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07-24-2012, 10:31 PM
Hello to all. My name is Carl Totton and I am currently the Director of the Taoist Institute in North Hollywood. I began studying aikido in 1966 at the Los Angeles Aikikai with Isao Takahashi Sensei, a great teacher. I'll never forget how during every class during a break he would tell a very interesting story about old Japan, and then somehow always be able to relate it to the very material we had been practicing in class that day! If I only had a tape recorder! He was an amazing storyteller.

I keep his memory in mind as I teach today as "talking story" is a time honored way of sharing a living message with others in an engaging way. This way of connecting to the spirit of the art enlivens the teachings by connecting it to those who have traveled a similar road in the past. I am forever grateful to have had such a fine mentor who illustrated this in such an engaging way.

I work as a clinical psychologist and graduate school professor and now teach primarily the Chinese internal martial arts and qigong and have many friends within the aikido community and many precious memories from the past. I have run my school in the same location for nearly 32 years.

May the Tao be with you,
Dr. Carl Totton
Director, Taoist Institute

Mary Eastland
07-25-2012, 07:18 AM

07-25-2012, 08:00 AM

Many students like to hear old stories and history, all the more so. if they are true. It is always worth while writing them down before they are forgotten.

Henry Ellis
Co-author `Positive Aikido`

07-25-2012, 10:14 AM
Hi Carl,

Welcome to AikiWeb and thank you for your introduction. Nice to have you here.

-- Jun

08-15-2012, 06:06 PM
My sensei does the EXACT same thing! At the end of each class and sometimes in-between he would share his "life stories and ideals". He is a person in his 70s and I really enjoy hearing these just like you have. At the end it seems like he always tries to convey something more with the martial art to us!