Aikido Blogs - Sun, 07/08/2018 - 20:54

When I got to the end of the universe
I found god waiting for me
Wearing my very own face
No matter how far I travel
Or where I travel to
I find my god/me waiting

Categories: Aikido

New Aikido

Aikido Blogs - Sun, 07/01/2018 - 21:31
New Aikido

The new Aikido:

Here, please take my center.

No, I don't want your center!

No, take it, I know you want it.

No, I don't want it!

Well, I don't want yours either!

Categories: Aikido

Smooth Power

Aikido Blogs - Sun, 06/24/2018 - 00:07
Smooth Power

The gi was heavy with sweat and scent
The coarse fabric rough against my skin
Nage drew me close, very close
Irimi Nage can be can be so personal
I mentally commanded my body to relax
To relax and feel the movement
When he threw me I felt
The smooth power and the release
My ukemi was not so smooth
One of many things I need to work on

Categories: Aikido

Just Dance!

Aikido Blogs - Sat, 06/16/2018 - 22:38
Just Dance!

The whole point of dancing is the dance
No pilgrimage, no sacred journey
No ultimate destination

No end point that has to be arrived at
At a specified time
Just dance!

Categories: Aikido

Mind with Mind

Aikido Blogs - Sun, 06/10/2018 - 00:22
Mind with Mind

I try to wash my mind with mind
Forgetting I am more than thought
One more concept, piled on top of
All the other concepts permeating me
Will not set me free

I must gather up Nio energy
Adding that to my arsenal, and
Fill my body with the sword of
Wisdom and the rope of discipline
As a manifestation of Fudo-Myo-o

Only then is freedom possible

Categories: Aikido


Aikido Blogs - Tue, 06/05/2018 - 23:40

It was post-seminar
We were all sitting around the bar
People telling stories:

You should have seen him!
When he walked into the dojo
he had to bow so his head wouldn't
hit the top of the door frame!

Maybe he was just bowing cause
that's what people do when entering
any dojo
, someone pointed out

Hah, you weren't there!
Was the reply
(A very common refrain,
actually, as the night went on)

When he struck with the bokken or jyo,
we would all have to wear face protectors
cause the splinters would fly everywhere!

That created a big laugh

His wooden tanto was so sharp
it actually drew blood!

Nodding heads all around

I remember when he touched me
Another old-timer voiced, I didn't
know what happened, but I ended up
on the other side of the dojo!

Hell, when he just smiled,
we would all fall down!

Damn, those were incredible times!

All the old-timers agreed in unison

But, now, they all said, this is your
time. Looking around the table,
Now, today, is your time. All of us sitting
here tonight, this is our time together.
One day, you will be the old ones,
telling stories, telling tall tales.
But, for now, here's to the past
and a great teacher -- Kampai!

This poem was inspired by an article in Birankai Aikido News,
by Liese Klein Sensei, quoting some words spoken by George Lyons Sensei,
at a memorial seminar, on the anniversary of Chiba Sensei's death, at Brooklyn Aikikai.
Liberties with the original material were certainly taken!
Categories: Aikido

Cognard Shihan 8thDan in CA & AZ (June 2018)

Aikido News - Mon, 06/04/2018 - 23:52
Cognard Shihan 8thDan in CA & AZ (June 2018)
From: Andrea Debiasi posted on 4. Jun 2018, 10:52pm

"Kokusai Aikido Kenshukai Kobayashi Hirokazu Ryu" (KAKKHR), in cooperation with "Los Angeles Aiki Kai" & "Arizona Aikido", cordially invites you to a series of June 2018 seminars with André Cognard Shihan 8th Dan (Hanshi, Dai Nippon Butoku Kai): Los Angeles, CA (June 16-17 & 27-28), Bakersfield, CA (June 18-19), Santa Ana, CA (June 20-21), San Diego, CA (June 22-24), Irvine, CA (June 25-26), Phoenix, AZ (June 30 & July 1). All levels and affiliations are welcome. Check out the details in the dedicated Website:

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    Supreme Practice

    Aikido Blogs - Sun, 06/03/2018 - 00:52
    Supreme Practice

    Daily life is my shugyo
    My supreme practice method
    Every moment of every day
    Everything and everyone
    Becomes my dojo, my sensei
    My ultimate training hall
    Where I grapple and strive
    Engaging all in my quest
    My practiceless practice
    Showing me the way

    Categories: Aikido

    Shirakawa, Ryuji in Calgary, Alberta Sept. 21-23 2018

    Aikido News - Mon, 05/28/2018 - 15:23
    Shirakawa, Ryuji in Calgary, Alberta Sept. 21-23 2018
    From: Andrew James Barron posted on 28. May 2018, 02:23pm

    Calgary Aikikai is excited and looking forward to training with 6th Dan Ryuji Shirakawa Shihan of Sendai, Japan this September. This is the only seminar he will be conducting in North America and should not to be missed. All are welcome to come train with this dynamic and energetic Sensei. Info at :

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    Wabi-Sabi Time

    Aikido Blogs - Sat, 05/26/2018 - 04:27
    Wabi-Sabi Time

    I thought she was the most beautiful
    Creature on the whole planet
    She replied that I had wabi-sabi looks, i.e.
    Imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete
    Seeing the expression on my face
    She further said that this was a good thing
    That all inessentials had been eliminated
    All excesses trimmed and pared away
    Leaving behind only the real
    Such that it only grows stronger with time
    So I took her down off her pedestal
    And, hand in hand, walked with her
    Through transient, wabi-sabi time
    Loving each and every flawed moment
    Of our transitory time together

    Categories: Aikido


    Aikido Blogs - Sat, 05/19/2018 - 23:37

    I think big, deep thoughts
    That get me nowhere
    I think small, personal thoughts
    That just results in pain
    If I try not to think
    I drive my car into people
    So, I sit and watch TV
    I go to the movies
    I try to wash my brain clean
    Clean of any thoughts
    Like a constant flash flood
    Scouring the land of all debris
    Thoughts swept away, away
    When it works, it doesn't last
    Thoughts -- my strength, my weakness
    I sit and think
    Thinking of thoughts

    Categories: Aikido

    Shihan Ruriko Masutani Passes Away

    Aikido News - Wed, 05/16/2018 - 14:30
    Shihan Ruriko Masutani Passes Away
    From: Matthew Streiff posted on 16. May 2018, 01:30pm

    Sad news that Shihan Ruriko "June" (Masutani) Harris, of Springdale, PA, passed away on Sunday, May 13, 2018. Also known as Ruriko Masutani, June was the beloved friend of Nigel Beckford, Matt Streiff, Alan Pelton, Skip Fox, Bob Intrieri, Martin Pachol, Greg Yakich, Barbara Brandom, Will Graves, Jim Weldon; step-mother of Darla Liston and family. June was the proud founder and executive director of Aikido of Pittsburgh. Shihan Ruriko Masutani founded Aikido of Pittsburgh in 1968 after she emigrated from Japan as a Christian exchange student. Born in Himeji, Japan, Shihan Masutani began practicing Aikido as a child in the early 1950’s under the guidance of her father. After moving to the United States and finally settling in Pittsburgh, Shihan Masutani continued training and began teaching seminars up and down the east coast. She taught Aikido in Pittsburgh for over 48 years. Along the way she has made many friends and taught thousands of students. In Pittsburgh she opened dojos in East Liberty, Squirrel Hill, Fox Chapel and finally Etna. June had a special way with people, students, teachers, people on the street, nurses and caregivers… she was always known and always loved by those she touched. Her journey in life has had Aikido and martial arts threaded throughout. From her early years as part of the United States Aikido Federation (USAF) then a member of the Aikido of Ueshiba association and her later years as an independent instructor, Masutani Sensei always sought to give her students and friends the best, regardless of affiliations and associations. June was always a very independent person. Austere in many ways, she cut away frivolousness and got to the heart of training or relationships. She built a community in the Aikido and martial arts world that has a lasting legacy in those that she taught. She will be missed but will forever be remembered. Celebrate June’s life with her friends at a memorial service on Sunday June 3, 2018 at 2 PM at Aikido of Pittsburgh, 401 Butler Street, Pittsburgh PA 15223. Arrangements made by Perman Funeral Home and Cremation Services, Inc., 923 Saxonburg. In addition to the memorial service on Sunday June 3rd, the senior instructors of Aikido of Pittsburgh will hold a memorial Aikido seminar in her honor later in 2018. The burial will take place after that seminar. Please check the Aikido of Pittsburgh website,, or our Facebook page for more details on the seminar and burial date.

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    Toshiro Suga, 7th Dan, 1-3rd June 2018

    Aikido News - Wed, 05/16/2018 - 14:30
    Toshiro Suga, 7th Dan, 1-3rd June 2018
    From: Scott Reed posted on 16. May 2018, 01:30pm

    Toshiro Suga began aikido in 1968 at Hombu Dojo and moved to France in 1971. He was a senior student of Tamura Nobuyoshi Sensei and gives seminars all over the world. Please join us for his annual course in Edinburgh, Scotland!

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    Kanai Sensei Memorial Seminar - May 25-27, 2018

    Aikido News - Mon, 05/07/2018 - 09:56
    Kanai Sensei Memorial Seminar - May 25-27, 2018
    From: Andrew Manby posted on 7. May 2018, 08:56am

    Join us for the second Kanai Sensei seminar over the Memorial Day holiday weekend - an all-star lineup of senior instructors, fun activities, and affordable prices. It will have a retro feeling recalling Kanai Sensei and the early days of Aikido. Robert Zimmermann - 7th Dan, Shihan; David Farrell - 7th Dan, Shihan; David Halprin - 7th Dan, Shihan; Barbara Britton - 6th Dan, Shihan; Fiona Blyth - 5th Dan, Shidoin ... And other instructors to be announced. #KanaiSeminar2018

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    Zazen Wave

    Aikido Blogs - Sat, 04/28/2018 - 19:27
    Zazen Wave

    From a row of seated figures
    Unmoving, except for their breathing -
    Even the chanting has been silenced

    I sense a zazen wave moving through the room
    A cascade of a unity of beings and commitment
    Energized by common intent and purpose

    Categories: Aikido

    5/18-5/20/2018: Seminar with Ikeda Sensei, Nashville TN

    Aikido News - Sun, 04/08/2018 - 19:09
    5/18-5/20/2018: Seminar with Ikeda Sensei, Nashville TN
    From: Marta Crispens posted on 8. Apr 2018, 06:09pm

    30th Anniversary Seminar with Ikeda Sensei . Nashville Aikikai will be hosting a seminar to celebrate Tom and Mary McIntire Senseis' 30 years of teaching Aikido in Nashville on May 18, 19, and 20. Please join us for great training, fellowship, and cake. Seminar cost is $130 or $40 per class. There will be a taco bar dinner on Saturday night, $15 per person. Please preregister at so we can get a headcount for dinner. Payment will be accepted at the door.

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    4/28-4/29/2018: Rising Dawn Seminar in Dublin, Ireland

    Aikido News - Sun, 04/08/2018 - 19:09
    4/28-4/29/2018: Rising Dawn Seminar in Dublin, Ireland
    From: Diarmuid O'Riain posted on 8. Apr 2018, 06:09pm

    Rising Dawn Seminar 2018 will be hosted in Dublin by Dublin Tomiki Aikido. Location: Belgard Heights Youth & Community Centre, Old Belgard Road, Dublin 24, Ireland.

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    Venn Aikido

    Aikido Blogs - Sat, 04/07/2018 - 20:10
    Venn Aikido

    When I practice Aikido
    I can't help but think
    Of Venn diagrams
    (You, too, right?!)
    Of nage and uke
    Disparate circles - merging
    The set of me (nage)
    Intersecting with set (uke)
    N ∩ U -
    The overlapping regions depicting
    A set of possible outcomes
    I automatically drop down
    To Euler diagrams
    Eliminating non-relevant options
    Allowing me to choose
    A fitting technique and outcome -
    Ah, if only I were so elegant!

    Categories: Aikido

    So much to be learned

    Aikido Blogs - Tue, 04/03/2018 - 22:12
    Today is a special day. 6 years ago it was a rude awakening. No longer was there someone to hold my hand, no longer was their someone to reminded me to be kind. One of my main examples and teachers died. I miss Alan Ruddock for his wit, his kindness and his firm understanding of aikido.

    I count myself lucky to have had the opportunity to learn from several good teachers, special teachers, direct students of O'Sensei.

    They taught me so much. About aikido, about the ideas of aikido, about learning aikido. And those weren't just words, those were concepts that could be tested on the tatami.

    But what did we do? And now one of the really weird things enters the playing field. We never trained with uke resisting what was happening. To a lot of people this is a weird Idea, I know. But why is that a thing we never trained?

    Now years later I think I have maybe half the answer to that.
    We never trained that because it is pointless. Uke doesn't have the choice to resist, it never is ukes job to resist. From the first start of intention uke is locked in what is happening. There is no resistance as resistance is futile. What should you resist? Your own movement? From the beginning uke is locked in what is happening, and (and here we enter the twilight zone of weird aikimagic, as some more down to earth, real, aikido people claim) so is nage. The movement is. It is not deflected or changed, it is accepted. Hence nage is absolutely free in what he is doing as absolute freedom comes from not having a choice. Nage is the observer of the movement.

    I know this isn't real aikido, it is just make believe until someone truly attacks and lands on his head. Trust me, I have been there. Landing on your head is not something I would advise, but it is one hell of a wake-up call about what is real and what isn't.

    And now no-one is left to tell me this. I should be telling people maybe, but I don't feel the urge to swim up against the stream. Does that make me a bad aikidoka?
    Categories: Aikido

    Flowing Water

    Aikido Blogs - Sun, 04/01/2018 - 00:15
    Flowing Water

    Clouds return to where they were born
    When I catch up, I am surrounded by mist
    Till I follow the freely flowing water

    Categories: Aikido


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