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Diana Frese's Blog Blog Tools Rate This Blog
Creation Date: 12-30-2010 03:23 PM
Diana Frese
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Status: Public
Entries: 43
Comments: 170
Views: 221,831

In General Games Terry Taught Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #23 New 10-23-2011 06:18 AM
Well, that should let the people who wanted more about Terry Dobson know that here is at least a little something, maybe, about his teaching? Well, it is. Terry taught real Aikido, real techniqes, but he used some unusual methods to get concepts across. It's good to read "It's a lot like dancing" and "Giving in to Get Your Way" and the articles written about him that were mentioned in people's comments to my other blog entry several weeks ago called "The Ara Mitama of Terry Dobson"

It occurred to me I could have just said instead of Ara Mitama, that Terry was awesome, or "larger than life" but I don't often use those words anyway, and besides that might overshadow Terry's understated side. I didn't know Terry very well, but I was moved to realize that some of you really, really want to know more about him. This is extremely gratifying, because I was fortunate to have met him and taken a few of his classes, and am honored to be asked to share.

His teaching was not exactly unprecedented but he took it maybe a bit farther in some ways than Koichi Tohei Sensei, although Tohei did teach many people outside of Aikido and the Ki no Kenkyukai , often called Ki Society in English, has always strongly emphasized "Aikido in Daily Life" as the book was originally titled, and I think later renamed, "Ki in Daily Life." Terry may have renamed his own book Aikido in Daily Life, but I'm not sure.

I'm pretty sure Terry at least wanted to rename his book, and it may have been because it was a publisher's catchy title (my family is in publishing although just the architecture division remains).
If I were to guess the reason it's because "giving in" is just a very small part of the options available. And this blog entry will be just a small hint of what Terry was offering to people. I was fascinated in reading a thread on the anonymous forum that the young woman who posted has a copy and seems to say she tries to follow some of the advice! This is very gratifying, since the book was published in the late seventies, I believe. And she has just recently entered college.

No disrespect to Tohei Sensei's memory, he spent most of his life spreading Aikido and concepts of Ki, One Point, Relaxation, but administratively and as regards curriculum the dojo I spent the most years in did not go with his organization when the division occurred. Our teacher was strongly devoted to Second Doshu Kisshomaru Ueshiba, both Yamada Sensei and Kanai Sensei said that "Doshu fed us" in pretty much those exact words. For now, I'll leave the history to the historians and go on to the classes, because I can almost feel the eyes of the readers hoping to catch a glimpse of an actual Terry Dobson class.

There he is, calling four students to push from four directions, one on each shoulder, one on the back, one on the chest. Looks like he was boxed in, doesn't it? Have you ever felt that way, boxed in by circumstances? Well, hold on to your hats, here's the answer from Terry. I'm not even sure he made the parallel to daily life in that class, but I'm sure he wouldn't mind if I do.

He would shake his lower arms a bit, and it probably came from somewhere where his upper arm joins his clavicle and scapula, or maybe it started from the legs, hips, one point but anyway he certainly was not trapped, even though he looked "boxed" I'm reminded of a column article about boxes by Sensei Seiser here on Aiki Web that we can look up about (symbolic) boxes, and recommend it.....

So it seemed that one could indeed move in such a situation, the part of the arms that was not held, the hands and forearms and the bones inside could rotate, and the spine could rotate and whoops off they flew and had to roll or do whatever to regain their balance and stand upright again.

What a lesson. I'm not sure where he got all these aiki games but he sure made them his own. And shared them. See, I remembered this one, and so will most of you reading this. Hey, Terry, I just passed it on, again. So many years after we used this game from you at our little YMCA dojo.
Views: 3494 | Comments: 12

RSS Feed 12 Responses to "Games Terry Taught"
#12 11-03-2011 07:32 PM
Diana Frese Says:
And thanks for the Terry Dobson website: it is beautiful, I didn't know about the novel, it looks fascinating. Great to have the complete train story and thanks to Carina for posting it on the Aikido Academy website where I read it a day or so ago, and today again on Terry's website. Thanks both of you for the help in "meeting" Terry again after all these years! A real simcha!
#11 11-03-2011 06:33 PM
Diana Frese Says:
For readers who don't speak Hebrew, Simcha means Joy!
#10 11-03-2011 06:29 PM
Diana Frese Says:
Thanks for your comments, Ziv, I wanted to be sure to add some things for you that I saw Terry teach. In one of the next entries there will be a turning exercise that might remind you a little bit of Simchas Torah, one of the holidays after Jewish New Year. Did you dance with the Torah? I'm not Jewish but I was fascinated to read about that holiday way back in the 1970's when many of us were fascinated to read about mysticism.
#9 11-01-2011 02:43 PM
zivk Says:
It's a lot like dancing is my by far the best book on aikido I have read. I read it several times and I find myself occasionally quoting from it. Terry Dobson sensei's ability as a story teller is phenomenal. I hope, Carina, that you'll enjoy this book as I did.
#8 10-27-2011 04:25 PM
guest1234567 Says:
Thanks zivk, yeah that is the story I found in spanish, the whole story, I will put it in my blogs in the next weeks, and I hope the book will come soon.
#7 10-27-2011 11:16 AM
zivk Says:
Regarding the link to the story Carina has brought, it seems as some kind of abbrev' to the famous train story. Incidentally, reading this story started my interest in Terry Dobson. Here's a link to the story from the official Terry Dobson site: http://www.terrydobson.com/pages/train.html
#6 10-27-2011 11:15 AM
zivk Says:
Thanks Diana for sharing some more of your experience with Terry Dobson. Regarding his book, you probably referring to the 1st ed. A 2nd ed' was published in 1993. Terry writes in the preface that in the 70s Aikido was literally unknown outside Japan, but now it is a household word.
#5 10-25-2011 01:49 PM
Diana Frese Says:
Thanks Carina, I remembered there was a beautiful story about Terry observing a belligerent passenger on a train, feeling he should intervene and how an old man solved the problem with kindness and sympathy, but I wasn't sure where I had seen it. I really appreciate your posting it for us
#4 10-24-2011 01:22 AM
guest1234567 Says:
(cont)The would-be attacker had been brought to peace, without a single martial arts move. Dobson realized that what he had witnessed was real aikido in action. Source
#3 10-24-2011 01:21 AM
guest1234567 Says:
(cont) interrupted by calling out joyfully to the drunken man. In a cheerful manner, the little old man started talking to the drunk, asking friendly questions. Soon, the drunk's nasty exterior had melted away. He was weeping, explaining his wife had died, that he'd lost his job and his home, and that his life was a total wreck and that he was terribly ashamed.
#2 10-24-2011 01:19 AM
guest1234567 Says:
(cont)around and bullied. Dobson had been intensively training in aikido daily for three years, and was eager to put that practice into 'real' action. Although he knew his teacher had said that aikido is the art of reconciliation, and that even wanting to fight means that you've already lost touch with the Universe. Just as he tried to get the drunk to attack him, a little old man
#1 10-23-2011 07:52 AM
guest1234567 Says:
Thank you Daian for sharing this with us and by chance, I just bought the book It's a lot like dancing through internet, I hope I will get it soon to begin to read it And something that is running through internet, I found it in spanish too, and I like to share because it is about applying the soft way of Aiki Terry Dobson was riding on a train in Japan, when a drunken man boarded. The man was violent, aggressive, and a real physical threat to the other passengers, whom he pushed

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