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Each release can be divided into 3 motions (for beginners)

There are a lot of different modes that you can do most martial arts exercises in. They seem to be made to be played in different ways under various conditions.. One of the ways that we work aikido wrist releases (shichihon no kuzushi)...Show More Summary

Medieval European walking and Japanese walking

Here are a couple of interesting videos to watch. In fact, I think they might just be important to your martial research. Not because I agree with every point in both videos. In fact, I find a lot of the first one doubtful and the second fellow sounds like a paranoid schizo in much of his lecture.. Show More Summary

Solo karate kata are useful

One of the things that can seem alien to a karate guy beginning in aikido or judo is the idea that each of the kata in judo and Tomiki aikido involves two people - tori (or nage) and uke. All of the kata moves are actually done on an actual person's body. Show More Summary

Connections between Junokata, Koshiki, and Nanatsu!

You know what is really cool? When you have both enough time in a body of work, and the opportunity to step back from it far enough that you can see the themes and motifs running through it. Judo is like this.In 2012 I was invited to Windsong in OKC to work with them on Junokata. Show More Summary

My crazy names for Hirano's crazy exercises

Naming conventions for martial arts techniques and kata vary from art to art. Some folks like the ultra-simple thing-1, thing-2 sort of ordinal naming system, while others like more descriptive names for things like, the "arm-crushing cross-shaped armbar," from judo.. Show More Summary

Tokio Hirano's unorthodox genius

Tokio Hirano was one of the, if not THE winningest competition judoka in history. The story goes that he racked up 4300 competition wins in 6 years in western Europe in the early 1950's. That's more than 700 wins per year, year-after-year!...Show More Summary

Aikido Ground Fighting by Walther G. Von Krenner

A relatively new addition to the body of literature about aikido is Walther G. Von Krenner's, Aikido Ground Fighting. This is a really interesting book in a couple of ways. First, it covers how the principles (if not the standard techniques) can be applied in situations that may be unfamiliar to many aikidoka. Show More Summary

I'm doing a new thing -

Martial Arts are not the only thing I do! I know - hard to believe. Like the rest of ya'll I juggle a few other activities like family and scouts and travel and sports and work. For some time now I’ve felt that Mokuren Dojo’s niche was too limited. Show More Summary

Removing commas

I heard an interview on the radio today that was really interesting. The subject was a fellow who translates Haruki Murakami works into other languages. The interviewer asked him, "When do you know that a creative work is done? ThatShow More Summary

Aigamaeate by the numbers

Lately in class we have returned to an emphasis on kihon - that is (IMO) making sure that you get all the steps in and making them as distinct as possible. Aigamaeate is the second of the kihon that we practice in aikido - and for novices it goes something like this (similar to the first variation shown in the video above). Show More Summary

A shadowy chicken and egg thing

A doctrine that is often attributed to Kano and his successors is that a technique is composed of three (some say 4) parts - kuzushi, tsukuri, kake (and some people add zanshin). kuzushi refers to getting your opponent off-balance or off-guard. Show More Summary

Big techniques can teach you BIG spirit

It's amazing how every old dead wise guy seems to say such amazing-sounding stuff. For instance, I've been told that one old dead wise guy once said, "If you do small techniques you will have a small spirit, but if you do BIG technique...Show More Summary

Shomenate by the numbers

Per my last post, we've started working Junana in more of a kihon mode. That is, static uke and explicit emphasis on making each phase of the technique (kuzushi, tsukuri, and kake) as distinct as possible. This past week we worked shomenate and we've already seen some interesting aspects crop up in our practice.. Show More Summary

Kuzushi, tsukuri, and kake in kihon no kata

Every teacher and organization and group and subgroup has its own distinctive practices. Things they do because of the way they interact or the particular way that they happen to think about the art we are doing. It is easy to look at...Show More Summary

Parallel evolution

When I'm filtering around the interwebs looking for things of interest, I prefer to look for the commonalities between different approaches rather than the differences. For instance, I figure that if I look at how an aikido guy does a particular thing and how a karate guy does a similar thing then the truth might likely be somewhere in the middle.. Show More Summary

A prefabular aiki allegory

Aikido is not aiki. In fact, it is just a primer that we might be able to use to achieve a distant goal. But a good primer is nothing to sneeze at.. If we were to set sail for a distant land, the journey and the boat and the weather conditions and the sea serpents - all those day-to-day things are not the same as arriving in the distant land.. Show More Summary

Without this, they drop like they're shot

In my previous post I posed a question. Does aikido possess a technique or skill that would allow the aikidoka to reliably make a violent opponent stop their misdeeds immediately without necessarily causing them grievous injury? I think I've left y'all in suspense long enough so I'll let you in on what I was thinking.. Show More Summary


I've had some discussion recently with some buddies about the effectiveness of aikido at making a real life bad guy stop what he is doing right now. That is, when a situation is critical and imminent and you have to force someone to cease their misdeeds immediately. Show More Summary

Real-time aikido

Here is another excellent demonstration of Koryu Dai Yon kata. I like this one even better than the previous one that I posted. Although that previous kata was perhaps more polished, this one feels more real to me. The previous one had a rushed feeling, but this demonstration is more reasonably paced.. Show More Summary

The aikidoka and the light bulb

How many aikidoka does it take to screw in a light bulb? A dozen - one to screw the thing up and eleven to tell him, "That's not how we do it at our dojo.". When I was preparing for my recent gig at Windsong Dojo teaching Yon kata, I...Show More Summary

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