Takuan’s Unfettered Mind

Takuan Soho, as legend would have it, was friend and teacher to famed Miyamoto Musashi, arguably the greatest swordsman in the history of Japan. As a Zen monk, poet, painter, calligrapher, etc, he lived during a particularly violent period of Japanese history. He therefore confronted war and violence, instructing both shogun and emperor and befriending the likes of …

Video…MMA fight between Randy Couture & James Toney…What strategy did Randy use?

This is an incomplete video of the fight.  You can see the entire 2-3 minutes here http://www.boobootv.com/2010/08/30/randy-couture-vs-james-toney-full-fight/ if you give it time to load and start at the 3 minute mark. It ends in about 3 minutes. So can you figure out which strategy he used? How many different strategies? If you want to know about …

“True Budo is love” – Morehei Ueshiba…was O’Sensei just some kinda hippie?

This realization captures the feeling the founder had after the profound experience of gaining genuine insight into the discipline of his art.  Yet, for most of us who read this statement, we will think of it in very idealistic terms.  The founder’s realization, however, was anything but idealistic.  If we take our ordinary state and …

Respect – The First Step Towards Practice

As for the actual practice of Aikido, think about the first act in every class.  As soon as we enter the dojo, we bow.  When we get on the mats, we bow.  When we start class, we bow and when we engage a partner, we bow.  Aside from exercising our hip joints, what is the …

Testing Children in Martial Arts

Some questions came up with the recent children’s tests that I thought should be addressed for everyone.  The questions are along the lines of “If a child is being lazy because they think they can get away with it, how/when do we ‘get tough’ on them.  How come children never seem to fail their tests?  …

Aikido and Self Defense – How to Acquire the Skill

All martial arts talk about self defense benefits, yet they can be very elusive.  Some people offer self defense classes where you learn a couple of techniques in a day and go off certified as equipped to handle yourself if someone out there really attacks you.  Chances are the student will become overconfident in their …

Back on Track…Targeting the Source of the Problem

This entry continues to lay the foundation for how Aikido training works, and we will begin to go into the actual training itself next. So the first step in determining how to find happiness through Aikido training is to figure out the source of the problem.  An inspection of the simple sentence, “I wish happiness,” …

Inter-Religious Disharmony – The Path to Peace

Our dojo is a pluralistic organization in the midst of a pluralistic society.  By pluralistic, I don’t just mean open to rich and poor alike, but people of all different religious beliefs, or none at all.  On the surface, it may appear that there are conflicts between the various religions based upon their doctrines and …