I Train Ergo I Am! Or Not?

by SIMONE CHIERCHINI - Often, too often, we hear calls to practice Aikido at all times, 168 hours a week, in the morning and in the evening, at night, on Christmas day, on Workers Day, during your wedding and honeymoon, when pregnant, with broken bones, on the evening of your partner's birthday... Beyond the obvious and necessary bi-three-weekly commitment, are we really sure that an average developed human being does not also need other and different sources of inspiration for his/her own psychophysical and socio-cultural well-being?

Salvatore Mergé, the First Westerner Student of Morihei Ueshiba

by SIMONE CHIERCHINI - At least 15 years before the French André Nocquet, another westerner had been accepted into Morihei Ueshiba's Kobukan Dojo in Ushigome. He was the multifaceted and mysterious Salvatore Mergé, an esotericist, orientalist, painter and Italian diplomat on a mission as cultural attaché at the Embassy of Italy in Tokyo from 1937 to 1943. In all likelihood Mergé was also the first to teach Aikido outside of Japan starting from 1947, when he gave lessons of the art of Ueshiba, then completely unknown, to a select few in the city of Rome, making Italy the first foreign country ever to know Aikido

Salvatore Mergé, il Primo Occidentale alla Corte di Ueshiba

di SIMONE CHIERCHINI - Almeno 15 anni prima del francese André Nocquet, un altro occidentale era stato accettato nell'allora Kobukan Dojo di Morihei Ueshiba a Ushigome. Era il poliedrico e misterioso Salvatore Mergé, esoterista, orientalista, pittore e diplomatico italiano in missione come addetto culturale presso l'Ambasciata d'Italia a Tokyo dal 1937 al 1943. Con ogni probabilità Mergé fu anche il primo a insegnare Aikido fuori dal Giappone a partire dal 1947, quando diede lezioni dell'arte di Ueshiba, allora del tutto sconosciuta, a pochi selezionati nella città di Roma, facendo dell'Italia il primo paese straniero in assoluto a conoscere l'Aikido

What Is Aikido For Today?

by SIMONE CHIERCHINI - Ever since I started practising martial arts, I keep hearing the same discussions about their ultimate goals, and the most bitter quarrels always happen on the subject of Aikido. I'd like to contribute some suggestions on the topic, reflecting on and elaborating a couple of distinguished and well-centred opinions

Ueshiba’s Martial Arts Career Before Aikido Was Born

by SIMONE CHIERCHINI - If we were to believe a priori to the websites of various Aikido organizations around the world, O'Sensei Morihei Ueshiba would have studied "different martial arts during his lifetime" and received "certificates of mastery in different styles of jujitsu, fencing and combat spear "and so on. Are we sure that this is true? Or is it the umpteenth post-mortem fabrication?

La Carriera di Ueshiba nelle Arti Marziali Prima della Nascita dell’Aikido

di SIMONE CHIERCHINI - Se dovessimo credere aprioristicamente ai siti web delle organizzazioni dell'Aikido in tutto il mondo, O'Sensei Morihei Ueshiba avrebbe studiato "diverse arti marziali durante la sua vita" e ricevuto "certificati di maestria in diversi stili di jujitsu, scherma e lancia da combattimento" e via dicendo. Siamo sicuri che sia vero? Oppure si tratta dell'ennesima fabbricazione post mortem?

The Samurai Artist – Interview with Tetsuro Shimaguchi

by SIMONE CHIERCHINI - Tetsuro Shimaguchi was born in Saitama Prefecture, Japan, and graduated from Nihon University College of Arts. After acquiring several years of experience in theatre activities, he founded a Samurai Sword Performance group called "Kengishu KAMUI", of which he is the leader. Shimaguchi defines himself as a "Samurai Artist" and pursues a style in which beauty of form, performing and martial arts are expertly blended

The Researcher – Interview with Luigi Gargiulo

by SIMONE CHIERCHINI - A life of study: from Aikido to Shiatsu, from Kototama to Waraku, Luigi Gargiulo's curiosity has always remained alive, showing a beginner's mentality that in martial arts is the best guarantee of an honest soul. After 47 years of tatami, Gargiulo sensei received the 7th Dan Aikikai and joined the Technical Direction of Aikikai d'Italia. Let's follow him along his training path of yesterday, today and tomorrow

The Samurai Artist – Intervista a Tetsuro Shimaguchi

di SIMONE CHIERCHINI - Tetsuro Shimaguchi è nato nella prefettura di Saitama, in Giappone, e si è laureato al Nihon University College of Arts. Dopo aver acquisito diversi anni di esperienza nelle attività teatrali, ha fondato un Samurai Sword Performance group chiamato "Kengishu KAMUI", di cui è il leader. Shimaguchi si definisce un "Samurai Artist" e persegue uno stile in cui bellezza di forma, recitazione e arti marziali sono sapientemente miscelati