The Translator – Interview with Christopher Li

di SIMONE CHIERCHINI - Christopher Li calls himself a "hobbyist with a specialty", however, thanks to his research and writing he has given an important contribution to the understanding of modern Aikido. His views on Aikido, its history and future developments are unconventional and often "politically incorrect" but he's not afraid to share them. This is not an interview for those unwilling to discuss the official narrative of our art and its people…

Aikido and Open-Mindedness

by MATTHIEU JEANDEL - If the SHU-HA-RI progression is understood, each has their own place in the progression and conservation of an Art. Today, however, there is no administrative body that supports training on the basis of this principle. Currently, behind the cover of open-mindedness, the administrative entities do not realize the limits they foster and the relative loss in the technical, historical and philosophical fields of Aikido

The Phenomenologist – Interview with Ellis Amdur

by SIMONE CHIERCHINI - Ellis Amdur is a renowned martial arts researcher and a teacher in two different surviving Koryu. His books on Aikido and Budo are considered unique in that he uses his own experiences, often hair-raising or outrageous, as illustrations of the principles about which he writes, but it is also backed by solid research and boots-on-the-ground experience. This interview, part of The Aiki Healing Sessions, is no exception to that

The Wrestler – Interview with Rionne McAvoy

by SIMONE CHIERCHINI - From Taekwondo wonder kid to Karate State Champion, from H. Tada Sensei’s Gessoji Dojo to the Aikikai Hombu Dojo and Y. Yokota sensei, Rionne “Fujiwara” McAvoy, a former Pacific Pro Wrestling Heavyweight Champion, has never been one for finding the easy way out. As part of “The Aiki Healings”, the online encounters hosted by Aikido Italia Network, let’s hear him tell his story in martial arts and his strong views on Aikido, physical training, cross-training and where he wants to go with his Aikido

Senta Yamada: the “Father” of UK Tomiki Aikido

by PAUL WILDISH - Senta Yamada was the first exponent of Tomiki Aikido to come to the UK, to teach professionally. Yamada, a 6th Dan in both judo and aikido, arrived in London with a training pedigree second to none. Not only was he one of Kenji Tomiki’s original students in the formative days of Tomiki Aikido’s genesis but he had also spent nine months as an uchideshi (a live in student) of Morihei Ueshiba. As with Kenji Tomiki and Hideo Ohba them-selves he had had the inestima-ble experience of learning direct-ly from the ‘Founder’ of aikido without mediation or re-interpretation by others

Aikido: For an Undeferrable Spiritual Awakening

by ANDRÉ COGNARD - In a time full of questions regarding separatism and radicalisation, and with the rise of religious fundamentalism or secular tensions, the Way (Do) of Aiki could provide adequate answers if it were to be explained and not just confined to the dojo

Age of Heroes 1: The “First” European Aikido Dojo

by PAOLO BOTTONI - I was still wearing shorts when, in 1965, I made my acquaintance with Aikido. This is also when I first met Hiroshi Tada sensei, who, in my eyes, continued to impersonate and embody it for many years to come

The “Greats” of Aikido and the “Padre Pio Syndrome”

by SIMONE CHIERCHINI - I already know that I am going to make a lot of people mad at me, nevertheless today we are going to talk about the "Great" personalities of Aikido and the neverending merry-go-round around their name. We are going to reflect on that sort of possessed and blind love that many show for their holy-sensei and their blessed teachings. We are also going to try to understand what is behind the relative almost religious fury that blinds many when discussing, examining, interpreting and sometimes criticizing the work of the aforementioned Aikido sacred monsters

The Innovator – Interview with John Bailey

by SIMONE CHIERCHINI - John Bailey studied Aikido under Tony Graziano and Tom Walker. He is a graduate of Executive Security International and has an extensive background in security and investigations, having worked as a bouncer, security officer, bodyguard, undercover operative and tactical instructor. He is a practical firearms competitor and instructor and has provided tactical training for law enforcement and private security agencies in Florida, Colorado, California and Oregon. John has studied Aikido for four decades, the past two of which have been dedicated to exploring better ways to train and to teach the art in a quickly changing world

The Politician – Interview with Karl Leisinger

by SIMONE CHIERCHINI - This interview with Dr Karl Friedrich Leisinger, then president of the European Aikido Federation, was realised by Simone Chierchini in 1989. Leisinger's words capture in a precise and almost prophetic way causes and effects of the imminent collapse of the system based on large national Aikikai organisations and the Aikikai Hombu Dojo support to resident Shihans