Historical photo: Koichi Tohei, 10th dan, escapes from bear hug of huge American soldier by Stanley Pranin

“Koichi Tohei was the only person to be officially awarded the 10th dan by Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba.” This is a rare photo of Koichi Tohei Sensei, 10th dan, teaching a group of military personnel in Hawaii. Here he seems perfectly at ease even while a large American applies a powerful bear hug from behind. […]

An Overview of Aikido History, by Stanley Pranin

“Morihei immersed himself in intensive training and prayer in an effort to further perfect a martial art dedicated to achieving the peaceful resolution of conflict.” It is difficult to appreciate the uniqueness of modern aikido without an understanding of its extraordinary founder, Morihei Ueshiba. This innovative man presents a challenge to historians not simply because […]

Interview with Masatake Fujita by Stanley Pranin

“O-Sensei didn’t actually ‘write’ the Dobun himself; rather, they were based on some of the talks he gave.” by Stanley Pranin Aikido Journal #120 (2000) Masatake Fujita, 8th dan Aikikai shihan, was born April 21, 1937 in Shinkyo (present-day Changchun) in Japanese-occupied Manchuria. He repatriated to Sapporo, Hokkaido in 1948. Fujita enrolled in Takushoku University […]

Morihei in Tanabe by Stanley Pranin

“Unlike other periods in the life of Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba, his early years in Tanabe and family circumstances are not well documented.” Introduction Historians, like scientists, are fond of coming up with theories. The scientist forms a hypothesis based on previous studies and his own observations and then proceeds to see how well his […]

Yukiyoshi Sagawa: Daito-ryu Master by Kiyokazu Maebayashi

Aiki News #84 (Spring 1990) “… I felt instinctively that I had finally encountered a true martial artist for the first and probably last time and knew immediately what I must do…” “What was even more mysterious was that in the beginning, I didn’t even notice that my balance had been broken because I didn’t […]

Autobiographical article (2): Koichi Tohei–Training in Japan by Stanley Pranin

“I felt poorly prepared for the fast pace of training and the variety of styles where the same techniques were executed in fundamentally different ways.” This article is the second in a series of four autobiographical articles by Aiki News Editor-in-chief Stanley Pranin and was first published in 1990 in Wushu, a Japanese-language magazine dealing […]

Historical photos: Morihei Ueshiba O-Sensei warmups, February 1969

Recently, we uploaded a rare photograph of Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba that was taken in February 1969 at the Aikikai Hombu Dojo in Tokyo. This was only a few weeks before his passing on April 26. The photo was shot by Jean Greslé, a French pilot for Air France who was visiting Tokyo at the […]

Satsujinken and Katsujinken, by Dane S. Harden

“Sometimes the movies get it right…” “Go seek balance Daniel-san”…these were the words Miyagi Sensei spoke to his pupil at a time in Daniel’s life when he needed help. All of us face challenging times in our lives. Those times require fortitude, discipline, persistence, bravery, and a balanced approach in order to properly address our […]

Interview with Koichi Tohei (1), by Stanley Pranin

“I began studying aikido because I saw that Ueshiba Sensei had truly mastered the art of relaxing. It was because he was relaxed, in fact, that he could generate so much power.” Aikido has grown explosively since World War II. Koichi Tohei, a distinguished contributor to this development, is perhaps one of those most qualified […]

Magazine: Aikido Journal Number 102, 1995

“Even if you cut off my head, it has no more effect than stroking the spring breeze that whispers now across these fields.” Aikido Journal Number 102, 1995 Contents      ● Editorial – Can competition enhance O-Sensei’s Aikido?, by Stanley Pranin      ● Letters to the Editor      ● Interview with Kazuo Chiba, by Stanley Pranin      ● Improvisations, […]