Dec
08

Postwar Aikido Giant! “Who is Koichi Tohei?” by Stanley Pranin

In February 1953, at the invitation of the Hawaii branch of the Nishikai health system, Tohei visited the islands for an extended stay to introduce the then unknown art of aikido. Despite many challenges and hardships, Tohei established himself as top-tier martial artist and built up a network of Aikikai-affiliated dojos all over Hawaii. During this time, he provided financial support to the struggling Aikikai from donations he collected from his students and patrons in Hawaii…

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Dec
08

You… A Walking Encyclopedia of Aikido! The Aikido Legacy Package

“I would like to offer you the best of my life’s research in the hope you’ll derive benefit in your personal pursuit of aikido.” – Stanley Pranin. The material offered and its potential for your future in aikido is extraordinary…

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Dec
05

The only required real win is when life is at stake: “Absorbing Attack by Nev Sagiba

Going through what it takes to learn from injuries how to absorb attacks flexibly with Aikido Body-Mind, will reveal how serious you are in your attitudes about just about anything in life. It will also transform your body, mind and spirit to understand the nature of the universe and its magic potentials to overcome what to the average person are considered limitations…

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Dec
05

Morihei and Sokaku… “Vague financial arrangements and strong personalities led to problems between these two martial arts geniuses”

Ueshiba eventually established himself as a well-known teacher of jujutsu in Tokyo while Takeda continued to travel extensively all over Japan, giving seminars primarily to prominent persons such as judges, police officials, military officers and the like. Although Ueshiba and Takeda had little direct contact from that point on, they did maintain a correspondence. Further, Ueshiba, now an accredited teacher of Daito-ryu, awarded scrolls of proficiency to his direct students until quite probably as late as 1937. Among the recipients of Daito-ryu diplomas from Ueshiba are Kenji Tomiki, Minoru Mochizuki, Rinjiro Shirata, and Gozo Shioda…

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Dec
04

O-Sensei’s “Cupped Hand” — The Secret to Ura Movements by Stanley Pranin

morihei-ueshiba-saotome-tai-no-henko

“O-Sensei can easily perform a variety of techniques where uke is powerless to resist because he has lost his balance.”

Many dojos practice aikido’s tai no henko exercise regularly or even religiously during every session. Some teachers will explain that this is a blending movement that allows one to set up for certain aikido throws. But what is really happening? Let’s take a closer look.

First, consider this wonderful image of Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba at the point of completion of tai no henko.

Notice that his hand is in a “cupped” position. What is the purpose of this rather strange hand form? Looking closer we see that this tai no henko blend has brought uke’s torso forward and down. Expressed otherwise, uke has been unbalanced.

How has this been accomplished? Uke first grabbed nage’s wrist from the side. O-Sensei’s pivoting motion and cupped hand have conveyed mechanical energy through uke’s arm that has caused him to loose balance forward and down as is readily evident in the photo. From here, O-Sensei can easily perform a variety of techniques where uke is powerless to resist because he has lost his balance.

Here we see the entire process masterly performed by Morihiro Saito Sensei.

tai-no-henko-sequenceLastly, I demonstrate an adaptation of this same “cupped” hand movement as a setup to unbalance uke before moving to his flank. From here, ikkyo through yonkyo omote techniques can be very effectively applied. This approach is part of my “Zone Theory of Aikido” research.

stanley-pranin-cupped-hand
In my next article, I would like to talk about the mechanics of the kokyuho movement and its function in aikido techniques.

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Watch these videos for insights into solving the
technical problems that hold back your progress!

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Dec
04

Of special interest to aikidoka! Okinawa Karate and Chinese Kung-Fu exchange demonstration featuring Tamotsu Miyahira Sensei (2006)

This fascinating video presents highlights of a joint Okinawa Karate and Chinese Kung-Fu demonstration held in Japan on December 4, 2006 at the Uehara Karate Dojo. Featured are various Okinawan karate instructors and practitioners of Chinese Kung-fu in Japan, the latter led by Tamotsu Miyahira Sensei. At the 3:10 mark, Miyahira Sensei’s excellent demonstration that will be of special interest to aikido practitioners begins…

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Dec
04

Dynamic and precise! Micheline Tissier, 6th dan, in knife demonstration at Bercy

This video contains a series of well-executed knife defense techniques performed by Micheline Tissier Sensei at the 2010 martial arts demonstration at Bercy, France. Micheline Tissier is one of the highest ranking female aikido instructors in the world and is known for her dynamic and precise technique…

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Dec
04

Still waiting for documentation: “The Elusive Chinese Influence on Aikido,” by Stanley Pranin

I have heard this and similar theories about an “obvious” and unacknowledged Chinese connection that influenced the development of aikido repeatedly for the last 30 years or so. You will notice that that above-mentioned author provides no specifics to support his claim. In my experience, this is always the case when such a theory is advanced. Let’s take a closer look at this subject using our knowledge of Morihei’s life to consider the feasibility of such a theory…

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Dec
03

Fluid and athletic! Masamichi Noro of Kinomichi demonstrates Jo Kata in late 1970s

This is a splendid jo demonstration by Masamichi Noro Sensei, the founder of Kinomichi, taken in the late 1970s. His movements are fluid, athletic, and unlike anything you may have seen. The influence of Noro Sensei’s exposure to dance is readily evident…

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Dec
03

Get entire mag in PDF: Aikido Journal Number 119, Spring 2000

Contents

● Editorial – Aikido: A Restatement of Universal Truths, by Stanley Pranin
● Letters and Threads
● Interview with Hiroshi Isoyama, 8th dan, by Stanley Pranin
● My Career in Yanagi-ryu Aiki Jiu Jitsu, by Don Angier
● Takemusu Aiki (4), by Morihei Ueshiba
● Interview with Mariye Takahashi (1), by Stanley Pranin
● Everything in Black and White, by David Lynch
● Interview with Walther von Krenner, by Stanley Pranin
● Aikido and Independence, by Peter Goldsbury
● Takemusu Aikido — Yokomenuchi yonkyo omotewaza, by Morihiro Saito
● Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu Takumakai — Hijinobashi Aiki, by Takeshi Kawabe & Hakaru Mori
● O-Sensei’s Songs of the Way, by Seiseki Abe
● Virtue of the Sword, by James Williams
● Heard in the Dojo

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Dec
03

A must read for every aikidoka! “Responding to Aggression – III” by Tom Collings

Most of us have a deep rooted inhibition against harming other human beings. We all have a right to our own values and moral beliefs, but they must be clear, and our technical training must be consistent with those values if we are to apply it without reservation or hesitation. A high stress moment of crisis is not a good time for soul searching. In that moment, their must be no confusion…

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Dec
02

The art of rolling: Richard Moon Sensei demonstrates backward ukemi

A guide to the basics of rolling, for teachers even more than students, especially for those who help beginners learning Aikido. Introducing the fundamentals of ukemi: the art of rolling. Learn the diagonal path that protects the head and neck and allows for a safe practice. How to train the body to find that path naturally…

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