The Essence of Yamada Sensei

The Essence of Yamada Sensei is a short film of Yamada Sensei teaching at the 2013 USAF Winter Camp, November 8-9-10 in Fort Lauderdale, FL.  Filmed/Edited/Produced by Jonathan Weiner, 3rd Dan, Fukushidoin of Aikido of Charlotte.  To view, click here

To view similar videos produced by Jonathan Weiner,  click here

Aikido Video Montage – Jonathan Weiner

I wanted to share a short reel of some of the video projects I’ve had the opportunity to produce in the USAF. If you’re looking to add high quality video for your dojo website, feel free to reach out to me. I’m happy to offer free consultation.

Click here to view video

Jonathan Weiner, Dojo Cho, Aikido of Charlotte, 704.931.8751

AIKI TREND XMAS

Aiki Trend was launched in 2010 by Aikido lovers who admire the beauty of the art of Aikido. Aiki Trend wants to transmit this beauty in an innovative but classy way, offering our fellow Aikidoka and friends an elegant way to express their passion for this art or its significance. Aiki Trends’ objective is to transmit beauty within the refinement of its pieces. Our pieces are generally inspired by the movements of circularity which are a fundamental part of this fascinating art. Aiki Trend’s jewelry is inspired in the basic concepts of Aikido: an art that promotes peace, love and harmony. It is made with top of the quality Peruvian silver in 925/950 purity. Aiki Trend has just launched its new collection, with many new products lined up for you this coming year 2013. Please come and visit our page @ www.aikitrend.com this holiday season!

HAPPY HOLIDAYS

 

 

Combat Related Post Traumatic Stress Disorder: A Holistic Approach

Combat Related Post Traumatic Stress Disorder: A Holistic Approach is a book for:

…therapists, psychologists, psychiatrists, counselors and others interested in a more effective, more holistic approach to PTSD,

…Aikido senseis, practitioners and dojos wanting to offer a valuable contribution to veterans with combat-related PTSD,

…veterans support programs open to expanding their options to include the kinesthetic therapeutic learning inherent in the practice of Aikido,

…veterans looking for a martial art that will enable them to redirect the energy of their anger and fear to constructive use.

The book presents an analysis of the disorder, an indication of what the statistics imply, a description of the power of Aikido as a kinesthetic therapy, and a one-year case history.

The book is based on forty-three years practicing and attempting to live Aikido; my personal experience, including 8 years in the Army [6 years Special Forces- 24 months Viet Nam]; my work with veterans with Combat Related Post Traumatic Stress Disorder [CRPTSD] and disadvantaged inner city youth; and research done during my MEd and EdD work and in writing this book. I found myself writing in three different voices. I started with the intention of enabling those who teach Aikido to bring the art to other veterans with CRPTSD by expanding on the blog of my first year’s experience teaching Aikido in a program for vets with CRPTSD. As I wrote and researched, the book rapidly morphed into an attempt to clarify why I believe Aikido has a place in treatment programs for vets with CRPTSD. Now, it has become a proposal that the best overall modality for working with CRPTSD is a holistic approach offering a smorgasbord of treatment options, including the kinesthetic therapeutic learning inherent in the practice of Aikido.

Teaching veterans with CRPTSD presents a very unique set of issues.  These can include one or a combination of fear of being touched, deep depression, avoidance of physical closeness, great inwardly-directed anger, a constant internal state of war, fear of harming others combined with violent, combat responses to perceived threats and actual physical disabilities.  I realized very soon that I had to modify and adapt how I was teaching.  But, to give these vets what they needed on a therapeutic level, I would also have to adapt what I was teaching.  To do this, without losing or diminishing the essence of Aikido, I was forced to define exactly what that essence was, what was my Aikido.

This involved some deep introspection, and, since Aikido is so much a part of my “self” and since I’m not a very deep thinker, it was often quite painful.  I had to work at defining who I really was, and what appeared was not always the kindly, honest, humanistic, Taoist, suave and debonaire person I liked to consider my self.  If you want to learn what I came to consider the essence of my Aikido, and how I learned to bring it to vets with CRPTSD, I recommend you read the book.

I will tell you that the path I found came through considering the concepts of ki and kokyu, and the differences in nage and tori, [and whether we have to throw people away] both on the mat and in my life. And, as happens if we continue along most life paths, the route shifted and changed, new vistas opened, new challenges arose.  What I saw from the top of a mountain, was more mountains. Beautiful! Scary!

 

You can see more details on the book at www.keganinnosehshi.org.

You can order it from the publisher at www.levellerspress.com/newreleases/newreleases.htm,

and from Amazon at www.amazon.com/Combat-Related-Traumatic-Stress-Disorder/dp/193714609X.

The book will also be on the raffle display at summer camp.

My email is osborn.td@gmail.com.

 

Tom Osborn

Aikido of Northampton

USAF Summer Camp 2012 DVD is now available for purchase!

The 2012 Summer Camp DVD is now available for purchase. This DVD captures the teachings of Yamada Shihan and Osawa Shihan, the Technical Committee members and the many shidoin who helped provide an action-packed schedule of daily classes. From on the mat in the dojo, to weapons classes outside under the pavilion, the extraordinary flavor of this camp is now available for all to share.

To purchase a copy of this collectible, please visit this link on Aikido de La Montagne’s website.

A special thanks to the outstanding camerman, Luc Tremblay, and his team, and to Claude Berthiaume Shihan and Aikido de la Montagne who organized, supervised, and assisted on all levels to help make this happen.

A short preview can be viewed here.

Harmonizing Your Online Dojo Presence

Photography Made Simple!

 

 

Aikido of Charlotte

Harmonizing your online dojo pressence!

I’ve been fortunate to utilize my other media and production firms creativity, video equipment and social networking skills to my dojo’s advantage. Website development, HD Video Production and creating content doesn’t have to cost thousands of dollars anymore.

The components of a solid online marketing brand for your dojo consist of
:

  • A Contemporary looking website that is interactive
  • Creating content that is original and sets your dojo apart
  • Videos are a must. YouTube is the #2 Search Engine behind Google.
  • Graphics matter. Pages of text aren’t read anymore.

I’ve had the opportunity with work with several Dojo Cho & Chief Instructors in this capacity in the USAF and I believe in giving back. Feel free to contact me if you’d like a consult on your dojo website, how to invest in the right online tools to drive more traffic to your site, and ways your potential students can learn more about your dojo in new and creative ways.

“He helped me not only to achieve my vision of what I wanted to convey to the public about our Aikido school, but he helped me improve on sharing that vision to the public. He helped me to broaden my skills and was available to work with me when I got stuck.” - Jesse Kaufmann, Adminstrator, Open Sky Aikika

Websites

In addition to being able to radio interview several high ranking USAF Technical Committee Members and Board Members, I had the opportunity twice to work with Peter & Penny Bernath at Winter Camp on original video content. Special Thanks to Yamada Sensei, USAF Technical Committee and Penny Bernath of Florida Aikikai.

Video Work for Florida Aikika at Winter Camp

Video

Video

“I highly recommend Jonathan for his excellent video work and total commitment to Aikido!”

-Andy Demko, 7th Dan, Shihan, USAF Technical Committee

“He has added another dimension to advertising Aikido by using his creative video experience. Jonathan produces an exciting short story using captivating clips, editing, and music. Jonathan’s work is exceptional and we appreciate his talents!”

-Penny Bernath, 6th Dan, Shidoin, USAF Board of Directors, Florida Aikikai

Questions? E-mail me:

jonathan@aikidoofcharlotte.com

 

Who is Jonathan Weiner?

Jonathan Weiner is the CEO of Mez Media, Inc. a full service online marketing and advertising agency servicing clients globally. He specializes in HD Video Production, Website Design & Development, Online Radio Podcasting, Email Marketing, Social Media & more. He is the Dojo Cho of Aikido of Charlotte and is currently ranked Sandan and is a Fukushidoin in the USAF.

Facebook

 

Permeating the Core

“True budo [martial arts] is the loving protection of all beings with a spirit of reconciliation. Reconciliation means to allow the completion of everyone’s mission.” Morihei Ueshiba

From Aikido by Kisshomaru Ueshiba

In the fall of 1978 I was living in Santa Fe, New Mexico where the aspen in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains were beginning their magnificent dance of flaming gold. I was teaching at The University of New Mexico in Albuquerque and during a faculty meet-and-greet, Aikido slipped softly into my consciousness.
A small group of faculty was chatting up a visiting Manhattan artist, Harmony Hammond. As I approached the group I heard her say that she practices a martial art called Aikido.

“What’s that?” I asked, never having heard of it.

She turned to me, her eyes alight; she became animated, almost zealous, I thought, as she described Aikido.

“Why don’t you come to the dojo where I’m practicing and see for yourself?”

Curious about the art and wondering if she were a devotee or a fanatic I went with her to the tiny space and sat where visitors watched. As I waited for class to begin the Aikidoists emerged from the dressing rooms in samurai outfits, bowed, stepped on the mat and silently rolled around the dojo! I want my body to do that flooded my cells. Aikido flowed gently into my being.

In the summer of 1979 I moved to Manhattan and almost immediately found myself walking up the narrow stairs of New York Aikikai to sign up. I knew nothing about the philosophy of Aikido or about O-Sensei; only that I wanted my body to do that. I had no idea I was signing up for life.

Now I look at O’Sensei’s words and wonder what he meant. The completion of everyone’s mission suggests something beyond the physical practice of Aikido in a dojo. Do we have a mission specifically in our Aikido practice to protect one another and to allow each other to develop their own path in Aikido and have another mission as well?

True martial arts is the loving protection of all beings. That sounds very shamanic and again suggests Aikido practice expands far beyond the dojo. As if the mat and Aikido practice is a metaphor for one of our missions in life.

I used to think that everyone had the same mission in Aikido—to practice in a prescribed way, trying to attain the same goals. Then I realized that people are on the mat for many different reasons. To get out of the house, to meet people, to feel happy, to not think, to take up time, to feel a part of a community, to build muscles, to lose weight, to build confidence, to have a place to take a shower, to wear a uniform, to look like everyone else, to learn self-defense. An endless list. We’re on the mat for different reasons, making for great personal diversity in everyone’s relationship to practice. Completing our missions?

Is O’Sensei saying that the essence of budo is expanding our mental, emotional, physical embrace of every living being? That the physical practice of Aikido can lead us to this metaphysical reality?

The memory of a New York Aikikai morning class flashes in my mind. Steve Pimsler was demonstrating, encouraging nages to throw uke with open palms.

“To hold on is human,” he said holding on to uke. “To let go is divine,” which he did and uke went flying. My mind cracked open. I laughed and let go.

I’m amazed that I’ve moved from knowing nothing about Aikido and not being interested in anything except the physical practice, to contemplating O’Sensei’s words and to noticing its manifestations in my life. Aikido has soaked into my core.

And here, as journalists would say, I’ve buried the lead. I began writing this article with the intention of announcing the publication of my new speculative fiction novel, The Power of Indigo, whose epigraph is the O-Sensei quote.

The novel is a surprising example of Aikido’s vibrant life inside me. When I began writing the novel I didn’t have Aikido in my mind. Only after I finished the novel did I realize that I had Leila, an Aikidoka protagonist, and that she and the other characters in the future world were illustrating O’Sensei’s words—revealing their missions. How uncanny is that? Is that random or beshert? Or, Aikido is the rain that soaks into our beings generating blossoms?

The cover of the novel is smashing. One of Harvey Konigsberg’s paintings.

Whether or not you read, I urge you to take a crack at it. Expand your consciousness; move into a future with a strange Aikidoka at your own risk.

You can see more details at the dedicated website, www.alesiakunz.com.

You can order it from Barnes and Noble, Amazon, Dog Ear Publishing, and your local bookstore. The Power of Indigo will be on the raffle display at summer camp.

Rolling around at San Francisco Aikikai.

Alesia Kunz

Aikido Express Announces First App

Aikido Express is happy to announce that their first app for iPhone, iPad, and iPod has recently gone on sale in the Apple App Store.
It can be found from a web browser at:
http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/yamada-sensei/id488772972?mt=8
or you can simply search “Yamada Sensei” in the app store or on iTunes.

This app is a great introduction to the Aikido of Yoshimitsu Yamada Sensei, 8th Dan, Shihan, Chief Instructor of New York Aikikai and President of the United States Aikido Federation. The app includes video clips from Yamada Sensei’s famous instructional DVD series “Aikido: The Power and the Basics”, ten advanced techniques displayed in our unique MOTION ANALYSIS “scrubby” tool, and a detailed biography of Yamada Sensei’s life including pictures from his childhood through the present time.
The video clips will be especially valuable to beginners who seek to learn clear fundamentals and important technical details from one of the most influential Aikido instructors in the world. Advanced students will appreciate the motion analysis clips where they can study the finest details of Yamada Sensei’s movements and apply these refinements to their own technique.
For full length videos and dvds by Yamada Sensei and other Aikido Shihan, as well as Doyu uniforms and other great Aikido resources, please visit us at www.aikidoexpress.com

Aiki Trend Offers Hand Made Jewelry

Aiki Trend is a new brand that hopes to share the beauty of Aikido in an innovative way, offering our fellow practitioners a tasteful and elegant way of expressing their love for this art. Our hand made and refined jewelry aims at capturing the essence of Aikido and our passion for this practice. We wish to transmit the beauty of Aikido through our creations made by skillful craftsmen that work with the world’s finest metals. We are proud to say that all of our products are carefully hand-crafted and polished by artisans that combine precious metals with natural elements such as: the Andean opal, the Peruvian turquoise, red coral and tiger’s eye amongst others. Each one of our designs is created for a one-of-a-kind look, which is why all of our models are made in limited editions.  A new Iaido collection is available as well!

Great for gifts, you can order directly on the Aiki Trend website which is now in French and Spanish. Tell your friends about us!

New Category Added to Newsletter

An exciting new category has just been added to this USAF news site.  ”USAF Member Aikido Related Goods and Services” will display a short comment from our members about aikido items or related services that they provide, along with a link for further information.  This added benefit to our members will help promote their business, inviting the readers of this newsletter to visit their websites or contact them by email  Our first listing regarding Yamada Sensei’s new DVD has just been posted.