O'Sensei in Hawaii

Video from O'Sensei's 1961 visit to Hawaii.

Robot Uke

If you're watching WestWorld, the idea of a robot with a katana is troubling, but otherwise, the training opportunities are interesting.

Traditional Steel Production

In a short window of time in winter, traditional Japanese steel manufacturing takes place. It is a ritualized, Shinto process that results in the raw material that sword makers can use for Japanese swords and knives. The senior smith is designated as a living treasure, keeping the skills of ancient steel making alive.
"The clay furnace, or tatara, has the appearance of a large altar. One can sense immediately that this is no ordinary method of steel production, bu.t a particularly Shinto experience that is performed in accordance with nature. The tatara clay furnace is approximately 2.7 meters long by 1 meter wide. The top edges curve downwards along its length, resembling the curvature of the torii-gate of a Shinto shrine. Prayers are performed in front of a nearby small Shinto shrine that houses the deity of metal production, Kanayago-no-kami, before production commences, and a portable shrine within the workshop overlooks the whole process. The workshop itself is separated from the material world by a sacred rope called a shimenawa."
Here's the whole article.


From Barrett Sensei, a reminder.

Patricia Hendricks

Aikido Journal is back online. After the death of Stanley Pranin, it took an effort on the part of a number of dedicated Aikidoka to revive the site. While they practice a different style of Aikido, I find I enjoy the articles they post and the connection to a larger Aikido community.

Here's a three minute snippet of an interview with Patricia Hendricks where she talks about what she sees as important in Aikido today. It speaks to me because I started late in life, never had the experience of doing Aikido as a young man, and have to accept my physical limitations just to be on this journey.

If you're thinking of starting a martial art, whether you're 25 or 55, come and join us.