Archive for Budo

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.

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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.

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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

Four Principles of Aikido

Posted in Aikido, Internal Development, Martial Arts, Philosophy, Training with tags , , , , , , , , on February 21, 2011 by Combative Corner

Keep One Point
Relax Completely
Keep Weight Underside
Extend Ki

These principles are very important in Aikido training. Since not all styles of Aikido being taught today emphasize these principles, I feel very fortunate to have had teachers that taught and believed in the coordination of the mind, body and spirit.  As time goes by, I realize more and more the importance of not only training the body to perform techniques but training the mind and spirit as well. The mind is a very powerful tool that we can continue to develop as long as we live. While the body ages with time, the mind, with proper training, can remain fresh and alert even to an advanced age.
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“How do I train my mind?”
The answer is always the same. You simply take control of your thought. When the mind begins to wander and flip-flop from one thought to another, take command of it and bring it back to the task at-hand (or whatever it is you are trying to accomplish).
The key here is practice.
The more you do this, the more effective you’ll become.  This forces us to live in the present moment and increases our awareness. When one lives in the past or the future it considerably weakens the power of the present moment. Understand that how we do things in the present affects the outcome of the future.
Awareness is the number one rule in all self-defense situations and it is also the number one rule in living a strong and successful life. Numbers 1 and 4 are rules of the mind. Numbers 2 and 3 are rules of the body. The four basic principles to unify the Mind, Body and Spirit are the path to a true understanding of Self and your relationship to the world as a whole (AND you as a part in it!). When you have found your center, it’s then that you are starting to see the true spirit of Aikido.
Four Winds Aikido

Roundtable Discussion 005: Books

Posted in Roundtable Discussion with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 20, 2010 by Combative Corner

“What is your favorite (martial art / inspirational) book that you own, and why?”


Sensei Brandon Vaughn:  “I don’t have one particular book that I read more than others but the one I find most interesting is one I actually saw and bought out of the Century catalog last November. It’s called The Way of the Warrior by Chris Crudelli and examines various styles from around the world, briefly going into their history, country of origin and common weapons used if applicable. Not only does this book delve into commonly know, traditional styles it also covers the more exotic and unknown arts as well as the more modern styles of self defense. I love learning about the meaning and history of just about any topic, martial arts related or not and this book speaks to the geek in me.”

Coach Johnny Kuo: “My favorite inspirational book that I own is “Peace Is Every Step” by Thich Nhat Hanh. Martials arts continue to be a personal passion not so much for the martial aspects, but more for the personal development. Sure, I enjoy learning the art of using the body to attack and defend. What keeps me training though is the expansion of the mind’s awareness and inner peace achieved from the training process. Thich Nhat Hanh’s writings mirror that inner development that I seek from my own martial training.”

Sifu Freddie Lee: “Tao Te Ching.  I’ve read it many times in many different translations. I own a few copies. It was the book that ultimately awakened me. A timeless book that is written so simple but yet with profound wisdom. Another great sage, Eckhart Tolle that I have been inspired by also gives great acknowlegement to the ‘Tao Te Ching.’ It dramatically changed my life from negative to positive and from darkness to light.”

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Sensei Robert Lara: “My favorite martial art book is Budo: Teachings of the Founder of Aikido by O’Sensei Morihei Ueshiba.  I love this book. It is a must read for any Aikido student. This is a very old book that O’Sensei wrote. Over so many years of reading it and training only now am I starting to understand some of the finer points from this text. This is a true treasure of Budo. I would love to see others from other arts read it as well. We are all one family and we need to learn from each other.”

Coach Michael Joyce:  “Al Chungliang Huang is a truly remarkable teacher.  For a young westerner trying desperately to understand the inner teachings of Taiji, this book got me to see what Dr. Yang and Master Jou Tsung Hwa could not show me.  It was not because Master Huang is a good teacher and the others are bad; nor is it because their book(s) are bad and Master Huang’s are good – this is not what I’m saying at all!  Embrace Tiger and Return To Mountain is a book that tells of a personal journey (one that I could easily relate too), a journey filled with mistakes, with questions, but always with lessons.  There still exists, a lot of confusion to what Taiji [Tai Chi] is.  This book managed to, in my opinion, give us the best ‘observation point’ for both internal & external progress in the art as far back as 1973 (when it was first published).  I’ve read it at least five times (it’s only 188 pages), because I love to remember Master Huang’s simple messages – messages that speak to the heart.”

 

What’s YOUR favorite book (that YOU own) and why?


A Day’s Lesson [9/13/2010] : Sifu Lee

Posted in Day's Lesson with tags , , , , , , , , , , on September 14, 2010 by Sifu Freddie Lee

MARTIAL ARTS . . . . . .

“Martial Arts is essentially directing your energy in positive ways; that is the artistic part of it. The Martial aspect of Martial Art is violence, anger, aggression, and fighting.  A Martial Artist must have an element of control in which to direct his energies to better himself and the society around him. He does not take advantage of the weak though he is not weak himself.  He is a rare breed, an individual who is between the oppressors and the oppressed. He is not oppressed but yet he is not an oppressor, he is the one who protects the oppressed.  A Martial Artist has power but he does not abuse this power, he uses this power in positive ways to better himself and those around him.  There are many fighters in this world, but very few Martial Artists.”

Sifu Freddie Lee

FreddiesModernKungfu (Home) (YouTube)

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Roundtable Discussion 004: Next Best Style

Posted in Roundtable Discussion, Styles with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 31, 2010 by Combative Corner

Six martial art instructors were asked,

“If you were given only one style/system of martial art to study (besides your primary discipline), what would it be and why?”

Sensei Robert Lara – For me it would be Wing Chun Kung Fu.  I already train Wing Chun and that is why I picked it. Because it works! No messing around. A very solid and sound fighting art.  It is very much like the Japanese Aiki arts. To control your attackers mind and take away there intent to do harm to you or others.  To stick to an attack once launched is a very sound way to apply control. Be it deflecting blocks, Punches, Elbows, Chops, Low kicks. Sweeps, Throws.  I Love Wing Chun!  I have great love for all the arts but there are those systems that you know are for you.

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Sensei Brad Vaughn – If I could study one martial arts style it would be Kung Fu. It really doesn’t matter what style(though I think Southern Shaolin would fit me nicely) because I find any and all forms of Kung Fu both beautiful and dangerously effective at the same time. I’ve had the opportunity to study a couple of different styles, first in college and now recently and I never cease to be amazed by it. It is my “holy grail” of martial arts. I train hard in the martial arts hoping that one day I will be worthy to become a black belt in Kung Fu as well. I would love to just take off to China for a couple of years and just immerse myself in the culture and study Kung Fu up close and personal and then return to the states a true Kung Fu Masters but I don’t think my wife would go along with that.

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Sifu Freddie Lee – Jeet Kune Do. Because there are no limitations. It is not a style or a system, it gives you the realization to go beyond.

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Coach Johnny Kuo There are so many choices of martial arts that it’s difficult to answer this question. Almost any art would be a viable choice given access to a talented instructor. If I had to choose an art besides I-Liq Chuan, I would pick Arnis. Arnis has several characteristics I find appealing: it emphasizes partner practice, blends offense and defense, doesn’t require a lot of equipment, has a no-nonsense approach, and most importantly, it just looks fun.

I also like the fact the Arnis is not dependent on physical prowess; skill is a much more important factor for proficiency than size and strength. Swinging two sticks to beat the daylights out of your opponent seems so primal and basic, yet there is subtlety and beauty in the art. To me, it seems like Arnis would develop practical martial skills, enhance the mental ability to read the conditions of offense and defense, and have good skill carry over to other arts.

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Coach Michael Joyce – Silat.  But I’m actually going to be very specific with this one.  Over the last few months, I’ve glimpsed numerous martial art video posts (as I enjoy seeing forms progress, applications worked, and maybe pick up on some new training exercises/methods).  One channel really impressed me, as my main draw to the martial arts is the science behind efficient and effective self-defense.  The channel that I came across was Maul565 and the style is Silat Suffian Bela Diri.  Maul Mornie is the instructor and came from Seria, a small town in Brunei Darussalam.  He is currently based in the United Kingdom and does workshops across the country, stressing “Minimum Effort, Maximum Effect.”  My kinda guy!  Can’t wait to learn more about this style through his videos, and perhaps, one day, by him personally.  Check his website out HERE.

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