Upside down

Against the tide, against the grain maybe, I 'm sorry. But no one has noticed. Upside down, it seems incredible, but it is only the truth. O Sensei’s Aikido has been taught backwards. And if you want to read it, you should look in a mirror, like using a mirror to decipher a specular handwriting.

I do not have in mind any method, any pedagogy, or any of these things that are opened to interpretation and debate. I’m only talking about the very technique, the very heart of the technique, which depends on physical data that nature has engraved in man, I’m talking about this irreducible heart that nobody has the power to change. Right from the beginning, that technical heart has been explained upside down, head down and the lie is so huge that it went unnoticed .

Has anyone lied by the way? And who lied? I do not know, nobody I guess, this is not a lie strictly speaking, it is rather the blindness of a generation, a deception installed after O Sensei, without anyone paying attention. An error transformed into a dogma which obscures everything, which distorts the Aikido, which hides it under a veil, which prevents from understanding. A lie with no liar, but entire lives dedicated to Aikido seem like children's games, such a pity, such a waste.

Nobody has escaped this wave : Aikikai and modern Aikido... official, Iwama, Takemusu… all different designs, but all cantilevered on the bottom, swimming in the same pond... and me first, for too long. All these years next to Saito sensei, and without understanding... I have no excuse, mea culpa. We can die after a life of illusions, we can die without ever having left the field of dreams, it is fairly painless after all. I do not know why I have eventually opened my eyes. Everything has always been within reach. And there is still time to reverse what needs to be and put back the technique and Aikido back on their feet after half a century spent hanged upside down.

I thought long and hard before sharing publicly this view. In the past I had to convince my opponents, today I have to convince my own students over the immense work ahead to fix my own teaching. Some have followed me for almost thirty years. I want to tell them that this teaching was so far the faithful reflection of a remarkable teaching method but it was not more than that. Aikido is not there yet. I also want to tell them that the routine is an equally comfortable and dangerous trap. You can drown in it with a good conscience under the benevolent portrait of Saito sensei, but the routine kills the enthusiasm and joy of practice, it prevents wonder, feelings that arise only with a sincere quest. Aikido does not suffer the routine, it requires enlightenment, it also requires some degree of rebellion, disobedience as humble as the object is great. This is the true respect we owe to our teachers.

I 'm not talking in a crazy or irresponsible way, I’m talking about a work already begun in my classes, in my training, and in some publications on this site in which I will soon bring the necessary information to understand that reverse walk. All this can be explained with a rigor logical minds should be sensitive to.

I will do my best for this series of technical issues, which will be published from Christmas 2013 onwards, may act as an awareness among all those who are willing to reflect on their practice without a priori, without allegiance to any chapel, in a nutshell: with a free spirit.

Philippe Voarino
Saint-Nicolas 2013

What is Traditional Aikido?

Aikido is not a sport, it is a martial art which laws (takemusu) are in harmony with the laws of the universe. Studying them allows the practitioner to understand his place in the universe. Aikido was born in Iwama, O sensei achieved in that village the synthesis of tai jutsu, aiki ken and aiki jo.

Where to practice Traditional Aikido?

The International Takemusu Aikido Federation (ITAF) brings to the practitioner the structure he needs in order to work as close as possible to the reality O sensei MU defined. The official national representations are the guarantee of a teaching faithful to the Founder's.

The weapons of Aikido, aiki ken and aiki jo

In modern Aikido, weapons are hardly taught, if taught at all. In O sensei's Aikido, on the contrary, aiki ken, aiki jo and tai jutsu are unified and form together a riai, a family of harmonious techniques stemming from one unique principle. Each techniques helps understand all the others.

Aikido, a martial art or an art of peace?

Peace is a balance between a human being and the world around him. The true martial art's goal is not to become stronger than one's opponent but to find in that opponent a way to realize harmony. There is no enemy anymore as such, but an opportunity offered to reach unified ki.
Copyright TAI (Takemusu Aikido Intercontinental)