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


Martial Arts







January 2015
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DMF- Stand Up to the Pain!

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: 4:37pm EDT

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 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: 10:37am EDT

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: 5:30pm EDT

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: 8:47am EDT

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: 6:48pm EDT

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: 6:49pm EDT

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: 3:25pm EDT