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Hi friends, I just got up and am still excited about last night's news so I will share it with you. Marianne took a bit of time off from work and went to the USAF Summer Camp for an afternoon, accompanied by her husband, who does not do Aikido (prefers golf...) But then Marianne studied jiu jitsu or judo for a while when she was a teenager, so interest in martial arts dates way back.
Some of you may know that I attended New York Aikikai many years ago. So Marianne was trying to describe the class after lunch on Tuesday taught by Ed.... and then she said Peteroy. What? I asked. He was at New York Aikikai when I was! She went on to say how great it was that he prefaced the practice with a sense of humor. That's New York Aikikai, at least back then when there were relatively few people who even knew what Aikido was. Solid technique due to Yamada Sensei and the many senpais, but most people had a sense of humor too. Maybe partly because New York city is famous for theater and comedy, but partly it was because Aikido itself had many surprises.
As mentioned elsewhere, in the early days to make Aikido known, the dojo accepted invitations to give short demonstrations in the intermissions of the local karate tournaments. The Manhattan Center near Madison Square Garden, I think, was one location. Not being in the demo, I was sitting in the audience and heard the people next to me say "look at that, they're flying." I didn't say anything, I just smirked to myself.
Sure, that's one of the reasons I kept attending classes! Flying-for-people.
Another note, especially for those of you in the Northeast. Sioux Hall, who was at Kanai Sensei's New England Aikikai when I visted frequently (stayed in Marblehead at my friend Ginny's mother's house) taught the second class, and Marianne is a fan of hers. She said the large, graceful and strong movements reminded her of Lorraine Di Anne's classes this time. They are both tall. I remember Nobuyuki Watanabe sensei gave me some advice when I was at Hombu many years ago. He said something like (translated by a nice Japanese lady student in the coffee shop) "You are a tall person. It looks stupid to do small movements." I'm not sure what the words were, I doubt if the word stupid was actually used, but I got the idea....
Anyway there was really solid Aikido at Ed and Sioux's classes. So kick me for boasting about lineages, but there it was. If I were to describe it in my imagination which probably isn't too far off(only in years! but undoubtedly still true) Strong but light. By that I mean smoothly and seemingly effortlessly.
I remember Linda's entry about discipline. I suppose I would never have learned Aikido if I hadn't decided to show up daily whenever possible, but it was the fascination with the techniques and the "flying" part I mentioned earlier, that made the discipline of regular attendance possible.