View Full Version : YouTube: Tohei Sensei and Hagihara Sensei: New Jersey 1965
Here is an aikido video clip of Koichi Tohei (10th dan) demonstrating with Eddie Hagihara (now 7th dan) in 1965.
What are your thoughts on this video?
07-26-2016, 09:28 AM
It’s too bad we can’t hear explanations. He seems to have very good understanding and actual physical capacity to instantly execute the change of timing and distance forward and backward, the constant and impressive use of irimi, and most important, the capacity to execute a technique in tempo ONE, using one step only. Excellent posture and the control of the space around. I love the way he enters irimi inside of yokomen, these is very rare these days. A bit dangerous however, because of close distance to other fist and head of attacker(head butt) but if you don’t stop here and continue with the throw it is a real beauty…
Unfortunately, once uke balance is taken, he is totally uninterested what’s happens after, so the end of each technique is quite sloppy, without any martial intent….
What is sad in this story, that most of the folks now are trying hard to reproduce this sloppy part of his aikido, without even notice the core of his teaching…
07-26-2016, 11:12 AM
Great footage, thanks so much for sharing.
07-29-2016, 04:44 AM
oh toe toe....love how relaxed he is...great reminder.
09-18-2016, 01:23 PM
Agree with Szczepan - some great techniques/timing there, but some rather casual stuff too - be careful what you choose to replicate!
09-19-2016, 03:44 PM
I think if you felt his technique you would not think it sloppy. Just relaxed and effective.
09-19-2016, 07:16 PM
Thank you for sharing, Jun! I enjoy how he seems to be demonstrating the irimi principle so much: Entering omote through yokomenuchi and cutting down to spread out aite's structure while other side irimi/atemi at various points (head, liver/spleen/floating ribs); and then moving on to other techniques including ura entry.
My limited guess is he is demonstrating principles of entry and control more than bujutsu. Whatever the case, it is always interesting to watch Tohei Sensei move!
09-22-2016, 05:45 AM
Tohei Sensei is amazing to watch. His blending and timing is so sharp. And his signature move - The One-Legged Stance! Gotta love it!
I agree with Nagababa (love that name!) regarding the ending of his waza. In the Iwama lineage we use the term "zanshin" as both a physical term for the final position you are in when finishing a given technique, as well as a mental state of awareness. Zan means to linger or stay, and shin of course means spirit. In Tohei Sensei's demonstrations he does these beautiful, dynamic and powerful techniques, and then he turns his back on his uke, or just generally doesn't stay vigilant. (It could be that he still has his super Ninja skills turned on, but this is not visible in the presentation). So when people see the physical form of his technique and copy that, then they will most likely be throwing and then just turning their back or in other ways not staying vigilant.
The physical form of zanshin enables you to keep your energy connected to your opponent, and keeps you in a position to continue to defend yourself again should the situation call for it. If you are in the habit of turning off your awareness after executing a technique, then this will very likely have a negative outcome in a situation where a second attack may come - either from the first attacker or another.
But to finish on a positive note: he was a Master! Respect!
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