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Morihei Ueshiba O-Sensei 6-DVD Set ($89.95)

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Huge savings over retail price!

We are offering a special set of 6 outstanding DVDs featuring Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba. These DVDs contain rare film clips of Morihei Ueshiba O-Sensei at various stages of his life. These 6 DVDs retail normally for $149.70, but during this special you will save more than 40% off as this special offers sells for $89.95 plus shipping & handling.

Link to “Aiki Budo”
Link to “Takemusu Aiki”
Link to “Rendez-vous with Adventure”
Link to “Way of Harmony”
Link to “Divine Techniques”
Link to “Founder of Aikido”

Detailed descriptions of each of the 6 DVDs are provided below:

Morihei Ueshiba: Aiki Budo

The first installment in a six-part series on the founder of Aikido, Morihei Ueshiba. This is an in-depth look at the prewar art of Morihei Ueshiba featuring the rare 1935 Asahi News Film!

Documentary: Morihei Ueshiba, 1883-1942

This exciting DVD showcases the prewar Aiki Budo of Morihei Ueshiba, Founder of Aikido. The program begins with a documentary written and produced by Aikido Journal Editor-in-chief Stanley Pranin that traces the life of the Founder from his boyhood in Tanabe through his retirement to Iwama in 1942. Morihei’s early martial arts training, his study of Daito-ryu aikijujutsu under the famous Sokaku Takeda, his involvement with the Omoto religious sect led by Onisaburo Deguchi, and a history of Ueshiba’s Kobukan Dojo are presented.

This documentary also includes video and audio recordings of several prewar Aikido figures commenting on their remembrances of the Aikido Founder. Among those who appear are Kisshomaru Ueshiba, Gozo Shioda, Rinjiro Shirata, Takako Kunigoshi, and Kiyoshi Nakakura.

1935 Asahi News Film

Of the surviving documents of the prewar era, perhaps the most important is the 1935 film of Morihei shot in Osaka at the Asahi News Dojo. We present this amazing treasure in its entirety for the first time on DVD. One is struck by the modernity of many of the techniques and the “ki no nagare” like style of execution.

Morihei demonstrates numerous suwariwaza, hanza handachi (hanmi handachi), tachiwaza, multiple attacks, and sword and bayonet techniques. His partners are Shigemi Yonekawa and Tsutomu Yukawa. There are also brief appearances by Takuma Hisa and Rinjiro Shirata. Most of the techniques are advanced and performed in a flowing style building up to a spectacular multiple attack finale!

Click here for a detailed analysis of all aspects of this film treasure written by Phil Davison.

Morihei Ueshiba: Takemusu Aiki

This is the second installment in a six-part series on the founder of Aikido, Morihei Ueshiba. “Takemusu Aiki” includes five rare films of the Aikido Founder shot on location in Wakayama Prefecture, Osaka and Tokyo. Morihei Ueshiba is seen here in film clips spanning the years from 1952-1958 plus a fascinating historical documentary. O-Sensei demonstrates hundreds of seated and standing techniques, as well as the jo and ken, the staff and sword of aikido.

Morihei cuts a vigorous figure in this DVD, being in his late 60s through mid-70s in the footage presented here. You will see some of the finest action scenes of the Founder that have survived to this day. A particular highlight of this program is the footage shot at the Self-Defense Agency in the dojo outdoors on the rooftop. The visual quality is stunning and you’ll see many close-up views of the Founder.

The final part of this program is a documentary titled “Iwama: Birthplace of Aikido.” Iwama, located to the northwest of Tokyo in Ibaragi Prefecture, is famous as the site of Morihei’s country home and dojo, and the Aiki Shrine.

It is also considered by many to be the birthplace of Morihei’s martial art since it was here that he lived in seclusion for many years beginning in 1942, developing and refining aikido into its modern form. You will come to understand the circumstances of O-Sensei retiring to Iwama and see many rare, unpublished photographs from this period of the Founder’s life. It was during the Iwama years that Morihei coined the term “Takemusu Aiki” to refer to the highest level of aikido where one becomes capable of executing spontaneous techniques, perfectly suited to the nature and circumstances of the attack.

A detailed list of the contents of this essential DVD follows below:

Wakayama Prefecture, 1952

This first film clip consists of a special demonstration given by Morihei and some of his most famous students in Wakayama Prefecture in 1952. A copy of the film was given to Koichi Tohei Sensei who took it with him to Hawaii in February 1953. This was the first film of Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba shown abroad.

Osaka Aikido, 1955

The scenes in this film were shot in 1955 at the Osaka Aikikai operated by Bansen Tanaka Sensei. Morihei conducts several classes and demonstrates numerous seated and standing techniques as well as ken and jo movements. There is also a section of the film where the Founder shows some unusual warmup exercises that are no longer used today.

Self-Defense Agency, 1957

The footage contained in this film is some of the finest that has survived of the Founder. It was shot in 16mm format and is of excellent quality. There are many beautiful close-ups of Morihei and his ukes Hiroshi Tada and Nobuyoshi Tamura. Since the action takes place outdoors in the rooftop dojo of the Self-Defense Agency the lighting is excellent. You will also see clearly in the background the Diet Building, the site of the Japanese Parliament.

Self-Defense Agency, 1958

This film clip was also taken at the Self-Defence Agency dojo and includes scenes of O-Sensei throwing a group of US military policemen who were interested in testing the Founder and experiencing aikido. There are some classic, slow motion techniques that are beautiful to watch.

Aikikai Hombu Dojo, 1958

The final segment is one of the most precious technical documents of Morihei as it features scores of empty-handed and weapon techniques. O-Sensei is conducting a demonstration in front of a group of dignitaries at the old Aikikai Hombu Dojo c. 1958. Nobuyoshi Tamura and Yasuo Kobayashi are his main uke. This film also includes a rare iaido demonstration by the famous Jun’ichi Haga Sensei, a long-time friend and admirer of the Founder. Fabulous action sequences!

Bonus documentary: “Iwama: Birthplace of Aikido

Stanley Pranin has written and narrates this 15-minute documentary titled, “Iwama: Birthplace of Aikido.” This presentation covers the years around the commencement of World War II through the mid-1950s during which time Morihei lived mainly in Iwama. These years are important because it was during this timeframe that the Founder refined his art into the modern form of aikido. This documentary is accompanied by some 70 rare historical photographs, many of which have never been published.

Morihei Ueshiba: Rendez-vous with Adventure

This DVD presents the full, uncut version of a fascinating U.S. television documentary on aikido produced in 1958. It follows the adventures of an American tv crew who first cover the opening of the majestic Tokyo Tower with all its pomp and ceremony. Next, they pay a visit to the Aikikai Hombu Dojo in Tokyo to find out what aikido is all about.

There they meet famous Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba, his son Kisshomaru, and Koichi Tohei. Two members of the crew don training uniforms and try the art out for themselves, often with humorous results. An unforgettable scene is the “challenge” by one of the skeptical journalists handled by Koichi Tohei. Another highlight of this film is the interview of O-Sensei, with Koichi Tohei acting as interpreter. You will hear the Founder’s actual voice and watch him intone a haunting Shinto chant. The exciting finale features a special demonstration by O-Sensei of taijutsu, aiki ken, aiki jo and multiple attacks. Nobuyoshi Tamura and Yasuo Kobayashi are among those taking falls for the Founder. Incredible action!

This program also features a first-of-its-kind documentary tracing the evolution and dissemination of aikido both in Japan and abroad following World War II. The presentation includes some 250 historical photos of many of the legends of aikido whose efforts led to the international spread of the art beyond its birthplace of Japan. Written and narrated by Stanley Pranin.

Morihei Ueshiba: Way of Harmony

The fourth installment in a six-part series on the founder of Aikido, Morihei Ueshiba. This exciting DVD showcases rare films of the Founder taken between the years of 1958 and 1962. In addition, a never-before-heard audio interview of O-Sensei is presented in its entirety for the first time. Here is a full list of the contents of this wonderful new DVD of Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba:

Aikikai Hombu, 1958

Highlights of a class and demonstration given at the World Aikido Headquarters in Tokyo. The Founder demonstrates a variety of seated and standing techniques in this clip. (3:07)

TV Documentary, 1958

This film was shot contemporaneously with the American tv documentary “Rendez-vous with Adventure” by an amateur cameraman. A number of scenes from the Founder’s remarkable demonstration edited out of the televised program are preserved in this exciting footage. (2:08)

Aikikai Hombu, 1959

The footage contained in this film preserves some of the finest action scenes ever of the Founder. His superb skills are displayed in numerous seated, standing, ken and jo techniques. Features beautiful slow-motions sequences. (9:18)

Aikikai Hombu, 1960

A rare film with outstanding action featuring Kazuo Chiba as the Founder’s partner. Many dynamic sequences of free-style and weapons techniques are captured in this film. (4:14)

Honolulu, Hawaii, 1961

This film was shot on the occasion of the Grand Opening of the Honolulu Aikikai in February 1961. This was the Founder’s only trip to the United States. This footage contains crystal-clear shots of the founder’s misogi jo kata and swordwork as well as scenes from the dojo festivities. Koichi Tohei and Nobuyoshi Tamura also appear. (8:07)

Aikikai Hombu, 1962

This footage shot in 1962 by an American couple for a tv documentary that was never completed and lay in storage for 23 years. It was shot in beautiful 16mm film and is some of the highest-quality footage of the Founder known to exist. The Founder is shown teaching a class at the Aikikai Hombu Dojo with American Terry Dobson serving as his training partner. (3:03)

Bonus Feature

O-Sensei radio interview. This DVD contains a fascinating interview of the Founder conducted about 1962 during which he is questioned about aikido. As was his custom, many of the Founder’s comments reflect his spiritual views and mention Japanese kami. This recording affords a rare chance to gain an intimate glimpse of the Founder’s warmth and personality. English subtitles provided. A series of beautiful close-up photos of the Founder serve as the backdrop for the interview. (12:30)

Aikido Journal editor-in-chief Stanley Pranin also appears to introduce and explain the programs.

Morihei Ueshiba: Divine Techniques

This is the fifth DVD of Aikido Journal’s definitive DVD series on the Founder of Aikido, Morihei Ueshiba. “Divine Techniques” is comprised of a collection of 12 films of O-Sensei—several of them in color—from the period of 1962 to shortly before his death in 1969. It also includes a heretofore unpublished audio recording of the Founder’s voice.

Contents include:

Iwama Dojo and Aiki Shrine, 1962

The Founder performs several demonstrations both in the Iwama Dojo and inside the Aiki Shrine. American aikidoka Terry Dobson is featured prominently. This film was shot in 1962 by Mr. & Mrs. William Nye for a tv documentary that was never completed. This clip contains some of the best footage of O-Sensei that has been preserved!(20:03)

All-Japan Aikido Demonstration, 1964

This footage consists of the highlights of O-Sensei’s demonstration at the 1964 Aikido Demonstration held at Hibiya Kokkaido hall. Of special note is the fascinating misogi kata performed by the Founder using the “nuboko,” a sharpened staff, representing the “heavenly-jeweled spear” from the Kojiki creation story and used frequently in demonstrations by O-Sensei during his final years. Morihiro Saito, Mitsugi Saotome, Terry Dobson and Kazuo Chiba are among his uke.(2:00)

Aikikai Hombu Dojo class, 1964

This clip captures O-Sensei during a class he taught at the old Aikikai Hombu Dojo in Tokyo in 1964. This is the same dojo used by the Founder during the prewar era when it was known as the “Kobukan Dojo.” The camera is positioned close to the action to afford an excellent view of O-Sensei’s instruction. The Founder is ably assisted by Seiichi Sugano. (1:57)

4th Kanto Student Aikido Demonstration, 1966

This clip features the Founder’s performance at the 1966 Student Aikido Demonstration. O-Sensei demonstrates a misogi kata using a fan. Also, he humorously stands on one leg while being pushed at one point during his performance. Among the identifiable ukes are Shizuo Imaizumi and Kenji Shimizu. (4:23)

All-Japan University Aikido Demonstration, 1966

This is footage from the 1966 All-Japan University Aikido Demonstration that features an animated O-Sensei repeatedly mowing down a row of students including Norihiko Ichihashi, Shizuo Imaizumi and Iwao Tamura. It also contains a series of kata using the fan vs. bokken. (4:25)

All-Japan Aikido Demonstration, 1966

This clip consists of nice close-up footage from the All-Japan Demonstration of 1966 held at the Hibiya Kokkaido, the most frequent venue for these annual events during the 1960s. If you look carefully you can see the following deshi assisting the Founder: Mitsugi Saotome, Shizuo Imaizumi, and Nobuyuki Watanabe. (1:25)

Kumano Hongu Shrine Demonstration, 1967

This is a most unusual film that captures O-Sensei’s demonstration at the Kumano Hongu Shrine located deep in the mountains near Tanabe, Wakayama Prefecture in 1967. The Founder performs a beautiful misogi bo kata for the occasion and demonstrates with Michio Hikutsuchi as his assistant. (6:15)

Self-Defense Force Demonstration, 1967

This footage is one of the few surviving color films of the Founder demonstrating at the Self-Defense Force Aikido Demonstration in 1967. O-Sensei’s strokes his famous wispy white beard as he expertly throws his young students among whom can be seen Seishiro Endo and Minoru Kurita. (2:39)

Opening of the New Aikikai Hombu Dojo, 1968

This film marks the historic opening of the New Aikikai Hombu Dojo on January 12, 1968. On this auspicious occasion the visibly pleased Founder dispatches one young deshi after another with effortless grace. Among his assistants are Shizuo Imaizumi, Mitsugi Saotome, Kenji Shimizu. O-Sensei also defends against a sword-wielding Michio Hikitsuchi while holding a fan. (2:37)

Aikikai Hombu Dojo Special Demonstration, 1968

This movie preserves a special demonstration held in 1968 at the newly-built Aikikai Hombu Dojo in Tokyo. O-Sensei gives a spirited demonstration in front of the “Aiki Okami” hanging scroll to a crowded room of observers. There are many excellent action sequences that clearly reveal the Founder’s extraordinary abilities even in advanced age. Noticeable among O-Sensei’s deshi are Kenji Shimizu, Shizuo Imaizumi, and Seishiro Endo (2:06)

All-Japan Aikido Demonstration, 1968

The footage in this beautiful color clip captures O-Sensei’s presentation at the 1968 All-Japan Aikido Demonstration held on October 5, 1968 at the Hibiya Kokkaido. This marked the last time the Founder appeared at this annual event. Clad in an elegant, flowing white kimono, O-Sensei cuts a graceful figure as he demonstrates his art with total mastery. Masatake Fujita and others serve as his assistant. (2:12)

Aikikai Hombu Dojo Kagami Biraki, 1969

This color film records O-Sensei’s demonstration during the Kagami Biraki New Year ceremony at the Aikikai Hombu Dojo on January 15, 1969. This is quite probably the Founder’s last public demonstration as he fell ill a few weeks later and was bedridden until his passing on April 26. At the advanced age of 85, O-Sensei is remarkably agile and gives a wonderful performance. The camera angle is excellent and many beautiful throws are captured. Mitsugi Saotome, Minoru Kurita, Mamoru Suganuma, Ikuo Iimura, and Seishiro Endo are among O-Sensei’s assistants on this occasion. (2:01)

Bonus Feature: O-Sensei audio interview

The final segment of this DVD program consists of excerpts from an unpublished taped interview of the Founder made c. 1965 wherein he talks about the unusual circumstances of his birth and his spiritual possesion by a martial deity that determined the course of his long career. There are only a few surviving voice recordings of O-Sensei and hearing his actual voice will add a further dimension to the viewer’s appreciation of his charismatic personality. (11:12)

Aikido Journal editor-in-chief Stanley Pranin also appears to introduce and explain the programs.

Morihei Ueshiba: The Founder of Aikido

This DVD is the final installment of a six-part series on the Founder of Aikido, Morihei Ueshiba.

The first section is the uncut version of a Japanese tv documentary titled “Aikido” produced in 1961. This film focuses on the life and techniques of Morihei Ueshiba, and was shot on location in Iwama and Tokyo. It contains beautiful footage of the Founder in his daily life and during training. There are many marvelous action scenes, including an incredible display of empty-handed techniques, defenses against multiple attacks and a live sword!

Both the late Doshu Kisshomaru Ueshiba and Morihiro Saito figure prominently as O-Sensei’s training partners. Watch for O-Sensei’s incredible ability to perceive his partner’s intent before the attack even starts! You’ll also hear the Founder’s actual voice in several scenes of him in prayer that highlight his great spirituality. This film will bring the figure of O-Sensei alive, and you are sure to be captivated by his energy and charisma! Complete English subtitles of the Japanese narration are provided.

Part two of this DVD presents a fascinating 15-minute radio interview with the Founder. Great care was taken in inserting over 200 subtitles to allow you to follow along with each and every word spoken by the Founder. You will appreciate the Founder’s humor, warmth and spiritual insight as he invites you into his world. In parts of the interview O-Sensei mentions the names of Japanese deities or “kami” and alludes to such ancient texts as the Kojiki. You will come to understand first-hand how O-Sensei expressed himself as you listen to this crystal clear recording of his voice.

All throughout the interview a series of rare photos of O-Sensei from the famous von Krenner collection taken around 1967 are displayed. This perfect combination of image and sound will give you a long, intimate glimpse of the geniality of the Founder.

Aikido Journal editor-in-chief Stanley Pranin also appears to introduce and explain the programs.

Watch video trailer below.

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