The movie ‘Bluebird Man’ with Rebeca’s music…

…has been nominated for…EMMYsmall



…and will be part of the 7th season of the nationally syndicated television series, Natural Heroes, airing on public television stations across the United States and into Canada, this coming winter.

…Rebeca’s CD,  Mostecelo, is…

. here …and a preview of the very, very soon upcoming here!

A Journey Through O’Sensei’s ‘Budo’ – 4: Irimi Tenka, Sunday June 7, 12:30-5:30


 “Off of your left foot enter in irimi, then immediately transform [their] body…” – - – O’Sensei

“Lower your shoulders, elbows, knees, [koshi] and mind…” – - – O’Sensei

[Kokyu-ho] techniques are not a means to throw or pin an opponent; they are used to develop kokyu-ryoku – - – Rinjiro Shirata Shihan

“…make full use of your tegatana.”- – - Morihiro Saito Shihan

So…  activating the sword edge of the hand and always entering with that edge of the sword, when you find the perfect angle and press the entry correctly you transform the body of uke instantly – you can think of it in terms of cutting them completely through…  And generally what we do is we enter at that angle then rotate behind them so there is no counterstrike possible. And even if they’re rotating to counterstrike, they’re rotating into the edge of the sword as you drop behind them – so that in essence they cut themselves.

And the curvature of the blade exactly reflects their entry into the cut – you don’t chase them with the cut they come around to it – which allows you  to flip the sword over and preserve them, or they can stop, there’s many things that can happen… So creativity is possible…

Sunday, June 7, at the dojo, 12:30-5:30, $25

Please park at Elm Grove Park.

for more information contact Kimbal Anderson Sensei (208) 407-7590

…practitioners of all styles of aikido welcome…


…there are some things I want to talk about (4)…

- – - – - – - – - – Moving with the jo – and without – - – - – - – - – -

Andre Nocquet Shihan’s first student: the Seven Levels…

…of Shobu Aiki:

Let us recall that the Aiki-Budo created by Morihei Ueshiba can offer several different levels of approach, which depend on the level of consciousness and education of the practitioner.

  • The first approach, the simplest, is associated with the notion of self-defence. This approach, taken as a touchstone, keeps the practitioner who devotes themself to it on a narrow path where all that counts is the number of techniques and their application through muscular strength. This way of thinking corresponds to ‘Aiki-jujutsu‘ .
  • The second presents the moral and psychological aspect. It is linked to the idea of fairness, justice, and to the practice of a ‘sport’
  • The third way of approaching this centers on the  therapeutic aspect, and pays attention to the physical maintenance of the body, and to the well-being which arises from the absence of stress.  The emphasis can sometimes be on a playful practice.
  •  The fourth, which is hermetic, is based on a philosophical way of thinking about the art,  which requires a study of all the symbolism which comes with it.
  • The fifth way of thinking about the art, which is cosmological, opens the practitioner up to mythical dimensions of space-time.
  • The sixth, which we will call transmutatory, aims to purify one’s being through various procedures. This is the approach that embodies the concept of “Sumikiri“,  the true Budo of metamorphosis. By the mental visualization of the psychic elements imprisoned in the substance of the physical body, it spiritualizes the acts and gestures of the practitioner. This way of approaching the art, which is the authentic way, is that of ‘Ars Laboriosa Convertens Humiditate Ignea Metalla In Aurum: the laborious art which converts – through fiery humidity – metals into gold.’ This aspect corresponds to the stage associated with this art that consists of lifting up the four corners of a square.
  • The seventh state – of a spiritual nature, linked to Perseverance, allows the practitioner to become fully realized, and in particular allows ‘the Gift’.  Fruit of the final exhaustion of logical contradictions, associated with the state of awakenedness and with a long and complicated – and heroic – journey through life, in the course of which all the energies have been mobilized through endless, innumerable wanderings, it allows – and renders the practitioner capable of – Benevolence, true Play, Abiding at the Center and in ‘Not-Doing’. It is the reason why Morihei Ueshiba O’Sensei affirmed that: “The goal of Budo is Friendship. Practise in such a way that your spirit harmonizes with everything that lives on this Earth.”

As we become aware of the many different levels of consciousness by means of which we can approach our Art, we understand better why ALL GRADING IS ILLUSORY.  In order to be a good thing, a grade has to be not an evaluation of knowledge or of competence, but purely the gift and acceptance of responsibility. If one is endlessly evolving and seeking awareness, then it would be an objectification of oneself  TO STOP ONE’S MIND AT A PARTICULAR GRADE, AND TO RULE OUT ONE’S FURTHER DEVELOPMENT in order to conform to something one believes is the way of being at this particular grade.

- – - Shobu Aïki:  la victoire selon l’art chevaleresque de Morihei Ueshiba   J.-D Cauhépé and A. Kuang, pp. 37-8

Morihiro Saito Shihan’s Four Levels…

The schema of seven levels of aikido outlined by André Nocquet Shihan’s first student,  in a book published soon after Nocquet’s death, and with full access to Nocquet’s archives and papers, almost certainly goes back to conversations in Iwama and Tokyo, 1955-58, during the time that Nocquet was one of a very small group of  uchideshi – the lone uchideshi, in fact, when he first arrived.

Aside from level 2, which clearly reflects discussion about Tomiki’s university-based approach, starting in Manchuria, the schema matches up well with Morihiro Saito Shihan’s schema of four levels of waza – as taught by O’Sensei – which are outlined in most detail in Traditional Aikido vol. 5.

Level 1 is Saito Shihan’s kotai-geiko (hard – or even ‘stiff-bodied’ – training)

Level 3 with its ‘absence of stress’ corresponds to Saito Shihan’s jutai-geiko (soft, gentle, even “willow-like” – this is the same kanji used in the compound: “judo” – and, old school, it is read as yawara). The emphasis is on relaxing the upper body, on moving before contact is made and changing the angle of the hand, unbalancing uke, finding the correct angle and ma, and twisting the koshi. In practice, the pursuit of a relaxed upper body unblocks the ki-channels, which is naturally therapeutic.

Level 5 corresponds to Saito Shihan’s ryutai-geiko (flowing body). The emphasis is on leading uke‘s ki, which involves both the mushin aspect of functioning in the real moment, and access to the meditative levels of the mind that allow one to sense uke‘s initial impulse, and allow one to be in katsuhayabi.

Level 6  corresponds to Saito Shihan’s kitai-geiko (literally: practice of the ki-body, the aura) – and a deepening understanding of in-yo-ho and of the meanings of shikaku (which corresponds to Sumikiri).

Level 7 presents aikido as a pursuit of the tao, as described by Musashi in ‘The Scroll of the Void’.

Gozo Shioda Shihan’s Basics for World Peace…

It’s possible to wonder how an art that requires years and years of dedicated practice could possibly be a significant factor in working for peace in the world.

But Gozo Shioda Shihan makes a wonderful point: all that’s necessary is for folks to acquire the BASICS…

‘It is my belief that if everyone were to absorb the basics of Aikido, or in other words, “when confronted with an opponent, [harmonize] with him” and made this principle the basis of their lives, all conflict and strife would disappear.” – In the Aiki News translation and serialization of An Aikido Life (issue 74, p. 46)

…and he’s quite specific: the “basics” he’s referring to are (verbatim):

  •   a pure heart
  •   calmness in movement
  •   “when facing an enemy, unite with him”
  •   balances in the body

…thus 5 or 6 years training (including ki-flow and internal organization) AND a meditation practice…

…it’s a lot, but actually do-able – - – especially if included in a school curriculum…

…leaves and dried leaves…


…kiji no koe…

In this little mountain village,
it lands on the roof and it cries:
a pheasant screeches…

- – - Chora

Peter will be teaching a ‘Sound as Art’ workshop…

…at The Atlanta School  Friday September 11th – Sunday September 13th… …with two free performances:  mid-afternoon and  after dark on Sunday the 13th of September,  in and around the old mining-town of Atlanta, Idaho...AtlantaSchoolcabins

A change of optic:

Aikido is a gem of many facets – sometimes it seems that every one of O’Sensei’s students remembered a different teacher, and of course, many, many different styles have been preserved and developed – but here is one facet that clicked into focus for me recently:

what if O’Sensei spent his time away from Iwama and Tokyo coherently pursuing what he felt to be his “mission in life”?…

what if he spent his time away from Iwama and Tokyo creating and nurturing a network of dojos run by Omoto-Kyo, ex-Omoto-Kyo and Ko-Shinto believers ( hand-picked deshi,  some of them raised, almost, as members of his family) – - – and ex-Kamikaze pilots, too (!) – often with his own name on the sign -  in places – and close to shrines…

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