AikiCast-The Planet's First and Only Podcast about Aikido, Life, and all things Martial!

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In this episode Blaine talks about an experience he had with Toyoda Sensei that wasnt so pleasant but how it ultimately lead to a better friendship with him. It happened while Blaine was working for him at the Japanese Culture Center in Chicago, IL. Toyoda Sensei misinterpreted a phone call that was meant for Blaine and ended up yelling at Blaine and making accusations that he was leaving Sensei to join the military. Although this wasnt true, it was the last straw for Blaine and he resigned his post at Tenshinkan Dojo. 

Blaine made his way back to his hometown where he began a small Aikido program at a health club that eventually grew into a large Aikido school. Throughout the year after Blaine left Chicago there was no contact with Toyoda Sensei since they were both angry with each other. However, after a particularly timely phone call from another Sensei to check in with Blaine, he received some advice that would ultimately lead him to go back to Chicago and patch up the relationship. What he learned through the process is a priceless life lesson which Blaine talks about in the show.

Aikido in daily life-Taking Emotional Ukemi is all about how to take responsibility for everything that happens in our lives whether we feel we're responsible for them or not. Listen in for some more wisdom on how to be a stronger, healthier and more fulfilled human being through these martial lessons! Enjoy!

 

Direct download: Ukemi_in_daily_life-Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:37 AM

This episode of Diamond Mining Friday is a big one and an important one as it covers a topic that is, for some, controversial, and for others, a way of life. For Blaine, becoming a delibreate creator of experiences, opportunities, abundance, realtionships, and health began when he was an uchi deshi (live-in student) in Chicago. His study of Aikido and Zen lead him to begin studying what are often referred to as Universal Principles and the laws of cause and effect. Gaining an understanding of these principles lead him to seek out specific ways to utilize these principles for his own benefit as well as the benefit of others. 

Over the past 20 years, Blaine has been effectively using these principles to start several successful businesses, get in better shape and experience better health, eliminate toxic relationships and attract healthy ones, create opportunities that seemed distant or non-existent, and lead an overall extraordinary life and lifestyle. 

There's no talk about quantum physics and no secrets revealed since everything Blaine uses on a daily basis has been well known practice for thousands of years. The practices are literally as simple as breathing, walking, and thinking, although its not always easy to break the negative patterns that have become habit for so many people.

Grab a pencil and a pad of paper for this one becuase there are literally life changing tips in this episode! If you're interested in hearing the private podcast on 'How using positive affirmations are causing the opposite of what you want!", head over to www.AikiCast.com and join the AikiCast Tribe today to start receiving the private podcasts.

Direct download: DMF-Action_Jackson_and_the_Law_of_Attraction-Final.mp3
Category:success -- posted at: 2:33 PM

In this episode of the AikiCast question and answer session, Blaine tackles 2 big topics: starting your own martial arts business and what to do about the current state of police abuses in the U.S.

The first question from Paolo is about being a full time instructor and whether or not I recommend it. I give him my personal experiences from starting and running several businesses over the past 20 years and how to start a martial arts business, run it successfully and still maintain your passion for the art.

The second question from Chris is about the current situations we see almost every week where somebody is either abused or killed by the police and what my thoughts are. I give him my viewpoint as a trainer of law enforcement as well as an informed citizen and concealed carry proponent. 

This episode is filled to the brim so get ready for some action!

Direct download: QA_session_4-final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:13 PM

In this episode of AikiCast Diamond Mining Friday, Blaine discusses the differences between a mere martial arts teacher and a true Sensei. Since the term Sensei connotes one who has 'gone before' the student, there is an understanding in eastern traditions that the Sensei was more than just a teacher. The Sensei student relationship was on par with the parent child relationship and highly respected in eastern cultures. 

Blaine breaks down the 3 most common types of teachers found in most martial arts schools today.

1. The Guru or Master- This individual demands a certain level of respect at all times, doesnt interact with his or her students outside of the martial arts school, is not tolerant of questions, is disdainful of students seeking instruction outside of the instructors guidance, and quickly reprimands those who disobey or mess up.

2. The Respected Mentor- This individual commands respect based on the quality of their character and instruction. They interact with the students on and off the mat in a similar manner. They require a modicum of respect and teach ettiquette and martial rituals as tools for growth. The Respected Mentor is sought out by others in the community for their sound advice and rational approach. Students often look to this type of teacher for advice on topics not related to the martial arts training. 

3. The Trainer or Coach- This individual places high emphasis on the physical training and cardio vascular benefits of martial arts. He or she is laid back and friendly and imposes very few, if any, rules or ettiquette on the students. Dues are somewhat optional and classes feel more like a group of friends getting together to sweat.

While each type of teacher has pros and cons, each student must choose what type of martial arts teacher he or she would like to learn from. In addition, each student must decide at some point what type of teacher she wants to become.

Give it a listen and see where you fall on the spectrum.

 

Direct download: DMF-Sensei_Student_relationship-final.mp3
Category:Martial Arts -- posted at: 11:17 PM

In this episode of AikiCast-Diamond Mining Friday, Blaine discusses a conversation he had with Toyoda Sensei about having a lot of pain in his back, knees, and hips from seated meditation (Zazen) training at Tenshinkan Dojo. Blaine discussed the issue with Toyoda Sensei expecting him to excuse Blaine from the practice but the diamond of wisdom that was shared would forever change the way that he looked at pain, fear, and discouragement. The phrase 'this too shall pass' doesnt even come close to expressing the ideas that were given by Toyoda Sensei regarding how to deal with pain, as well as fear and the variety of other emotions that we all experience as human beings.

Pull up a chair, open a cold one, put your feet up and get ready for a solid half hour of Zen and Martial Arts wisdom on this Diamond Mining Friday.

Direct download: DMF-Standing_up_to_pain_and_fear.mp3
Category:Martial Arts -- posted at: 9:37 PM

In this AikiCast Special Business Edition, Blaine goes into detail about what he considers to be the 'Top 5 Social Media Success Tips for Martial Arts Schools'.  The tips and tactics discussed in this podcast can, and should, be applied to any small business wanting to see more internet traffic, higher search engine rankings, better engagement from Facebook friends and fans, and an overall increase in the potential clients, customers, and students. 

These tips are not, by any means, an exhaustive list of recommended practices but instead a basic starting point for many martial arts schools and small businesses not taking advantage of all the varied and various free marketing channels available today. There are a handful of social media tools that, in the long run, end up being wasted time with little to no return on an entrepreneur's time and energy while just a small handful of the social media tools, if used correctly and with a specific strategy, can do wonders for any martial arts school or small business in 2015. 

While these social media tips and tactics may be rudimentary and basic for many martial arts schools and entrepreneurs already using these tools, for others they will be new information that wasnt known prior to the podcast. Blaine uses several of his own businesses to test and track everything that is discussed in this episode and has seen great success in his own martial arts and real estate businesses in Grand Rapids, Michigan. His local website averages between 1500 and 2000 page views per month which is a phenomenal number of views and visitors for a non-franchised, local martial arts school. Most local Aikido and martial arts schools and dojos typically get 20 to a couple hundred page views and a handful of unique visitors each month depending on their marketing methods and how active they are using the social media tips and tactics discussed in the podcast.

Listen, take some notes, subscribe on Itunes, rate and review, and feel free to email Blaine at blaine@aikicast.com with any questions or comments about this episode.

To your success in 2015!

Direct download: Social_Media_Top_5_2015-final.mp3
Category:success -- posted at: 3:37 PM

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