Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Tomiki Day

As of December 25, it will have been 35 years since the passing of Kenji Tomiki in 1979. Every year here at my blog it has become a tradition to post this as a holiday oriented memory of the man that has touched so many of our lives through his work in education and budo. It intrigues me and makes me wonder the nature of budo to how in such a short time the art he taught and spread and morphed.

according to an aricle by Yoji Kondo

"Tomiki Shihan was planning an Aikido tour of the U. S. in 1978 when he was suddenly hospitalized for an operation. It was kept confidential but he had an intestinal cancer. On Christmas Eve of that year, a choir from a nearby church came to the hospital yard to sing carols for the bed -ridden patients. Master Tomiki appeared to be feeling better as he listened to the choir. Thanks to the dedicated and loving care of Mrs. Tomiki, it looked as though he would see the New Year of 1980. However, he did not live to see the sunrise of December 25; he passed away early that morning."

In memory of Kenji Tomiki on December 25 I would like everyone the take the day off work. Sit around with your family. Exchange a present to represent the present of Aikido and Judo he helped spread. You can put up a tree up in your house because the ki part of TomiKI is the Chinese character for tree 木. Maybe if you are a good little boy or girl Sensei Claus will come down your chimney and throw you like crazy.

Merry Tomiki Day everybody!!! Remember our great teacher. We stand on the shoulders of a giant.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Aiki is a form of Ki Magic

Lets start off with the statement –

 Aiki is a form of Ki Magic

I am a martial artist, first and foremost in my artistic life.   I am a practical fellow.  I have many grades and ranks in a variety of Japanese art forms.  I am rankier than some, not as rank as other.  I have also spent a great deal of my adult life as a magician.  I enjoyed performing on stage and up close; I was even privileged to work some gigs in Vegas at a magic venue.  I even spent a few years as a struggling professional.   I have a few good effects.  In my magical prime I was nothing great, but I enjoyed myself.  To complete a picture of my background, I also I have a soft science education, receiving degrees in psychology, Anthropology and education.

Because of my passion for the art of illusion, I have spent a great deal of time pondering the question – what is magic?  As I toured magician’s gatherings and workshops I often asked the greats and teachers – what is magic?  In modern society, we seem to have a love-hate relationship with the term.  It is an ambiguous term, much like the term aiki – they have emotional definitions, but not many people really explore deeply to discover what these terms mean.  During the Christmas season, everything becomes magic, Disney magic,

the practice of illusory tricks to entertain other people; conjuring
any mysterious or extraordinary quality or power: the magic of springtime

like magic, very quickly

results through mysterious influences or unexplained powers. Magic may have glamorous and attractive connotations;

Magic is the art of awe

the art of producing illusions as entertainment by the use of sleight of hand, deceptive devices, etc.; legerdemain; conjuring:
to pull a rabbit out of a hat by magic.
the art of producing a desired effect or result through the use of incantation or various other techniques that presumably assure human control of supernatural agencies or the forces of nature.

Magic refers to methods that somehow interface with the supernatural and by
which people can bring about particular outcomes. A magician is usually a worker
in the kind of magic that is on the whole public and good,

Malinowski wrote: “While in the magical
act the underlying idea and aim is always clear, straightforward, and definite,

of or relating to magic: a magic spell
possessing or considered to possess mysterious powers: a magic wand
unaccountably enchanting: magic beauty
(informal) wonderful; marvellous; exciting

(Arthur C.) Clarke's Third Law: 
Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Daito Ryu Workshop at Windsong

Last winter I had the honor of leading a workshop at the Windsong winter intensive.  Lowry sensei asked me to share some of the Daito Ryu I had learned in my time in Japan.  I really love teaching and sharing principles of aiki.  I am grateful to have had the chance to share.