Creativity in Martial Arts

As with many martial arts, Nihon Goshin Aikido is taught in a structured atmosphere, with specific constraints regarding usage, movement, and application. The beginning student is told precisely how to perform the techniques and stances at every step of the way. Yet, when an advanced martial artist demonstrates even a minimal level of mastery, it becomes obvious that there is a great deal of creativity involved in his defense.

How, then, does a student progress     [Read more…] “Creativity in Martial Arts”

The Principles in Our Classical Techniques

Note: This article was written from the mainline NGA point of view, prior to the development of Shojin-ryu.

Many students, as they learn the classical techniques of Nihon Goshin Aikido, misunderstand the purpose of these techniques. They may think the classical techniques are for defense, which they are not     [Read more…] “The Principles in Our Classical Techniques”

The Answer

On many occasions, I have heard Steven Weber Sensei (Godan, Nihon Goshin Aikido) speak of those students who seek “The Answer”. …That one absolutely correct response to a given attack, technique, question, or conundrum. On these occasions, he paints a picture of an inexperienced martial artist begging him for the “right way” to respond, rather than thinking the situation through and selecting some appropriate response based upon the circumstances at the moment.     [Read more…] “The Answer”

Who’s the Best? – Comparing Styles

“What’s the best martial art?”

This is a question most of us in the martial arts community have heard, in some form or another. And it’s one that most of us groan inwardly at hearing. There is a real problem with trying to establish a “best” martial art. Or even in trying to say that one art is “better” than another.

For me, I think Nihon Goshin Aikido is the best. For me. With my personality. With the instructors     [Read more…] “Who’s the Best? – Comparing Styles”

Assembling a Defense

As we learn the techniques and applications of Nihon Goshin Aikido or any other art, we begin by breaking them into parts. While this teaching technique (known as “chunking”) facilitates learning for both adults and children, it also causes students to develop hesitations in their movements. At first, students pause at the end of each “chunk” (in both application and technique) to allow their brains to catch up and tell them what comes next. After some time practicing, they simply have the ingrained habit of stopping at that point in the movement, and find that they have a very difficult time moving smoothly past these transition points.

While I don’t know of a way to avoid     [Read more…] “Assembling a Defense”

Selecting a School

As with many instructors and experienced martial artists, I am often approached for advice in selecting a school, art, or instructor for training in the martial arts. While I can’t effectively answer this question in an article (for reasons which will be explained in a few moments), I can provide the basic framework of an answer. It is up to the individual student to use that information as a part of the selection process.

What are you looking for? This is a question many new students     [Read more…] “Selecting a School”

Evaluating a Dojo (by Bill Witt)

Please see the end of the article for information about Mr. Witt.

Over the years one of the most commonly asked questions by prospective students is, “How do I evaluate a dojo?” To someone who has no experience in martial arts this is a somewhat intimidating task.

For me the task was easy. I was in Tokyo and the first person I saw, when I walked in the dojo, was O-Sensei.     [Read more…] “Evaluating a Dojo (by Bill Witt)”

A Swing and a Miss (by Tom Quinn)

When faced with someone intent on doing you bodily harm in the street, or when training in the dojo, the ability to avoid being hit is a skill well worth developing. There are four basic ways to avoid being hit that are used by virtually every martial art, sometimes and stand alone techniques, but most often, used in combination with one another.

Blocking is the act of stopping an attack from reaching its intended target. When done properly     [Read more…] “A Swing and a Miss (by Tom Quinn)”