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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: 201,622

In General The Effect of "Father Joe" Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #21 New 10-12-2011 06:45 AM
Another story of the long ago little YMCA dojo here, just a few miles away.....

"Father Joe" was here, and while he didn't officiate at our marriage I think he was instrumental in its eventual occurence though he probably was unaware.... kind of interesting, come to think of it, since he was a clergyperson and part of their usual duties for most of them is performing marriage ceremonies.

Whoa! This is getting way too mysterious and not a real reflection of what Father Joe was like!

An ikkyu from California showed up at our little YMCA dojo, it probably was indeed listed in the nationwide Federation List at the time, and introduced himself. He had been sent on loan to the Norwalk affiliate of the company he worked for. He had definite preferences about the type of Aikido he wished to work on and I have to say he had a definite influence on the development of the dojo, and curiously enough, on my own personal destiny.

( The old love songs of the fifties or so had often been about "destiny" but here in the seventies who would have known
that a couple of years later I would have met my husband, at the same Y.... but later for that)

One day he mentioned an interest in "street fighting" and at the time I thought it a bit odd for an Episcopal priest. I had been raised in the Episcopal church, although once I went to college I was involved in student activities among people of various denominations and world religions, but didn't attend church services there. (It could have been because it was the Age of Inquiry, the 1960's) But I digress....

Well, I have just given a few hints of the subtle mystery of Father Joe, although the impression he gave was far from mysterious. I guess it's fair to summarize that he liked practical Aikido, since he finally admitted he would not have come back if I had taught "beach ball" one more class. (I had been using a small beach ball to teach my students a bit of the mechanics of wrist and elbow rotation in ikkyo, nikyo , sankyo, kotegaeshi and even used it to demonstrate kaiten nage....)

I don't remember asking him to teach a class, but maybe the thought never occurred to me because he was already giving great feedback and input into whatever the class was doing, and yesterday, decades later I found out he went on to become sandan and Francis on the Alhambra website in the Joseph Miller, Aikidoka eulogy said that Joe was a true shihan. I'm sad to know he passed away, but happy to read that Father Joe not only became yudansha but went on to influence many more people in a positive way!

My aforementioned husband, whom I met in 1980 at the Y needs the computer, so the story of the trip to Boston Father Joe invited me and one of my assistants will have to wait until another time and with it the story of my observing the building of the New New England Aikikai and how it may have led to me marrying my neighbor, who is a carpenter. Strange, how things work out.... and as a line from one of my favorite movies goes, "strange and rather wonderful..."
Views: 2999 | Comments: 7

RSS Feed 7 Responses to "The Effect of "Father Joe""
#7 10-12-2011 01:25 PM
Diana Frese Says:
Hi Carina, I just noticed your second reply! To tell you the truth, I was hoping you would pick up my not so subtle hint and post the link and you did, so I am very grateful everyone can read the whole article on Aikido Academy's website.
#6 10-12-2011 01:21 PM
Diana Frese Says:
Wow, that class looks like fun! Thanks, Carina. I only saw the first few seconds but it looks great. Dial up isn't coming in well at the moment, I will try again later
#5 10-12-2011 01:10 PM
guest1234567 Says:
Hi Diana, Here is the link to AAUSA http://www.aikidoacademyusa.com/view...father+joe#p28
#4 10-12-2011 01:06 PM
Diana Frese Says:
He told the company he worked for that he refused to go to Connecticut for more than two weeks at a time because California was so great, or something like that. But we all knew he just missed his wife and family too much and we didn't take it as an insult to Connecticut. I teased him, however with a reference to him in the role of the prophet Jonah: "All right, all right, I'll go to Nineveh!"
#3 10-12-2011 12:57 PM
Diana Frese Says:
Thanks, Francis, since I still haven't learned to post links, I think you won't mind if I just quote you directly: " He attained the rank of Aikikai San dan, but in my mind, he was a true Aikido shihan, in his spirit, his compassion and his love of teaching those fortunate to know him."
#2 10-12-2011 12:45 PM
guest1234567 Says:
Thanks Diana for this nice story , the beach ball reminds me of this class http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JMDvG2x1G78
#1 10-12-2011 11:32 AM
aikishihan Says:
Lovely and heartwarming tribute to a truly remarkable human being and man of Aiki, Daian. I will be sure to share your story with his bride, Doris Miller, and the rest of "Father Joe's" amazing family.

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