Seminar Feedback by Rich Hobbs

This was my second time attending a seminar with Howard Popkin and the only disappointment I came away with was that the time between each opportunity is as long as it is… Howard has a confident yet quiet delivery and whilst he is friendly, open and safe in his delivery…

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Aiki Connections by Ben Forrest

Training with Howard Popkin Sensei provides a unique insight into Daito Ryu and some of its elements which translate into Aikido. His techniques are are incredibly soft – almost effortless – and yet they are impossible to resist. Although this is infuriating at first, Howard’s detailed explanation and step-by-step demonstration…

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Interesting Article from Aikido Journal

This article on Police Arrest techniques adapted from Daito-ryu is very interesting. Considering how we practise kamae in our branch of Daito-ryu, I was particularly interested in this, the 8th Footnote… “The insistence of Hisa on hanmi (半身, lit.: “half of one’s body”) is interesting since it is not usually prominently…

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What are the basic techniques of Daito–ryu?

Shihan Certification & Hiden Ogi scroll awarded to Okamoto Seigo by Horikawa Kodo What are the basic techniques of Daito–ryu? Okamoto: These are basics that were created by Shisho (Kodo) in Hokkaido. In our case we have changed them a little, but basically speaking they are the same. If one…

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A Very familiar sentiment, by Dave Remnant

My own martial arts training started with Shaolin kung fu, then jujitsu. So since starting training in Aikido, my biggest battle has been with acquiring softness and trying not to use brute strength in techniques. As one part of my early investigations into aikido I investigated the source of Aikido,…

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The best experience, by Stuart Turner

Aikido folk often pay lip-service to the fact that their art derives from Daito-ryu, but not many get the chance to actually train in aikido’s parent art. I was fortunate enough to be able to share a mat with Howard Popkin and Joe Brogna at the Aiki Connections seminar recently,…

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What is Daitō-ryū?

Reposting this article for the benefit of our Study Group members (and anyone else who might be interested of course). Last year I wrote the following article for the British Aikido Association magazine “Shizentai”. The intended audience is mainly Tomiki Kenji lineage aikido folk. I very much like the name…

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Rob’s feedback, by Rob Ayre

Some more Aiki Connections feedback, this time courtesy of Rob Ayre. “The line between Aikido and Daito-Ryu is fast disappearing for me. Everything I want from Aikido exists in Daito-Ryu. The subtle and soft movements with devastating effects are worthy of sincere study. To be unable to move or to…

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Some great feedback from Stu Marshall

Some cracking feedback courtesy of Stu Marshall…. What can I say that hasn’t already been said multiple times with greater eloquence and insight? Not much. It’s all true what people say. Every bit of it. Unless it’s anything other than superlative, in which case it’s an outrageous fabrication. Fake News.…

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Will’s seminar review – by William Greene

I was given an opportunity to learn about Daito-Ryu courtesy of Phil Eyers when I joined Genryukan dojo. I was interested in Aikido for being able to throw your opponents without using force compared to other popular martial arts. I never knew a style softer than aikido existed until I…

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Seminar feedback by Lionel de Nobrega

Some more feedback, this time courtesy of Lionel de Nobrega; You expect occasionally to take a little leap forward in your understanding of things. What you don’t plan for, is to have your mind blown open by new possibility and instead end up realising that what you thought you knew…

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Weekend feedback, by Paul Conway

Some feedback from the weekend, courtesy of Paul Conway…. “Back from a weekend of training with Howard Popkin and Joe Brogna, the leaders of the Ginjukai school of Daito Ryu Aikijujutsu. I think you would struggle to find a better seminar than those led by Howard and Joe. They both…

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Weekend thoughts

I just got back from the airport run, and am in full on adrenaline dump mode. I just wanted to get a few thoughts down about the weekend. This was the sixth consecutive Aiki Connections seminar. Each year Howard and Joe have attracted an increasing number of participants to the…

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Pictorial Daito-ryu Ginjukai Lineage

Pictorial lineage of the Daito-ryu Aiki-jujutsu Ginjukai Takeda Sōkaku, the founder of Daitō-ryū Aiki-jūjutsu (October 10, 1859 – April 25, 1943) Takeda Sōkaku (middle) and his student Kodo Horikawa (right). Kōdō Horikawa (1894–1980) Kōdō Horikawa (second from left) seated with Shioda Gōzō (third from left). Kōdō Horikawa (middle) training with…

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Interesting Interview with Ueshiba Morihei

A both fascinating and unorthodox interview with Daito-ryu Instructor and Aikido founder Ueshiba Morihei, has surfaced. Aikikai Aikido and Takumakai Daito-Ryu student Guillaume Errard posted that he found it recently. Good job Guillaume! A very curious dynamic develops between interviewer and interviewee, ranging from amused to annoyed (on both sides).…

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Okamoto Seigo Interview

I forgot to share this last month when it was posted up. Originally published in 1990 by Gekkan Hiden Magazine (“Secret Teachings Monthly”), our friend Chris Li put up part one of an interview with Okamoto Sensei on his excellent Sangenkai blog. (I love this picture)

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West country whistle stop

That was a busy weekend…. We just had a great weekend’s study group action in the west country. First a quick 4 hour Friday night drive down to Bristol, courtesy of my trusty chauffeur/Brother. Sone refreshments followed of course.. On Saturday Daren gave me a quick tour of Bristol before…

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Articles for Archive purposes

Daito Ryu Article for BAA Shizentai Magazine Daito Ryu article in BAB Aikido Times Magazine Howard Popkin Interview part 1 in BAA Shizentai Magazine Howard Popkin Interview part 2 in BAA Shizentai Magazine Aiki Connections 2017 advert in BAB Aikido Times Magazine

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2016 Interview with Howard Popkin

Howard, you and Joe Brogna operate the Daito Ryu Ginjukai in New York. For those who don’t know what it is, please could you tell us about Daito Ryu? Daitoryu Aikijujutsu was brought to the public eye a few generations ago by Takeda Sokaku. The son of a Samurai, Sokaku…

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Takeda Sokaku Timeline

This timeline is reproduced from the archive of Aikido Journal. Many thanks to Josh Gold at Aikido Journal for permission. 1859 – Born on October 10, 1859 at the Takeda Mansion in Oike, Aizu Bange-cho, in present-day Fukushima Prefecture. Father, Sokichi Takeda (1819-1906), mother Tomi (unknown dates), daughter of Dengoro…

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On the fence about Daito-ryu?

Have a read of some of the testimonial quotes below from previous participants of the Aiki Connections weekend, then head over and book your place at this year’s event. “There is only one way to understand this level of Aiki and that is to feel it or to get “Hands…

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Horikawa Kodo

Some fantastic photos of Horikawa Kodo, Okamoto Sensei’s teacher. Our thanks to Ole Kingston of Daito Ryu Enryukai. A Young Kodo Taiso Horikawa, Sokaku Takeda, Kodo Horikawa. The famous photo of Kodo with a young Gozo Shioda.

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Latest feedback from John Shields

Some nice feedback from John Shields… I have been practising the art of Aikido for the last 30 years, and have had the good fortune to have trained with various Sensei and Shihan from both Europe and Japan. On meeting Sensei’s Popkin and Brogna, I was amazed at their technical…

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Seminar Feedback just in…by Phil Glover

Aiki Connections seminar feedback just in courtesy of Phil Glover….. Tl;dr: It was good, join us next time. So, it’s been a couple of weeks since the 2018 Aiki Connections Seminar and I’ve been using the time to try and organise my thoughts to offer some feedback. Before we start, a bit…

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Another review, by Mark Jenner

New review received, this time courtesy of Mr Mark Jenner…. Another great Daito Ryu weekend in Dover with the Aiki connections crowd, four years now and it’s not yet failed to deliver! This is much more than just another martial arts seminar, enlightening, thought provoking, and frustratingly minimalist, it’s all…

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New Aiki Connections review, by Simon Thackeray

Our thanks to Simon Thackeray for this feedback… An enlightening and enjoyable weekend with knowledgeable, skillful teachers who were keen for everyone to get what it is they’re teaching and make time for everyone there. Some six hours a day of training time could have been heavy going, but it…

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Great testimonial, by Stuart Turner

Aikido folk often pay lip-service to the fact that their art derives from Daito-ryu, but not many get the chance to actually train in aikido’s parent art. I was fortunate enough to be able to share a mat with Howard Popkin and Joe Brogna at the Aiki Connections seminar recently,…

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Post weekend thoughts

Thank you to everyone who attended the weekend. It was lovely to see so many old friends and to start so many new friendships. It was an absolute pleasure to train with you all. I always derive huge enjoyment in seeing the surprise/shock on people’s faces when they grab Howie…

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Great feedback, by Paul Wildish

I have been a committed budoka for some fifty years, first practising judo, then subsequently practising Tomiki Aikido, Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu iaido and Mugai Ryu Iaiheiho. Throughout my budo journey I have shared practice with jujutsu, jodo, kenjutsu, karate, Nihon Shorinji Kempo and Chinese tai chi teachers. This experience…

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Nice words…by Erik Divietro

“My brief time training with Popkin and Brogna Sensei radically altered my perspective on aiki. One of the first things you will notice with Popkin and Brogna Sensei is the confident effortlessness of their movement. Come in contact with one of them, and instantly you are attached to something you…

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Assumptions, courtesy of Peter Boylan

An excerpt from an old post on Peter Boylan’s (the Budo Bum) blog…. “Getting out to a seminar or two in another art can broaden your perspective on situations the arts you study are intended to deal with. Every art has a frame through which it interprets the world. It’s…

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Great feedback from Nikos Papanikolaou

Last summer, through a contact of my teacher, Quentin Cooke, I was informed of a small Daito-Ryu Aiki-Jujutsu study group led by Phil Eyers that follows the Roppokai tradition and Seigo Okamoto sensei. This group has been inviting two American teachers, Howard Popkin and Joe Brogna sensei (personal students of…

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Daito-Ryu Aiki-jujutsu article for Aikidoka

Last year I wrote the following article for the British Aikido Association magazine “Shizentai”. The intended audience is mainly Tomiki Kenji lineage aikido folk. I very much like the name Shizentai, as “natural posture” is generally what we use in our practice. _______________________________________ Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu When asked about what they…

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