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Old 11-23-2015, 07:20 AM   #1
sorokod
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YouTube: PREWAR AND POSTWAR AIKIDO

Thanks Marius V.!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NOd4WmdjbAI

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Old 11-23-2015, 08:12 AM   #2
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Re: YouTube: PREWAR AND POSTWAR AIKIDO

That was well done. Certainly there were good examples of how little changed in 20-25 years but yet ... that is not the whole story.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 11-23-2015, 09:10 AM   #3
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Re: YouTube: PREWAR AND POSTWAR AIKIDO

Sure, here is one I am interested in; given that we see the founder doing forms/techniques before the war (Noma photos, Budo manual) and doing very similar forms/techniques after the war, how are we to reconcile this with the certain statements that he didn't teach and wasn't interested in techniques?

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Old 11-23-2015, 09:30 AM   #4
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Re: YouTube: PREWAR AND POSTWAR AIKIDO

I loved the side-by-side, and the video is well done. A handful of times the video stopped being just a technical comparison over time and discussed motivations, and I am not certain I agree with those brief statements.

The John Stevens translation of Budo does have some of the same side-by-side stills, saying this was done to show that Morihei Ueshiba himself actually kept his own art the same at it's core.
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Old 11-23-2015, 09:30 AM   #5
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Re: YouTube: PREWAR AND POSTWAR AIKIDO

Saturated oil versus polyunsaturated oil. No difference Dave.

All paths lead to death. I strongly recommend taking one of the scenic routes.
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Old 11-23-2015, 10:46 AM   #6
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Re: YouTube: PREWAR AND POSTWAR AIKIDO

Quote:
Robin Johnson wrote: View Post
Saturated oil versus polyunsaturated oil. No difference Dave.
Well see - to some there is a huge difference between those two oils - both on a fundamental chemical level and a more esoteric (sic) health level.

And the analogy holds true. There was a shift in emphasis over time even though not all pre-war techniques were discarded and the overall feel seemed to change also.

One thing that did change was the lack of these complex pins often associated with Daito-ryu but you don't see much of those with styles that maintain the pre-war flavour of their techniques (Yoshinkan, Shodokan).

Last edited by PeterR : 11-23-2015 at 10:52 AM.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 11-23-2015, 04:41 PM   #7
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Re: YouTube: PREWAR AND POSTWAR AIKIDO

Quote:
David Soroko wrote: View Post
Sure, here is one I am interested in; given that we see the founder doing forms/techniques before the war (Noma photos, Budo manual) and doing very similar forms/techniques after the war, how are we to reconcile this with the certain statements that he didn't teach and wasn't interested in techniques?
To add to this - arguably at Noma but certainly at the Asahi Shimbun, Ueshiba was brought in to teach practical technique to people who felt that they would very likely need to use it in a short timeframe.
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Old 11-23-2015, 07:36 PM   #8
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Re: YouTube: PREWAR AND POSTWAR AIKIDO

What a great comparison. The video highlights similarity of course - but were there any differences? Anyway, Excellent work !

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Old 11-23-2015, 09:36 PM   #9
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Re: YouTube: PREWAR AND POSTWAR AIKIDO

Certainly when I saw the comparisons before, it was as a challenge to those who say Ueshiba O Sensei stopped using atemi after the war, and that is not true.

For the pins, I wish I knew what happened. After getting my Shodan, I moved for work and found myself in three different dojo with more Tohei influence. I was told all test requirements had to end in a pin with seiza as "it was more traditional." Daito-Ryu, Shodokan, Yoshinkan pins aside, which I think prove historically this was not the case.

O Sensei's rules for practice talk about being ready for an attack from any direction at all times, and that could have led to a paring down of control techniques from Daito Ryu. Some of the finishing movements don't look so much like pins as a brief control to allow a killing blow. Some movements make lethal finishing moves more possible, and the American occupation of Japan probably led to a gentler face to the public. Same way that the rifle and bayonet vanished post war. This would be more the work of Kisshomaru Doshu or Koichi Tohei as Morihei Ueshiba left his posts in the middle of the war.

When Aikido was first introduced to the larger world post war, there was maybe less quality control than would have been ideal. A dumbing down of the technical syllabus, or material that never got transmitted?

I think it is a worthy area to revisit. Better for people with injuries, adaptable to different surfaces, a more varied ground game, a wider degree of creativity.
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Old 11-24-2015, 04:45 AM   #10
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Re: YouTube: PREWAR AND POSTWAR AIKIDO

Quote:
Peter Rehse wrote: View Post
That was well done. Certainly there were good examples of how little changed in 20-25 years but yet ... that is not the whole story.
As an addendum

This comparison quite underpins that, as I've been told, Ueshiba was always very aware of being photographed or filmed and that he had a certain vision of what he would like to demonstrate. Remember that he is also said to have been very upset by Oba during the demo in Manchuria, because Oba attacked him more realistically, breaking the tacit agreement of "tanking" or complying to what Ueshiba probably would have preferred to offer as his vision. This vision may have changed very little during his lifetime and he only might have been forced to adapt to the natural consequences of his aging body.

Things changed considerably after his death. I had started aikido in the early 60s and all the while literally had to live through the first signs of changing ( in the West then mainly known as the lines of Mochizuki, Tomiki and Shioda ), which after Ueshiba passing developed into a revolution of emphasis and goal, mainly by Ueshiba Kisshomaru and Tohei. Those changes and adaptations were nevertheless accepted or even adored by many and this may well have led to the huge proliferation and commercial success in the western world.

Today, it seems to me, there are as many interpretations of aikido as there are teachers, many, if not the vast majority, claiming that they are teaching Ueshiba Morihei's heritage.

But what would that be?

Best ,
Bernd
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Old 11-24-2015, 05:12 AM   #11
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Re: YouTube: PREWAR AND POSTWAR AIKIDO

One cannot claim to teach Ueshiba's heritage. He himself said to find ones own Aikido.
But, as said, Aikido has been commercialised and to say that you 'know' the teaching of O Sensei helps sell 'you'. Those who know better, do not care. Those that do not know, will hopefully discover this rather soon than late.

He displayed his skills often, so I can imagine Ueshiba had some default demo at the ready.

In a real fight:
* If you make a bad decision, you die.
* If you don't decide anything, you die.
Aikido teaches you how to decide.
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Old 11-27-2015, 06:33 AM   #12
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Re: YouTube: PREWAR AND POSTWAR AIKIDO

Quote:
Cliff Judge wrote: View Post
To add to this - arguably at Noma but certainly at the Asahi Shimbun, Ueshiba was brought in to teach practical technique to people who felt that they would very likely need to use it in a short timeframe.
How about this one?

The main reason I can't take the blanket statements about the founder not teaching or practising forms is that we have the Iwama tradition which is extremely technically precise and prescriptive and while Saito Morihiro must have imparted his own stamp on the founder's material - the sheer breadth and depth of the curriculum proves (to me at least) that it all comes from the founder. For comparison here is an example of how Saito sensei taught shiho nage.

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Old 11-27-2015, 02:13 PM   #13
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Re: YouTube: PREWAR AND POSTWAR AIKIDO

I'm not part of the Iwama lineage, but my understanding is that Saito Sensei systematized what the Founder taught. Saying that Ueshiba Sensei demonstrated something that we would all recognize as shiho nage is *not* the same as saying that Ueshiba Sensei himself taught the technique in any systematic way.

Also, over the course of a 20-30 year teaching career, it's pretty likely that his teaching emphasis evolved. One still photo from a class focused entirely on fine points of shiho nage footwork might look the same as one still photo from a class in which he did nothing but free technique for an hour. That doesn't mean the two classes were "the same" from the perspective of a student.

And, finally, the biggest thing I've noticed in comparing pre- and post-war demonstrations is that the ukes are different. They attack differently, and they respond to techniques differently. Without having been there, I don't think it's possible to say how much of the change is coming from the uke side and how much from the Ueshiba side.

Katherine
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Old 11-27-2015, 02:23 PM   #14
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Re: YouTube: PREWAR AND POSTWAR AIKIDO

Quote:
Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
And, finally, the biggest thing I've noticed in comparing pre- and post-war demonstrations is that the ukes are different. They attack differently, and they respond to techniques differently. Without having been there, I don't think it's possible to say how much of the change is coming from the uke side and how much from the Ueshiba side.
Could you elaborate on that - I don't see that much of a difference but perhaps I am not looking at the same place.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 11-27-2015, 04:01 PM   #15
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Re: YouTube: PREWAR AND POSTWAR AIKIDO

Quote:
Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
I'm not part of the Iwama lineage, but my understanding is that Saito Sensei systematized what the Founder taught. Saying that Ueshiba Sensei demonstrated something that we would all recognize as shiho nage is *not* the same as saying that Ueshiba Sensei himself taught the technique in any systematic way.
I guess that depends on your definition of systematic.

Quote:
Also, over the course of a 20-30 year teaching career, it's pretty likely that his teaching emphasis evolved. One still photo from a class focused entirely on fine points of shiho nage footwork might look the same as one still photo from a class in which he did nothing but free technique for an hour. That doesn't mean the two classes were "the same" from the perspective of a student.
Why would you watch this and not use Occam's razor? Why would you look for complex alternatives?

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Old 11-27-2015, 11:53 PM   #16
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Re: YouTube: PREWAR AND POSTWAR AIKIDO

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Peter Rehse wrote: View Post
Could you elaborate on that - I don't see that much of a difference but perhaps I am not looking at the same place.
Look at the grabbing attacks in the 1935 Asahi News video vs. the later videos. It seems to me that in the earlier video, the grabs are more solid, more firmly established, vs. the "no one could touch" him flavor of later videos.

Katherine
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Old 11-28-2015, 12:08 AM   #17
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Re: YouTube: PREWAR AND POSTWAR AIKIDO

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David Soroko wrote: View Post
Why would you watch this and not use Occam's razor? Why would you look for complex alternatives?
Because it's a minute and a half of poor quality video with no sound? Only about 30 seconds of which actually involve shiho nage?

He could be talking about placing your feet precisely at a 45 degree angle, or he could be talking about unifying Heaven and Earth and manifesting that unity in a spiral, or he could be talking about fire ki and water ki. I have seen other teachers offer all three explanations for shiho nage, and we have quite a lot of stories from direct students saying that Ueshiba Sensei's explanations were mystical in the extreme.

We also have other direct students giving Saito Sensei credit for creating a "syllabus," for setting down specific weapons forms, etc.

And though I did not have the opportunity to study with the Founder, I have had the experience of sitting in a class while very senior instructors offered no explanation whatsoever that might help students to replicate what they were doing, choosing instead to offer an extended soliloquy on the importance of sincerity in budo. "Demonstrating" a technique is not the same as "teaching" a technique.

Katherine
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Old 11-28-2015, 05:08 AM   #18
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Re: YouTube: PREWAR AND POSTWAR AIKIDO

Quote:
Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
Because it's a minute and a half of poor quality video with no sound? Only about 30 seconds of which actually involve shiho nage?

He could be talking about placing your feet precisely at a 45 degree angle, or he could be talking about unifying Heaven and Earth and manifesting that unity in a spiral, or he could be talking about fire ki and water ki. I have seen other teachers offer all three explanations for shiho nage, and we have quite a lot of stories from direct students saying that Ueshiba Sensei's explanations were mystical in the extreme.
and the razor?

Quote:
We also have other direct students giving Saito Sensei credit for creating a "syllabus," for setting down specific weapons forms, etc.
The didactics are mostly Saito sensei's. The content is founder's

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And though I did not have the opportunity to study with the Founder, I have had the experience of sitting in a class while very senior instructors offered no explanation whatsoever that might help students to replicate what they were doing, choosing instead to offer an extended soliloquy on the importance of sincerity in budo. "Demonstrating" a technique is not the same as "teaching" a technique.

Katherine
In other words "the food is terrible and the portions are too small" ?

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Old 11-28-2015, 08:46 AM   #19
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Re: YouTube: PREWAR AND POSTWAR AIKIDO

Quote:
Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
Look at the grabbing attacks in the 1935 Asahi News video vs. the later videos. It seems to me that in the earlier video, the grabs are more solid, more firmly established, vs. the "no one could touch" him flavor of later videos.

Katherine
I see what you are getting at but I don't think the difference is that great in the parallel films shown. I always felt that the greatest strength in Ueshiba's technique was the timing and avoiding the solid grip and that is what I see throughout. Elsewhere, especially when he gets much older I see the uke being ummm helpful but not really in the 1950s films.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 11-28-2015, 09:02 AM   #20
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Re: YouTube: PREWAR AND POSTWAR AIKIDO

Seriously, Occam's Razor is why we believed the Earth was the center of the universe and flat. I work with leukemia, and it's a bloody (pun intended) complicated disease. I have blasted several residents for trying to take the easy way out.

I remember early on, I was at a Kawahara Sensei seminar, and I couldn't understand what he was saying but he showed a movement several times, along with a few others. So, I guess he wants to do them all right? He became furious, and much later a translator was available - "Only stupid people do it this way" "This is the bad example" "Never do it like this"

I respect Saito Sensei's commitment to Aikido. The Iwama narrative is very much that he developed a teaching method to convey what he learned from the Founder and tried for the truest transmission he could.

The problem comes back to a line in the Five Rings that seems to be a subtext of this conversation. If you are off the path by even an inch you are miles off course. I don't remember the exact words.

So, a short leap to assume that only Saito's Aikijo is right, and jo work by Shirata, Chiba, Nishio, Kanai, and Saotome is wrong, or the same with any other type of technique. A short leap in logic to assume Iwama is the only real Aikido.

The pre-war people had Ueshiba Morihei teaching them. They often had other influences, but everyone agreed that they needed to find a different teaching method than they learned by. Post-war people did the same, but often had a different list of outside influences i.e. Saito was not a Daito Ryu student nor a soldier like his seniors. Many post-war people actually had a different generation of people teaching them for most of the time.

There is only one universal theme among Ueshiba's students - that he was a challenging teacher to learn from, and that they wanted to make a better teaching method for future students.
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Old 11-28-2015, 11:53 AM   #21
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Re: YouTube: PREWAR AND POSTWAR AIKIDO

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John Hillson wrote: View Post
Seriously, Occam's Razor is why we believed the Earth was the center of the universe and flat. I work with leukemia, and it's a bloody (pun intended) complicated disease. I have blasted several residents for trying to take the easy way out.
I am pretty sure you are wrong in lumping flat earth and the geocentric theory together. That earth was round was pretty much accepted since ancient Greece. The (quite sophisticated and useful) geocentric theory was ditched, after some resistance from the church, following the invention of the telescope.

This brings me to Occam's razor - you seem to think that it suggest choosing the simplest explanation, this is incorrect. To quote from Wikipedia "Among competing hypotheses, the one with the fewest assumptions should be selected". For example one can suggest that the video in which the founder teaches Shihonage is a modern day fake made using computer animated graphics. Or alternatively, while it looks like he is teaching Shihonage, "he could be talking about fire ki and water ki". Having no further evidence in favour of these theories, the razor suggests that we should go with the (simplest) theory that the founder is simply teaching Shihonage.

Quote:
I remember early on, I was at a Kawahara Sensei seminar, and I couldn't understand what he was saying but he showed a movement several times, along with a few others. So, I guess he wants to do them all right? He became furious, and much later a translator was available - "Only stupid people do it this way" "This is the bad example" "Never do it like this"
Charming - what is your point?

Quote:
The problem comes back to a line in the Five Rings that seems to be a subtext of this conversation. If you are off the path by even an inch you are miles off course. I don't remember the exact words.

So, a short leap to assume that only Saito's Aikijo is right, and jo work by Shirata, Chiba, Nishio, Kanai, and Saotome is wrong, or the same with any other type of technique. A short leap in logic to assume Iwama is the only real Aikido.
Nishio was ranked in several martial arts including Iaido and Jodo and synthesized his own weapons system based on those. Saotome pretty much made up his weapons. Don't know anything relevant about the others you mentioned.
Regardless, nowhere in this thread did I say that any of them are right or wrong.

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Old 11-28-2015, 12:03 PM   #22
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Re: YouTube: PREWAR AND POSTWAR AIKIDO

It's interesting that we're discussing a video that differentiates Ueshiba's pre-war and post-war aikido, while in another thread, we're challenging that there was no difference between what was taught by the father and the son, or at least different enough to differentiate a legacy.

Ueshiba held a license to teach technique. For some number of years, Ueshiba taught something that was probably more loosely considered Daito Ryu than what we call Aikido; and for most of that time, it wasn't called aikido. I don't think it is wrong to say that Ueshiba taught technique, nor wrong to say that Ueshiba taught with technique. I am not sure either statement is a reflection of his perspective of aiki, nor confirmation that he developed a specific technical curriculum.

I think Ueshiba gave several specific points of instruction about aiki, some of which is inconsistent with common aikido instruction, including kata. That you can point to several students who all developed their own aikido lineage may be the best implication that O Sensei himself did not teach a firm technical curriculum, while his students sought to find a teaching method that instilled the same education, but through a different vehicle. That many of the powerhouse aikido people left Hombu may be an implication of their opinion of the curriculum coming from Hombu after the war.

All of this is complicated by the PR machine that wanted a kinder, gentler face of aikido following the war. That many aikido people do not even know that Budo Renshu existed before John Stevens' Budo is probably a good example of which aikido was more popular after the war.

For me, we have to put aiki into something. I do not equate kata with aiki, so those two points of instruction are not equivalent. I think it is possible to teach kata without aiki and aiki without kata. Also, I think teaching is in the eye of the beholder. There are very specific doka and written explanations that we (as aikido people) simply ignore. Look at some of the techniques in Budo Renshu that we just don't do anymore. I think it's a pretty high horse to sit on and in the same breath that we proclaim what O Sensei taught, dismiss one of his doka as the ramblings of a crazy man. All of this controlled by what we now know to have included specific decisions about what to publish and what to withhold in developing the public perception of aikido.

Last edited by jonreading : 11-28-2015 at 12:05 PM.

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Old 11-28-2015, 12:11 PM   #23
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Re: YouTube: PREWAR AND POSTWAR AIKIDO

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Having no further evidence in favour of these theories, the razor suggests that we should go with the (simplest) theory that the founder is simply teaching Shihonage.
The Founder is clearly *demonstrating* shiho nage. Without sound, it is impossible to say what he is *teaching.*

Many teachers see technique as a "language" that can be used to address underlying principles. It does not violate Occam's Razor to suggest that Ueshiba Sensei might have been one of them.

Katherine
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Old 11-28-2015, 03:31 PM   #24
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Re: YouTube: PREWAR AND POSTWAR AIKIDO

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Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
The Founder is clearly *demonstrating* shiho nage. Without sound, it is impossible to say what he is *teaching.*
Like a hairdresser who is talking sports while cutting you hair? It is possible but again, why would you think that this is the case?

Quote:
Many teachers see technique as a "language" that can be used to address underlying principles. It does not violate Occam's Razor to suggest that Ueshiba Sensei might have been one of them.
Katherine
Sure it does. You can drop all the unnecessary complexities of techniques as a "language" of "underlying principles". What remains is a minimal explanation that covers the data points - a man teaching Shihonage.

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Old 11-28-2015, 03:37 PM   #25
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Re: YouTube: PREWAR AND POSTWAR AIKIDO

My opinion is that sometimes in some places the founder did forms and some times and places he didn't. Sometimes and some places he was teaching forms and sometimes and places he wasn't.

The times may have been in particular years, before or after the war etc...The places could have been Tokyo, Shingu, Iwama etc...

This is simple and covers the contradictory evidence we have.

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