Archive for aikido

The Art of Aikido in these Modern Times

Posted in Aikido, Martial Arts, Training with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 11, 2016 by Combative Corner

Gary Boaz

Over the last several years I’ve talked a lot about how I believe that the way aikido is taught falls drastically short of modern practicality. This has led to many misunderstandings. I’ve been accused of saying that aikido doesn’t work in modern times. That’s ridiculous. I wouldn’t waste 25 years of my life on something that doesn’t work. What I am saying is that I believe in the principles of aikido. Where today’s teachers fall short is in the presentation. If aikido is to survive, even to evolve we have to address the modern fighter. We have to train against hooks, jabs, uppercuts, knees, elbows, the groundfighter as well as modern weapons. I recently dug up an article discussing this and these next video clips will go along with those themes. 

If you want more examples of aikidoka doing this, check out Lenny Sly A former Tenshin practitioner, Sly is advancing his own aikido with what he refers to combative concepts. It’s great stuff. A word of warning, his videos aren’t always safe for younger ears or if you are at work. Regardless, his stuff works.

Sensei Gary Boaz

Reposted with Permission from Facebook

The other side of the coin to the traditional munetsuki kotegaeshi. Please don’t think I’m saying that kotegaeshi doesn’t work. That’s not what I’m saying. Quite the opposite. Apply the principles to a modern attack and see what happens. Get your butt outside the freaking box folks!

With this article, we have reached 300 POSTS!!!

WE’RE ON FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM & TWITTER

A Word From O’Sensei

Posted in Aikido with tags , , , , , , , on March 29, 2014 by Combative Corner

Robert Lara Sensei 001“In our techniques we enter completely into, blend totally with, and control firmly an attack. Strength resides where one’s ki is concentrated and stable; confusion and maliciousness arise when ki stagnates.”
Morihei Ueshiba O’Sensei

(植芝 盛平 , December 14, 1883 – April 26, 1969)

Six Principles of Training | Kondo Katsuyuki

Posted in Aikido, Philosophy, Training with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on July 10, 2012 by Combative Corner

(translated by Derek Steel)

Daito-ryu is built upon a foundation of six basic elements. These are extremely deep and complex and mastery of even any one of them requires a great deal of time and effort. One’s ability to perform Daito-ryu techniques correctly and fully will only develop through constant and strenuous efforts to take all six into account at all times.

Rei: Correct Formal Personal Conduct

The term rei has been translated variously with words such as etiquette, manners, courtesy, decorum, respect, or propriety. However, rei may be generally understood to mean the rules of correct formal personal conduct. Historically in Japan such rules have served in lubricating social and interpersonal relationships and preventing strife among people. Daito-ryu preserves historical forms of correct personal conduct, not because they have any particular relevance to the performance of techniques per se, but because they contain and continue the spiritual mindset of the traditional warrior that pervades and informs the Daito-ryu tradition even today.

Metsuke: Eye Contact

Metsuke refers to the use of the eyes. Essentially there are two types of metsuke training in Daito-ryu, one called mokushin(lit. “the eye of the mind”), the other called ganriki(lit. “eye power”). Mokushin involves seeing with the “eye of the mind,” often to enclose and envelop an opponent. Ganriki, on the other hand, is a sharp, penetrating gaze that sees an opponent’s intentions and can be used to dominate and control him.

Maai: Distancing

Maai refers to the physical distance or interval between things. Maai is often the single most important factor in determining the outcome of a combative encounter. It sometimes happens, for instance, that a combatant thinks he has established a favorable maai only to have it suddenly turn out to be to his opponent’s advantage. Primarily a form of unarmed combat, Daito-ryu focuses on the diligent study of the closer maai characteristic of striking and grappling techniques, although other maai also come into play in some situations.

Kokyu: Breathing

Kokyu refers to breath or breathing. We generate physical power and movement more easily when exhaling or in some cases when stopping our breath, both of which are states of yang. The opposite is true of inhaling, a yin state. Thus, techniques are usually performed while exhaling, often with one breath from start to finish. Similarly, it is considered ideal to time any attack to an instant when your opponent has just exhaled and has just started to inhale again. We take advantage of the openings in an opponent’s defenses offered by yin states, with many counterattacks and defenses timed to coincide with the instant your opponent enters–or is made to enter–a yin state.

Kuzushi: Unbalancing

From ancient times the admonishment to attack where the opponent has been unbalanced has been a fundamental axiom of Japanese combative theory. In the name Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu we see that the term aiki has been placed before the word jujutsu, and it would not be an exaggeration to say that this aiki refers mainly (though not exclusively) to the principle of kuzushi, or unbalancing, the opponent. Indeed a great many of Daito-ryu’s oral transmissions and inner teachings pertain to the various subtle aspects of kuzushi.

Zanshin: Remaining Mind & Full Effort

The characters for zanshin have the general meanings of “remain” (zan-) and “mind” (-shin). The term is usually interpreted as referring to a mental state in which you continue to focus your attention on your opponent and the surrounding environment. I have another interpretation, however, which is that the characters for zanshin can also refer to the phrase “Kokoro wo nokosazu” (lit. “Leave nothing of the spirit behind”). This means giving of yourself so completely that nothing remains to be given and so that nothing is held back. When practicing Daito-ryu this means giving your absolute all to the performance to each and every technique.

Copyright ©2000 Aiki News. All rights reserved.
Shared via Koryu.Com April 19, 2009
Reposted with permission on CombativeCorner.Com July 10, 2012

This article first appeared in Daito-ryu: Hiden Mokuroku Ikkajo, published by Aiki News. For more info, check Daito-ryu: Hiden Mokuroku Ikkajo.
__________________________________________________________
Kondo Katsuyuki was born in Tokyo in 1945. He began his training in Daito-ryu aikijujutsu as a teenager under Hosono Tsunejiro and later Yoshida Kotaro. In 1961, he began to make periodic trips to Hokkaido to practice under Tokimune Takeda. He continued his training under the Daito-ryu headmaster for 32 years. In 1970 he opened his Shimbukan Dojo, which serves as headquarter for his Daito-ryu activities.

O’Sensei and The Art of Peace

Posted in Aikido, Teaching Topic with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 10, 2012 by Combative Corner

Aikido is the realization of Love.
If you think that “martial art” means to have opponents and enemies and to be strong and defeat them, you are mistaken. The true spirit of the martial arts is to be one with the universe and have no enemies. The essence of the martial arts is the spirit of loving protection of all beings in the universe.
Never defeated means never fighting. This is not mere theory. You practice it. Then you will accept the great power of Oneness with Nature.
As the words for “harmony” and “love” can be pronounced ai, I decided to name my unique budo (martial art) Aikido, although the word aiki is an old one. The word which was used by the warriors in the past is fundamentally different from that of mine.


Aiki is not a technique to fight or defeat an enemy.

It is the way to reconcile the world and make human beings one family.
The secret of Aikido is to harmonize ourselves with the movement of the universe and bring ourselves into accord with the universe itself.
Aikido is non-resistance. As it is non-resistant, it is always victorious. Those who have a warped mind, a mind of discord, have been defeated from the beginning.
There is no conflict in love. A mind of conflict, thinking of the existence of an enemy, is not consistent with the spirit of the universe. Those who do not agree with this cannot be in harmony with the universe.
Don’t look in the opponent’s eyes, or your mind will be drawn into his eyes. Don’t look at his sword, or you will be slain with his sword. Don’t look at him, or your spirit will be distracted. True budo is the cultivation of attraction with which to draw the whole opponent to you.
A mind to serve for the peace of all human beings in the world is needed in Aikido, and not the mind of one who wishes to be strong or who practices only to defeat an opponent.
When anybody asks if my Aiki budo principles are taken from religion, I say, “No.” My true budo principles enlighten religions and lead them to completion.
I am calm however and whenever I am attacked. I have no attachment to life or death. I leave everything as it is to the spirit of the universe. Be apart from attachment to life and death and have a mind which leaves everything to that spirit, not only when you are being attacked but also in your daily lives.
The source of Bu is divine love. It is the spirit of love and protection for all things. The training of Budo is the forging in our minds and bodies the power of divine love, which produces, protects, and nurtures all things in the Universe. The techniques of budo are signposts pointing the way which leads to this.


Aikido is love.

You make this great love of the universe your heart, and then you must make your own mission the protection and love of all things. To accomplish this mission must be the true budo.
Even though our Path is completely different from warrior arts of the past, it is not necessary to abandon the old ways totally. Absorb venerable traditions in Aikido by clothing them with fresh garments, and build on the classic styles to create better forms.
Our techniques employ four qualities that reflect the nature of our world. Depending on the circumstance, you should be: hard as a diamond, flexible as a willow, smooth-flowing like water, or as empty as space.
The body should be triangular, the mind circular. The triangular represents the generation of energy and is the most stable physical posture, The circle symbolizes serenity and perfection, the source of unlimited techniques. The square stands for solidity, the basis for applied control.
A good stance and posture reflect a proper state of mind. The key to good technique is to keep your hands, feet, and hips straight and centered. If you are centered, you can move freely. The physical center is your belly; if your mind is set there as well, you are assured of victory in any endeavor.
Do not stare into the eyes of your opponent: he may mesmerize you. Do not fix your gaze on his sword: he may intimidate you. Do not focus on your opponent at all: he may absorb your energy. The essence of technique is to bring your opponent completely into your sphere. Then you can stand just where you like, in a safe and unassaiable position.
When an opponent comes forward, move in and greet him; if he wants to pull back, send him on his way.

M. Ueshiba

O’Sensei and The Principle of The Circle

Posted in Aikido, Teaching Topic with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 16, 2012 by Combative Corner

Aikido technique is structured on circular movement, for harmony is brought about and all conflict resolved through the spirit of the circle. The response of the body, mind and spirit to the principle of the circle is vital to the creation of technique.

ο

ο

A circle…

encloses space, and it is from the perfect freedom of this emptiness that ki is born. From the center of this birthplace, the creative processes of life are joined with the infinite, immeasurable universe by the spirit. The spirit is the Creator, the eternal parent giving birth to all things.

º

The Budo of Aikido springs from the mastery of the spirit of the circle. The essence if this Budo is to embrace the complementary action of cause and effect and to draw into yourself all things as if they were held within the palm of your hand. You have a spirit, therefore you must realize that each person has a spirit. When the life processes are connected with the spirit and the fundamental principle of the circle is given birth in Aiki, all things are led to completion through the circle. All things are freely created by the circle. The secret of the circle is to create technique by piercing the very center of Space.

Morihei Ueshiba – Founder of Aikido

Robert Lara Sensei

Four Winds Aikido

Secret Training Method of Maul Mornie

Posted in Philosophy, Training, Videos with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 9, 2012 by Combative Corner

“…The advanced is the mastery of the basics. ‘Effortless’ comes from constant correct practice. In SSBD form (structure & intention) is important from the beginning to end.”

A lot of people ask me how do I train in my free time. I train nothing but basics and conditioning, because that is all I think what is important. And most people would just say “That’s its?  Oh… it’s a secret huh? I get it.”

I emphasize my personal training for 1st contact in self defence (not competative fights), because all movements begins with the 1st contact.  The connection between the given intention & receiving intention (without contact), the connection at the point of contact between body and body, and then progressing to gerak langkah to the breaking of structure (or in Japanese terms from Sabaki to Kuzushi).

An Aikido friend introduced me to a clip of Shihan Seishiro Endo a few days ago and he took my interest straight away when he spoke about “Atari”.  To my understanding it is the engagement and connection of intention (energy, ki or chi if you will).

When people ask me how do I make people bigger and taller than me fall without any effort, without physically training with me I can never explain it, but Endo Shihan is able to explain the concept in just over 1 minute.  As Einstein said,

“If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.”

I guess that is why Endo Shihan is a master and I’m just starting my journey in understanding the art.

Maul Mornie

[via Facebook]

RELATED ARTICLE

10 Questions with Maul Mornie

The Lesson Does Not End | Robert Lara

Posted in Aikido, Day's Lesson, Miscellaneous, Philosophy with tags , , , , , , on April 5, 2012 by Combative Corner

This is something all of my students should strive for. Your lessons do not end when you walk out of the Dojo.

They have just started.

And it is up to the students to implement the teaching from the Dojo to daily life. You are on the path to mind ,body, spirit unification. And the biggest and baddest enemy you could ever have is right with you. It is the self. You must be fully present in all daily actions or suffer later for not being aware and in that moment. Anything you do, Do it from your center and always extend Ki.

True Victory is self victory!!!

How can we expect to control and attacker when you can control yourself?

“If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your Life.  There are no limits.  There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.”

Bruce Lee

Sensei Robert Lara

Four Winds Aikido, Kansas

%d bloggers like this: