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 »

KI: Multitasking through Mental Imaging

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Some people believe Ki is an actual physical force. Others see Ki as a custom that they have no great belief in, but accept in the dojo due to the weight of history behind it. Some practitioners think of Ki as a simple mental shortcut, but an extremely effective one. That is because the human… Read more »

Bushido and Aikido

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I have been practicing aikido for over 50 years now, and one of the aspects of aikido that I find tremendously attractive and engaging is the philosophical and moral underpinnings, for we practice a morally principled martial art.  The samurai code of conduct known as Bushido and the practices of Zen Buddhism permeate aikido, and… Read more »

Some Thoughts on Improving Our KYOGI

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I am not an international competitor – not yet. I should make that clear right up front. I joined the TAA in January 2016, coming from a non-competitive, kata-oriented, independent dojo. Being a part of the TAA has involved a huge learning curve for me. As a result, I have an “outsider’s perspective” on the… Read more »

The Martial Arts as a Time Capsule

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For six months I studied abroad and, without a local Tomiki Style dojo, I joined the Glasgow University Aikido club and studied Aikikai style. Of necessity, I became more adept at spotting the same Aiki principles hidden under a different varnish. That ability soon yielded a strange realization. I found myself noting that my techniques… Read more »