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This is the entry I was thinking about posting before I ended up writing about autumn
A few senpai who helped out with important parts of Aikido ....
Bob, who stuck out his wrist after class to be grabbed and to throw in a forward roll "One more" Then you get up and he sticks out his wrist again and says "one more" and then you get up and he sticks out his wrist and says "one more"
This is how we learned ukemi at NY Aikikai in the old days, until you could barely stand up, and then Bob said again "one more" and you grabbed his wrist again.
This is how we learned to fly through the air something I could never have imagined when I was a kid.
And there was T.K. Lee and us little ducklings, knee walking around the mat following him. That was his specialty for teaching us every possible opportunity he had. One time he asked us if we wanted to know how he did the knee walking so effortlessly. He pulled up his hakama to his knees and said, "roller skates!" Of course we couldn't see them, but of course they were there all the same...
Ken Nisson was teaching jiyu waza and it was a small class. We were lucky in those days, sometimes there were very few of us and special pointers were given, like what to do if there is one attacker in front of you and you know someone else is starting to attack from the rear. He met the first, turned that uke and threw towards what had been the rear, at the second attacker. And said something I so often remember to tell people often works in daily life "Throw one problem at the other!" Believe it or not, in daily life there is often an opportunity for this. Wish I could thank Ken for that. If I ever meet him at some seminar I will tell him, or even write to Bond Street and ask them to forward it. That is such a major concept for daily life....
Then there was the way T.K. Lee taught defense against multiple attack : you sort of pick one of them who seems most eager and sort of charge that person as they are getting ready to attack. Some people were bothered by the idea, but I could see the point, they already had decided to attack so why not go meet them .... T.K. Lee had said if you don't move, "they'll nail you!" They would all converge on us and well, we know what would probably happen, we couldn't move, we'd be trapped....
Anyway, that's how a senpai taught us, and then there was a pretty advanced guy from Germany who joined. He had a bright, positive approach to all the techniques and we heard he was going for shodan at camp after he had been with the dojo for many months so we knew him pretty well and were curious, wishing we had seen the test ourselves..... and we were told, with a smile that he had "Surrounded his Ukes!"
We could sure picture that, having learned the basic concept of not waiting too long from T.K. Lee
these are just a few examples of help from senpais that is just too good to not mention