Historical films of Morihei Ueshiba excerpted from the "Founder's Course"
How precisely did O-Sensei manipulate uke to control the technique from beginning to end?
One of the characteristics of Morihei Ueshiba's technique is his unique ability to seize the initiative from the start of the encounter. In other words, it is Morihei's action as nage that triggers uke to react. The result is that uke's response is weak and cannot really be considered an attack at all.
The issue of weapons practice and its role or lack thereof at the Aikikai Hombu Dojo is an often discussed subject. It is doubtful that there will ever be any general agreement about whether weapons should be a part of the aikido curriculum. Most practitioners' thinking will be determined by the opinion of their teacher and the policies of their ranking organization.
So setting aside the matter of what you choose to do personally, let's gain some insight into what role weapons played in the practice of the Founder Morihei Ueshiba. Take a look at this clip excerpted from one of the films in our Founder's Course.
The weapon clips we have just seen reflect the loosely structured forms that Morihiro Saito Sensei learned from the Founder during their years of intensive practice in Iwama. Saito Sensei later codified this material into an elaborate weapons system that has come to be known as the "Aiki Ken and Jo".
The Founder's Course contains a huge collection of historical films of Morihei Ueshiba, most of that which has survived in fact. Some of the content are professional films of excellent quality, others are old and grainy home movies. All of them are among our treasures as aikidoka.
They may seem old, but they are VERY contemporary. Mining these old films is something akin to an archeological dig where you unexpectedly make a major discovery that completely revolutionizes your thinking. Watch and apply what you find to your own training. The creator of aikido is your guide...
Morihei Ueshiba's profound words on warfare: "Killing becomes a meritorious deed!"
O-Sensei sometimes uttered the most lucid and profound words as the audio clip we will play for you demonstrates. For example, the Founder was dead set against competition being introduced into aikido. Here from a surviving interview is his reasoning expressed in concise terms...
From 1942 to 1955, Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba spent most of his time in his country home with attached dojo in Iwama, Ibaragi Preference. During and immediately after the war, he had for the first time in years the opportunity to devote himself to personal training and meditation. It was in this isolated village, far from the hustle and bustle of Tokyo, that Morihei formulated the concept of "Takemusu Aiki". This was an expression an ideal of the highest level of aikido where techniques perfectly suited to the situation are born spontaneously. In these highlights from films from this era, you will see the Founder's aikido at its finest.
Morihei Ueshiba: "Iriminage" - Aikido's Jewel and How You Can Make It Work!
Aikido Journal Editor Stanley Pranin describes the origin and execution of Aikido's iriminage technique as conceived by Founder Morihei Ueshiba. He explains how this essential technique has its origins in prewar Japan and was further refined in Iwama after World War II.
MORIHEI UESHIBA -- THE FOUNDER'S COURSE!
If you are like most aikido practitioners today, you know very little about the man who created the art. It is also likely to be true that you are not acquainted with the Founder's incredible martial arts skills. How is it that the Founder of Aikido -- arguably its most talented exponent -- has had so little influence on modern students of aikido? That's about to change.
This unparalleled collection of films and videos featuring Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba will completely change your perspective on the art and the man who conceived it. Regardless of the style of aikido you practice, you owe it to yourself to study O-Sensei's dynamic execution of techniques that remains unsurpassed and a model for all practitioners.
Morihei Ueshiba, the Founder of Aikido, had a storied career in martial arts that lasted more than 60 years. He lived in epic times having seen action in the Russo-Japanese War (1904-1905) and participated in the training of young soldiers bound for the battlefield in the World War II era. These intense experiences together with the devastation suffered in the wake of Japan's defeat shaped his thinking about the true purpose of fighting arts. Morihei began to view the martial arts as instruments of peace. It was a message of harmony and conflict resolution that he promoted in his teachings in the postwar era.
Luckily, a number of films and audio recordings of the Founder have survived. We have gathered together an extensive collection of more than 30 films and interviews with Morihei Ueshiba that will give present-day practitioners of aikido and intimate glimpse into the teachings and techniques of this great master.
We all have heard stories from Morihei Ueshiba's students that his lectures during training were mostly incomprehensible. The students hoped O-Sensei would soon finish talking so they could practice. They retained almost nothing of his talks, and so forth.
But the truth is that O-Sensei could also be lucid and profound as the audio clip we will play for you demonstrates. For example, the Founder was dead set against competition being introduced into aikido. The above interview contains excerpts from a surviving interview which convey his reasoning expressed in concise terms.
HERE'S HOW THE "FOUNDER'S COURSE" WILL BENEFIT YOU!
1. If you were seeking hints on how to improve your aikido, to make your techniques more effective, where would you look for help?
I don't know about you, but one of my first choices would be the Founder of Aikido, Morihei Ueshiba, who is generally considered to be the finest exponent of the art ever. You might ask what you can learn from the surviving films of Morihei Ueshiba, most of which are old black and white films of varying quality. Well, I've probably watched these precious films more than any other person alive. Without hesitation, I can say that the accumulative effect of watching these many films and listening to O-Sensei's actual interviews repeatedly is extremely powerful!
2. What specifically can I learn from Morihei Ueshiba that will make my aikido better?
Let me give you just a couple of examples. Do you wait for your training partner to attack you before making your first move? Well, most of the time the Founder did the opposite: he moved first. He was in such control of his opponents that the attacks Morihei was dealing with often seem tentative and weak. In other words, he was the initiator triggering the attacks of his opponents which left them in a disadvantageous position. The rest was easy.
To give just one more example, watch the videos clips of O-Sensei we have been publishing all this week. You will see that O-Sensei is relaxed when executing techniques. Most of us don't know how to relax when confronted with an attack. On the contrary, we tense up! Recall that Koichi Tohei was so impressed after carefully observing the Founder's aikido that he stated, "The main thing I wanted to learn from O-Sensei was how to relax!" In the Founder's course, you will closely observe Morihei's movements that will reveal how he stayed relaxed and produced such remarkable results against skilled opponents. You can learn to do this too once you recognize what to look for.
3. O-Sensei makes everything look so easy. How can I learn to do techniques that way by watching old films?
The short answer is you can't. You will first need to understand what is going on by paying close attention to O-Sensei's body language, positioning and execution of techniques. Then, you need to digest this information and spend time on the mat putting these principles to work for your benefit. Watching how Morihei Ueshiba moves so effortlessly and totally dominates his opponents should inspire you to take your art to the next level. If O-Sensei is capable of achieving such results, you too can benefit from his 70 years of training experience and achieve rapid improvement by following his example. Morihei stands as proof of what is possible!
4. I have heard that O-Sensei's life was full of adventure and encounters with all sorts of martial artists and unusual people. Will I learn something about his background and the development of the aikido too?
Yes, definitely. In addition to all of the marvelous demonstrations and interviews, there are six documentary videos by Aikido Journal Editor Stanley Pranin that cover all of the major phases of the Founder's life.
5. So, exactly what does the course consist of and how will I be able to view these videos?
You will have an account created on your behalf at Aikido Journal where you can freely view 38 videos consisting of fascinating demonstrations covering a 34-year period, film documentaries, audio recordings, and historical commentary from Aikido Journal Stanley Pranin. All of these videos are mobile friendly, plus you have the option of downloading individual modules to any of your computing devices. Watch the video content in the comfort of your home, at the dojo, or on the go. It's up to you...
Actual screenshots from the Founder's Course videos...
HERE'S HOW TO ORDER
This is your opportunity to gain permanent access to the most extensive collection of video footage of Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba ever compiled at the price of $59.
Click below to order Morihei Ueshiba -- The Founder's Course today!
"Morihei Ueshiba -- The Founder's Course" consisting of 38 modules featuring O-Sensei is priced at $59.
After you place your order, you will be re-directed to the page where you can log in to access the content of Morihei Ueshiba -- The Founder's Course. In addition, full instructions will be sent to you by email together with an acknowledgement of your purchase.
If you have any questions at all, feel free to contact us by email or telephone +1-702-448-6962.
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Yours in Aiki,