Jan
20

The origins of Hombu Dojo techniques… Kisshomaru Ueshiba: Early Aikikai techniques (1957)

This is an extremely important video. It features Second Doshu Kisshomaru Ueshiba and Nobuyoshi Tamura Sensei performing techniques from the core aikido curriculum in 1957. If people are interested in understanding how aikido evolved in the postwar period, this is an excellent resource. It was Kisshomaru Ueshiba Sensei and Koichi Tohei Sensei who were the most influential instructors in the development of aikido in the Aikikai system…

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Jan
20

Unforgettable event! How to assemble six martial arts masters on one stage… and not lose your mind!

The First Aikido Friendship Demonstration drew over 900 people and was a resounding success. We went on to sponsor three more events in subsequent years, the last taking place in 1988. The Aikido Friendship Demonstrations were among my most unforgettable experiences in Japan. Thankfully, the video record of these events remains as a testimony to the skills and willingness of the participating instructors to share the stage in a spirit of harmony. I think the Founder, Morihei O-Sensei, would have been pleased…

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Jan
19

High-level training… high-level people: A Consideration of Aikido Practice within the Context of Internal Training (Revised) by Ellis Amdur

I am of the opinion that no martial art is better than another, but not for the reasons some might think. Some martial arts are clearly, undeniably, better for fighting, at least in certain contexts, and some martial arts are far more adaptable when moved to a different context. Each martial art is good for what its good for, and whatever it is good for is what it is made for. Consider this: in prewar Japan, professional sumo players were, on average, probably the toughest, most fearsome empty-handed fighters around. During the Second World War, they were primarily used as draft animals, like donkeys or other beasts, to haul heavy objects up hills…

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Jan
19

Strong martial spirit! Hayato Osawa demonstrates his powerful style of aikido

In this video, Hayato Osawa, son of the late 9th dan Kisaburo Osawa, displays his style of strong, precise aikido. His techniques are characterized by a strong martial spirit and physicality even though he is of a small stature. He demonstrates suwariwaza, hanmi handachi, and standing techniques on this occasion. Osawa Sensei is one of the senior instructors at the Aikikai Hombu Dojo in Tokyo…

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Jan
19

Rare treatise on hip throws! Morihiro Saito: “The Upside Down World of Koshinage”

One of the ebooks comprising the collection of technical manuals written by Morihiro Saito, 9th dan, is a rare treatise of aikido’s koshinage techniques. Originally published in 1981, it contains a total of 26 koshinage-hip-throw techniques-arranged in sequential photos accompanied by both English and Japanese explanations…

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Jan
16

Powerful technique… Shoji Seki, 7th dan, demonstrates ikkyo at the 10th International Aikido Congress (2008)

In this video, Shoji Seki Sensei demonstrates a very powerful form of ikkyo. A snapping movement backed by a hip twist is applied to the elbow to destabilize uke. This is a well-studied movement that should be practiced very carefully to mitigate possible harm to uke’s elbow…

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Jan
16

Technical genius on display! Shoji Nishio demonstrates Aikido in Kiev

This is a demonstration performed by Shoji Nishio, 8th dan, in Kiev in 1999. Nishio Sensei shows a variety of empty-handed techniques illustrating their application through the demonstration of paired ken and jo kata. Shoji Nishio Sensei was one of aikido’s most innovative teachers incorporating elements from his extensive experience in judo, karate, iaido, and jojutsu in his martial-oriented interpretation of aikido…

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Jan
16

Blueprint for change… Expanding and Refining the Notion of Self- defense by Stanley Pranin

Self-defense can be defined as the protection of one’s life and/or property against an attack. In cases where people take active steps to safeguard themselves and their possessions, fear is often the strongest motivating factor. Take the example of a young man who decides to join a martial arts school or self-defense course. Most likely he is driven by apprehension due to some perceived vulnerability such as small physical size or weakness. Perhaps he has recently been the victim of an attack at the hands of a bully that has left him injured and humiliated in the eyes of his friends. As a teenager, I personally witnessed one such violent incident…

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Jan
15

How to stop the fakes! “Dan Rankings” by Stanley Pranin

What is fascinating is the seemingly universal need to justify one’s present standing even by going to the extreme of weaving a false past. At least a half dozen names immediately spring to mind, several of them with successful dojos and scores of students, the latter training in blissful ignorance of the fact that the individuals in whom they have placed their trust and confidence have been untruthful to them…

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Jan
15

Taijutsu, ken, jo all the same… Morihiro Saito: “I saw nothing but the real thing for 23 years!”

“Many shihan create new techniques and I think this is a wonderful thing, but after analyzing these techniques I am still convinced no one can surpass O-Sensei. I think it is best to follow the forms he left us.These days people are inclined to go their own way, but as long as I am involved, I will continue to do the techniques and forms O-Sensei left us…”

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Jan
15

Inspirational inscription! Free download: Beautiful Morihei Ueshiba Portrait Wallpaper

It is our pleasure to offer you a a beautiful and inspiring wallpaper of Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba. This image is from one of the most famous photo portraits of Morihei Ueshiba. It was shot c. 1957 when the Founder was approximately 73 years of age. Morihei is seated facing forward, his gaze directly into the camera. His countenance reveals a man of great spiritual depth and worldly experience tinged with kindness. Included on the wallpaper is an inspirational saying of O-Sensei which reads as follows: “Aiki is not a technique to fight with or defeat the enemy. It is the way to reconcile the world and make human beings one family”…

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Jan
14

Deploying the centered mind: Centripetal and Centrifugal Aikido by Nev Sagiba

Navigating energy requires no attack. To remain stuck in the quagmires of aggression in the seeking of resolution is a primitive reptilian brain disposition that somehow failed to become extinct along with the dinosaurs. This approach is doomed to eventual failure each time. There is nothing more disgusting that Aikido techniques badly mimicked with a mind of a primitive lizard at work. It’s not Aikido…

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