Mar
31

Accurate perception of Self… “Aikido and Mind-Body Integration,” by Curtis L.V. Adams, M.D.

In addition to being an extremely effective form of self-defense, Aikido became a basis for the pursuit of the true self. This pursuit is done by the constant reevaluation in the learning and application of the techniques of Aikido. In order to do Aikido effectively, one has to cultivate an awareness of the body, the location of the body in space and the force of his movements. This constant reevaluation ideally caused a shift from the concept of opponents, as in self-defense, to partners, who would help in rediscovering the true self…

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Mar
31

Pain due to compression… “Hanging Out With Back Pain-Old School Style,” by Mark Hauer

I feel a little intimidated adding my 2 cents worth when it comes to the subject of pain abatement for aching backs. Especially given Stan Pranin’s contributions on the subject. Most of the back pain I’ve suffered over the years was due to compression. And while Yoga’s downward facing dog pose gives some relief (either that, or the sensation of relief was confused with the euphoria from nearly blacking out from the “head rush” of standing up too quickly), the discomfort was always there in the background: muted, but still present…

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Mar
31

Street gymnastics… Can you roll safely on concrete? This guy can!

A demonstration of a variety of methods for rolling safely on a concrete surface that will be of particular interest to aikidoka from the world of “parkour”…

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Mar
31

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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Mar
30

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

shomenuchi-ikkajo-captions

“Overlooked minutiae illuminate the Founder’s genius!”

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:

Tori: Step forward with your right foot and strike directly at your opponent’s face with your right tegatana and punch his ribs with your left fist…

Uke: Receive your opponent’s right tegatana with your right arm.

One might be tempted to point out that this was the prewar version of the technique that was superseded in the modern era. This is certainly true. However, Morihei continued to teach shomenuchi ikkyo in this manner during the Iwama era following the war. It was the Aikikai — headed by Kisshomaru Ueshiba and Koichi Tohei — that altered the practice of this core basic technique. In contrast, Gozo Shioda’s Yoshinkan Aikido continued to follow O-Sensei’s original teaching after the war.
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Mar
28

Well executed, unusual techniques! Women’s Self-Defense (1947): “Keep Your Hands Off Me, Mister!”

This rare video shot in 1947 presents Mary Parker and Lon Leonard in a demonstration of women’s self-defense that is obviously mostly jujutsu. There are a lot of unusual techniques that are well executed. Great fun to watch!…

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Mar
28

FREE PDF DOWNLOAD! Aiki News Number 60, March 1984

Contents

● Editorial – Blueprint for the standardization of aikido testing, by Stanley Pranin
● Shoji Nishio Interview, by Stanley Pranin
● Morihiro Saito Technical Notebook — Tsuki iriminage, by Morihiro Saito
● Heard in the Dojo
● O-Sensei Biography — “The Kobukan Hell Dojo Period,” by Kisshomaru Ueshiba
● Letters to the Editor

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Mar
28

In Japan for the first time! “Koichi Tohei in the Heyday of the Aikikai” by Stanley Pranin

My efforts to gather materials on the Founder met with little success. I was able to buy a few books and several back issues of the Aikido Shimbun published by the dojo, but my requests through the office to obtain copies of photographs or films led to no concrete results. Finally near the end of my stay I asked Iwao Tamura, one of Tohei Sensei’s deshi who was fluent in English, if it would be possible to ask Tohei Sensei again about helping me. As a result, I was called to a room on the second floor of the dojo late in August. Present were Tohei Sensei, Mr. Tamura and myself. I was told clearly that I was considered to be a student of Tohei student and as such was mistaken to have trained with other teachers during my stay in Japan…

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Mar
28

Let’s get technical! “An Irrefutable Photo Record of Morihei’s Prewar Aiki Budo”

Morihei Ueshiba’s 1938 “Budo” is one of the most important historical documents on the evolution of aikido technique and is very relevant to contemporary students of aikido. We are indebted to the Founder and to Morihiro Saito Sensei for having created these wonderful resources. Here is a video trailer that will give you a good look at Morihiro Saito Sensei’s approach to an analysis of O-Sensei’s old training manual…

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Mar
27

Jam the kicker’s hip! Aikido versus outside low kick

One example of Aikido defense against outside low (leg) kick using application of “extend ki” and adaptation of the “unbendable arm” principle to become “unbendable leg.” Demonstration by Enso Aikido Dojo…

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Mar
27

Ukemi guide: Excellent video demonstrating aikido falling skills by Luc Sanselme

This is a well-organized and innovative video presenting various falls used in aikido, and different exercises that can be practiced to master these ukemi. These exercises are designed to prepare the body to fall skillfully and safely…

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Mar
27

Historical photos: Morihei Ueshiba O-Sensei and Morihiro Saito at Self-Defense Force demonstration c. 1955

Here are three rare photos from the personal collection of Morihiro Saito taken c. 1955. Morihei is aged 71 years and Saito Sensei is about 27 years old. Also of note is the fact Morihei is demonstrating with the bokken with Saito Sensei as his partner. Well before the advent of the war, Morihei was keenly interested in both the ken and jo and would practice these weapons regularly in Iwama in addition to taijutsu training in the dojo…

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