Aug
04

Brian Kagen pick: “The Traditional Learning Method of Aikido,” by J. Garcia

It has been noted in many places that the old way the masters taught was to demonstrate the techniques rather than to explain them. It was the duty of the student to “learn” from the master. Hiroshi Kato Sensei has told us in the past, “I was not taught by the Founder (of Aikido), I learned from him”. Kato Sensei always understood that it was his job to study carefully what the Founder was doing and to imitate it and incorporate his own understanding of what he saw into his aikido.

Brian Kagen is an avid web researcher with a particular interest in martial arts. His training background includes both judo and aikido. He has contributed hundreds of article links over the years for AJ readers.

Click here to read entire article.

Aug
01

Brian Kagen pick: “Early Ju-jutsu: The Challenges,” by Graham Noble

“In the early years of this century Japan had emerged as a major world power, and victories over China in 1895, and Russia in 1904/5, aroused international admiration for “the plucky little Jap.” In addition, the early propagators of jujutsu in this country were fortunate in that their efforts to launch the art coincided with a vogue for physical culture and professional wrestling. This was, in fact, the golden age of professional wrestling, a period which lasted from about 1898 to 1913 and the retirement of the then world champion Frank Gotch.”

Brian Kagen is an avid web researcher with a particular interest in martial arts. His training background includes both judo and aikido. He has contributed hundreds of article links over the years for AJ readers.

Click here to read entire article.

Jul
28

Nev Sagiba pick: “Stroke of insight: Jill Bolte Taylor on TED.com”

“Neuroanatomist Jill Bolte Taylor had an opportunity few brain scientists would wish for: One morning, she realized she was having a massive stroke. As it happened — as she felt her brain functions slip away one by one, speech, movement, understanding — she studied and remembered every moment. This is a powerful story of recovery and awareness — of how our brains define us and connect us to the world and to one another.”

Click here to view video.

Jul
27

Brian Kagen pick: “John Sukumar Ratnam and his journey in Aikido,” by Russell C. Chitty

“When I met him again many years later he had been awarded the 4th Dan black belt by the Aikikai Foundation in Japan and was a fully fledged Aikido instructor based in Dubai where he is the Chief Instructor of the Dubai Aikido Club. He also teaches self defence to the Dubai Police and the cabin crew of a leading airline. As an instructor he regularly visits Aikikai-affiliated dojos in Cape Town, South Africa, Kuwait, Malaysia, Azerbaijan, and Switzerland.”

Brian Kagen is an avid web researcher with a particular interest in martial arts. His training background includes both judo and aikido. He has contributed hundreds of article links over the years for AJ readers.

Click here to read entire article.

Jul
18

Brian Kagen pick: “Offsets,” by The Thoughtful Sensei

“Aikido is a pretty funny creature since it tends to “become” the person. Old style (really old style koryu) systems tended to mold the student into the ryu due to the very rigid method of knowledge transmission. This is not the pattern today (for the most part) as there are time (a century or two) and cultural (Old Japan become secular Western Society) considerations that come into play and a lot of that no longer fits the need nor the moment.”

Brian Kagen is an avid web researcher with a particular interest in martial arts. His training background includes both judo and aikido. He has contributed hundreds of article links over the years for AJ readers.

Click here to read entire article.

Jul
13

Brian Kagen pick: “A tribute to Nobuyoshi Tamura Sensei,” by Daniel Toutain

“Beyond his extraordinary and internationally acclaimed Aikido, it is his great human qualities that leave an indelible mark on me. When I was close to him, I was able to see just how much he was able to pass on the true message of Aikido by his kind-hearted attitude.”

Brian Kagen is an avid web researcher with a particular interest in martial arts. His training background includes both judo and aikido. He has contributed hundreds of article links over the years for AJ readers.

Click here to read entire article.

Jul
05

Brian Kagen pick: “Morning exercises going to the birds,” by Amy Chavez from the Japan Times

“Have you ever wondered why Japanese people live so long? What is it that makes them keep on keepin’ on? Some people think it’s the healthy Japanese diet, but I know differently. I’ve lived among the old people on this island long enough to know their secret. The secret to longevity is rajio taiso.”

Brian Kagen is an avid web researcher with a particular interest in martial arts. His training background includes both judo and aikido. He has contributed hundreds of article links over the years for AJ readers.

Click here to read entire article.

Jun
27

Brian Kagen pick: “Which Martial Art Is Best for Self-Defense?,” by Marc MacYoung

“The bottom line is this: Martial arts are not self-defense. Self-defense is not personal safety. Fighting is neither self-defense nor personal safety. While martial arts training can be used in a self-defense context, it is a far better idea to create a much stronger alloy of personal safety instead of any single “fighting” system. Martial arts are part of complete personal safety regime, they are not the sole answer.”

Brian Kagen is an avid web researcher with a particular interest in martial arts. His training background includes both judo and aikido. He has contributed hundreds of article links over the years for AJ readers.

Click here to read entire article.

Jun
25

Brian Kagen pick: “Martial Arts Pirates”

“Of equal importance is the fact that in oriental cultures the relationship between a student and a teacher is radically different than it is here in the West. Although this relationship can span decades, very seldom is it fundamentally economic in nature. That has a serious effect on what is taught and how it is taught in those circumstance. Recognizing the natures of these different ways of teaching is critical to understanding the problems that are discussed on this page.”

Brian Kagen is an avid web researcher with a particular interest in martial arts. His training background includes both judo and aikido. He has contributed hundreds of article links over the years for AJ readers.

Click here to read entire article.

Jun
21

Brian Kagen pick: “Keppan – The Blood Oath: Part 2,” by Dave Lowry

“In some ryu (traditions of martial arts teaching) this oath was a written one and the prospective member was required to sign his name in his own blood. This is the meaning of the word keppan: a blood oath. He pricked his finger or sometimes his inner arm and with the blood drawn, signed the pledge. The pledge itself is referred to as a kisho or a kishomon. The particulars of these oaths varied from ryu to ryu. Often they were secret, their exact contents a part of the vow itself. One, dating from the early 18th century, which has been published many times, though, is probably typical. The kishomon of the Shibukawa ryu of jujutsu reads: ‘Now that I will receive your training, I swear that without your permission. I will not demonstrate nor instruct, not even the most minor detail to anyone, not even to my own family. Should I behave in a way as to break this pledge, I am resolved to face the punishments of all the gods of the country, and to receive the anger of the great martial deity Hachiman.’”

Brian Kagen is an avid web researcher with a particular interest in martial arts. His training background includes both judo and aikido. He has contributed hundreds of article links over the years for AJ readers.

Click here to read entire article.

Jun
16

Brian Kagen pick: “Keppan – The Blood Oath: Part 1,” by Dave Lowry

“Every since Hollywood discovered the martial arts as a medium for attracting viewers, audiences for TV programs and movies have been entertained with all sorts of fanciful plots which involve the here gaining admittance into a secret school of fighting arts, a task at which he succeeds only after enduring some sort of tests of his commitment and resolve. ”

Brian Kagen is an avid web researcher with a particular interest in martial arts. His training background includes both judo and aikido. He has contributed hundreds of article links over the years for AJ readers.

Click here to read entire article.

Jun
13

Brian Kagen pick: “The Martial Arts Myths,” by Torbjorn Arntsen

“You may or may not be aware of the volume of searches for terms such as “deadliest style of martial arts”. It’s actually quite a substantial amount. Having taught and trained the fighting arts for many years, I tend to find this somewhat disturbing – as well as sad.”

Brian Kagen is an avid web researcher with a particular interest in martial arts. His training background includes both judo and aikido. He has contributed hundreds of article links over the years for AJ readers.

Click here to read entire article.