It’s Not For That (And That’s Okay)

“The aiki-arts (aikido, aikijujutsu, hapkido, et al) are ineffective for fighting and incapable of teaching practitioners how to defend themselves against even the most inexperienced attacker, let alone a seasoned martial artist.” As a practitioner of both aikido (one aspect of Taikyoku Budo) and Brazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ), I have spent a lot of time contemplating…

Taikyoku Aikido and Aikido of Pittsburgh

In the Spring of 2014, I attended my first aikido seminar. The seminar was hosted by Aikido of Pittsburgh and featured Ellis Amdur who would be teaching his unique framework for aikido which he called Taikyoku Aikido. Taikyoku Aikido is based on Amdur’s observation that all aikido techniques can be mapped along five movement shapes,…

Enjoyment Is Its Own Reason

Why practice a martial art that is not “the best?” There is a lot of criticism in martial arts circles these days around what are seen as impractical or ineffective martial arts. These are martial arts that do not participate in sportive sparring, competitive bouts, or resistance-based training. At the top of the list are…

Angle and Position Before Execution

Angle and positioning: How do we get there from here? Anyone who has trained a martial art with resistance-based pressure testing or sparring knows that the correct technique in a given situation is rarely predetermined. A boxer may have a plan to knock out his opponent with his powerful right cross, but making perfect contact…

Non-Competition for Mutual Benefit

We are a collective of training brothers and sisters joined together with the goal of mutually beneficial martial improvement. One of the things that attracted me to traditional martial arts was the feeling of family and belonging within the group. We all worked together to make each other better and, through that, to make the…