Sep
25

Stanley Pranin Video Blog: “Iriminage — O-Sensei Style”

Aikido Journal Editor Stanley Pranin describes the origin and execution of Aikido’s iriminage technique as conceived by Founder Morihei Ueshiba. He explains how this essential technique has its origins in prewar Japan and was further refined in Iwama after World War II. Iriminage today is practiced in many different ways, but O-Sensei’s method, though well documented, is not widely known…

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Sep
25

Kote Kaeshi Koichi Tohei Style! Shizuo Imaizumi’s Ki Aikido Video Course

Special Offer available through Monday, September 29th!

Shizuo Imaizumi Sensei demonstrates the Ki Aikido version of Mune Tsuki Kote Kaeshi in this excerpt from his just-released Online Ki Aikido Course. Imaizumi Sensei distinguishes between an irimi and tenkan distinction in performing this technique.

The Ki Aikido curriculum developed by Koichi Tohei, 10th dan, was a major factor in the early development of the art within the context of the Aikikai Hombu Dojo. Tohei Sensei, along with Morihei Ueshiba’s son Kisshomaru Ueshiba, set the technical standards at the Aikikai during the 1950s, 60s, and early 70s. Politics aside, there was a cross-fertilization of techniques and pedagogy that has left a permanent mark on modern aikido in the mainstream tradition.

Subsequent generations are not particularly aware of the evolution of the art that has led to the practice methods of today. By learning more about our splendid aikido tradition, we are able to answer many questions about why we do what we do and how we arrived at where we are.
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After Tohei Sensei’s passing in 2011, a cadre of his original students remain to carry forward his legacy. Shizuo Imaizumi Sensei stands out among this select group of teachers qualified to teach and explain the origin and evolution of Ki Aikido to today’s generation of practitioners.

Imaizumi Sensei has had an extraordinary career in aikido that began in 1959. He was in the right place at the right time to witness several of the most important events of aikido history.

Shizuo Imaizumi’s Ki Aikido Course is his video legacy documenting an aikido career that has spanned 55 years. His vibrant health, humble personality, and unwavering dedication are due to a lifetime of training in aikido and the daily application of the art’s principles.

What’s Inside the Shizuo Imaizumi Ki Aikido Course…

● 47 hi-res video modules
● Option to view content online or download to your device
● Unlimited access to course content
● Principles of Ki explained and demonstrated
● Ki No Taiso explained and demonstrated
● Basic techniques of Ki Aikido developed by Koichi Tohei
● In-depth interview with Shizuo Imaizumi by Stanley Pranin
● Learn backstories of important events of aikido history

Click here to watch video

Sep
24

Don’t dance around in a circle! Yoshimitsu Yamada explains kosadori iriminage at Montreal seminar (2010)

Yoshimitsu Yamada Sensei, 8th dan, of the New York Aikikai, demonstrates kosadori iriminage at a seminar held in Montreal, Canada in 2010. During his demonstration, he explains the alignment of nage with uke’s body in iriminage, and also mimicks jokingly this technique performed where nage dances around in a circle, a commonly seen but ineffective way of executing iriminage…

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Sep
24

Watch Course Trailer! Shizuo Imaizumi’s Ki Aikido Video Course

Special Offer available through Monday, September 29th!

Today, many aikido practitioners are only vaguely conscious of the masters responsible for building the modern infrastructure of the art. Koichi Tohei — aikido’s first 10th dan — was such a figure and left an exceptional body of theory and techniques that shaped the formation of today’s aikido. Tohei Sensei’s vision of the art was based on the universal principles of Ki.

There are those who are not aware that Koichi Tohei was one of the pillars of the postwar Aikikai Hombu Dojo together with Morihei Ueshiba’s son, Second Doshu Kisshomaru Ueshiba. In fact, Tohei Sensei was, for more than a decade, the chief instructor of the Aikikai, and many instructors and practitioners followed his methods.

After Tohei Sensei’s passing in 2011, a cadre of his original students remain to carry forward his legacy. Shizuo Imaizumi Sensei stands out among this select group of teachers qualified to teach and explain the origin and evolution of Ki Aikido to today’s generation of practitioners.

Imaizumi Sensei has had an extraordinary career in aikido that began in 1959. He was in the right place at the right time to witness several of the most important events of aikido history.

Shizuo Imaizumi’s Ki Aikido Course is his video legacy documenting an aikido career that has spanned 55 years. His vibrant health, humble personality, and unwavering dedication are due to a lifetime of training in aikido and the daily application of the art’s principles.

What’s Inside the Shizuo Imaizumi Ki Aikido Course…

● 47 hi-res video modules
● Option to view content online or download to your device
● Unlimited access to course content
● Principles of Ki explained and demonstrated
● Ki No Taiso explained and demonstrated
● Basic techniques of Ki Aikido developed by Koichi Tohei
● In-depth interview with Shizuo Imaizumi by Stanley Pranin
● Learn backstories of important events of aikido history

Click here to watch video

Sep
23

Morihei Ueshiba’s heir apparent! Interview with Swordmaster Kiyoshi Nakakura (1) by Hideo Yamanaka and Stanley Pranin

“I had the feeling that no one could beat me. I had rarely lost a match before, and I absolutely did not want to be defeated especially by people in Tokyo.” A product of old-style pre-war Kendo training, top student of Swordmaster Hakudo Nakayama and former adopted son of Morihei Ueshiba, 78-year old Kiyoshi Nakakura Sensei is one of Japan’s top swordsmen…

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Sep
23

Kokyu Nage Tenchi Nage explained! Shizuo Imaizumi’s Online Ki Aikido Video Course

Special Offer available through Monday, September 29th!

Many practitioners today are only vaguely conscious of the masters responsible for building the infrastructure of modern aikido. Koichi Tohei — aikido’s first 10th dan — was such a figure and left an incredible body of knowledge and techniques that shaped the growth of today’s art. Tohei Sensei passed in 2011. Among Tohei Sensei’s original students carrying forward his legacy, Shizuo Imaizumi Sensei stands among a select group of teachers qualified to teach and explain the origin and evolution of Ki Aikido to our modern generation. This is your opportunity to get the very best study aid available to gain real skills in this system and deepen your grasp of the art. Welcome to the world of Ki Aikido!

What’s Inside the Shizuo Imaizumi Ki Aikido Course…

● 47 hi-res video modules
● Option to view content online or download to your device
● Unlimited access to course content
● Principles of Ki explained and demonstrated
● Ki No Taiso explained and demonstrated
● Basic techniques of Ki Aikido developed by Koichi Tohei
● In-depth interview with Shizuo Imaizumi by Stanley Pranin
● Learn backstories of important events of aikido history

Modern aikido was born in Japan in the years following World War II. At the forefront of the dissemination of Morihei Ueshiba’s martial art were the founder’s son, Kisshomaru, and the gifted Koichi Tohei. Tohei, in particular, was a leading light and gathered around him many of the young talents of the Aikikai Hombu Dojo in Tokyo. Among them was Shizuo Imaizumi, one of Tohei Sensei’s closest students and a member of his inner circle.

When Koichi Tohei resigned from the Aikikai in 1974 — one of the most traumatic events of the young’s arts history — Imaizumi Sensei remained loyal and was one of the few with whom Tohei Sensei confided.

With the founding of Tohei’s Shinshin Toitsu Aikido, Imaizumi Sensei was sent to New York City in 1975 to develop and oversee aikido dojos on the east coast who had joined Tohei Sensei’s Ki no Kenkyukai organization. He became chief instructor of the Ki Society in the United States in 1980, a position he held for three years.

In 1987, after a long association with Koichi Tohei, Imaizumi Sensei temporarily retired from aikido and returned to Japan. Imaizumi Sensei returned to New York City in 1988 from where he assumed responsibility for a group of aikido dojos that had become independent of Tohei’s Ki Society organization. The new umbrella association was called the Shin-Budo Kai and Imaizumi Sensei became its chief instructor. From that time forward, he has continued his teaching activities and research into Ki Aikido and its underlying principles.

After two years in the making, we are delighted to release Shizuo Imaizumi Sensei’s Ki Aikido course produced in collaboration with Aikido Journal. This content-rich course consisting of 47 modules will introduce you to the world of Ki Aikido taught in the tradition of Koichi Tohei, 10th dan.

For those desiring to learn Ki Aikido from one of the art’s top experts, Shizuo Imaizumi’s Ki Aikido Course will provide instruction in the entire basic curriculum. Few have mastered this subject matter to the degree Imaizumi Sensei has as one of Tohei Sensei’s original students. He will explain the Ki principles forming the basis of Tohei Sensei’s aikido. Imaizumi Sensei will also demonstrate the entire set of the genial Ki No Taiso exercises that were once practiced at the Aikikai and which few remember today. To top off this important course material, Aikido Journal Editor Stanley Pranin conducts a lengthy video interview of Imaizumi Sensei containing first-hand witness testimony on several pivotal historical events in the early days of the art.

Click here to watch video

Sep
22

O-Sensei’s Shomenuchi Ikkyo: The old way… or the right way? by Stanley Pranin

This photo has enormous significance as a technical anchor reference. Taken in 1938, it shows a much younger Morihei Ueshiba beginning to execute what we would today call shomenuchi ikkyo omotewaza. What will appear odd to many present-day aikidoka is the fact that the Founder is initiating the technique.

For most practitioners, common sense dictates that uke will initiate the encounter, with tori (= nage) responding. Yet if we consult O-Sensei’s 1938 Budo manual, we find the following description of the commencement of this technique…

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Sep
22

Koichi Tohei’s Aikido Curriculum: Shizuo Imaizumi’s Online Ki Aikido Video Course

Special Offer Available through Monday, September 29th!

Modern aikido was born in Japan in the years following World War II. At the forefront of the dissemination of Morihei Ueshiba’s martial art were the founder’s son, Kisshomaru, and the gifted Koichi Tohei. Tohei, in particular, was a leading light and gathered around him many of the young talents of the Aikikai Hombu Dojo in Tokyo. Among them was Shizuo Imaizumi, one of Tohei Sensei’s closest students and a member of his inner circle.

When Koichi Tohei resigned from the Aikikai in 1974 — one of the most traumatic events of the young’s arts history — Imaizumi Sensei remained loyal and was one of the few with whom Tohei Sensei confided.

With the founding of Tohei’s Shinshin Toitsu Aikido, Imaizumi Sensei was sent to New York City in 1975 to develop and oversee aikido dojos on the east coast who had joined Tohei Sensei’s Ki no Kenkyukai organization. He became chief instructor of the Ki Society in the United States in 1980, a position he held for three years.

In 1987, after a long association with Koichi Tohei, Imaizumi Sensei temporarily retired from aikido and returned to Japan. Imaizumi Sensei returned to New York City in 1988 from where he assumed responsibility for a group of aikido dojos that had become independent of Tohei’s Ki Society organization. The new umbrella association was called the Shin-Budo Kai and Imaizumi Sensei became its chief instructor. From that time forward, he has continued his teaching activities and research into Ki Aikido and its underlying principles.

After two years in the making, we are delighted to release Shizuo Imaizumi Sensei’s Ki Aikido course produced in collaboration with Aikido Journal. This content-rich course consisting of 47 modules will introduce you to the world of Ki Aikido taught in the tradition of Koichi Tohei, 10th dan.

For those desiring to learn Ki Aikido from one of the art’s top experts, Shizuo Imaizumi’s Ki Aikido Course will provide instruction in the entire basic curriculum. Few have mastered this subject matter to the degree Imaizumi Sensei has as one of Tohei Sensei’s original students. He will explain the Ki principles forming the basis of Tohei Sensei’s aikido. Imaizumi Sensei will also demonstrate the entire set of the genial Ki No Taiso exercises that were once practiced at the Aikikai and which few remember today. To top off this important course material, Aikido Journal Editor Stanley Pranin conducts a lengthy video interview of Imaizumi Sensei containing first-hand witness testimony on several pivotal historical events in the early days of the art.

Many practitioners today are only vaguely conscious of the masters responsible for building the infrastructure of modern aikido. Koichi Tohei — aikido’s first 10th dan — was such a figure and left an incredible body of knowledge and techniques that shaped the growth of today’s art. Tohei Sensei passed in 2011. Among Tohei Sensei’s original students carrying forward his legacy, Shizuo Imaizumi Sensei stands among a select group of teachers qualified to teach and explain the origin and evolution of Ki Aikido to our modern generation. This is your opportunity to get the very best study aid available to gain real skills in this system and deepen your grasp of the art. Welcome to the world of Ki Aikido!

Click here to watch video

Sep
19

Bring the 31 kata alive! Morihiro Saito’s genial 31-kata kumi jo

In this video, Stephanie Yap and Kaspar Jensen perform the 31 Kumi Jo in Iwama. This kata was devised by Morihiro Saito Sensei to allow paired practice of the movements of the 31-jo kata. Stephanie Yap Sensei earned a 6th degree black belt and the Menkyo Kaiden in Aiki-Ken and Aiki-Jo which were awarded to her by the late Morihiro Saito Sensei, 9th dan…

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Sep
19

How it all started! “The Improbable Launch of My Career as an Aikido Historian,” by Stanley Pranin

I had great hopes of being able to conduct research on aikido history while I was there, but got almost no cooperation from the Japanese side. I did have one success of great importance on the research side. I had Bob Frager’s articles on O-Sensei with me in Tokyo, and one day sat down to take a good look at them. I knew I had only some of the articles, but did not know how many there were in the series, or when or where they were published. Let me tell you how I solved this problem…a href=”http://members.aikidojournal.com/improbable-launch-of-my-career-as-aikido-historian-by-stanley-pranin/” target=”_blank”>

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Sep
19

Beyond the realm of ordinary reality! Yukiyoshi Sagawa: Daito- ryu Master by Kiyokazu Maebayashi

“I felt instinctively that I had finally encountered a true martial artist for the first and probably last time and knew immediately what I must do… What was even more mysterious was that in the beginning, I didn’t even notice that my balance had been broken because I didn’t feel him use any power…

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Sep
18

Mission to teach aikido… “How Aikido changed my life,” by Daniel Brasse

As I sat quietly in seiza next to Saito Sensei’s bed, with Rie-san translating his words, a mixture of emotions ran through me. How could it be that Saito Sensei, a mountain of a man who seemed so indestructible, be so ill and stuck in bed? He will somehow beat this cancer and come back on the mat to teach, I thought…

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