Author Archives: FastSlow

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!

…in the dojo(106) – morote-dori…


…there are some things I want to talk about (5)…

- – - – - – - – - – proper stance and good grounding  – - – - – - – - – -


On the method and practice of Aiki-Shugyo…

We can divide the body into four parts:  the ki-tai, ryu-tai, ju-tai and ko-tai  [ki-body, flowing-body, flexible body and stiff body] 1).  For every one of these four parts of the whole go-tai, it is essential that they become utterly transparent to one’s kon,  one’s spirit.

  • Now, in the case of the ki-tai, it is through a spiritual apprenticeship inspired by the direct perception of the Great [Original] God, as you practise ki-energetics in every part of your being, that complete transparency to your spirit and to the resonance of that spirit will develop.  For this reason it is important to practise ki-energetics in such a way that you quickly become aware of the tao, the ground of all  existence.

The practice of ki-energetics consists of prayer enlivened by a sincere faith.

  • Now, the blood that circulates through your ryu-tai can be healthily purified by unifying body and spirit. This is what we call purifying your ki. The inspirational teaching and ongoing project of the sound ‘U’ is that our blood, as it circulates, can completely become simply part of the [natural] universe. You become Hiroko – you act as the kami acts.  In order to do this,  you have to seriously polish your human instincts.  And that is the work of Izunome.

This  [flowing body]  becomes, miraculously, a purified form of the spiritual threads [that make up the universe]. This can only be accomplished through the dedicated pursuit of Budo.

  • As you purify your blood-flow and spirit-body,  the ju-tai, the flesh-body is miraculously reborn, and becomes suffused with a diffuse light. This is essential..
  • And finally we come to the ko-tai, the solid-body. It is essential in all of this to establish a first-rate foundation [with ko-tai training that penetrates] to your very marrow and bone.

In the same way, we can divide Kokyu into four parts:  Ten no Kokyu – otherwise known as:

  • the breathing of the Sun
  • and of the Moon,

and Chi no Kokyu – otherwise known as:

  • the rising
  • and ebb of the tides.

As you make yourself open to the exchange of Ten no Kokyu and Chi no Kokyu, you forge aiki:  [which is to say:] the cross of tate-yoko, [the vertical exchange of the Sun and the Moon’s kokyu,  and the horizontal movement of the energy of the tides] comes together as aiki, as long as you do this with the honest aim of becoming a good and wonderful person.

Alone or with a partner, alone or in a crowded dojo, it doesn’t matter.  If you forge yourself anew as a fine specimen of a human-being, then you don’t  need to send a rocket to the moon in order to know [the moon] completely. Because you have collected together in your own body the Sun, the Moon, and the stars.  So you have no need to go look for them. And thus in their intellectual work,  by studying both Japanese wisdom, and  global scientific knowledge,  a scientist could contribute to a purer, and clearer world.

But in any case, in today’s world,  more and more we place too much store by the wrong things,  and consequently people feel that they are losing themselves. This is regrettable. People should at any cost follow the way of aiki shugyo.  If you do this, you can re-discover the ‘self’ that has been lost.

You can discover the root of all the workings of the sacred sword of Ame-no-Murakumo-no-tsurugi.  In other words:  Takemusu Aiki.  In other words:  a better liberalism and a better democracy.

- – - O’Sensei,  Takemusu Aiki,  p.115-7 of the French edition, vol.3

1) The ki-body (ki-tai) is the aura, the flowing-body (ryu-tai) is the blood flowing in the veins, and the flow of energy along the meridians, the flexible body (ju-tai) is the flesh, and the stiff body (ko-tai) is the skeletal structure and the marrow.

Morihiro Saito Shihan’s Four Levels – and O’Sensei’s…

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 some detail in Traditional Aikido vol. 5.   Furthermore:  the nomenclature implies that these four levels are actually the training of four different  a s p e c t s  of the body, something that O’Sensei discusses in Takemusu Aiki.

Nocquet’s level 1 is Saito Shihan’s kotai-geiko (the foundational training to the marrow of the hard body – one might even say:  ‘stiff-bodied training’)

Nocquet’s Level 3,  with its ‘absence of stress’,  corresponds to Saito Shihan’s jutai-geiko (training of the soft, gentle, even “willow-like” body – this is the same kanji used in the compound: “judo” – and, old school, it is read as yawara).  In practice, emphasis is laid 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.  Over time, of course, a greater degree of relaxation unblocks the ki-meridians, which is both mentally and physically therapeutic.

Level 5 corresponds to Saito Shihan’s ryutai-geiko (training of the flowing body – this is both blood-flow and ki-flow).   The emphasis is on leading uke‘s ki, which involves facility in achieving mushin – which allows one to perceive and function in the real moment,  to be in katsuhayabi,  and eventually to sense uke‘s  initial impulse in their mind.

Level 6  corresponds to Saito Shihan’s kitai-geiko (literally: training  of the ki-body,  the aura) – with a deepening understanding of in-yo-ho and of the multiple meanings of shikaku (also referred to as  sumikiri).

It’s worth saying that in the Vajrayana (and thus Shingon and Omoto-Kyo) view of things, one has further bodies, each one progressively larger in size, and more delicate of perception: next after the aura, would be the causal body, and after that, the etheric body (shin-tai) which O’Sensei does from time to time refer to, and which would be the body at play in…

…Level 7, which presents aikido as a way of attaining the tao, as described by Miyamoto Musashi in ‘The Scroll of Emptiness’.

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…


A Martial Artist does Yoga…

…(Or Groans and Giggles)

 - – - by Jolene Starr

I had just finished arranging my yoga mat
blanket, and Svaroopa stack
when my friend walked in

Her face looked pale, drawn, a little red around the eyes
had she been crying?
Or was it simply a flare-up of her chronic pain?

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Shmuel has another beautiful image available…

… on many different objects at Society6 and Red Bubble

…a non-colorized version of:



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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