I'm a Swedish writer and aikido instructor, 6 dan Aikikai Shihan, former Vice Chairman of the International Aikido Federation. I've practiced aikido since 1972. I also teach the sword art iaido. More about me here.
by Stefan Stenudd. The aikibatto sword and staff exercises for aikido students explained, with practical and spiritual aspects of the sword arts, equipment for training, and more. Click the image to see the book at Amazon.
Increase your life energy, by Stefan Stenudd. The life energy qi (also chi or ki), with exercises on how to awaken, increase, and use it. Click the image to see the book at Amazon.
Video clips of Aikido Techniques, Classes and Demonstrations
At a seminar I held in the Czech city Hradec Kralove, in the spring of 2003, Larry Kwolek made a number of video clips. Some of them you find below. More of me, and many others, you find at Larry's big aikido website Aikidojo.info. Also, I have added some other videos below, filmed elsewhere and later on.
The ones below, I have given some short explanatory remarks, if you are interested. Most of them are from a loose form training - you may call it ki nagare, or just playing around, but I firmly believe that it is in this line of experimenting that aikido needs to develop. At least for me. I hope you enjoy them.
You can watch and save the video clips by clicking on the camera symbol or the title of the video clip text. Some of them you can watch directly from Youtube, just by clicking the picture. Here is my Youtube account: Aikidostenudd.
Aikiken video clips
Aikibatto video clips
Iaido video clips
Aikido basics on video
Here I do iriminage on a "symbolic" form of the aihanmi katatedori attack, where our hands meet without any gripping. I find it an excellent way of training the principles of aikido, such as the line of the attack and how it is extended and redirected. Martik Kos is uke. (0.9 MB)
This is a ki nagare style kokyuho, in the way that it is a playful extension of the attacker's energy, and an exercise in handling it as subtly as possible. Gabika Markovicova is the uke. One should try not to apply any force. How it works may be more clear in the second half of the clip, where David Bradna is the uke. As soon as the attacker has an aim, there is an energy flow, which can be extended into an aikido technique - even if there is not yet any attack. (3.2 MB).
Here, the same principles as above are applied to kokyunage - a throw, which is pretty much designed for it, since it should not involve brute force. Notice that the hands meet without any gripping. By spiral moves, the attacker's energy is snared, gathered and guided into the throw. Gabriel Jurcak is uke. (1.6 MB)
This time the attacker, Martin Frankovic, actually grabs my wrist in gyakuhanmi katatedori. Grabbing or no grabbing should make no difference to how the aikido technique can be performed. (1.2 MB)
This is probably the most common jodori technique - a basic kokyunage, which I do with Gabriel Jurcak. With jodori I have found that almost all aikidoka do the same few techniques. Most aikido techniques are actually neglected in jodori, because several of them are a bit tricky to figure out. (0.7 MB)
First, I show a few basics about katadori on Mirek - in this case sort of a pat on the shoulder, before it becomes a katadori grip. Then I do a kokyuho on him and on Martin Svihla, where the arms are not used, but a rubber-like flexibility in the shoulder and body. You can neglect posture, but need to remain in your center. It's fun to do. (2.4 MB)
Shortly at first, Martin Frankovic shows what I regard as the proper way to grab morotedori, also called katate ryotedori - ie. from a position behind tori. Then we still do the frontal attack, which is quite common in aikido, and a sort of cowboy atemi entrance - like shooting from the hip. This is one way to open up, so that it is possible to lift one's arm for the iriminage. (3.1 MB)
The shomen ate attack goes in a curve forward, instead of the downward cut of the shomen uchi. I find it very useful in training, as a kind of principle for the straight forward attack. Contrary to the shomen uchi, the shomen ate can be an effective attack also with an unarmed hand. In this clip Martin Svihla's attack is done gently, but the ikkyo technique does not change one bit, when the attack is fast and hard. (2.1 MB)
Here I do iriminage on Martin Frankovic's shomen ate attacks. In the middle of the clip I also show some basics about the joining with the partner in the technique - it should be obvious, even if my words are inaudible. (2.7 MB)
This technique is probably more fun for tori than for uke... A good way of doing the nikyo ura pinning, is to bow to uke's center. That will make the nikyo quite exact and powerful, without any force applied - and it looks nice, too. Gabriel Jurcak is the forbearing uke. (1.9 MB)
Again, this is definitely more fun for tori than for uke, who is Gabika Markovicova. In this exercise, I focus on trying to control the partner with as little physical force as possible, by being sensitive to the movements going on and being initiated in the partner. Extending the energy as soon as it commences in any direction. (2.1 MB)
Here Martin Frankovic makes the traditional shomen uchi attack, on which I do iriminage. I'd say that it is done the same way as for shomen ate, tsuki, and so on. At the end of the clip I and Mirek demonstrate the necessity of not pushing down in the iriminage throw. (2.0 MB)
Certainly, there are many ways to do suwarikokyuho. The one I show on Martin Frankovic here, is rather gentle, in extending the uke's grip and energy, beyond his or her balance. A very common way of doing the technique. (1.3 MB)
This is actually also a suwarikokyuho done by extending uke's energy and grip, but this time in a curved movement up and down - the same type of movement as in an ate technique, which can for evident reasons be called tiger claw. Many aikido movements have close similarities to the techniques of other martial arts. Martin Svihla and Martin Kos are uke. (2.2 MB)
Me in 1979
This is long ago... In 1979, we shot this mock-training video at my dojo in those days, Brandbergen Aikido. I was 25 and had done aikido for just seven years, which did not stop med from instructing with an attitude that now embarrasses me, and big words that make me relieved they are in Swedish, so that most of you don't understand them. I must confess that I speak similarly about aikido now, but I hope that I perform better - and more humbly (but I'm not sure of it). Oh, and my hair was longer, my belly smaller, and my hakama shorter. I thought that it would be fun for my present students to see...
Me in 1973
This is probably the oldest film of me doing aikido. It's from a summer seminar in Uppsala, Sweden, in 1973 or 1974. Our national instructor at the time, Toshikazu Ichimura, attacks intensely with a bokken, and I do some nervous taisabaki. He knew how to swing the sword, he was 6 dan Renshi in iaido... Filmed by Olle DehlÚn.
In my dojo, we often practice small manoevers from the chudan kamae guard - a bit in line with what is done in kendo. The chudan kamae needs to be explored, for a proper understanding of the Japanese sword arts. Musashi called it the field-marshal of guards. Here, I do a harai, a warding off of Martin Frankovic's sword, followed up by the kote cut, to the wrist. Notice that here I am the attacker, initiating the movement, which is significantly more difficult than responding to an attack. Some speed is needed - it's all in the wrist. (1.1 MB)
This exercise is pretty much the same as the one above, but here Martin Frankovic attacks with a chudan tsuki. I ward his sword off, and I move forward to the side, out of the way of it, to do yokomen uchi. The harai should not be done so much to the side, but rather in the direction of uke's tsuki attack, extending it. (2.4 MB)
First, I and David Bradna demonstrate that you cannot attack a proper chudan kamae, for obvious reasons. Then I stop his attack with a kiai and short tsuki movement, really little more than implied. The attacker feels pierced, and loses momentum. The defender still needs to make a taisabaki forward to the side, but preferably so small and discreet that the attacker doesn't notice it. This kind of technique needs for the attacker to be surprised, which is not so easy when training it repeatedly in the dojo. Still, you can feel how it works, when done with resolve and conviction. (2.2 MB)
Here you find video clips of the ten aikibatto duo exercises.
The first Aikibatto exercise with jo against ken, SHIHO MAE, with partner Martin Svihla. Aikibatto is primarily designed for ken against ken, but each exercise also has a jo version. (1.2 MB)
Here is a variation of the above exercise, also with Martin Svihla, where the attacker counters what would be the ending technique of the defender, creating additional moves. With my students, I often do these kinds of training, improvising continued movements and variations, to keep kata training from becoming too mechanical. Also, it trains the students in adapting to circumstances, instead of just repeating a pattern know by heart. (1.9 MB)
The exercise goes on, with more moves - this time so that the attacker actually wins. I know that this is a no-no in most budo, but never trying it just makes the student take things for granted. Also, in exercises involving jo against ken, it is customary that the one with jo is the winner - again, that should certainly not be taken for granted. Here I have switched to ken, eager to be the winner, and David Bradna holds the jo. (1.2 MB)
Here, the exercise is completed, with Martin Svihla as uke. The person with a jo is the winner, as tradition demands. Of course, one can go on adding movements, for as long as it's fun - but too many movements tend to make the exercise too much a mind thing, stimulating the memory more than improving the jo and ken skills. (1.3 MB)
Here you find video clips of the ten aikibatto duo exercises.
In my iaido classes, we do mae a lot, as a basic training, not only in the way shown here - but mostly standing up, instead of from a seated position. Most of the important iaido basics are contained in this simple exercise. By the end of the clip I do it with an extended cut, to gedan. I find that to be a very good way of learning to relax in cutting, and extending energy forward. One should cut forward, not down. ((1.4 MB)
This is a different approach to the mae exercise, sort of the attacker's version. In most iaido, only defense is practiced, which can lead to shortcomings. Here's a draw and cut, in all simplicity, the basic form of the attacker. Iaido is the art of simplicity, of rubbing off everything that is not essential. (2.8 MB)
A 3 minute video clip (7 MB) where I do some iai forms from here and there. I can't say that I approve of every detail. My posture is far from perfect, I tend to sort of nod at the cuts, which are often not enough extended forward, I do a meaningless extra movement with the saya right before noto, et cetera - in spite of my thirty-some years doing iai. Well, well, something to work on at next keiko...
Here you find video clips of the ten aikibatto exercises, done as iaido kata.
Here you find instructive video clips of ikkyo against different attacks. Almost all attack forms are shown.
Here you find instructive video clips of kotegaeshi against some basic attacks.
Here you find instructive video clips of koshinage against some basic attacks.
Here you find an instructive video clip of yonkyo against the shomenuchi attack.
Here you find an instructive video clip of nikyo against some basic attacks.
Here you find instructive video clips of basic aikido techniques against tantodori, knife attacks.
The five videos below are from a 1993 Shoji Nishio sensei seminar in our dojo Enighet. You can also see them at my YouTube account:
My Aikido Books
Basic Concepts of the Peaceful Martial Art, by Stefan Stenudd. Aikido principles, philosophy, and basic ideas. Click the image to see the book at Amazon.
How to do kogeki, the attack techniques, by Stefan Stenudd. All the attack techniques in aikido explained, and how to do them correctly. Click the image to see the book at Amazon.