Aiki Stories

Stories about Aikido, Zen and the practice at the old Iwama Dojo.

Moving off the line is the 1st principle of Aikido as sometimes the bear needs poking

The 1st principle of Aikido is moving off the line – here is why. Sensei Saw It… Sempai Heard It… Uke Wore It!   Most times I fail to move off the line completely and then wonder why I have trouble completing the technique. The prerequisite of being off the line isn’t there so the …

Moving off the line is the 1st principle of Aikido as sometimes the bear needs poking Read More »

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 he even beat Gasan. Other pupils would not stand this type of teaching and quit. Gasan remained, saying: A poor disciple utilises a teacher’s influence. A fair disciple admires a …

Three Kinds of Disciples Read More »

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 submission through pain compliance. But what if it is the teacher who is applying these painful techniques to the student? The sensei’s role is to ensure that every student is …

Ouch, Sensei that hurts! Read More »

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.  They are worth repeating. The Takemusu Aiki Association are the inheritors of the teaching from O’Sensei’s dojo in Iwama.  We work to keep the memory of O’Sensei’s insight alive through …

Saito Sensei Quotes Read More »

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 Nishio Sensei from 1983. He told this story about Koichi Tohei Sensei training at the Iwama Dojo: “Mr. Tohei went to Hawaii in 1953. On his return, he brought back …

Thief at the Dojo Read More »

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: One of the things that stood out to me during my years of practicing aikido in Japan was the fact that the majority of Japanese instructors — including some of the most famous names …

Learning Aikido by “stealing the technique” Read More »