The Training Culture at the Aikikai Hombu Dōjō

SIMONE CHIERCHINI - William T. Gillespie cast aside all the enviable benefits and considerable comforts of life in Southern California to move to Tokyo to devote himself to intensively study Aikido at the Aikikai World Headquarters (1997). Currently a 6th Dan Aikikai, his martial arts adventures in Japan and beyond to South East Asia, Korea and even The People’s Republic of China became a fantastic journey of self-discovery and personal development that continues to unfold. Taken from "The Traveler - Find Tour Way, Aikido Italia Network Publishing book-interview with WT Gillespie, here's an interesting excerpt about what William thinks about training at the Hombu

Aikido and Parenting

by SIMONE CHIERCHINI - I am an ''egoist'', I don't teach out of ''vocation''. I don't teach because I wish to make the world a better place, or change people's lives or anything like that. I always trained in Aikido first and foremost for my enjoyment and personal growth. Consequently, as a teacher, I have never felt I was or had to be anyone's father, not to mention felt somewhat responsible for influencing the lives of my students

The “Meditation Cats” Story and the “Blind Alleys” in Martial Arts

by ADRIANO AMARI - In the history of Mankind, a cursory fact or the reaction to false or inaccurate information often became a consolidated habit without anybody realising it. Even though the above is mostly the result of a misunderstanding and it is due to a superficial attitude or the need to conform, its outcome ascends to indisputable truth, pseudo-sanctified and handed down over time

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 personal, often shocking or outrageous, experiences as illustrations of the principles he writes about, but he is also backed by solid research and experience in the field. "The Phenomenologist" is no exception: it is a distillation of Ellis Amdur's thoughts, insights and opinions on Aikido and Budo. "The Phenomenologist" has achieved considerable success in its Italian version, also published by Aikido Italia Network Publishing. Here you can read an excerpt of the book, which can be ordered in its full version on in both paper and Kindle format

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