Just Take the Fall

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Submitted for Shodan Examination, July 2018 As everyone who practices aikido knows, it quite literally has its ups and downs, and ups and downs. In Tomiki Aikido falling is one of the most important skills to develop. When I first started studying Tomiki Aikido I absolutely hated the falling aspect, mainly because I spent so… Read more »

The Basics

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Dennis Bandiero, Tomiki Aikido Raleigh SHODAN ESSAY “You can always count on Americans to do the right thing – after they’ve tried everything else.” (Winston Churchill) Aikidoka, and really any martial artist, hear the same lexicon of fundamentals repeatedly in their formative years, whether politely suggested, shouted, or served with a side of eye -roll…. Read more »

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 »