Author: Bret Gordon
Yesterday, my instructor Steven Hatfield and I put out a video together showcasing various aiki and jujutsu techniques taught in American Yoshinkan Aiki Jujutsu. It's nothing spectacular, just a one-minute highlight clip, but it's special because it's the first time we've put anything out together for public consumption regarding aiki. I'll include the video at the end of this article. True to form, our personal press corps took less than 2 hours to share the video and offer some constructive criticism.
One of the most consistent criticisms of demonstrations like this, in addition to the assumption that aiki is fake, is that the responses of the uke do not match the physical output of the tori. They are used to large, external movements being required to throw someone. The very foundation of internal martial arts, Aiki Jujutsu being one of them, is that power is generated in a subtle manner that is imperceptible to the untrained eye. There's nothing esoteric about it. It's not based on magic or anything mystical like chi. It's just a different way of transmitting force through the body (and into another person through physical touch) that is generated through cohesive body movement rather than segregating a limb from the rest of the core. I'll write more articles on the subject in greater detail, but here I'd like to focus on the uke.
Author: Bret Gordon
As a subject matter expert on Aiki Jujutsu, I was asked to review the first two editions of the "Aiki Secrets" book series written by Bill Dockery, student of Tomiki Aikido and Yanagi Hara Ryu Aiki Jujutsu, with the help of Chris Parkerson and Joel Copeland. This series provides cutting edge information regarding the transmission of "esoteric" training practices, breaking them down to their fundamental principles of physics and biomechanics. I've published these reviews on my Facebook page in the past but as this blog site gains a lot more attention, I thought it only appropriate to include them here too. It's also a great way to start the New Year, promoting positivity and improving the quality of information readily available on high level martial arts. For more information on this highly informative series or to purchase your own copies, please click here.
"I want to highly recommend this book by Bill Dockery. It breaks down in unique detail many of the core principles of applying Aiki, explaining them in ways that will benefit all practitioners regardless of their current development of the connected body. Mr. Dockery was able to put into words the principles many of us in the internal community express unconsciously, leading to a greater understanding of the biomechanics and kinesiology of our art. Whether you study Aiki Jujutsu, Aikido or any of the other internal martial arts, this is a book you need to add to your collection."
Originally published December 31, 2018
"It's been my pleasure to read Bill Dockery's second installment in the "Aiki Secrets" series. It's clear that the author has progressed significantly in their journey and understanding of aiki since the first volume, which already was a solid foundation, and I greatly appreciated the references to Chinese internal arts as it mirrors my own studies into the universal principles of internal power. As an Aiki Jujutsu instructor, I highly recommend this book for the advanced martial artist looking to gain insight into how to manifest aiki. This book, along with Mr. Dockery's first volume, are both honored editions in my collection."
Originally published January 28, 2020