AikiCast-The Planet's First and Only Podcast about Aikido and Aikido Related Topics


Martial Arts





January 2015
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In this episode of AikiCast Diamond Mining Friday, Blaine explains how he learned the real meaning of the word 'Kime' as it was used by Toyoda Sensei during Aikido classes at the dojo. He also talks about the power of asking questions and the reason to re-examine one's beliefs periodically and ask the vital questions that may lead to breakthroughs and eliminating limiting beliefs.

Blaine also introduces the concept of 'burning one's boat' after making a decision. This is a concept that comes from the Grecian army commanders ordering their soldiers to burn their boats once they landed on an enemie's shores. This makes it impossible to retreat and creates an intensity amongst the soldiers to succeed or die since there is no way out.

Lots of great stuff in this episode! please subscribe and rate the podacst on ITunes

Direct download: DMF-power_of_questions_and_Burn_your_boats-final.mp3
Category:Martial Arts -- posted at: 10:30 PM

In this episode of AikiCast-Diamond Mining Friday, Blaine talks about the lessons he learned while being the traditional martial arts role of Otomo. The otomo is typically the person who accompanies the Aikido, Karate, Kendo, or any other sensei on travels and carries the sensei's bags, opens doors, and more or less, handles all of the mundane details for the teacher. This role is often confused with that of an uchi deshi since the otomo is quite often the uchi deshi but they are two separate roles. One does not have to be an uchi deshi to be the otomo for the sensei. 

The Otomo is an important role for both the sensei and the student because the role of otomo is one that requires a vast expansion of one's awareness and foresight in order to be successful. The otomo is expected to take care of the sensei's things while travelling or even just moving about town, but also to be a protector, a door opener, a loose change picker upper, a coffee getter, and also a social assassin! 

You'll have to tune in to found out exactly what a 'social assassin' does...enjoy!

Direct download: Otomo-Final_.mp3
Category:Martial Arts -- posted at: 1:47 PM

Another AikiCast Nation member question and answer session where Blaine picks a few of the weeks listener questions and gives some thought provoking answers. Listen in as Blaine answers questions like:

#1 James asks if he should quit karate after a couple decades of training and try Aikido, or some other martial art, or should he stick around like some of the old timers he sees still training in their 50's, 60's and 70's. Will he be abandoning his teacher by trying something else or would it be a mistake to keep doing somthing he's bored with?


#2 Sarah asks for a list of techniques that wouldn't work in a 'real' fight. 


#3 Jody asks about what kinds of diets I recommend. Listen in and hear what my thoughts are on all these topics in this weeks AikiCast Q&A session.

This weeks session is sponsored by The Aikdo Center in Grand Rapids, MI. Offering classes in Aikido, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and Shinkendo.


Direct download: AC_QA_Session_3-final_.mp3
Category:Martial Arts -- posted at: 11:48 PM

In this session of Diamond Mining Friday, Blaine talks about some more Zen wisdom that was gleaned from his time as an uchi deshi studying Aikido and Zen. This diamond was mined from a realization Blaine had while sitting at Toyoda Sensei's funeral in 2001.

The phrase 'Light your hair on fire' comes from a Zen concept of meditating like one's hair was on fire which is a challenge to any student to be totally committed to the act at hand. Blaine relates this concept to his experiences and goes even deeper with it, explaining how it means more than just doing things with intensity.


Direct download: DMF_004-Hair_on_Fire-Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:49 PM

A Diamond Mining Friday podcast, the first of 2015, goes into detail about the an experience Blaine had while an uchi deshi at Tenshinkan Dojo in Chicago, IL. 

This episode touches on the japanese concept of 'ichi go ichi e', or one moment, one opprtunity. This is an oft repeated phrase around Zen and martial circles alike which basically means that 'now is the only time' that there really is so be here, in this very moment, and be here now. 

Blaine talks about a funny, yet eye opening, experience he had with Toyoda Sensei while chopping carrots for dinner. Toyoda Sensei unleashes some zen wisdom on him that has stuck with him to this very day and affects all of his Aikido classes. It is a concept which has implications for relationships, self defense, martial arts training, and life in general.

Listen in on some of the wisdom of a master shared with his students.

Direct download: DMF_003-Now_is_the_only_time-Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:25 PM

This episode of AikiCast-Diamond Mining Friday is about Toyoda Sensei's vital lesson to me about how to eliminate my fears about teaching Friday night Aikido classes at Tenshinkan Dojo. He gave me some sage advice which was a 2 part formula: 1. Develop my point of view on what and how I wanted to lead class and 2. "Own the mat!". I focused on the latter when he wanted me to focus on the former, develop my own teachable point of view.

The term teachbale point of view came from author Noel Tichy from his book Cycle of Leadership. I applied the term to what Toyoda Sensei's was saying about developing my own point of view because thats exactly what he was saying. He was explaining how to become more 'followable' by having a teachable point of view and said that those who are very followable will 'own the mat'.


Direct download: DMF_002-Own_the_Mat-final.mp3
Category:Martial Arts -- posted at: 9:09 PM

Blaine pulls some of the top questions from AikiCast Nation members and answers them in the episode. Some of the questions are: What role do the techniques we practice in the dojo play in a self defense situation? How can I debate with somebody who says that their martial art is better or more effective than mine? and How can I make my Aikido work on a bigger and stronger opponent.

Direct download: AC_QA_session_2_final.mp3
Category:Martial Arts -- posted at: 6:10 AM

AikiCast brings you a new segment called Diamond Mining Friday which is a shorter podcast with some nuggets of wisdom that Blaine shares from his time with Toyoda Shihan. The Diamond Mining Friday segment will air every friday as Blaine mines his journals, as well as his 20 plus years of teaching experience for the diamonds that he was given by Toyoda Sensei. Some of the diamonds are direct wisdom Toyoda Sensei shared with Blaine, the regular students, the uchi deshi, or other instructors, while others are ones that needed time and experience before he was able to see the wisdom in the lesson. Grab a pen and a pad because Blaine plays a clip from the famous Earl Nightingale called "acres of diamonds" which is a great story with some timeless wisdom, as well as 12 tips for lifetime success in all things. Follow these 12 tips and your life will ultimately change for the better.


Direct download: AC_014-DMF-Be_bold_final.mp3
Category:success -- posted at: 11:14 PM

In this episode, Blaine expands the discussion about self defense classes and whats not being taught in them. Topics covered are using intuition and expanded situational awareness to identify and avoid potential dangerous situations, understanding Pre-Incident Indicators of violence to help thwart attacks, and also how to use the PINs, or Pre-Incident Indicators of success to experience greater abundance in your life. Aikido in daily life goes into beast mode in this episode!

Direct download: AC_013-_Using_intuition_for_self_defense_and_success.mp3
Category:Martial Arts -- posted at: 4:04 AM

Blaine answers the top 5 questions from AikiCast Nation Members and listeners. He also reveals some exciting news at the end of the podcast so listen all the way through!

Direct download: AC_012_-Q_and_A_1-Master-Final.mp3
Category:Martial Arts -- posted at: 4:45 AM