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View Full Version : Vintage French Aikido, feat. O Sensei


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aikilouis
06-08-2007, 02:00 PM
http://www.ina.fr/archivespourtous/index.php?vue=notice&id_notice=CPF04007420

Taken from the french television archive, this is a great report made in 1964, mostly revolving around pioneer André NOCQUET.

It also includes a very short sequence (probably filmed by Nocquet in Tokyo), where we can see O Sensei answering questions, clapping to the shrine, but also demonstrating and participating in the practice. The camera is held very close to him and gives an incredible feeling of intensity, astonishing for a 81 year old man.

Erick Mead
06-08-2007, 05:27 PM
http://www.ina.fr/archivespourtous/index.php?vue=notice&id_notice=CPF04007420

Taken from the french television archive, this is a great report made in 1964, mostly revolving around pioneer André NOCQUET.

It also includes a very short sequence (probably filmed by Nocquet in Tokyo), where we can see O Sensei answering questions, clapping to the shrine, but also demonstrating and participating in the practice. The camera is held very close to him and gives an incredible feeling of intensity, astonishing for a 81 year old man.

Merci. Quelle trouvaille!

Karen Wolek
06-08-2007, 09:53 PM
Oh man, I soooooooooo wish that was in English!!!! It looks cool, I wish I could understand more than a few words here and there. :(

batemanb
06-09-2007, 02:42 AM
I was 5 days old when that was filmed.........

Michael Meister
06-09-2007, 05:42 AM
I was 5 days old when that was filmed.........

I wasn't even born.... and Master Nocquet unfortunately died shortly after I started.

Nick P.
06-09-2007, 08:10 AM
Fantastique!
Wow. That is a great find.
Maybe I can translate some of it (time permitting) and post a transcript here....

rulemaker
06-09-2007, 10:51 AM
Very interesting video. Can't wait for your translation into english.

Nick P.
06-09-2007, 04:38 PM
I will be updating this post, check back for progress.

Credits:
Magazine 37
Aikido
A report by Lucien Gavinet
Narrated by Thierry Roland

"And there you go. It's not harder than that.
You have just witnessed two types of attacks that are frequent in our large cities, in which our aggressors had no chance.

The presumed "victims" practice Aikido, an effective self-defense method if there ever was one. I am certain this is the first time you have ever heard this word "Aikido". Aikido is not a sport. It is a Martial Art that is originally Japanese. Ai litterally meaning Uniting, or putting together using harmony, Ki meaning spirit, do meaning path. Here, pyhysical force is of a secondary importance, Aikido being a way of meshing one's spirit with another's, and by extension, with the universe.

Mr. Clement (pronounce CLAY-MAH), reprensiting/heading Aikido at <the federation> will now explain if Aikido easily took root in France:

"No, it did not. Aikido was clumsyly implemented in France by Master Mochizuki, who was a student of Master Ueashiba, but who modified the techniques. Aikido was really established by Master Takashi Abe who revealed the techniques taught to him by Master Ueshiba, and when he returned to Japan he was replaced by my friend Nocquet, who took over the technical direction of the Aikido section of <the federation>.

<big skip forward to interview with O-Sensei>

Interview with O-Sensei:
"The spirit of Aikido is to protect love. It is the path of peace. It is the realization of love. In love, there is good and bad love. Aikido protects the good and we each try to purify our souls, and teach each other to follow the correct path. Aikido has nothing to do with Judo, of which it is completely different, or with religion. Aikido is all-inclusive, the goal being love."

Rupert Atkinson
06-10-2007, 06:01 AM
My teacher in Japan, Omura Hiroaki Sensei, showed me an old pic of him seated next to André Nocquet, and the gist was, look, I'm sat next to HIM! At the time, I had no idea who he was.

PeterR
06-10-2007, 07:16 AM
"No, it did not. Aikido was clumsyly implemented in France by Master Mochizuki, who was a student of Master Ueashiba, but who modified the techniques. Aikido was really established by Master Takashi Abe who revealed the techniques taught to him by Master Ueshiba, and when he returned to Japan he was replaced by my friend Nocquet, who took over the technical direction of the Aikido section of <the federation>.
Sounds like petty politics to me.

Nick P.
06-10-2007, 07:51 AM
Sounds like petty politics to me.

Peter,
You refering to the appointment of Nocquet Sensei or the replacement of Mochizuki Sensei?

I don't know; could have been that O-Sensei got wind of Mochizuki Sensei changing the techniques, or changing them too much, and sent over a replacement. As for the replacement of Abe Sensei, maybe he just go tired of living with the French ;) and in the vacuum Nocquet was named as his replacement

NOTE: In the interview, Nocquet Sensei states he studied directly under O-Sensei for five years (translation coming)

PeterR
06-10-2007, 08:12 AM
Before someone jumps down my throat - I studied under a student of Abe and never under the Mochizuki lineage - I just found that statement crass, self serving and disrespectful.

There was quite a bit of hyperbole (ie. comments about Judo and what Aikido can deliver) but that didn't bother me as much since the program was about presenting Aikido to a general audience. Forgivable.

The whole program was a quite well done feature on Aikido and specifically Nocquet. I particularily liked the jo work and a couple of the moves near the end with two person randori. Three person randori looked too staged. I had not seen the Ueshiba suwariwaza work before and his movements here impressed me far more than other suwariwaza clips I had seen.

Thanks for posting it.

PeterR
06-10-2007, 08:23 AM
Peter,
You refering to the appointment of Nocquet Sensei or the replacement of Mochizuki Sensei?
I was referring to calling Mochizuki's introduction of Aikido clumsy.

I don't think you can say Mochizuki was replaced by Abe for his clumsiness, altered techniques or any other reason. I certainly never heard that Ueshiba M. ever recalled him. Abe of course went to study law at the Sorbonne and taught Aikido at a local Judo club, just like Mochizuki. As far as I understand it he returned to Japan upon the completion of his studies or at least not long after.

Nick P.
06-10-2007, 08:45 AM
Actually the word he used in French was "primatively", so that may be my error in translation, and for that I apologize. Maybe he meant first, but that is hard to tell.

French is a beautiful, yet subtle and complex, language, at least for me (and I have been speaking it my whole life). I am beginning to understand why translators can make so much money, and good ones are in high demand.

I really got the sense, watching keiko with O-Sensei, that we were witnessing a candid moment. Priceless.

PeterR
06-10-2007, 08:52 AM
I certainly think that Noquet was qualified to teach Aikido in the west although I was under the impression that he only studied in Tokyo full time from 1955-1957.

An interesting time to be sure but it is also worth pointing out that Mochizuki, Abe and Nocquet studied under Ueshiba M. at quite different times and the generational and technical difference between the former and the latter were vast.

Perusing AikidoJournal to refresh my memory I came across an interesting tidbit about the cooperation between Tamura, Nocquet and Mochizuki's son.

Like I said I found the statement regarding the lineage and introduction of Aikido in France a bit off.

PeterR
06-10-2007, 09:00 AM
Actually the word he used in French was "primatively", so that may be my error in translation, and for that I apologize. Maybe he meant first, but that is hard to tell.

Hi Nick - I caught that and I would have used the word primitive and let the context take care of it but that is just personal choice. Your translation was fine and better than I could have done.

You are right - the shots of training I feel gave a true reflection what training was like with Ueshiba M. and Nocquet. I have seen several clips of Ueshiba M. and was left wondering how he could manage to attract some of the people he did - the intensity and movement (and at his age) was impressive and answered that question.

aikilouis
06-10-2007, 02:20 PM
The confusion arises with the word "primitivement", that Nick translated as "clumsily", but given the time's vocabulary (1964), actually means "primarily". There is no negative meaning conveyed in this expression. Also, André Nocquet declares having studied directly under the Founder for "close to 3 years", and had previously studied under Abe sensei in France.

The mention of Mochizuki sensei changing the techniques is probably a reference to his intention of giving his personal imput to the teachings he received from O Sensei, that eventually led to the creation of Yoseikan.

Finally, the political issues of french aikido in the 1960s seemed linked to its administrative dependance to judo, since at that time it was included in a big federation, as an "assimilated discipline".

Nick P.
06-10-2007, 03:54 PM
I realize now that the most accurate translation would have "originally" or "at first".

Think I might stick to translating it verbatim...

PeterR
06-10-2007, 08:47 PM
Translations are always tough.

Point of interest Nick if you don't know already. Serge in Quebec City was a student of Abe and then spent 20 years as Tamura's "driver". If you are interested in those things he is the man to talk to.

The guy is completely uninterested in grading but there is a depth to him that I think is unmatched in the Belle province. He's also the only guy to take me out with a no touch throw - his timing is impeccable.

Peter Goldsbury
06-10-2007, 09:03 PM
French is a beautiful, yet subtle and complex, language, at least for me (and I have been speaking it my whole life).

I agree, but now I hope people understand my own feelings on seeing the Japanese language regularly massacred in these columns (and I cannot claim a lifetime's study, just about two decades).

I also thought that translating 'primitivement' as 'clumsily' might raise a few hackles, especially when said of a giant like M Mochizuki.

The video lasted about 12 minutes, so translating all of it is a major undertaking.

Best wishes,

Nick P.
06-10-2007, 09:47 PM
Point of interest Nick if you don't know already. Serge in Quebec City was a student of Abe and then spent 20 years as Tamura's "driver". If you are interested in those things he is the man to talk to.

The guy is completely uninterested in grading but there is a depth to him that I think is unmatched in the Belle province. He's also the only guy to take me out with a no touch throw - his timing is impeccable.

Whoa. That sounds like someone I must meet.
Details would be most appreciated. Personal message me if you think his contact details should not be widely shared, if you please.

Hello again Dr. Goldsbury.
Agreed on all points, including the not-so-wise move on my point on the choice of translating that word that way. Update soon (once I can figure out the "edit" button).

Basia Halliop
06-11-2007, 11:09 AM
Very cool video. I liked the intro sequence, too :).

There were a lot of questions about 'how is it different from judo', I assume because it was introduced via the judo association?

aikilouis
06-11-2007, 04:26 PM
Judo was (still is) very popular and widely practiced in France, so it seemed natural to explain aikido through a comparison between the two.