Tag Archives: o sensei

Aikido and Standing In the Midst of the Great Void

Aikido Quote by Morihei Ueshiba

The practice Aikido works well, but it works better if one understands the various quotations made by O Sensei, Morihei Ueshiba.

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You ARE the Center of the Universe!

O Sensei was a mystic. He followed certain shinto based religious practices, and he put this religion and philosophy to work in Aikido.

One quote of his that I love goes like this:

Cast off limiting thoughts and return to true emptiness. Stand in the midst of the Great Void. This is the secret of the Way of a Warrior.

On the surface, this is mystical, oooh, how neat. But if you take it apart, there is solid physics behind it. Of course, it is more the physics behind the physics, what I call Neutronics.

A human being is awareness with a body. If you stop thinking about the limits having a body imposes on you, then you begin to understand the nature of your awareness.

To Awareness, the universe is empty. It is nothing. After all, you are aware in a body, and that means you can be aware in and through other material. You could be aware through that sword you are holding, or through a gun, or through absolutely any inanimate object.

Really, there is no limit to how far your awareness goes.

To understand your nature is to be the center of the universe. After all, if you are the light which illuminates the universe, then there is no other center.

Light, void, the center of the universe, it all seems gobbledegook, until one takes a good hard look and is willing to be responsible for oneself.

Politicians? Doomsayers? Bad people? They are nothing when you assume the center of the universe; they are mere characters in a play to be ignored while you go on about your business.

And, the good news is that this viewpoint is not limited to, or espoused only by, Aikido. Practice any good martial art, cleanse yourself of the need and desire to fight, and you will shortly become the center of the universe.

The process is, of course, sped up through the practice of Matrixing. Matrixing reduces the multitude of confusing techniques into a simple logic, and makes the martial arts quick and easy to understand.

You can find out about Matrixing at MonsterMartialArts.com.

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Shodokan Aikido is street workable

Shodokan Aikido for Street Self Defense!

A lot of people hold that aikido is not a real martial art. Shodokan Aikido is the martial art that proves them wrong.

shodokan aikido

Still the mind and expose the soul!

To begin, one should know that while Aikido is focused on spiritual development, it was born in one of the toughest war eras in history, the warlord wars of Japan a thousand years ago.

The art first took form as Daito Ryu Aiki Jujitsu, and it consists of over 3,000 techniques. And these techniques were the most brutal martial techniques the samurais of a thousand years ago could come up with. These are the techniques that enabled these iron men to survive the fiercest battles in the world.

Morihei Ueshiba, O Sensei, refined this art into a more spiritual way. Indeed, it is renowned as a spiritual way.

What Shodokan Aikido has done has introduced competition to the art. While some hold this makes it a sport (in a sport one has an opponent, in an art the opponent is oneself), it really just sharpens the beast.

Students have to solve more intense problems, make the art work in the face of resistance, and this makes the art street workable.

The techniques are harder, sharper, and they are able to be used against the real punch or knife, and not the stylized attack that classical aikido offers.

The good news is that there appears to be negligible effect on the spirituality of the art. One still trains techniques in the Ueshiba method, they just have to make them work no matter what.

While there was a lot of controversy when Shodokan Aikido first appeared, the conflict has died down. The art survives, and one has no doubt that O Sensei would be proud. O Sensei, Morihei Ueshiba, was, after all, an innovator par excellence. His teachings are being passed down, and the idea that Aikido is a workable art is being upheld.

Yes, Shodokan Aikido is a good martial art for self defense.

The Art of Aikido and the Five Steps of Morihei Ueshiba

The Art of Aikido

The Art of Aikido was founded by Morihei Ueshiba. O Sensei was not much of a manly specimen to begin with. He was sickly and weak, and somewhat sporadic, even flakey in his training efforts.

baguaIn 1915 marked the first stage of training in the life of the founder of Aikido. He discovered Takeda Sokaku, who was the reviver of Daito Ryu Aiki Jujitsu. From 1915 to 1937 Morihei Ueshiba dedicated his life to mastering this ancient martial art and learning the concepts that would result in Aikido techniques.

The second stage in the training of the founder of the Art of Aikido occurred when Morihei encountered Onisaburo Deguchi. Onisaburo was the head of the Omoto kyo religious movement. Omoto Kyo (Great Source) is a system of shinto spirituality and the achievement of spirituality through the achievement of personal virtue.

The Art of Aikido could be said to have officially been started when O Sensei experienced personal enlightenment in 1925. He had a duel with a navel officer in which he defeated the fellow by using Aikido moves. Afterwards, stopping at a well to pour water over his head, he experienced a golden glow that sprang from the earth and was divine in nature.

o sensei

Still the mind and expose the soul!

The Art of Aikido received a massive boost in 1942 while Morihei Ueshiba was practicing Misogi, which is ritual purification.

“Around 2am as I was performing misogi, I suddenly forgot all the martial techniques I had ever learned. The techniques of my teachers appeared completely new. Now they were vehicles for the cultivation of life, knowledge, and virtue, not devices to throw people with.”

The final stage, in the development in the Art of Aikido came about during the height of the World War 2.

“The Way of the Warrior has been misunderstood. It is not a means to kill and destroy others. Those who seek to compete and better one another are making a terrible mistake. To smash, injure, or destroy is the worst thing a human being can do. The real Way of a Warrior is to prevent such slaughter – it is the Art of Peace, the power of love.”

These are the five stages in the development of Aikido martial arts, and they stretch from war to religion to inspiration. In the reality of combat, from techniques to maim and destroy to techniques whereby one joins with his opponent.

Do you dislike your fellow man? Maybe even feel rage and live a low life of base emotional problems? The way to fix this is through spiritual evolution, not through the breaking of faces and shotgunning of lives. This is the Art of Aikido, and it is an Art that is divine in nature.

morihei ueshiba

The Sword Catcher Martial Arts Technique

I have previously said that the Eight Catchers are the pinnacle of Martial Arts training. And, I have said that you should study extensive fighting disciplines, Karate, Jujitsu, Kung Fu, whatever, before you begin your minimum of two years of practice on just the Catchers. That said, here is a quick write up of the Sword Catcher, it is an Aikido technique, and illustrations can be found in Monster Martial Arts newsletter X-5.

There are two halves to the sword catcher, though, to be sure, you must do them with perfect Coordinated Body Motion and make them into one. The first half is a simple two step into the attacker. The second half is an easy wrist twist technique.

When somebody comes at you with a sword they have the advantage of distance, and you must make up for that advantage. The best way to make up for it is to take two steps. The first step is straightforward, and the second step you turn and let the rear leg move behind you, so you are looking in the same direction of the attacker.

When I first learned this is was described as a ‘mirroring’ technique. Simply, as you stepped you duplicated your attacker’s body, and so that, sometime during the technique, his foot was next to yours, the limbs of your body matched his, as if looking in a mirror. Of course, his image had a sword, and all you had was a picture of him in your mind.

As you conducted this two step towards him, closing the distance and eventually mirroring him, you did the second piece of the technique, a wrist twist. Specifically, your hand looped over his forearm, you hooked his arm with your palm, and you matched his movement. The intent was to go with him, and then take over it, and thus swing him around into a lock.

Timing is, of course, the whole thing. As he attacks, you step, as he swings his arm, you match the swing, as his body follows through, you help it. And you take over it and swing him into a disarming sort of a wrist lock.

This technique can be done against just about any strike, and all manners of weapons. However, it is perfect for a sword because of the exact way it handles distance. And, it is the Catcher of choice because it requires an evolution of the student if he is too make it work. Simply, while there may be other techniques that are quicker and more practical, this one forces the student to evolve in the best manner possible.

Can you read his mind and anticipate his motion? Can you merge with that motion so that he is not jiggled by your touch? Believe me, working on the Sword Catcher Martial Arts technique for a couple of years will evolve you so that you can.

Head on over Over to Monster Martial Arts for more Data on Aikido Techniques.

The Contradictions Of Morihei Ueshiba, Or The Making Sense Of O Sensei

To understand Morihei Ueshiba, the man known as O Sensei, one needs to examine contradictions in his life. This is something that most people, enraptured in reverie, do not do, and this is sad. For it is contradiction that we isolate the crucibles of existence, and the truth of what makes a man.

The man who founded Aikido was sick and weakly as a youngster, and lived a privileged existence. His father sought to make him stronger by telling tales tales of his Samurai grandfather. Did the manly tales cause him to grow stronger…or encourage him to regard dreams as inspiration?

O Sensei studied briefly with many before he adhered to the teachings of Takeda Sokaku. Was he a flake waiting for a boulder to roll over him and pick him up? Or was there sufficient substance in his soul that he was a seeker par excellence?

Early martial arts training included much attention on Atemi, or Striking points. Linear approaches to techniques varied from linear to circular to linear, at certain points of the founders life. Eventually techniques became more focused on kokyu-nage, or Breath Throws, and this is often considered the pure aikido.

The third most important man in Morihei’s life was Onisaburo Degushi, the leader of the omoto-kyu religion. Interestingly, this religion, considered a woman’s religion, was sometimes involved in political upheaval. One can sincerely ask the question whether the techniques of Aikido are female in nature.

Spiritual awareness can be considered to be at the core of Aikido. One can easily make the point that the art evolved over the years in response to the growing spirituality of Ueshiba. Often held up as the pivotal experience of his life, the founder’s firm conviction that the universe is love obviously effected his technical interpretation of martial techniques.

Though sickly as a youth, O Sensei became known for his immense strength. Eventually, age deprived him of all strength but that which he had accrued in the spirit. Once again, we have a firm clue to the changing technique in the Master’s Art.

Having made the above points, having compared and contrasted the man behind one of the world’s most significant martial arts, one is left with certain conclusions. Straight line or curved, muscles vs harmony, even male to female, there is a significance of evolution which should be studied, and can aid any student’s understanding of this most mystical art. In conclusion, to understand Morihei Ueshiba, the man known as O Sensei, one must analyze beyond the white washed accounts of his life, and know that he was earthy, real, and possessed of immortal character.

To learn Aikido in an entirely unorthodox manner, head over to Matrix Aikido at Monster Martial Arts.

Here’s a snippet of this radical method for learning Aikido

O Sensei and the Mugger

My favorite story of O Sensei, one that not many people know, is that he was walking down an alley when a mugger stepped out of the shadows and demanded his money.

O Sensei merely smiled and said something like, ‘Take it if you can.’

The mugger woke up some time later. Didn’t even remember attacking O Sensei.

Now, the problem is that this might be urban legend.

Take a look at the clip here, and then let me tell you about a mugging incident that wasn’t urban legend, but is about the funniest and possibly stupidest mugger in the world.

That was a seminar I ran, and I get a lot of flak about it, but it worked.

Now,  a friend of mine was in Mexico city, right in the big town square they have. He was walking along, and a fellow stuck a gun out of an alley and demanded that he step into the alley and give him money.

My friend held up his hands, stepped into the alley, and slowly got his wallet out of his pocket. He then extended the wallet.

The robber reached for the wallet, with the same hand he was holding his gun in!

My friend slapped the gun gun out of his hand, hit him in the face once (which knocked the wimp out) and walked away.

Now, that has got to be one stupid mugger! Well, he’s got to be stupid to be a nuger in the first place, right?

Anyway, if you liked the snippet, click on my special  Aikido program.

If you

People Bugged by Real Aikido Teacher

It always irks people when I claim I can teach people how to do Real Aikido in hours. I get surly email, and I don’t bother with the phone anymore.

What crime have I committed by inventing a better, faster way of learning?

If people didn’t invent we’d still have buggy whip factories.

And what I do is no secret. It’s a logic that permeates the art, takes into account every variable, and makes the steps oflearning lead one to the next.

I mean, have you ever been to a class, and you have to memorize sequences? Yes, you have to work on sequences, but memorize them? That means you’re being trained to remember in combat!

To remember involves reaction time, and while you’re thinking he’s moving,and then you’re dead.

Now, I know, you have to remember a bit in the beginning, and the idea is to make the memory come alive, to live in an instant, and to have a plan. To be the art.

I don’t argue with that, I merely present a method whereby people don’t have to work so hard to remember because the logic leads them one step to the next. I tell you, when people experience my Real Aikido they shortly realize that each step leads logically to the next, and within an hour or two they are slapping their heads and saying ‘OMG!’

Here’s a win…

“I just had to write to you to say WOW. Your INSTANT AIKIDO is great!!!
My friends and I watched the DVD’s over the weekend and we…”

Feel free to check out my Real Aikido page. Pick up a free ebook on the home page while you’re there.

Win #55

Three Reasons Why In Combat Aikido Doesn’t Always Work

This is one of those tragedies, but when in Combat Aikido is not workable. It shouldn’t be so, because that great art was born of Samurai on the battlefield. Its roots are a thousand years ago in the bloody battles of warlords for control of Japan.

After the wars were over, the surviving warlords, a pair of brothers, called their warriors together and asked them what techniques they used to conquer the enemy. The resulting list of techniques was over 3200 long. These techniques were taught as Daito Ryu Aiki Jujitsu, and it is this art which influenced the founder of Aikido, Morihei Ushiba when he created his masterpiece.

So why doesn’t the art work? Because it is taught as a religion, and religion tends to strip the violence out of the art. I mean, taking perfectly good ways to maim and destroy muggers just because one believes in world peace and harmony and all that sort of stuff…huh!

The first thing this religious influence did was soften the attacks. The attacks offered in an Aikido class are slow and flowing and easy for the defender to handle. This may teach one the technique, but it doesn’t approximate the hard, fast reality of a punch in the face that is offered on the street.

The second flaw in the circular art is that the strikes (Atemi) have been watered down. They are shown, but not drilled. This means that the student doesn’t really learn what it’s like to hit a human body.

Finally, some of the techniques are designed to teach one how to handle flow in long and unreal manners. You do have to learn flow, that is a given. But there are easier and quicker ways to learn flow, and these ways include techniques that are much more street ready.

Now, this article was not written to offend, but to question, and to question with an eye towards improvement. A student who can’t improve, but merely robots the ritual, is not a student at all. I really don’t think Morihei Ushiba was a robot, nor were the samurai who passed the art to him.

So, make the attacks more real, put back in some hard core Atemi strikes, and work the techniques so they teach flow, but in a more realistic manner. Tell the truth, the really good Aikidokas that I meet are usually doing just this, even if on their own. But, do these three things, stay true to the art, and you are going to find that you have a Combat Aikido that can lay waste to anything, even while promoting peace and harmony within and without.

You can fix these three flaws, and learn the art ten times faster by clicking on Combat Aikido.

Win #9 Another of Wiley’s Wins from The Old Master Instructor Course

Really, Wiley and the fellows were guinea pigs, and I am so glad it worked out well. After all, I was doing stuff that had never been done. Of course I’d already made more mistakes than a porcupine has quills, so I was due for some wins, right?

WILEY’S WIN…my perception and awareness of my own body from the feet, legs, arms, etc., have gone up tremendously. The attention to detail seems never ending when studying and teaching. The ability to catch each detail, at the right time, is an important item to grasp if you want your student to really get what you’re teaching them.

The interesting thing is that the devil is in the details, and this is where you lose a lot of students, they just don’t have the ability to take in all the details. The ability to look, to actually understand what you’re looking at, and to actually fit it into all the rest of the stuff…the good news is that once you understand you don’t have to think about it, and that’s where the intuition starts up.

You can find out more about being a bona fide master instructor at Monster Martial Arts.