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John Matsushima
10-28-2004, 12:42 AM
Who is your favorite aikidoka and why? Who has impressed you the most? Why do you think this person is great? Is it because of their skill, their style, or contributions they have made to the art?

Chuck.Gordon
10-28-2004, 02:50 AM
Fave aikidoka? Jim Baker. No question. Or maybe Jun Akiyama. Or Frank Gordon. And Andy Wilby. Definitely one of those four. Maybe all four.

No, the 'shihan' don't impress me much; anybody doing anything for 30+ years better get good at it. I did enjoy Ikeda Hiroshi's attitude and gentle humor, however. He impressed me greatly when he was in another teacher's class, and he carefully tried to do things the way the teacher was asking, and called for assistance when he had trouble getting it. That's impressive.

Who in aikido, other than the four folks I mentioned above, impressed me the most? The late George Simcox. Huge heart, fully human, weird, funny and damn good on the mat for a man who'd been fighting prostate cancer for years. He wasn't technically flawless, wasn't incredibly powerful, wasn't magical. He was just Good. And he was human. He laughed, cried and struggled -- just like you and me.

Pedestals? We don't need no steenkin' pedestals.

Chuck

PeterR
10-28-2004, 02:53 AM
No, the 'shihan' don't impress me much; anybody doing anything for 30+ years better get good at it.

So much for my choice - damm you for being sensible.

Who in aikido, other than the four folks I mentioned above, impressed me the most? The late George Simcox.

I remember George - he was talking about coming to visit me in Quebec City when he got sick for the last time. Really wished he had managed it.

Olaf
10-28-2004, 05:01 AM
Talking of Andy Wilby (sometimes referred to as the man who has a center like a rock) -- he will be co-teaching the annual New Years Seminar again at Shoshin Aikido Dojo Rodgau/Germany on 30/31 December 2004. If you can make it.. you will be more than welcome to join us!
Olaf Schubert

Chuck.Gordon
10-28-2004, 05:33 AM
PeterR: I still sometimes half-expect him to call or drop me an e-mail. He was a wonderful man at his best, a rascal at his worst. Made no bones about it either. Had a great laugh. He and his Norma were very kind to me during a very trying time. Both were among the gentlest folks I've ever had privilege to know. I exchanged e-mail with him scant weeks before he fell seriously ill, and regret not having gotten to DC to see him before he died. I could not agree with all he said or did, but I had immense respect for him and will always miss him.

Olaf: Andy's marvelous. I love the man like a brother. Andy's one of the few aikidoka I really enjoy training with. Had hoped to see him this weekend, in fact, but our schedules aren't cooperating, dammit. Maybe soon, though. Thanks for the invite. Rodgau is near Frankfurt, yes? We normally spend the Silvestre holiday with friends in Regensburg, but if that doesn't pan out, we may take you up on the offer.

eva
10-28-2004, 06:01 AM
Difficult question...
There are a few people who do quality aikido who I personally like and respect.
But my number one is definitely Pierre Chassang. Why? He is my fave aikidoka not only because of his aikido and the way he teaches but also because of his attitude towards what he does and knows and towards other people.
He is one of the few people who wouldn't let you treat them like a god-like figure just because they've been doing this stuff much longer than other people, or know much nore, but who would insist that we are equal in what we are looking for.

Eva
PS: Olaf: I hope that I can make it to your New Years Seminar again after I had to miss the last one. I must agree with the LOEP that Andy is marvelous.

Dazzler
10-28-2004, 06:15 AM
Difficult question...
There are a few people who do quality aikido who I personally like and respect.
But my number one is definitely Pierre Chassang. Why? He is my fave aikidoka not only because of his aikido and the way he teaches but also because of his attitude towards what he does and knows and towards other people.
He is one of the few people who wouldn't let you treat them like a god-like figure just because they've been doing this stuff much longer than other people, or know much nore, but who would insist that we are equal in what we are looking for.

Eva
PS: Olaf: I hope that I can make it to your New Years Seminar again after I had to miss the last one. I must agree with the LOEP that Andy is marvelous.

Oh Eva...I thought it was me! :D

Chuck.Gordon
10-28-2004, 06:27 AM
Heya Eva! We'll wave as we buzz past Stuttgart tomorrow (en route to the Alsace for our anniversary weekend). We were thinking of heading to Stuttgart for a long weekend later in November, but I vaguely remember you saying you'd be in the UK, yes? Maybe a Xmas markt date again, eh?

Chuck

jester
10-28-2004, 02:32 PM
My favorites are the ones I learned the most from, and the ones I'm closest to.

They would have to be Karl Geis, Nelson Andujar and Weewow Dumlao.

Karl's teachings are so far advanced that I don't think anyone can come close. His Judo and Aikido background gives him an insight very few people have. He is a very knowledgeable, generous and selfless man.

Nelson's focus and attitude is a tremendous thing to experience. He's been very gracious with his teaching, and really cares about students learning to defend themselves.
There is nothing gratuitous or fancy about this man. (except his Latin dancing!) He's also like family.

Weewow is like a sister to me. She is a great instructor and person, and she really takes the time to make sure you understand what she is talking about. She brings a joy to her training, and it is shown in all of her students. I always look forward to her visits!!!

Shashin Singh
10-28-2004, 04:58 PM
I think a lot of people still get that feeling he will call or send an email. I was one of his students for many years in VA and we spent many hours after class, driving to seminars up and down the East coast and even Canada, talking about Aikido. Or rather enjoying a never ending discussion about life and Aikido.

We went to dinner a few times after Norma passed away. One time, when I was picking him and his son (who had come for a visit) up, he said I needed to read an email he had printed out. He said it was from a guy named Chuck who had had some health changes and that it had started to change his Aikido. I think that was you, but I could be mistaken.

The email was a vibrant and alive discussion about something in particular had been ongoing over quite a few it appeared to me. He was quite excited about the email in his normal fashion when he would see people understanding what he was communicating. I think that pleased him the most, seeing people 'realize' what he was saying. Now, as a beginning teacher, I can appreciate the value of that.

Reading your rememberance of him, that evening was recalled in my mind, especially as this weekend is the 30th anniversary of the VKS.

Thank you for your kind words about him, and prompting the recall of that night.

PeterR: I still sometimes half-expect him to call or drop me an e-mail. He was a wonderful man at his best, a rascal at his worst. Made no bones about it either. Had a great laugh. He and his Norma were very kind to me during a very trying time. Both were among the gentlest folks I've ever had privilege to know. I exchanged e-mail with him scant weeks before he fell seriously ill, and regret not having gotten to DC to see him before he died. I could not agree with all he said or did, but I had immense respect for him and will always miss him.

Olaf: Andy's marvelous. I love the man like a brother. Andy's one of the few aikidoka I really enjoy training with. Had hoped to see him this weekend, in fact, but our schedules aren't cooperating, dammit. Maybe soon, though. Thanks for the invite. Rodgau is near Frankfurt, yes? We normally spend the Silvestre holiday with friends in Regensburg, but if that doesn't pan out, we may take you up on the offer.

Janet Rosen
10-28-2004, 05:09 PM
Yeah, I miss emails with George too.
I guess my favorite aikidoka is whichever partner is connecting with me meaningfully on any given day so that we are learning with each other.

Creature_of_the_id
10-28-2004, 06:45 PM
is there anybody here who doesnt know Andy Wilby??
I was looking through the photos the other day and he keeps popping up all over the place :)


(Hi Andy)

Jill N
10-28-2004, 09:28 PM
Hi all:
My favorite aikidoka? I think it has to be Bill Bickford Sensei. He is an inspiration, and a very caring guy. Really cares about all his students. I miss his teaching since his stroke a few years ago. I really miss George too. Simcox Sensei was one of the most creative aikidoka I have ever met. I love playing with his ki stuff, and what a practical and jolly guy.

e ya later
Jill

Michael Neal
10-28-2004, 10:20 PM
me :)

Yokaze
10-28-2004, 11:44 PM
Answer's easy for me. Dennis Tatoian. He is my sensei's sensei, and often comes by to oversee testing and what not. He's my favorite because he's one of the only ones I know, and he's a great guy. I rarely see anyone so cheerful all the time and he makes the most difficult to understand concepts so easy for me to adapt to.

Mark Balogh
10-29-2004, 04:27 AM
From what I have seen on video (and bare in mind I'm Aikikai as well), it's got to be Koichi Tohei. Followed closely by Kisaburo Osawa, Tada Sensei, and Tamura Sensei. Unfortunately, so far I have only been able to train with the later. Tada Sensei is next on my list!!! :D

eva
10-29-2004, 04:58 AM
Oh Eva...I thought it was me! :D

That was my first thought Daz ;)


Heya Eva! We'll wave as we buzz past Stuttgart tomorrow (en route to the Alsace for our anniversary weekend). We were thinking of heading to Stuttgart for a long weekend later in November, but I vaguely remember you saying you'd be in the UK, yes? Maybe a Xmas markt date again, eh?

Happy anniversary Chuck & MLE. Have a wonderful weekend in the Alsace.
Behave yourselves :o

Xmas markt is a good idea...
No plans fixed for end of November yet ... will see what happens.
"Life is what happens while we are busy making other plans"

Eva

Dazzler
10-29-2004, 05:20 AM
Like Eva I think Pierre Chassang is fantastic - for his long term devotion to our federation and his lifetime plan that he has implemented to develop our aikido , for his clarity of teaching and for his insistence that we must focus on the base of aikido and not get sidetracked by sexy technique!

I am very proud of my instructor Michael Narey, he founded our Federation when he was around 40 and has been like a rock ever since. He can be a pain but his singlemindedness and can do attitude are amazing...even though its sometimes those closest to him that actually end up doing!.

I admire John Dinsdale of Barrow-in-Furness for his technical excellence and for his firm northern mentoring of my soft southern behaviour. And also for his ability to consume his own body weight in guinness.

I admire Richie Elliot of Templegate dojo for being my friend. It cannot be easy.

Martin Ruedas
10-29-2004, 08:00 AM
the Ueshiba's

Fausto
10-29-2004, 11:02 AM
From what I have seen on video it would be Hirokazu Kobayashi Sensei (he looks powerfull, elegant and precise) and Hiroshi Isoyama I like his explosive Aikido.

And from the ones I have had the pleasure to meet I must say Giampiero Savegnago Sensei...... even if he has no left leg he is amazing he is as fast as a lightning, powerfull, elegant, precise and he is so funny he is great!.

batemanb
10-29-2004, 11:20 AM
For me, it`s Nakao Shingo Sensei. I`ve met and trained with many high level Sensei who have all been good, but none have been as warm and generous to me personally as Nakao Sensei, although Nojima Masao Sensei is a close second.

rgds

Bryan

MitchMZ
10-29-2004, 12:22 PM
Without a doubt, Tissier Sensei. I really like his style a lot and one of my instructors has told me a ton of cool stories about training with him. I would really like to train with him someday! His applications of irimi nage are really cool to watch.

MaryKaye
10-29-2004, 07:53 PM
I'm going to take the question a different way--I've gotten to train with some truly great sensei, but the person who deserves the most thanks for my practice of aikido is a fellow student, Fred Bonde, who successfully took his shodan test a couple of weeks ago.

He's the person who kept trying to figure out why I couldn't forward roll, after five long months of repeating the beginner's class and continuing to fall over sideways every time. He finally discovered how to get me to do it--literally in the ten minutes between the first and second class of the evening--and he was just as excited as I was. (And he got a lot of admiration from the people who had come to the first class and watched me fail to roll, and then came to the second and discovered I could do it!)

He was also the one who threw me into a full-speed roll for the first time, and that was the moment that truly hooked me on aikido.

And he didn't tell me until a year later that everyone in the dojo had been convinced I was going to quit. "That older woman beginner...Isn't it sad, she just can't learn to roll....Why do you think she's still here?" He didn't give up. If he had, maybe I would have, and I wouldn't be here now.

The other great thing Fred did for me is break me of using my age as an excuse. When I started, I thought 39 was awfully old; one day I said so to Fred, and he pointed out mildly that he was 60. (He started training at 51 and got his shodan at 61.) So, my joints aren't very flexible, and I spend a lot of time panting while the younger people train, but that didn't stop him, did it? So I shut up about my age, and that did my training a world of good. I want to look like that when I'm 60!

I'm unlikely ever to be a great sensei, but if I can help out another student half as much as Fred helped me I'll be content.

Mary Kaye

Dan Gould
10-31-2004, 02:01 PM
God, I feel like such a newbie :-$ I only know of Steven Seagal :-s

Bronson
11-01-2004, 01:00 AM
An eleven year old girl in my class. Her face shines with joy during aikido training.

Bronson

Mark Balogh
11-02-2004, 10:59 AM
Without a doubt, Tissier Sensei. I really like his style a lot and one of my instructors has told me a ton of cool stories about training with him. I would really like to train with him someday! His applications of irimi nage are really cool to watch.

I was on his mat for 9 days at a Summer School once. I got the feeling that aikido or no aikido, he could really handle himself. :crazy: :D

An eleven year old girl in my class. Her face shines with joy during aikido training.

Bronson

That is a really wonderful answer. :)

Jim ashby
11-03-2004, 04:29 PM
The late Tom Moss Sensei. A real human being with a welcome for everyone and the patience of a saint. He was a real unifying force in British aikido and a natural teacher. I miss him.

Lyle Laizure
11-03-2004, 08:47 PM
The newbie.

David Humm
11-03-2004, 09:41 PM
Chiba Sensei - The first Japanese instructor I ever saw, he left me speechless ! His Suwari waza is probably the finest I've ever seen IMHO.

Smith MBE - A guy who exudes humility through everything he seems to do both on and off the mat

Yamada Sensei - His hospitality and freindliness was overwhelming to someone (me) he'd never met before when I stayed in New York.

T Moss Sensei - Simply the nicest chap I think I've met in the UK Aikido community.

Kind regards

Bronson
11-03-2004, 10:20 PM
The newbie.

:)

Bronson

Mark Balogh
11-04-2004, 09:16 AM
Nice posts about Tom Moss Sensei and Bill Smith Sensei MBE (whose seminars just ooze class). I had the opportunity at a Summer School to train one on one with Tom Moss Sensei once, and at was great fun. ;)

While on the subject of UK Aikidoka, I cannot leave without mentioning my own teacher Terry Ezra Sensei. He has been through a lot training wise and has continued to strive for an aikido that is expressed as equally in physical technique as in philosophy. Personally, I think it says a lot about his quality that I should choose to be under his direction and not one of the other great teachers we have available in the UK (although I may pop onto their courses now and again!!!) :)

Christy S
11-04-2004, 10:13 AM
I honestly can't say I have just one favorite Aikidoka b/c I love many of my fellow Aikidoka for various and different reasons. I would have to say my father was my biggest influence for the years of training he sacrificed to work with only me on the mat. I was too young to train with the adults and there was no kids class, so he would work with me off to the side of the mat. Thanks dad.

garry cantrell
11-08-2004, 05:00 PM
lots and lots of folks over the years, for various reasons - but just a few days ago i was describing terry dobson sensei to a friend, so i'll mention him now.

vanstretch
11-08-2004, 06:07 PM
No one mentioned Seagal Shihan, until now. Got me interested initially thru the A.T.L. opening scene.

siwilson
11-09-2004, 04:33 AM
No Way I can pick just one!!!

Nigel Spencer Sensei, as he was the first to introduce me to the way of Yoshinkan Aikido through the Shudokan.

John Russell Sensei who worked really hard on me to iron out my glitches.

Joe Thambu Sensei, who changed my Aikido! Every time I have trained with him he has left me inspired.

Roger Bish Sensei, who guides me and is not afraid to tell me when I do something wrong.

Garry Masters Sensei. My Sensei. One word - Wow! I am so lucky to be learning from him.

Thamby Rajah Sensei. Founded Aikido in Malaysia (Yoshinkan was first there) and head of the Shudokan. So humble and so amazing. Every time I have trained with him or am in his presence it is a pleasure.

And most definitely-

The late Ted Stratton Sensei, who amazed and inspired me, and took me with him to seminars and courses in the UK and Europe, invited me to stay with him and train with him whenever, sat talking until way too late, teased me rotten, was my mentor, and I miss him every day. I am so happy that my wife and I have such wonderful friends in his family, who we are staying with this weekend for his grandson's first birthday. :)

siwilson
11-09-2004, 04:34 AM
Oh, and also the wife!!!

(Have to say that) :D

siwilson
11-09-2004, 04:38 AM
I never had the chance to train with Tom Moss. I can say that everyone who I have met who knew had only good to say.

GLWeeks
11-09-2004, 08:35 AM
Jim Baker is truely amazing.... He came down for a seminar this past September and it was my first time to meet him. After being Uke for him I found myself asking while staring at the ceiling, "What just happened?". :)

My Sensei Greg Owen was trained by Jim and Greg is the best martial artist I've ever had a chance to study under. I'm thankful that I found him and the others at the Aikido Society of Memphis.

Chuck.Gordon
11-09-2004, 09:19 AM
Yep. Jim's one of my favorite aikidoka, and one of my favorite people. Beware the penguins, though ...

Chuck

Jerry Miller
11-09-2004, 12:10 PM
Walker Sensei (http://www.aikidojournal.com/personalitydetails?id=14)