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The origin and purpose of solo practice in Aikido

Written on 20 August 2014 by Guillaume Erard

The origin and purpose of solo practice in Aikido

In my previous article, I discussed the fact that we, as aikidoka, we spend most of our time practicing with a partner within the framework of katageiko.[1] One...

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Aikido Articles

Katageiko : A necessary cooperation between uke and tori

Written on 25 July 2014 by Guillaume Erard

Katageiko : A necessary cooperation between uke and tori

While some martial arts emphasize the solitary development of both form and physical qualities, respectively through the practice of kata and suburi, aikido is practiced almost exclusively with a part...

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Biography of Kisshomaru Ueshiba, Second Doshu of Aikido

Written on 17 April 2014 by Guillaume Erard

Biography of Kisshomaru Ueshiba, Second Doshu of Aikido

When reading an article or a definition about aikido, one obviously finds a great deal of information about its founder, Ueshiba Morihei. Many of our teachers often look up to this man they never met ...

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It Aint Necessarily So: Rendez-vous with Adventure

Written on 21 November 2013 by Ellis Amdur

It Aint Necessarily So: Rendez-vous with Adventure

I trained for a short time at the Kodokan, and then, for several years, with Tokaidai Sagami high school’s judō team. Tokai Daigaku, a huge complex of university campuses was the pre-eminent judō powe...

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It Aint Necessarily So: Banquo’s Ghost

Written on 02 November 2013 by Ellis Amdur

It Aint Necessarily So: Banquo’s Ghost

Where do myths begin? Do they start with the truth, inflated beyond its origins? Jungian psychologists assert that myths reflect primordial patterns within the unconscious — our minds can only perceiv...

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Biography of André Nocquet, the first foreign live-in student (uchi deshi) of Morihei Ueshiba

Written on 01 February 2013 by Guillaume Erard

Biography of André Nocquet, the first foreign live-in student (uchi deshi) of Morihei Ueshiba

André Nocquet was a man of both sword and pen. A former resistance fighter and a pioneer of martial arts, he was one of the first foreign students of Morihei Ueshiba and the very first to have lived u...

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No, the world is not becoming a more violent place so what are you getting out of Aikido?

Written on 05 December 2012 by Guillaume Erard

No, the world is not becoming a more violent place so what are you getting out of Aikido?

I have expressed several times the fact that I believe that Budo have less to do with warmongering and personal defense than with physical and mental education, and that those who mainly seek martial ...

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Rare photographs of O Sensei practicing in Western clothes

Written on 03 December 2012 by Eric Grousilliat

Rare photographs of O Sensei practicing in Western clothes

I have recently become aware of an ensemble of pictures that were published in Shin Budo magazine along with some technical directions. What is truly remarkable about this set is that it presents a ra...

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The nescessity of pain for progressing in Aikido

Written on 20 November 2012 by Philippe Gouttard

The nescessity of pain for progressing in Aikido

This sensation that we call pain in Aikido is something that has always been a source of intellectual interest to me. Indeed, why are putting ourselves through that suffering? Why do we spend hours fa...

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Focusing on the moments between techniques

Written on 15 November 2012 by Philippe Gouttard

Focusing on the moments between techniques

The term "between techniques", is for me is a great help to understand what aikido is about. In spite of the fact that the general level of our art has improved a lot technically thanks to the increas...

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Understanding the Masters

Written on 04 October 2012 by Philippe Gouttard

Understanding the Masters

For the past three decades, I have been returning to Tokyo every year order to train with the masters of the Hombu Dojo, and every time I feel the same joy, even though my expectations are not always ...

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Biography of Christian Tissier Shihan, 7th Dan Aikikai

Written on 03 August 2012 by Guillaume Erard

Biography of Christian Tissier Shihan, 7th Dan Aikikai

Christian Tissier Shihan is by far one of the most well known Aikido Instructors in the world. This can be explained by his start at an early age, his remarkable curriculum, his charisma, and his seem...

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Teacher’s technique… student’s techniques

Written on 30 August 2011 by Philippe Gouttard

Teacher’s technique… student’s techniques

I first thought of writing something on this theme after realizing that contrary to what I thought initially, there were some interesting differences in the way my techniques were performed and intend...

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The traveling Aikidoka's guide to practice at the Aikikai Hombu Dojo

Written on 30 June 2011 by Guillaume Erard

The traveling Aikidoka's guide to practice at the Aikikai Hombu Dojo

I often receive emails from people seeking information about practising at the Hombu Dojo. Unfortunately, I don't always have as much time as I would like in order to answer each of them properly so I...

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Why Budo are not supposed to work in a real fight

Written on 01 September 2010 by Guillaume Erard

Why Budo are not supposed to work in a real fight

Please accept my apologies for the voluntarily provocative title but I think that it sums up well what a little research on the word Budo can teach you. The word Budo is now ubiquitous in the popular ...

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The necessity of a thorough warm-up in Aikido

Written on 10 August 2010 by Philippe Gouttard

The necessity of a thorough warm-up in Aikido

It seems important to me to give some thought to this important part of the practice in order to insure an injury and a frustration-free practice. What first comes to my mind is this: if we were to pr...

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The reasons for the success of Japanese martial arts in the west

Written on 04 May 2009 by Guillaume Erard

The reasons for the success of Japanese martial arts in the west

It is almost impossible today to imagine a society devoid of any reference to Japanese martial arts. If you look close enough, you can realize that these are ubiquitous in the popular imagery and its ...

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Practice at the Aikikai Hombu Dojo with Philippe Gouttard

Written on 10 August 2008 by Guillaume Erard

Practice at the Aikikai Hombu Dojo with Philippe Gouttard

Today, I would like to share a moment that too few of us Aikidoka get the opportunity to experience. I am talking about practicing with your teacher in the conditions where he is a "normal" student. I...

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Defense against a knife attack: the principles of an efficient response

Written on 17 July 2008 by Bruce Dugardin

Defense against a knife attack: the principles of an efficient response

Of all types of violent attacks, knife attacks are some of the most ubiquitous. In Britain alone, the year 2007 saw 277 fatal knife attacks recorded by the Police and the number of injuries is just st...

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The necessity of critical thinking in Aikido

Written on 29 March 2008 by Guillaume Erard

The necessity of critical thinking in Aikido

As a scientist, I have often encountered Aikido teachers who considered the epistemological approach as an aberration in the study of an oriental martial art, sometimes even like an insult directed to...

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Understanding Aikido

Written on 10 February 2008 by Olivier Gaurin

Understanding Aikido

Olivier Gaurin is a scholar of Aikido, author of several books on Aikido[1],[6],[9] as well as fictions set in medieval Japan[7],[8],[2],[3] and historical accounts[5],[4]. Concerned about a drift of ...

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Chris Crudelli meets Kuroda Tetsuzan Sensei at the Shinbunkan

Written on 15 August 2007 by Guillaume Erard

Chris Crudelli meets Kuroda Tetsuzan Sensei at the Shinbunkan

I have never met an unpleasant practitioner or teacher of Aikido, have you? I am sure they must exist, certainly, but I have never met one. And when I look back at all the wonderful Aikido masters I h...

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Yin and Yang in motion by Henry Kono

Written on 12 April 2007 by Henry Kono

Yin and Yang in motion by Henry Kono

If I had started learning Aikido in my own country and had kept on practicing like that for 40 years, none of what I am about to say would have come about. It is only because I could observe O Sensei ...

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The Liberating Touch

Written on 10 February 2006 by Philippe Gouttard

The Liberating Touch

With more than twenty trips to Japan and an exceptional experience with many prestigious and respected Masters, Philippe Gouttard is one of the most sought after technicians for his very personal insi...

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Aikido - Unification of body and spirit

Written on 01 March 1995 by André Nocquet

Aikido - Unification of body and spirit

In Occident, we are the children of Descartes. We cultivate intelligence but our body is sick, it is the victim of blockages and tensions. Hence, we understand a lot of things with our brains, we elab...

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The heart against the sword

Written on 30 November 1991 by André Nocquet

The heart against the sword

Extend your heart rather than your sword. This injunction of the Japanese Grandmaster Morihei Ueshiba, the founder of Aikido, is incontestably relevant for men and women of the entire world. It is urg...

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Principles and Techniques of Aikido

Written on 01 September 1991 by André Nocquet

Principles and Techniques of Aikido

Our mental representation of a man attacking or defending is a visual process based on the conception that we have of the human body when it is resting but this static vision is fundamentally flawed. ...

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Reflecting on the teaching of Aikido

Written on 23 November 1987 by André Nocquet

Reflecting on the teaching of Aikido

Aikido is more of an art than a sport: it solicits the mind more than the body. Those who want to teach this art have two ways at their disposal to do so: through words and through demonstration. But ...

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The strength of the Japanese spirit

Written on 26 June 1987 by André Nocquet

The strength of the Japanese spirit

The emperor of Japan Hirohito died at age 87. The destiny of this man raises many questions and the numerous books (more than 150) that were dedicated to him still have not fully explained this myster...

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The richness of our differences

Written on 13 November 1985 by André Nocquet

The richness of our differences

At a time when the ministry of Youth and Sports wishes to reunify French Aikido, the Doshu's response to a question made during an interview in Tokyo is an invitation to accept and recognize as "partn...

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