Sep
15

“Aiki Ken and Jo Suburi: Part 15 – Hasso Gaeshi Tsuki” by James Neiman

Introduction

This is the 15th in a 27-part series on the Aiki Ken and Jo Suburi presented by James Neiman, Dojo Cho of Shugyo Aikido Dojo, where martial arts instruction in Union City, California is offered. All the articles are paired with YouTube video demonstrations of each of the Suburi (click here to subscribe to the channel, and click here to view all the articles in this series). These paired demonstrations and articles are offered to Aikidoka who would like to more fully understand the precise mechanics within each of the Suburi, how they can be practiced in both solo and partner settings, and how one can align the Suburi with taijutsu to develop increasing competence and precision with both basic and advanced technique.

Hasso Gaeshi Tsuki

In this article we examine Hasso Gaeshi Tsuki, which is the 2nd of the Aiki Jo Suburi in the series known as the Hasso No Bu. Click here to view a video demonstration of the components of this Suburi. In summary, Hasso Gaeshi Tsuki contains part of a figure-8 movement, resulting in a block followed by a forward thrust. The exercise is designed to help students learn to generate rotational dynamics through the hips, extending that energy through the hands, and following up with a forward moving counter thrust. The exercise requires a fluid combination of movements that can be divided into 3 major sections:

  1. Initiate Rotation and Block
  2. Tsuki
  3. Drop Back

[Read more...]

Sep
09

“Aiki Ken and Jo Suburi: Part 14 – Hasso Gaeshi Uchi” by James Neiman

Introduction

This is the 14th in a 27-part series on the Aiki Ken and Jo Suburi presented by James Neiman, Dojo Cho of Shugyo Aikido Dojo, where martial arts instruction in Union City, California is offered. All the articles are paired with YouTube video demonstrations of each of the Suburi (click here to subscribe to the channel, and click here to view all the articles in this series). These paired demonstrations and articles are offered to Aikidoka who would like to more fully understand the precise mechanics within each of the Suburi, how they can be practiced in both solo and partner settings, and how one can align the Suburi with taijutsu to develop increasing competence and precision with both basic and advanced technique.

Hasso Gaeshi Uchi

In this article we examine Hasso Gaeshi Uchi, which is the 1st of the Aiki Jo Suburi in the series known as the Hasso No Bu. Click here to view a video demonstration of the components of this Suburi. In summary, Hasso Gaeshi Uchi contains part of a figure-8 movement, resulting in a block followed by a strike. The exercise is designed to help students learn to generate rotational dynamics through the hips, extending that energy through the hands, and following up with a forward moving counter strike. The exercise requires a fluid combination of movements that can be divided into 4 major sections:

  1. Initiate Rotation
  2. Block
  3. Drop Back
  4. Enter and Strike

[Read more...]

Sep
05

Slideshow: Great stills of Morihiro Saito, 9th dan, in class teaching

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“Master Aikido’s Fine Points with Morihiro Saito as Your Guide!”

Morihiro Saito Sensei, 9th dan, was one of aikido’s premier instructors. A close student of Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba in Iwama, Saito Sensei learned his craft from O-Sensei, in many cases, on a one-to-one basis. A mastery of technical detail was the hallmark of his pedagogical method, and Saito Sensei had a reputation of producing strong, technically skilled students quickly.

Much has been written about his strong impact on the practice of aikido today. During his active years, Saito Sensei taught tens of thousands of students both in Japan and abroad. He also published a number of bilingual training manuals on aikido that sealed his reputation as one of aikido’s top authorities.

Saito Sensei passed away in 2002 at the age of 74. Those who never had a chance to study under Saito Sensei directly missed a rare opportunity. Fortunately, valuable film and video of this great teacher has survived. His wonderful legacy remains intact and easily accessible through the DVD seminars offered through Aikido Journal.

We would like to give away some DVDs…

Aikido Journal is very interested in promoting high-quality instruction and the development of first-rate aikidoka. Today’s aikido instructors are operating in a highly competitive market with many martial arts available to students. We want aikido to continue to grow and thrive! This will require legions of top-notch teachers.

We know that many of you out there knew and trained with Saito Sensei personally, or have direct experience with his teaching methodology. If you would like to win a free Lost Seminars DVD by Morihiro Saito Sensei, all you need do is leave a comment below this post telling us what you think about Saito Sensei’s instructional methods and how you would use this DVD in your own teaching.

Our 3 winners will not be drawn from a hat. We’ll choose them at our discretion based on the comments submitted because we want to know that these wonderful study materials will be used to their fullest potential. Well-thought out comments will get the most consideration, especially those submitted within the first 24 hours.

On Friday, September 7th, we will select 3 winners and announce them via email and here on the blog. You must submit your comment by Friday in order to be considered.

Also, remember that Aikido Journal offers the entire set of 7-DVDs of Saito Sensei’s authoritative “Lost Seminars” DVDs at a greatly reduced price. You will receive over 14 hours of expert instruction with complete English subtitles. Catch every word he is saying, and with a new, deeper understanding, be able to apply these lessons to your aikido!

Get Morihiro Saito’s “Lost Seminars” 7-DVD Set today. We await your comment!

Sep
04

Video: Run, Hide, Fight: Surviving an Active Shooter

“Can you survive a shooting in a public place?”

After the recent shooting at a movie theater in Aurora, Colo., the city of Houston has released a how-to video on surviving a shooter event. Run if a safe path is available. Always try and escape or evacuate even if others insist on staying. Encourage others to leave with you but don’t let the indecision of others slow down your own effort to escape. Once you are out of the line of fire, try to prevent others from walking into the danger zone and call 9-1-1. If you can’t get out safely, find a place to hide. When hiding, turn out lights, remember to lock doors and silence your ringer and vibration mode on your cell phone As a last resort, working together or alone, act with aggression, use improvised weapons and fight…

WATCH VIDEO

Sep
01

“Aiki Ken and Jo Suburi: Part 13 – Katate Hachi Noji Gaeshi” by James Neiman

Introduction

This is the 13th in a 27-part series on the Aiki Ken and Jo Suburi presented by James Neiman, Dojo Cho of Shugyo Aikido Dojo, where martial arts instruction in Union City, California is offered. All the articles are paired with YouTube video demonstrations of each of the Suburi (click here to subscribe to the channel, and click here to view all the articles in this series). These paired demonstrations and articles are offered to Aikidoka who would like to more fully understand the precise mechanics within each of the Suburi, how they can be practiced in both solo and partner settings, and how one can align the Suburi with taijutsu to develop increasing competence and precision with both basic and advanced technique.

Katate Hachi Noji Gaeshi

In this article we examine Katate Hachi Noji Gaeshi, which is the 3rd of the Aiki Jo Suburi in the series known as the Katate No Bu. Click here to view a video demonstration of the components of this Suburi. In summary, Katate Hachi Noji Gaeshi is a wrist-centered, figure-8 combination of a strike and block. The exercise is designed to help students learn to transfer energy from the legs through the hips, and through proper use of the core muscles, extend that energy through their wrists and hands. It builds on Katate Gedan Gaeshi and Katate Toma Uchi, and provides students a glimpse of the upcoming Hasso No Bu series. The exercise requires a fluid combination of movements that can be divided into 3 major sections:

  1. Turn and Extend (Strike)
  2. Turn and Extend (Block)
  3. Drop Back

 
[Read more...]

Aug
22

“Aiki Ken and Jo Suburi: Part 12 – Katate Toma Uchi” by James Neiman

Introduction

This is the 12th in a 27-part series on the Aiki Ken and Jo Suburi presented by James Neiman, Dojo Cho of Shugyo Aikido Dojo, where martial arts instruction in Union City, California is offered. All the articles are paired with YouTube video demonstrations of each of the Suburi (click here to subscribe to the channel, and click here to view all the articles in this series). These paired demonstrations and articles are offered to Aikidoka who would like to more fully understand the precise mechanics within each of the Suburi, how they can be practiced in both solo and partner settings, and how one can align the Suburi with taijutsu to develop increasing competence and precision with both basic and advanced technique.

Katate Toma Uchi

In this article we examine Katate Toma Uchi, which is the 2nd of the Aiki Jo Suburi in the series known as the Katate No Bu. Click here to view a video demonstration of the components of this Suburi. In summary, Katate Toma Uchi is a wrist-centered countertechnique that moves from a high to low position. It builds on Katate Gedan Gaeshi, transferring the energy in the turning dynamics to the point of contact with uke through the wrist. Katate Toma Uchi forms an essential basis in ki no nagare applications in which one drops into an uke’s center with a kinetic chain transferring energy from a hip rotation into a wrist-centered strike. The exercise requires a fluid combination of movements that can be divided into 3 major sections:

  1. Drop
  2. Turn
  3. Extend

 
[Read more...]

Aug
08

Autrelle Holland demonstrates self-defense strategies on tv news

Autrelle Holland demonstrates women’s self-defense maneuvers for an upcoming seminar he will conduct. Autrelle has contributed a number of well-received articles to Aikido Journal as is based in Jacksonville, Florida.

Click here to view women’s self-defense demonstration

Aug
08

“Aiki Ken and Jo Suburi: Part 11 – Katate Gedan Gaeshi” by James Neiman

Introduction

This is the 11th in a 27-part series on the Aiki Ken and Jo Suburi presented by James Neiman, Dojo Cho of Shugyo Aikido Dojo, where martial arts instruction in Union City, California is offered. All the articles are paired with YouTube video demonstrations of each of the Suburi (click here to subscribe to the channel, and click here to view all the articles in this series). These paired demonstrations and articles are offered to Aikidoka who would like to more fully understand the precise mechanics within each of the Suburi, how they can be practiced in both solo and partner settings, and how one can align the Suburi with taijutsu to develop increasing competence and precision with both basic and advanced technique.

Katate Gedan Gaeshi

In this article we examine Katate Gedan Gaeshi, which is the 1st of the Aiki Jo Suburi in the series known as the Katate No Bu. Click here to view a video demonstration of the components of this Suburi. In summary, Katate Gedan Gaeshi is a wrist-centered countertechnique that moves from a low to high position. It builds on Tsuki Gedan Gaeshi, transferring the energy in the turning dynamics to the point of contact with uke through the wrist. Katate Gedan Gaeshi forms an essential basis in ki no nagare applications in which one lifts uke’s center with a kinetic chain moving from the feet all the way to the wrists. The exercise requires a fluid combination of movements that can be divided into 3 major sections:

  1. Drop
  2. Turn
  3. Extend

The movement begins with the jo being held horizontally on the right side of the body while standing in hanmi with the left foot forward and angled slightly. Your right shoulder is back and relaxed. Sliding both your body and the jo diagonally back and to the right, drop your center by bending your knees while staying in an aligned posture, loading onto the ball of your right foot, coiling your right hip. As you complete this initial blend, both hands should be at the front tip of the jo, with the back tip of the jo extending back and to the right along the same diagonal of your initial movement. This completes the drop movement.

Begin pushing off the ball of your right foot, opening your right hip and slightly raising your dropped center of gravity. As your weight transfers forward, allow the hands to move upward in front of your center, until the jo is extended in front of you and is parallel to the ground. Keep your right elbow dropped, release your left hand from the jo, extending your energy through your right wrist in order to maintain the stability of the jo in this position. You must use this extension so your wrist can maintain its position while holding the weight of the jo. The jo has momentum at this point, and has partially completed an upward moving counterclockwise arc, representing the upward moving spiral in your hip turn. This completes the turn movement.

The final part of this suburi completes the motion you began with extension at the apex of the movement. Your weight is now mostly on your left foot. Continue the motion by pushing off the ball of your left foot, extending through your left leg and allowing your right foot to step in front of you. As you do this, allow the jo to continue its counterclockwise upward-moving arc. Catch the jo with your left hand as it arrives at a point diagonally to the left and behind you. Your left leg should be fully extended, and your right hand should be just to the left of your face. You have now completed the extension.

At this point there is opportunity to discuss the dynamics of this suburi: the drop leads you into a low to high movement that teaches you an important lesson about extension and kokyu. The movement that begins in your feet and hips and ends at the wrist provides you with a potent experience of moving from a grounded position. You will find that this suburi forms the beginning of many circular countertechniques. The ending of this suburi provides you with the extension and movement that allow you to take advantage of the relative position of your dropped center under uke’s unbalanced and raised center.

There are many potential enriching teaching and practice opportunities here: experiment with riai, exploring techniques such as tsuki ikkyo ura waza and low to high iriminage countertechniques. Allow yourself to move slowly with your partners, feeling how you use your partner’s attack  to become fully grounded, and transfer that energy into an extension that unbalances your partner and leads you into various techniques.

Aug
07

The Inimitable Seigo Yamaguchi instructing at the Aikikai Hombu Dojo c. 1975

“Seigo Yamaguchi Sensei was one of the most important of the
first generation of aikido instructors of the postwar era.”

This is a color 8mm film of Seigo Yamaguchi, 8th dan, shot by Alain Guerrier during a class at the Aikikai Hombu Dojo c. 1975. The quality is quite good considering the early date of this video.

Yamaguchi Sensei was one of the most important of the first generation of aikido instructors of the postwar era. He taught at the Aikikai Hombu Dojo in Tokyo for several decades until his passing in 1996. Having now become nearly a legend, Yamaguchi Sensei influenced several generations of practitioners within the Aikikai system during his career including many of today’s senior instructors of the Headquarters school.

Yamaguchi Sensei’s aikido had a unique flavor that was appealing to thousands of aikidoka who came into contact with him during his long teaching career. His style was characterized by a powerful, spontaneous technique adapted freely to rapidly changing circumstances

Click here to watch this excellent video of Seigo Yamaguchi Sensei

Aug
06

Free video: Yoshimitsu Yamada demonstrates advanced aikido techniques

“Watch one of Aikido’s finest technicians in action!”

This is an excellent video clip showing advanced aikido techniques by the chief instructor of the New York Aikikai. 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. Currently, he is Chairman of the Board of the United States Aikido Federation and the Latin America Aikido Federation. He is the author of “Aikido Complete” and has made multiple aikido training tapes. Yamada Sensei is well known for his clear and strong basic technique. He teaches seminars all over the world where thousands of students attend his classes.

WATCH YOSHIMITSU YAMADA VIDEO

Aug
05

Free video: Gozo Shioda spotlighted in Japan tv documentary

“Gozo Shioda dazzles with his spectacular aikido!”

Gozo Shioda, the founder of Yoshinkan Aikido enrolled in Morihei Ueshiba’s Kobukan Dojo in 1932. After World War II, Shioda was the first to teach aikido on a large scale in a difficult era when the Aikikai Hombu Dojo was barely operating.

This Japanese tv documentary presents a brief overview of Shioda Sensei’s career, an interview, and a series of demonstrations and highlights from his remarkable career.

Watch the Gozo Shioda tv documentary here

Jul
24

50 techniques that Morihei Ueshiba taught that we know about with certainty

Morihiro Saito presents “Budo,” O-Sensei’s 1938 Technical Manual!

This week’s special includes two treasures for those interested in studying directly the techniques taught by Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba. The first item is a fascinating DVD titled “Budo: Commentary on the 1938 Training Manual of Morihei Ueshiba” by Morihiro Saito, 9th dan, that is a recreation of all of the 50 techniques of Morihei Ueshiba’s 1938 training manual “Budo.” This video is a gold mine for aikidoka desiring to go to the source and familiarize themselves with the actual techniques executed by the Founder, rather than the various derivative forms seen today.


[Read more...]