Interview with Keystone Kokikai Founder Todd Kupper: An Intimate Look Into Shuji Maruyama, Part II

Todd Kupper began aikido in the early 1990s, with Steven Seagal’s popularity reaching a high point in the United States. He did not find Seagal, but rather Shuji Maruyama, founder of Kokikai Aikido. From his teenage years until now, Kupper experienced many things under Maruyama, including a very close, almost father-son type of relationship. Today, … Continue reading Interview with Keystone Kokikai Founder Todd Kupper: An Intimate Look Into Shuji Maruyama, Part II

Interview with Ravenwood Aikikai Chief Instructor David Hurst: Akira Tohei’s Legacy

David Hurst began his aikido journey in January 1988 after watching a demonstration led by Akira Tohei. He was enamored by Tohei’s ability and quickly took to his teachings. In addition to Tohei, Hurst had the opportunity to train under Hawk Durham and Judy Leppert. Currently, he holds the rank of sandan and is the … Continue reading Interview with Ravenwood Aikikai Chief Instructor David Hurst: Akira Tohei’s Legacy

Interview with Chester County Kokikai Founder Jason Martin: The Silent Pioneer and Kokikai Aikido

Growing up with a fascination for the martial arts, it was no wonder Jason Martin found himself in an aikido school under Philadelphia pioneer Shuji Maruyama. Since then, he has continued following the teachings of Maruyama, even opening his own school, Chester County Kokikai Dojo in 2010, spreading what he learned from the Silent Aikido … Continue reading Interview with Chester County Kokikai Founder Jason Martin: The Silent Pioneer and Kokikai Aikido

The Misrepresentation of Martial Arts by Michael Aloia

Traditionally, within the context of modern times, martial arts have served as a way for the everyday person to participate in what's considered an ethnically and culture-based – even stylized – form or system of self-empowerment. The benefits have always included a level of better fitness, health, and well-being to physically and mentally live fuller … Continue reading The Misrepresentation of Martial Arts by Michael Aloia

Interview with Kokikai Regional Coordinator Cecelia Ricciotti: Aikido and Philadelphia Pioneer Shuji Maruyama

Cecelia Rocciotti began training under Shuji Maruyama in 1974 in Philadelphia, following him in that year’s Koichi Tohei split from the Aikikai and Maruyama’s exit from the Ki Society in 1986. She currently teaches at Philadelphia Aikido. Today, Rocciotti took some time to talk about her time and experience with Maruyama while he was in … Continue reading Interview with Kokikai Regional Coordinator Cecelia Ricciotti: Aikido and Philadelphia Pioneer Shuji Maruyama

Does Tradition Create An Obstacle and Prevent An Art From Growing? By Michael Aloia

It is not uncommon to hear the sentiment expressed, "training for the sake of tradition." Such a comment is often professed when there may not be a clear-cut answer or reason as to why things are as they are. More often, in response to a question from a student as to why we are doing … Continue reading Does Tradition Create An Obstacle and Prevent An Art From Growing? By Michael Aloia

Can a Martial Art Evolve Past Its Origins? By Michael Aloia

The short answer would seem to be a simple yes. And on many levels, this is entirely true. Once an art form passes from teacher to student, in its most basic application, it has evolved past its origins. Additionally, once that art form begins to move around and relocate, it has evolved past its origins. Obviously … Continue reading Can a Martial Art Evolve Past Its Origins? By Michael Aloia

Interview with Longtime Aikidoka Jesse Spears: Obstacles Facing The Art of Peace in the United States

This is a transcript of an interview with South Austin Aikido head instructor Jesse Spears in the spring of 2019. Here, we discuss the obstacles facing aikido in the United States. Martial Arts of Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow: Hello and welcome Spears Sensei! Thank you for taking the time to talk with us today! Jesse … Continue reading Interview with Longtime Aikidoka Jesse Spears: Obstacles Facing The Art of Peace in the United States

Interview with Army Sergeant Harry Gill: Army Combatives

Harry Gill entered military service in 2007 and has taken some time to discuss Army combatives and mindset both in the military and in civilian life. Martial Arts of Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow: Welcome Sergeant Gill and thank you for taking some time to talk with us! Harry Gill: Thank you for inviting me! MAYTT: … Continue reading Interview with Army Sergeant Harry Gill: Army Combatives

Interview with Longtime Aikidoka Michael Aloia: The Art of Harmony in America

This is a transcript of an interview with Asahikan Dojo head instructor Michael Aloia in the spring of 2019. Here, we discuss the current state of aikido in the United States. All images provided by Michael Aloia. Martial Arts of Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow: Welcome and thank you for taking the time to talk with … Continue reading Interview with Longtime Aikidoka Michael Aloia: The Art of Harmony in America