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?

Katori Shinto Ryu – The Ancient Sword School, Its Divine Heritage and Its Journey to the West

by ADRIANO AMARI - In this essay we will present Tenshin Shōden Katori Shintō Ryū, a school that has lasted more than one hundred years, offering a unique model of preparation for the Japanese warrior. A national treasure of Japan, Katori Shinto Ryu occupies a unique place in the history of Budo thanks to its uninterrupted technical-pedagogical continuity

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

Aikido Yoseikan – The School That Didn’t Know Doshu

by ADRIANO AMARI - The Yōseikan school asserts that it is necessary to know the past to understand the present. We need to know where and how the techniques were produced and, in making them useful for our contemporary times, we must not lose this awareness. Minoru Mochizuki sensei believed that Aikidō after Ō Sensei excessively idealized the techniques and disconnected them from the martial content of effectiveness

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?

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

Notes on the Origin and Meaning of the Ai-Ki-Do Ideograms

by BRUNO BRUGNOLI - Many pages have been written on the meaning of the term "Aikido", often based on translations from Japanese that do not exactly correspond to the semantic content of the ideograms that compose it. Let's examine the matter more closely with Bruno Brugnoli, Shodo/Shufa expert

Mrs Judo: Keiko Fukuda and the Long Path to Female Inclusion in Budo

by SIMONE CHIERCHINI - Budo is the world of Mars and has traditionally been the exclusive domain of men for centuries. Although there have always been notable exceptions in the past, it is only after the Second World War that the female presence in the world of martial arts began to be visible. Keiko Fukuda, the only 10th Dan woman in Judo history, was the standard-bearer of this inclusion