice and watch him intone a haunting Shinto chant. The exciting finale features a special demonstration by O-Sensei of taijutsu, aiki ken, aiki jo and multiple attacks. Nobuyoshi Tamura and Yasuo Kobayashi are among those taking falls for the Founder. Incredible action!
[Read more...]

May
08

Morihiro Saito portrait: “Decked out in a beautiful formal kimono before the Aiki Shrine”

This is a heads-up for any of you who would like to download a high-resolution file of one of the most beautiful and famous portraits of Morihiro Saito, 9th dan. We’ll be launching this product tomorrow. It will be priced at $3.99.

“This is one of the finest of the surviving portraits of Morihiro Saito Sensei. It was taken by Stanley Pranin on May 4, 1996 in front of the Aiki Shrine in Iwama. The occasion was the celebration of Saito Sensei’s 50 years in aikido. Many aikido dignitaries from all over Japan and foreign students attended, including present Doshu Moriteru Ueshiba. This photo was taken with a Minolta medium-format camera and is of extremely high-resolution.”

One of the nice things about these high-resolution downloadable files is that you save a ton of money not having to pay for shipping, not to mention the much lower cost. You can then resize the file for local printing as you like. It’s great for both dojo and personal use. We’ll have many more beautiful historical photos for you in the near future.

If you can’t wait until then, check it out here.

May
08

Morihiro Saito: Takemusu Aikido, Volume 2 — More Basics, now an ebook

“Master every Yokomenuchi, Kotegaeshi, and Iriminage imaginable!”

This volume, titled Takemusu Aikido: More Basics, is the second of the comprehensive technical series authored by Morihiro Saito, 9th dan, presenting the aikido of Founder Morihei Ueshiba O-Sensei. This manual covers in exhaustive detail 76 techniques from the following series of basics: shihonage, kotegaeshi, and iriminage. Volume 2 is presented in bilingual format (Japanese-English) and provides clear, step-by-step explanations of each technique featuring over 700 illustrations.

Morihiro Saito is the author of the acclaimed technical series, Traditional Aikido, published in the early 1970s. In addition to the Takemusu Aikido technical manuals, Saito has produced a series of highly-regarded instructional DVDs.

Saito enrolled as a student of Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba in 1946. One of the art’s foremost technicians, he was the acknowledged authority on Aikido weapons training. Saito operated Ueshiba’s private dojo in Iwama, Japan and served as caretaker of the Aiki Shrine for more than 30 years until his passing in 2002. He traveled extensively throughout the world for over three decades teaching his comprehensive training methods while building large followings in the USA, Europe, and Australia.

Right click here to download the sample PDF file of Takemusu Aikido, Volume 2

76 techniques: Shihonage (32 techniques), Kotegaeshi (21 techniques), Iriminage (24 techniques)

[Read more...]

May
06

Stanley Pranin’s Aikido Pioneers — Prewar Era, now an ebook!

“20 interviews meticulously edited from hundreds of hours of conversations conducted over a 30-year period with those closest to Morihei Ueshiba.”

Morihei Ueshiba (1883-1969) drew on his extensive martial arts experience as a young man, fusing this knowledge with his deeply-held religious beliefs, to create the modern self-defense art of Aikido.

During his long career, Ueshiba associated with some of prewar Japan’s most colorful characters, including famous jujutsu master Sokaku Takeda, the charismatic religious leader Onisaburo Deguchi, and numerous members of Japan’s military, political, and business elite. Here is the captivating story of the birth of aikido, based on the first-hand accounts of Ueshiba’s top students prior to World War II.

The 20 interviews contained in Aikido Pioneers – Prewar Era have been meticulously edited from hundreds of hours of conversations conducted over a 30-year period with those closest to the Founder. These early devotees of the art offer an insightful portrayal of the character of the Aikido Founder, and a detailed description of his teaching and activities, spanning nearly half a century. More than 100 photos, many published for the first time, add an important visual dimension to the testimonies of the interviewees. This massive 364-page tome is an essential volume for those desiring to discover the roots of Aikido, a true cultural treasure of Japan. It is now available for the first time in ebook format affordable priced at $8.99.

[Read more...]

May
03

A super strong 45-year-old Morihiro Saito demonstrates amazing technique in hi-res video!

“You asked for inexpensive video downloads
of Aikido Greats… Here’s another one!”

This is the famous NHK film documentary shot on location in Iwama and at the Aikikai Hombu Dojo in 1973. Morihiro Saito was the chief instructor of the Iwama Dojo and Guardian of the Aiki Shrine from 1969 until his passing in 2002. There are a many actions scenes inside and outside the old Iwama Dojo including a splendid demonstration by Morihiro Saito Sensei.

This period represents the heyday of the Iwama Dojo when the first wave of foreign students began to live and the train as uchideshi. Since then, thousands of Japanese and foreigners alike have come to train in this dojo established by Morihei Ueshiba. Among the early American aikidoka that appear are Bill Witt and Hans Goto.

The power and precision of the art of Saito Sensei is captured on film in vivid detail. At a young and vigorous age of 45, his mastery of empty-handed and weapon techniques is extraordinary to behold. The final multiple-attack scene that takes place outdoors in the fields of the Iwama property is classic!

Duration: 16:07
File size: 243 mb
Frame size: 720 x 480

You asked for inexpensive video downloads of Aikido Greats… Here’s another one!

http://store.aikidojournal.com/morihiro-saito-1973-tv-documentary-hi-res-download/

May
01

Noriaki Inoue — Aikido’s Forgotten Pioneer, Part 1, Hi-res download

“The technical richness and martial spirit of the art demonstrated by
Noriaki Inoue will prove inspiring to aikido practitioners of all styles!”

Morihei Ueshiba is widely recognized as the founder of aikido, a modern Japanese martial art with a strong spiritual emphasis. What is known only to a few, however, are the contributions of Ueshiba’s nephew, Noriaki Inoue, to the development of the precursor of aikido called “Aiki Budo.”

Noriaki Inoue was raised in the Ueshiba home in Tanabe in the early part of the 1900s. He was with Morihei when his uncle studied Daito-ryu Jujutsu in Hokkaido under Sokaku Takeda. Inoue also became a devout member of the Omoto sect having extensive personal contact with Onisaburo Deguchi, and developed a deep spiritual understanding paralleling that of Morihei. When Morihei taught his budo in Tokyo and Osaka during the 1920s and 30s, Inoue served as his senior assistant playing a pivotal role in the creation of Aiki Budo.

This video is thus a breakthrough product consisting of never-before-seen footage of Noriaki Inoue during his prime. Technically speaking, these films provide a glimpse of what prewar aikido looked like. The astute viewer will note that the scores of techniques shown share a great deal in common with the Iwama Aikido of Morihiro Saito. The technical richness and martial spirit of the art demonstrated by Noriaki Inoue will prove inspiring to aikido practitioners of all styles.

Inoue’s bearing and technique reveals an uncanny resemblance to his uncle Morihei. His movements are extremely fluid, precise and punctuated by bursts of power.
[Read more...]

Apr
29

O-Sensei’s “Founder of Aikido” video from 1961 in Hi-Res!

“Watch for O-Sensei’s incredible ability to perceive
his partner’s intent before the attack even starts!”

This video titled “The Founder of Aikido”consists of the uncut version of a Japanese tv documentary titled “Aikido” produced in 1961. This film focuses on the life and techniques of Morihei Ueshiba, and was shot on location in Iwama and Tokyo. It contains beautiful footage of the Founder in his daily life and during training. There are many marvelous action scenes,
including an incredible display of empty-handed techniques, defenses against multiple attacks and a live sword!

Both the late Doshu Kisshomaru Ueshiba and Morihiro Saito figure prominently as O-Sensei’s training partners. Watch for O-Sensei’s incredible ability to perceive his partner’s intent before the attack even starts! You’ll also hear the Founder’s actual voice in several scenes of him in prayer that highlight his great spirituality. This film will bring the figure of O-Sensei alive, and you are sure to be captivated by his energy and charisma!

Complete English subtitles of the Japanese narration are provided.

This film is ideal to show to students and the general public as an introduction to the Founder of Aikido and the milieu in which he lived and trained during the postwar era.

Duration: 26:53
File size: 408 mb
Frame size: 720 x 480

This is one of the most important surviving films of Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba. It is offered here in a high-resolution mp4 format for your personal video collection. You will be watching your video within minutes of your purchase. This video is affordably priced at only $4.99. It is no longer necessary to pay for shipping, customs charges, or lost packages. Nor is there any need to wait!

Apr
27

Rare book: Stanley Pranin’s “Encyclopedia of Aikido” now an ebook!

“The most in-depth reference book on Aikido available!”

Stanley Pranin’s 1991 book titled “The Aiki News Encyclopedia of Aikido” is now available in ebook form for the first time. This book, long out of print, is a one-of-a-kind aikido reference work containing a cornucopia of essential information about every aspect of the art. In it, you will find hundreds of biographies of aikido personalities, rare photos, addresses, definitions of specialized terms, a bibliography of books, even capsule histories of the art for the world’s major countries up to the time of the publication of the book.

To give you an idea of how readers have reacted to the work, we have excerpted a few comments about the book found on amazon.com:

“Author Stanley Pranin includes a huge variety of information in this encyclopedia on people in all different branches of Aikido and related arts, places of historical interest, specific events, different styles of aikido and their founders, and styles related to Aikido. Unfortunately, this volume has been out of print for some time…

Includes information about Ueshiba Morihei, Ueshiba Kisshomaru, Takeda Sokaku, Tohei Koichi, Saotome Mitsugi, Saito Morihiru, Tomiki, and many more. Japanese and non-Japanese instructors are covered, and Stanley Pranin has gone through the trouble of authenticating many of the ranks held by prominent Aikido people. I hope someday we will see an updated version in print!”

“Pranin has researched aikido as has no one else–American OR Japanese–and this book is a goldmine of information that’s hard to get elsewhere. Whatever style of aikido you practice (and maybe jujutsu or the ken, too) this book will have information on it. A lot of the scuttlebutt on the acrimony between the various teachers of harmony, too. Highly recommended.”

[Read more...]

Apr
17

Koichi Tohei – 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.

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

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!


* 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.

Apr
15

Downloadable Books & Videos

“Check out our ebooks and videos to enhance your collection”

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.

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).

Click here for more information and to purchase this ebook

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. 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.

Click here for more information and to purchase this downloadable video

This is the first of two technical volumes produced by Morihiro Saito Sensei in collaboration with Aiki News (precursor of Aikido Journal) based on a series of several hundred black and white photos shot inside the Iwama Dojo. “Takemusu Aiki: Katatedori” was published in 1979 and contains 22 techniques, all from katatedori, the single-hand grab. The text explaining the technical photos is produced both in English and Japanese to allow access to the widest possible reading audience of aikidoka.

Given the time frame in which the photos were taken (1978-79) and the available technology, Saito Sensei would stop his movements at key points in the movement to allow the photo to be taken. Because of this, the natural flow of movement is lacking in these images, a trait characteristic of technical manuals of this sort. By contrast, the pausing of a movement at critical points allows the reader’s eye to focus on essential details for deeper understanding.

At the time this photo series was taken, many foreign aikido students were coming to the Iwama dojo to spend varying periods of time as uchideshi, or live-in students. Saito Sensei’s reputation was growing steadily largely due to the publication of a series of five technical volumes titled Traditional Aikido appearing in the mid-1970s. Like this manual, these books had English and Japanese text, and were must-reading among serious practitioners of aikido in Japan and abroad.

Click here for more information and to purchase this ebook

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.”

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

Click here for more information and to purchase this ebook

Apr
10

New ebook from Morihiro Saito: “Takemusu Aiki: Katatedori”

“A technical tour de force by Morihiro Saito that will open the eyes of aikido practitioners to the magnificence of Morihei Ueshiba O-Sensei’s art!”

This is the first of two technical volumes produced by Morihiro Saito Sensei in collaboration with Aiki News (precursor of Aikido Journal) based on a series of several hundred black and white photos shot inside the Iwama Dojo. “Takemusu Aiki: Katatedori” was published in 1979 and contains 22 techniques, all from katatedori, the single-hand grab. The text explaining the technical photos is produced both in English and Japanese to allow access to the widest possible reading audience of aikidoka.

Saito Sensei was known for his ability to organize and breakdown techniques into easily learnable components. This skill is readily evident in this manual as he guides readers step by step through the execution of techniques. For several of the techniques, the basic movement is accompanied by a progression to henkawaza (variations), and oyowaza (applied techniques).

Given the time frame in which the photos were taken (1978-79) and the available technology, Saito Sensei would stop his movements at key points in the movement to allow the photo to be taken. Because of this, the natural flow of movement is lacking in these images, a trait characteristic of technical manuals of this sort. By contrast, the pausing of a movement at critical points allows the reader’s eye to focus on essential details for deeper understanding.

"Takemusu Aiki" -- Morihiro Saito

At the time this photo series was taken, many foreign aikido students were coming to the Iwama dojo to spend varying periods of time as uchideshi, or live-in students. Saito Sensei’s reputation was growing steadily largely due to the publication of a series of five technical volumes titled Traditional Aikido appearing in the mid-1970s. Like this manual, these books had English and Japanese text, and were must-reading among serious practitioners of aikido in Japan and abroad. This widespread exposure to the Iwama aikido training curriculum created a strong demand for Saito Sensei to travel to foreign countries to conduct seminars. He received many invitations to teach abroad, the USA, Europe, Scandanavia, and Australia being his major destinations.

Saito Sensei was almost single-handedly responsible for the kindling of interest in the practice of the Aiki Ken and Aiki Jo. This aiki weapons’ repertoire was developed by Saito Sensei based on training patterns he learned from Founder Morihei Ueshiba during his intensive period of training in Iwama in the late 1940s and 50s. Therefore, readers should keep in mind that the empty-handed techniques shown in “Takemusu Aiki: Katatedori” are part of a vast curriculum that includes hundreds of taijutsu techniques as well as the rich technical content of ken and jo practices, all tied together as a cohesive whole.

Saito Sensei would mention many times both privately and in public that he was not free to develop his own style of aikido. This was due to his devotion to the Founder, and his roles as the dojo-cho of the Iwama Dojo and guardian of the nearby Aiki Shrine. Rather, he viewed his mission as dedicating his life to the preservation and faithful dissemination of the Founder’s aikido as he learned it in Iwama. Saito Sensei’s innate genius, tireless energy and herculean efforts to travel all over Japan and to foreign lands, and his many publications have assured his position as one of the most important and influential disciples of Morihei Ueshiba.

Morihiro Saito Sensei demonstrating kokyunage oyo technique from "Takemusu Aiki: Katatedori"

It is our pleasure to offer this rare training manual, “Takemusu Aiki: Katatedori,” in ebook form for the first time since its original publication in 1979. Readers will be able to download their PDF file within minutes of their purchase. This ebook 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! You can view the PDF book on your mobile device for portability and convenience. The “Katatedori” manual will be an invaluable learning aid for you in your aikido practice!

Click here to order Morihiro Saito’s ebook “Takemusu Aiki: Katatedori”