View Full Version : Re: Memories of 2nd Doshu
10-23-2003, 04:57 AM
I'm not a voice of experience;) so I couldn't respond on Furuya Sensei's original post.
Thank you, sir, for this post. It is always welcome to hear positive stories about people I and/or an entire community look up to and try to emulate in many aspects. It is so much easier to respect and learn from a true gentleman like the 2nd Doshu than a real jerk.
Even if someone comes up to me and says "I knew this real bastard-of-an-aikido-sensei" I can refer this person proudly to the former head of my martial art as an example of the true nature of aikido.
I don't know anything about the current Doshu, so I can't make any comments on him. I would love to hear anyone else's experience with the current Doshu though!
Though some people may doubt the value of our martial art, at least they can't characterize us poorly because of an antagonistic leader.
10-23-2003, 06:25 AM
Please bear in mind that I was not at this event, that I do not wish to insult anyone and that I do not pass any judgements at all on any of the people present there or here.
I remembered reading something about this event a while back, from Nariyama sensei who was also there. I found a translation of the story at:
Please bear in mind that I was not at this event, that I do not wish to insult anyone and that I do not pass any judgements at all on any of the people present there or here. Yes, I said it twice but I think that it is well worth saying twice!!! As I said, rashamon.
As a side note, I've originised a seminar between Aiki-jujitsu, Aikikai and Shodokan at York. Everyone who came there trained in harmony with everyone else and one sensei made the comment that we were all more reseptive to his teachings that at times his own organisation! -- I belive it was said somewhat in jest and meant as a compliment.
The Aikikai sensei said that we all showed great Aikido spirit and that he would gladly come and teach at any other seminar that I chose to orginise. I do not think that we could have had a better compliment.
Of course, there were some tentions but I just choose to ignore those and concentrate on the great harmony and fun that the seminar was.
Aikido is the way of harmony and sometimes it is good to see it in action.
PS: I really hope that I have not offended anyone....
10-23-2003, 09:06 AM
I was privileged to meet the 2nd Doshu on two or three occasions and to train with him on two seminars.
I can only echo Furuya-sans comments about his unfailing courtesy and gentleness of manner, attributes which he carried onto the tatami.
This gentleness, however, disguised a powerful Aikido and on taking ukeme from him I remember thinking that the tatami didn't seem to be so hard earlier in the day!
As for the present Doshu I have trained with him several times and like his father found him to be a true gentleman, ever polite and courteous to those around him, with devestating technique.
I feel humble and privileged to have known, however briefly, two such remarkable men.
10-23-2003, 09:23 AM
Just to clarify things... I did not mean to say that either Doshu were not kind. I would be shocked and surprised to hear that weren't. I sadly never had the priviledge of training with them and would certainly love to. Something that I plan to rectify when I go to Japan or if any of them comes to the UK or Europe.
It was just a Rashamon moment when two people describe the same meeting in such different ligths. It makes me wonder how many things I miss on the matt, how many things I did not understand. It's a humbling thing and it was that aspect I was reflecting upon.
Hope this makes my post clearer...
10-23-2003, 11:36 AM
Thank you for your comments and I am glad that you enjoy my occasional lapses into the past. Perhaps, as I get along in years, these memories become more vivid and clearer to me. Indeed, over the years, I realize how much some of my former teachers have really impacted my life. I also become aware that their lessons never die but seem to grow in me and continue to nourish me and for this, I am forever grateful.
I have only had direct contact with 2nd Doshu over the many years but have kept up correspondence with him regularly and often. I long as I have known him, he has always shown himself to me to be a great teacher and very fine gentlemen both in his public and private life. I think that I have not met any other teacher who was so strict with himself both on and off the mats. In fact, I must confess that I often felt great sympathy for him to see him bear the great responsibilities of leading Aikido through these early years and certainly trying to follow in the footsteps of someone like O'Sensei. No one can possibly imagine but Doshu himself, what an impossible task this must have been. Indeed, Doshu fulfilled his mandate to bring Aikido to the world. A very tough and "lonely" duty for which I have great respect. Of course, many people have many opinions and I am certainly biased because he is my teacher. I admit this freely. But I have encountered many, many teachers in my practice over the years. It will be 45 years of Aikido for me next year, my dojo will also celebrate its 30th anniversary. . . . In all of these years, I have always felt Doshu's teaching and his conduct has stood the test of merciless time and unsurmountable difficulties. Perhaps, he did not make everyone happy, but there are few who can say they have done as much for Aikido and sacrificed as much for Aikido than him.
3rd Doshu was not practicing Aikido when I was training at Hombu so I didn't have much contact with him then. I remember Ohsawa Sensei's son was just a very young kid at the time. Ohsawa Sensei asked me to help him with his ukemi one time so long ago. Now he is one of the great teachers at Hombu, but doesn't remember me at all, of course!
3rd Doshu has turned out to be a great teacher and as fine a gentleman as his father. He deserves our respect and support. I am so happy to think that Aikido is in such good hands today. Of course, we must also appreciate that 3rd Doshu is what he is today because of his father, further indication of the contributions of 2nd Doshu. . . . .
These are just my own personal thoughts which I fear to share with you here. . . . . Thank you.
10-23-2003, 12:02 PM
I had the good fortune to train at Aikikai Hombu Dojo for a few weeks, several years ago. 2nd Doshu was still in the office every morning but not teaching the early class, his son 3rd Doshu had that responsibility.
I remember passing 3rd Doshu in the hallway before class and although I was (and still am) a nobody, he unfailingly greeted me, took time to chat and show interest in me. One time, it was obvious if he didn't get going he was going to be late on the mat because of me and I was squirming inside about it, but somehow he got changed and was in class on time!
Also, as I would pick up my ID card at the office before leaving after class each morning, 2nd Doshu would look up from his newspaper and nod a greeting to me. I have to admit to having been really flustered and could barely nod back (certainly too tongue-tied to even attempt a good morning in my pitiful Japanese).
For me, just another foreign student passing through, like thousands others I'm sure, I was made to feel special and I don't think I'll ever forget it. I hope it is part of how I act as a teacher, and a human being.
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