View Full Version : Interview with Akuzawa Sensei from a French Magazine

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05-21-2008, 09:27 AM
Since the Aunkai seminar is coming up in a week an a half, I
thought some of the seminar participants might appreciate some
additional insight on the Aunkai training philosophy and principles.
The following was translated from the French Magazine "Dragon".

The interviewer, Leo Tamaki, is a french/japanese aikido teacher (4th
dan Aikikai) while also a student of Kuroda Tetzusan. He frequently
writes articles on other current masters such as Kono Yoshinori, Hino
Akira, etc.

"I've had the chance of meetings some of the most remarkable masters
of our days. All of them share a fearsome efficacy. Yet, when it comes
to power, Minoru Akuzawa stands out from the lot and from a great
distance. His mastery of the internal power is so remarkable that to
see and feel its manifestation is literally frightening. Nonetheless,
there is nothing as serene as the method he has created on the basis
of koryu, it looks more like a type of qi gong. For the first time,
Akuzawa sensei has accepted to explain the genesis and the the
principles behind his method.
By Leo Tamaki"

"for me bujutsu is not a set of techniques, but a state of the body.
Once the principles are integrated, the techniques surge spontaneously
because the body is capable of adapting instantaneously."

Q : "What do you teach at Aunkai?"
A : "It is a tough question. (laughter) Aunkai is a method of bujutsu
tanren. The exercises that I teach allow for the development of an
awareness of the body, of building its frame, developing its core, its
essence. Their purpose is to understand the subtle interaction of
various components of the body and use them in the most efficient

"forms and styles are traps. The followers who only swear by this or
that school are trapped. The ways of being attacked are innumerable,
we need to transform our body so that it integrates the principles
that will allow it to adapt instantaneously to any situation by moving
in the most efficient manner possible."

"the movements can look like Aiki or Da Cheng Chuan or have no forms,
it does not matter as long as the body moves naturally. Moreover, the
usage of a technique usually requires an intention. One must not hit
after having taken the decision to do so. If it is free, the body will
act spontaneously and will hit without awareness. Lots of teachers
teach forms, but would be embarassed if they were to come under a real
attack. A technique is useless if not sustained by a body that can
create the desired effect. Otherwise it becomes a mime, not martial
arts. (laughter)"

Q : "do you train those exercises every day?"
A : "Yes, I practice them regularly. But the awareness of every
movement in everday life, walking, breathing, is a form of training
itself. [...] I simply try to keep the principles of bujutsu in my
everyday life"

(after demonstrating standing up from a squatting position while
having a 100Kg guy pushing on his shoulders )
"When you receive force, you must keep your axis and then send it back
as a vibration. I can do that easily with two 100kg persons. In the
right moment, it is possible to throw back somebody as strong and
heavy as Akebono, for that you must cancel, disperse and absorb the
force of aite.""

"in bujutsu, we must eliminate all the parasitic elements to arrive at
a pure movement. [...] The movements are infinitesimal but we move by
"closing" in the inside and the power generated is phenomenal. It is
the inside of our body that we must develop. Working on purely
physical attributes is of no interest for bujutsu. "

"At first training requires effort, but step by step the body frame
builds up and we learn to move spontaneously and efficiently. Whatever
its amplitude, a movement can then release a force capable of throwing
any kind of opponent. First we must understand how the force "enters"
in the body, and then how to manifest it. This is not a superficial
usage of the body like in sports, but one that is born from the
connection of all its parts."

"training must first provide an awareness of gravity, body axes and
the possibilities of our joints. The work on axes allows to
re-equilibrate the body. Upper and lower, left and right, front on
back become united and the efficacy of each part instead of being
limited is multiplied by its interactions with the others, then the
body can be used as a unit.
The next step is to understand how the body receives force. This
allows us to learn how to make it gush out.
Finally, once the link between the various body parts is understood,
we reinforce the core. Little by little the body becomes able to act
more freely and more powerfully, while respecting the principles that
allows it to act with efficacy."

Gernot Hassenpflug
05-21-2008, 10:41 AM
Thanks for posting this! Very sensible article, and great translation.