Professor Tomiki and kenkyuu (research)

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Recently Bob Dziubla Sensei gave me the opportunity to digitize his personal copy of an out of print book Professor Tomiki wrote in 1956. The work is called Judo and Aikido, and it was written as a basic introduction to these two arts from a sport perspective.  From the outset, Professor Tomiki makes it very… Read more »

An Introspective Study of Kuzushi no Ri

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On my journey with Aikido over the past few years I have discovered a structural strength that I never imagined could be reached by a 5’2″ woman who’s a hundred pounds soaking wet. I have developed footwork and speed that emphasizes my natural strength. Even my understanding of the nebulous concept of connection has drastically… Read more »

REPORT: US Nationals, July 26-29

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Mesa College in San Diego, California, played host to the TAA US Nationals this past July. With about forty-five players assembled from across the country, it was three days of workshops, competition and celebration. Thursday night, many of the participants met in the Mesa College gymnasium to lay down tatami and mark out the competition… Read more »

Growing Up in the Dojo

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My experience in Aikido began when I was twelve years old in my own basement…due to my dojo being located there! It was a small dojo of seven students, ran by my Sensei, Justin Chang. I was the dojo “baby”, based on my age as well as my belt status. With this title I had… Read more »

Aikido Beyond Randori

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Competition style tanto randori should never be thought of as the pinnacle of aikido. Randori competitions are defining aspects of Tomiki Aikido, but are not the highest goal nor the greatest benchmark of skill. Tanto randori can be viewed as an integration exercise, something that forces the simultaneous application of the principles of shizentai, taisabaki,… Read more »

Bushido and Aikido, Part 2

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In the first article in this series, I began with the observation that one of the fundamental sources of Bushido is Buddhism, and in particular Zen Buddhism.  Buddhism, of course, originated in India. The origin of Buddhism points to one man, Siddhartha Gautama, the historical Buddha, who was born in Lumbini (in present-day Nepal) during… Read more »

How Age and Injury Affected My Aikido

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For my entire life, I have worked with people with disabilities; and I started studying aikido because at the time, I was teaching agency staff how to manually restrain people safely during behavioral outbursts. BEFORE AIKIDO Beginning in the summer of 1968, I practiced judo at the YMCA in downtown San Juan, Puerto Rico; but… Read more »

Keeping the Unsoku Dosa Fresh and Informative

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It is said that Professor Tomiki developed the unique 8-pointed star sequence while he was interned at a Prisoner of War (POW) camp on the shores of Lake Balkhash, in the Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic from 1944 to 1947. In hindsight, what a really great use of one’s free time!!  I feel confident that Tomiki… Read more »

Aikido Is More than a Game

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A budo is a way of life, a way of thinking. Aikido is more than just the competitions and the accomplishments. The game has its place; but aikido can be a tool for helping kids grow into intelligent, balanced, grounded, mature young men and women. This past September, I started teaching Aikido to juniors (ages… Read more »