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“Takeda Sensei on Grading” by Ralph Pettman

Published on 19 Jul, 2014

The following article was originally published by Ralph Pettman Sensei in 2005. It eloquently captures Takeda Sensei’s approach to gradings and qualities he values in his students. It also provides a beautiful insight into Sensei’s broader philosophy on Aikido training where he encourages each of his pupils, and indeed himself, to develop their inner wisdom

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“Training with Takeda Sensei” by Ralph Pettman

Published on 30 May, 2014

The following article was originally published by Ralph Pettman Sensei after a visit to the AKI Hombu Dojo in 2001. I was living in Japan and studying with Takeda Sensei at that time, and Ralph’s article evokes the excitement and energy we all felt as Takeda Sensei stepped onto the mat. Sensei was evolving at

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“Toughness” according to Leunig

Published on 12 Oct, 2013

A wonderful little cartoon by Michael Leunig on toughness and sensitivity…    

 
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Pendulum waves and spontaneous Aikido practice: some nice inspiration for your next research class!

Published on 11 Jun, 2013

Here’s some nice inspiration for your next research class! When I saw this video I was immediately reminded of the energetic sphere that envelops uke and nage during spontaneous Aikido practice; that space inside which subtle vibrations and openings – if given room and allowed to breathe – evolve into the most beautiful, fluid shapes

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Interview with Takeda Shihan by Aikikai Hombu Dojo

Published on 19 Apr, 2013

The following interview was conducted in 2006 by Aikikai Hombu Dojo after Takeda Shihan was awarded 8th dan by Doshu. It was published in the Hombu Dojo annual magazine and has been translated by Ayano Seymour.   Hombu: Tell us how you started teaching. Takeda Shihan: I originally liked martial arts and used to practise

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End of the Year in a Japanese Dojo

Published on 20 Dec, 2012

I’d like to take this opportunity to wish you all a safe and happy holiday, and to thank you all for such a wonderful year of practice – without a doubt our best year yet! It has been an absolute blessing and a privilege to be able to study in such esteemed company, and in

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Aikido, Shinkokyu and Yoda the Jedi Master

Published on 22 Aug, 2012

A beautiful image sketched by a friend after an outdoor Aikido class on shinkokyu, extension, sensitivity and connection. The training that day was inspired by the following words of Yoda, the Jedi master: “Size matters not! Look at me. Judge me by my size, do you? Hmm? Hmm. And well you should not. For my

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The Path to Mastery

Published on 30 Jul, 2012

After a very playful morning practice, I sat musing with one of my students over the path to mastery. She told me of a painting she’d seen many years ago in a dojo in Japan of a snail and Mount Fuji. Its signficance had eluded her at first but was revealing itself with each passing

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Finding our own Way…

Published on 22 Mar, 2012

Takeda Shihan asks each of his students to ‘find their own way’, to discover their own path rather than imitating or emulating him. This means having the wisdom and courage to accept ourselves for who we are, and to be exactly that. We each have strengths and gifts, and need only to recognise and nurture

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