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“Today is a day in which I feel like I am letting everyone down.” The statement above was a candidate for a Facebook post on my personal page. It’s the truth: today is a day in which I feel like, no matter what I happen to be doing, it is not enough. No matter what […]

Haruo Matsuoka Sensei’s Aikido Journey: Part 8

“Now I have to continue to seek inspiration and knowledge from others, and to strengthen the mentor / disciple relationships I have with my students.” Josh Gold: It was around 2004 that you were introduced to Kono Sensei, right? Matsuoka Sensei: Yes, this was a turning point for me and my aikido. He is not… Read More


Those who have read my blog for a while know that, for the past several years, I have been trying to find ways to improve my level of physical fitness. While there may be many who think it strange, even insulting, to think of a martial arts instructor being in less than peak physical condition, […]

When it’s time to move on

Before you begin reading: This is, probably, a terrible post to write after such a long absence from this blog. So allow me, if you will, a moment to say that I am still here, and I still deeply enjoy my aikido training and my dojo. My absence has had more to do with work […]

Harold T. — “That’s Just How It Bends” by Tom Collings

“How these guys can run like the world’s fastest human, while handcuffed behind their backs and shoeless is beyond me” HAROLD was recently out of recruit class, so the boss told me to take him on his first hits. “Collings, do not let him get hurt or screw up,” ordered the chief. “Yes, sir, no… Read More

“Aikido’s lost book treasures and what to do about them” by Stanley Pranin

“How do we keep our precious heritage of books from being lost?” In the past few months, I have been pondering a phenomenon that I don’t think most people in the aikido world are aware of. If you have been around in the art as long as I have, you will remember numerous technical books… Read More

“How Koichi Tohei intercepted Shomenuchi attacks” by David Misumi

“If nage can intercept the strike just at the moment prior to the body consolidating its forward momentum… the strike can be effectively negated.” This blog was edited from the contents of a well-thought-out reply of David Masumi to the following two recent articles that we felt would be of interest to many of our… Read More

“Kotegaeshi Challenge” answered by Christopher Hein!

Back on July 3, I published a blog titled “The Kotegaeshi Challenge”. In a nut shell, my article challenged readers to give their opinions on a potential vulnerability in the execution of kotegaeshi. What is this potential vulnerability with kotegaeshi I mention above? Once again, I would refer you to the many images you will… Read More

Morihiro Saito Sensei demonstrates Shomenuchi Ikkyo Omote from the “Complete Guide to Aikido”

“A true master introduces one of Aikido’s core techniques” In the technical manual Budo, published by the founder in 1938, it is written that in shomenuchi ikkyo omote, the person throwing initiates the technique. “Advance one step with your right foot while striking your opponent’s face with your right tegatana…” (p. 11). As you grab… Read More

“Shihonage: Show vs. Realism” by Stanley Pranin

Shihonage is known as aikido’s “four-corner throw”. It involves twisting a partner’s wrist, a rapid pivot resulting in a powerful control of his wrist, followed by a throw. But like anything else in aikido, there are a variety of different styles of performing the technique. Although the basic technique calls for holding your partner’s hand… Read More

Closing up the loose ends: “More on Aikido’s Shihonage Dilemma” by Stanley Pranin

“To overcome the thesis presented here, you must explain how a motionless person can recognize an attack, devise a plan, spring into action, and overcome a high-speed attack in less than a second.” Yesterday’s blog on the “Shomenuchi Dilemma” generated a good deal of commentary among Aikido Journal readers, especially on Facebook. There were those… Read More

“The Origins of Modern Aikido: The Shomenuchi Dilemma” by Stanley Pranin

“If you want to know how aikido techniques changed after the war, here is a good place to start!” Last year I published an article that dealt in some detail with the Shomenuchi Ikkyo technique of the prewar era. It discussed an earlier approach to doing techniques from the the shomenuchi (overhand strike attack). Several… Read More

Where do you stand? “The Kotegaeshi Challenge” by Stanley Pranin

“Can you prevent your attacker from striking you?” Kotegaeshi, aikido’s wrist twist technique, is a special case among the art’s basic techniques. It can be seen performed in practically everything aikido demonstration, usually with the attacker taking a high fall when thrown. The technique is a crowd favorite as it appears spectacular, but at the… Read More

Power and precision combined! “Hayato Osawa demonstrates suwariwaza, hanmi handachi, and standing techniques”

This video showcases the incomparable aikido of Hayato Osawa Sensei in a demonstration of suwariwaza (seated techniques), hanmi handachi (seated vs standing), and standing techniques. Osawa Sensei’s aikido is power-based and very precise. His movements are very quick and explosive. This is a go no sen aikido… Click here to watch video

Sokaku polishes his art… “Traveling the length and breadth of Japan to test his mettle”

Sokaku Sensei traveled all over, from Hokkaido in the north all the way to Okinawa in the south. It is also remarkable that he taught not only in police departments of one particular region, but throughout the entire country. I believe that if his technique was fake or ineffective, he would have been considered useless… Read More

In the shadow of World War II… “Morihei the powerhouse!”

During the Kobukan period, Morihei Ueshiba rubbed shoulders with the elite of Japanese society associating with luminaries from military, political, business and religious circles. Though not politically motivated himself, Morihei taught...Show More Summary

Colorizing history! “Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba”

One of the interesting aspects of my work is the abundance of technology I must use to produce the materials we publish. Since we deal with a lot of historical material, most of the images and videos we have preserved are black and white. To give an example, look at the inset photo from this… Read More

We never heard of them… “Former Aikikai Employees” by Stanley Pranin

Then we have Koichi Tohei. Perhaps we’re zeroing in on your target, no? His ranking was of course the first 10th dan issued by the Aikikai. He filled the position of Shihan Bucho — chief instructor — of the Aikikai for many years. He was the leading light of the Aikikai, a charismatic teacher, an… Read More

Massaging of history… “Six giants who were axed!”

A futile attempt is being made at this very moment to erase my personal teacher, Morihiro Saito Sensei, from the annals of the Iwama Dojo since his passing in 2002. These attempts to rewrite history have motivated me to devote a great deal of attention to these historical figures. Except for Sokaku Takeda, I personally… Read More

From cripple to athlete… Arthur Boorman’s Yoga Miracle Story with nearly 19 million views!

Arthur Boorman was a disabled veteran of the Gulf War for 15 years, and was told by his doctors that he would never be able to walk on his own, ever again. He stumbled upon an article about Diamond Dallas Page doing Yoga and decided to give it a try — he couldn’t do traditional,… Read More

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