Raising the Arm in Ikkyo

Ikkyo means first technique. So what is the meaning of performing Ikkyo? There are many answers to this. But the one that has become most

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Three Kinds of Disciples

A story from Zen Flesh, Zen Bones (compiled by Paul Reps):  When Zen master, Gasan was studying under Tekisui, his teacher was very severe.  Sometimes

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Ouch, Sensei that hurts!

Many people when starting Aikido, find the techniques extremely painful. Techniques like Nikkyo, Sankyo and Yonkyo apply pressure directly into the nervous system. They cause

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Saito Sensei Quotes

Stanley Pranin of Aikido Journal, has published a series of quotations by  the late Saito Sensei about his teacher, the Founder of Aikido, Morihei Ueshiba.

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Thief at the Dojo

I had heard about this story before, but never from someone who was there.  Stanley Pranin of Aikido Journal, recently re-published an interview with Shoji

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Learning Aikido by “stealing the technique”

The following article is copied from Stanley Pranin’s Aikido Journal website. You can find the full article and accompaying slideshow here: http://blog.aikidojournal.com/2012/09/05/slideshow-great-stills-of-morihiro-saito-9th-dan-in-class-teaching/ One of the things

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Use of Weapons in Aikido

There is a current “debate” as to the value/need for weapon training in Aikido and its importance. Our dojo follows the training curriculum from O’sensei’s

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Sayonara Nikkyo

The departure of Frédéric and his family back to France occasioned the need for a party and a sayonara-nikkyo. David Alexander Sensei tells the story of this

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Doing Ukemi

David Alexander Sensei was a foundation student at the Iwama Ibaraki Dojo and his stories are legendary. Here is one of my favourites from his

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Levels of Training

David Alexander Sensei spent over 10 years training in Iwama under Saito Sensei, in the old days when understanding was obtained from vigorous and rigorous

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Elegance in Aikido

David Alexander Sensei was my sempai when I trained at Iwama in 1980. He had the rare experience of spending over 10 years training under

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Relax when you Throw

Some years ago, when struggling to gain insight into how to powerfully perform morote dori kokyu nage (the basic form practised at the start of every keiko)

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Don’t be square, be hip!

When entering or turning which move first, the hips or the feet? O’Sensei’s Kuden (Saito, M., Traditional Aikido, Vol 1, p. 4) says: The rotation of

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Why sweat the small stuff

Students often say, “why is it important to do the technique ‘precisely’ surely everyone is different – we can do it in our own way”,

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