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Sometimes I just can't restrain myself. Here it is, two entries in the same week, but the title just won't give me much peace though it has been a busy day around here with the various to-do's to be attended to.....
Francis Takahashi kindly offered to answer questions about the "old days" (probably my words, not his) and when I mentioned Terry, he suggested three or four people who knew him better than he....including Ellis Amdur and Peter Goldsbury. Thanks, Francis, I will indeed ask them if they would be so kind as to share their memory of Terry.
After such a title for an entry, I promise to look up the four Mitama in Bill Gleason's book, in Peter Goldsbury's column, and the article written by a USAikido Federation member who is a psychologist and wrote it for USAF News (they have back issues on archive)
Now that the reader can look up the topic in source material I'm going to wing it, I just can't stop myself on this one.
Terry was one of the founders of Bond Street Dojo along with Ken Nisson and maybe others. Paul Kang and Chris Jordan took over after the original founders left. We were grateful for their hospitality. But I feel that more than expressing gratitude for that I should add a few impressions that maybe other authors, including Terry himself, haven't set down.
Terry talked about paradoxes, unfortunately I can't remember the examples, but I do remember the concept.
Terry had a kind, mysterious and beautiful smile. I'm not going to say it was like O Sensei's , that would be a chutzpah on my part because I never met O Sensei. But maybe Terry's was like O Sensei's.
Terry could be fierce, and I'm not talking about throwing people. More like expectations, wake up calls, that were specific, like when there was a nuclear plant problem in the late seventies I think it was he got really agitated about getting us to get serious about how to evacuate the island of Manhattan in case of an accident at the plant.
Another time one of my friends from New Haven asked, and I suspected the question might have originally come from Terry, whose classes that dojo had attended around that time .... are you committed? She meant, to Aikido. I guess the answer was I was in awe of Aikido though I didn't know what to say at the time. Thinking back, the phrase that resonated the most in my heart was actually from Hikitsuchi Sensei whom some consider to be a Shinto Priest." Keiko sasete itadaite..... I am given the gift of being caused to practice Aikido." Myself, I consider it a blessing to have been exposed to Aikido and to have been able to practice.
It's very difficult to know how to write about Terry, hence the title. I'm sure he has all four spirits, I just picked the Ara Mitama to show that he challenged us to grow and develop by his very passion about Aikido which was not limited to the mat. ( A film of him taking ukemi showed him light as a feather, and he was not a small person. So many paradoxes.) He took Aikido off the mat and into offices showing how Aiki skills could be used in everyday situations.
I can't really complete this article myself, athough I might think of things to add later, maybe in another entry. But look him up, I'll try to list his books for you, and mention articles about him as I check them out, soon....
Thanks, Terry it's the least I can do as an Ongaeshi!