There is a very good reason as why a black belt in Aikido is a mandatory requirement to join the Tokyo Riot Police.
Aikido is also utilised within many law enforcement agencies, and some specialised military groups, worldwide.
All Aikido Dan rankings (black belt and above) are officially registered with Aikikai World Headquarters in Tokyo, Japan.
Paul Araki-Metcalfe Sensei
Aikikai Hombu Japan registered Godan (5th Dan black belt)
Founder and Head Instructor for Aikido Alliance Australia
Paul Sensei is also a
Shihan (Master teacher) of a 600-year-old traditional Japanese sword style
Kuroda Han, Yagyu Shinkage-Ryu, Heiho, Aratsu kai
Paul Sensei is the only person who has been awarded the official Kaiden Menkyo (traditional teaching license), and who currently teaches this particular sword style outside of Japan.
O-Sensei (founder of Aikido) also studied Yagyu Shinkage-Ryu, as he refined and developed aikido.
Yagyu Shinkage-Ryu's sword footwork is more prominenet, and noticeable, within the Yoshinkan Aikido style.
Living for over 9 years in Japan really made an incredible difference in my level of Aikido knowledge, understanding, and technical ability. Since Aikido grew from within Japan, by not studying Japan's manner, culture, social etiquette, religion, daily life, completely ignores and removes a great part of the environment that Aikido came from.
Aikido is a holistic art, and all the above needs to be understood to grasp the true concept of Aikido.
To only study the art of Aikido by itself is like studying a leaf, not even noticing, or taking into account the tree that it came from.
The art of peace
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(Now I understand)
Enlightenment, a knowing deeper sense of understanding, can only come from within yourself.
"If a blind man leads a blind man, they will both surely fall into a pit" The Gospel of Thomas.
If the teacher does not fully understand, is mis-guided, or incompetent in their technique, then surely the student will be the same.
I am re-discovering Aikido through a 600-year-old traditional Japanese sword style.
Yagyu Shinkage-Ryu was chosen as the number 1 sword style by the last 3 Shoguns (Warlords) of Japan.
This sword style has greatly influenced and encouraged me to re-think my understanding, viewpoint, and execution of techniques in Aikido.
O-Sensei studied this same sword style, according to Stanley Pranin (editor of Aikido Journal, while he was formng Aikido. I see this 600-year-old traditional Japanese sword style movements within all Aikido techniques.
Nine years living in Japan with my family, allowed me to further my study of Aikido under some world-renowned Japanese Aikido Shihan. I also had the very priviledged and very unique opportunity to study this 600-year-old traditional Japanese sword style whilst there.
Before I left for Australia, I was officially presented (at Lord Kuroda's shrine in Fukuoka) with the Kaiden Menkyo (the traditional sword teaching license), and also awarded the official title of Shihan by my Japanese sword teachers.
Aikido Alliance Australia
( Aikikai Aikido )
Based in Melbourne and Perth, Australia
Featured in Blitz Australasian Martial Arts Magazine December, 2011. Also featured in February, 2012.
A Division 3 member and Dojo cho of the California Aikido Association (CAA)
Under the guidance and mentorship of Robert Nadeau Shihan (7th Dan), one of only a few foreigners who studied directly
under O-Sensei in Japan.
Is the not the spring at it's purest, the closer you are to the source?
"...Even the most powerful human being has a limited sphere of strength.
Draw him outside of that sphere, into your own, and his strength will dissipate"
“...Aikido is a path to self-perfection for human beings”
"...Study the basics daily. There are no secrets in Aikido. The answer lies on the surface."
also known as
(14 December 1883-26 April 1969)
Eastern martial art concepts, techniques, and philosophies are quite the opposite to most Westerners understanding of power and strength. Eastern strength is generated from the core,hips, and lower body. Whereas most Westerners believe that strength comes from the upper body, through muscular exertion.
If the art of Aikido is taken out of Japan just by itself, without an understanding of the Japanese people, their culture, manner, etiquette, religious beliefs, and way of life, then we are studying only a shadow, a small and fractured dissected slice, of the complete art of Aikido.
We must therefore include all of the above, or at least have an understanding, to enable us to gain a more complete picture and a greater understanding of this wonderful art called Aikido.
Herein lies the main reason for the mis-understanding and mis-interpretation of Aikido as we know it today
"It was only after training without using any strength at all that I was able to instantly change whatever technique I happened to be doing into some other technique. It makes sense, of course, that the less effort ther is involved, the easiest it is to switch to something else. As I was working that concept, I also recalled that O-Sensei often used to say "When it's like this, you do this, when it's like this other way, you do the other thing," all the while never doing the same thing twice. I thought, "Ah, I think I know what he meant by that!" With that sort of approach you never end up using excessive effort, because one thing simply changes into another as needed.
Imagine a river full of stones. When the water encounters small stones, it flows over them. When it encounters larger ones, it flows around them. Even if you dam the river, the water does not stop; the potential energy is still there swirling around and building up behind the dam, trying to break through or spill over the top. Aikido is the same. It's no longer a "living" path if you limit yourself to meeting an encounter with a specific technique. It's important to be able to change and move onto something else the instant the conditions change and what you're doing ceases to have the desired effect. It's not just a matter of flowing into something different when you find yourself blocked; it's also necessary to investigate how to "store up energy." We all have possibilities we're unaware of, so we need to think about how we might draw out, amplify, and apply that latent energy…..".
Seishiro Endo Sensei (8th Dan)
Excert from Aikido Journal interview with Seishiro Endo Sensei (1), by Stanley Pranin.
(I studied under Endo Sensei when I lived for nine years in Fukuoka, Japan. I only wish that I was more proficient in Japanese, which would have allowed me to get to know and understand him as a person far better. Perhaps I would have then been able to understand more deeply his concept of Aikido (the how and why he came to be so good at what he did)).
It is one thing to "steal" Aikido techniques from a great teacher, and another thing to know more fully who that person really is. To know a person more fully, it is best to know who they are, where they came from, their personal life experiences, what they understand life to be, and how all that managed to shape their life into what it is today.
I am more enriched, and hopefully more enlightened, for the time that I spent studying Aikido under Endo Sensei in Japan. I am very grateful for the unique opportunity I had to study Aikido personally under him, and I am far better for the lessons I learnt under his tutalidge.
I would like to mention that I also studied under Hari Sunao Sensei from Saga Prefecture whilst I lived in Fukuoka, Japan.
Sunao Sensei is an amazing teacher of Aikido, and I learnt a great deal under his personal tutalidge. Sunao Sensei allowed me to physically sit for Yondan whilst in Japan, and he greatly influenced my belief and understanding of Aikido. Sunao Sensei complimented me on my understanding of Aikido after the grading, and he only asked that I please continue on the path I was travelling. I believe that Sunao Sensei could see that I was on the right path, and that he wanted to encourage me to continue further in that direction.
Sunao Sensei could easily and effortlessly toss me around the Dojo as if I were a piece of cloth being tossed about in the breeze. I had no control over what he did to me. Whenever I tried to grab or attack Sunao Sensei, it was like suddenly being caught up in a huge wave. Yet, throughout my time with Sunao Sensei he never once hurt me, on the contrary, he took great care with me even when I thought I was going to be seriously injured by the forces around me when receiving for him. A great man in my eyes. Sunao Sensei never once used brute force or physical strength in his Aikido, yet it was incredibly powerful, and might I say rather scary, like being inside a hurricane. That is true Aikido.
For all this, studying under two such great Japanese Aikido teachers whilst living in Fukuoka, I am eternally greatful.
What an honour, what a unique opportunity I had.
Arigatto gozaimasu Sensei. Okagi samma de.
What is Aikido?
Aikido has nothing at all to do with size, physical strength, nor the use of brute force.
Aikido is all about angles, leverage, off-balance and power extension (Ki).
Alignment of the hips, centre (Hara), lower body and arms working as one main powerhouse generates the ability to effortlessly perform powerful Aikido techniques.
Once properly mastered, and all the above systems are fully functioning as one cohesive unit, the Eastern martial art methods and techniques can then generate more force and power than mere muscles and/or the use of brute force could ever hope to achieve.
Therefore, Aikido is an ideal form of self-defense for both males or females. Especially anybody of smaller size and stature, as it requires very little physical strength to effectively control any aggressor/s.
Aikido is a totally self defensive martial art, which involves no kicking or punching. Joint locks, nerve holds, hold downs, and throws, are all that is required to defend oneself against any aggressor/s.
Students are first taught to roll forwards, sideways, and backwards, so they can easily and safely practice the art. Students are then taught how to move their bodies, arms, and legs to be in a position to defend themselves to the best of their abilities. Slowly, and safely, students are introduced to the many holds and body movements that build up their repertoire and ability. In time, and at their own pace, their level of skills and ability will increase, along with their self esteem and confidence.
At the very least, Aikido is a great way to stay healthy and in shape, increase suppleness, energy, vitality (life force) and stamina.
Aikido also offers the extra benefit of being able to defend oneself, according to your own level of expertise and understanding, against any unwanted or unwelcome acts of aggression.
We at Aikido Alliance Australia have an “Open Door Policy” and we welcome individuals, groups, clubs, Australia-wide, and internationally, to train with us.
The sole purpose of this association is to draw like minded people within Australia and also worldwide to train, study, teach, share, experiment, explore, promote and to personally evolve utilising this wonderful art of peace (Aikido), left to us all by O-Sensei.