Mar
27

Bridging Heaven and Earth… “Exploring the Founder’s Aikido,” by Stanley Pranin

One of the realizations I came to fairly early in my career of researching the origins of aikido is the fact that few teachers of aikido today are aware of the specifics of the Founder’s art. More so than Morihei Ueshiba, aikido pioneers in the postwar era such as Kenji Tomiki, Gozo Shioda, Kisshomaru Ueshiba, Koichi Tohei, Morihiro Saito, Seigo Yamaguchi, Michio Hikitsuchi and others are the key figures that have left the strongest imprint on the way the art is practiced today…

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Mar
27

Hidden before our eyes: “Decoding Morihei Ueshiba’s Technical Evolution,” by Stanley Pranin

Anyone attending a seminar conducted by Morihiro Saito Sensei during his active years will have noted him frequently referring to a small illustrated manual. In fact, Saito Sensei would often open this booklet to the page illustrative of his teaching point and walk from student to student showing the technique in question for a brief moment. He would repeat over and over, “O-Sensei! O-Sensei!,” as if to validate his technical explanation with the stamp of approval of the ultimate authority—Morihei Ueshiba, the Founder of aikido. What is this modest technical compendium that Saito Sensei consulted constantly and held in such high regard?

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Mar
25

Exquisite action! Samural video: “Ame Agaru” Fight in the Forest

An incredibly well choreographed fight in the forest from the film “Ame Agaru” (After the Rain). The setting is Japan, during the Kyoho Era (1716-1735). Following torrential rains, a group of travelers are stuck in a country inn by flooding. Among them is a certain Ihei Misawa, a ronin, a masterless samurai with outstanding fighting skills. After he intervenes to prevent a duel between two young samurai, Ihei is noticed by Lord Shigeaki, who invites him to become the master of arms of his fief…

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Mar
25

The epitome of elegance! Frank Doran, 7th dan: “Poetry in Motion”

This is a wonderful video of Frank Doran Sensei of Aikido West in Redwood City, California containing numerous snippets of his elegant aikido. Of special note is his excellent posture at all times during the execution of techniques. Frank Doran is a aikido teacher in the United States, chief instructor of Aikido West in Redwood…

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Mar
25

Hear O-Sensei’s actual voice! Excerpts from a 1962 radio interview with Morihei Ueshiba

This video clip contains portions of a fascinating interview of the Founder conducted about 1962 during which he is questioned about aikido. As was his custom, many of the Founder’s comments reflect his spiritual views and mention Japanese kami. This recording, which includes full subtitles, affords a rare chance to gain an intimate glimpse of the Founder’s charm and personality…

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Mar
25

Dynamic Action Star: “Clip 5 from Steven Seagal’s 1990 Seminar”

We are pleased to present the fifth of a series of video clips featuring movie action star Steven Seagal taken at a seminar in San Jose, California in 1990. This seminar took place just at the time of the ascent of his movie career, and as such is a rare event. Seagal Sensei is in fine form, his teaching style dynamic, and technical explanations direct and to the point. For the period, the video quality of the seminar is excellent with clear audio. As such, viewers will gain insight into the reasons why so many people were captured by his skills and charisma both on the mat and on the movie screen which contributed greatly to his rise to fame..

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Mar
24

Inimitable! Seigo Yamaguchi, 8th dan, in private demonstration at Meiji University (1990)

This is beautiful clip of Seigo Yamaguchi Sensei giving a private demonstration at Meiji University. The essence of Yamaguchi Sensei’s inimitable style of aikido is readily evident as he spontaneously reels off one technique after another…

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Mar
24

Must watch… Rumiko Hayes — “More Martial Magic of the Diminutive Ninja Lady!”

This video presents another inspiring display of this incredible martial artist. Rumiko Hayes’ perfectly timed soft-style manuevers take advantage of positional and anatomical weaknesses to control her opponent. These movements are beyond style and much martial wisdom awaits the careful observer!..

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Mar
24

Morihei encounters Sokaku: “An eager apprentice to a formidable martial arts master!”

Takeda Sokaku is recorded in modern budo history as the transmitter of Daito-ryu Jujutsu. He was an awe-inspiring person with a formidable appearance and, although he was about 2 inches shorter than O-Sensei, he always seemed to stare down at things with a mysteriously piercing gaze, made all the more so by a tight-lipped frown due to his lack of front teeth. It is said that Onisaburo Deguchi, who had a reputation for being able to tell people’s fortunes, once told Takeda that even though he had mastered one “Way,” he was a man with the smell of blood and a hapless or evil fate. Master Deguchi often wondered why Ueshiba was so humble towards Takeda, and this attitude was a point of irritation to the religious leader…

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Mar
24

Against O-Sensei’s deeply held beliefs… Stanley Pranin’s Video Blog: “Why No Competition in Aikido?”

Stanley Pranin explains why it is often noted that there is no competition in aikido. Actually, some forms of competition have been introduced in aikido, the most prominent example being Tomiki Aikido. Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba was strongly against this attempt to convert aikido into a sport. He came to have deeply held spiritual beliefs on the correct role of martial arts having seen the horrific effects of World War II on Japan…

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Mar
21

Watch for the Daito-ryu! Sadateru Arikawa Sensei, 9th dan, at the 20th Anniversary of the Kobukan Dojo (1995)

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Mar
21

Free pdf download of Aiki News #67: “Look what’s inside!”

Contents of Aiki News #67 – May 1985

* Editorial – “Why We Do What We Do,” by Stanley Pranin
* Interview with Nobuyoshi Tamura (2), by Stanley Pranin
* History of Daito-ryu, by Tokimune Takeda
* O-Sensei Biography: Chapter VI – Part 4, “Training in the Way and Farming in Iwama, by Kisshomaru Ueshiba
* Morihiro Saito Technical Notebook (36) — Tachidori kokyunage, by Morihiro Saito
* Heard in the Dojo
* Aikido Friendship Demonstration Report, by Stanley Pranin
* Letters to the Editor

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