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I only met the former, if you want to know about the latter, why not ask someone who has taken class with him. It is interesting to find out how a son would be similar to, or different from, his father. Same for mothers and daughters in whatever art or practice, of course.
This post follows very soon after my most recent post about Marianne's afternoon at USAF summer camp. The phrase "passing the torch" must have come from the Olympics, which are going on right now in London. We don't have a TV (never got the box to switch our old ones to the new system). I used to love TV, but hubbie says we get a lot more done since the temptation was removed.
It is great fun, though to hear about them from Ginny by phone as she watches them on TV and to see pictures on my hubbie's Blackberry. While not being able to watch on TV, is too bad in one way, on the other hand it actually adds a dimension when others share with me!
Sure I would love to be practicing again, but it is also great fun to hear about things second hand, to see things through another's eyes, so to speak.
Marianne took Osawa Sensei, junior's class. Sorry, I don't know his first name but you, and I, can look it up. Osawa Sensei , senior, was teaching at Hombu dojo when I was there in the mid seventies. I wasn't able to take everyone's classes, schedule and stamina precluded that, but when I was able to take his classes they were fascinating, a real case of "how did he do that? It looked so simple!" I'm sure you all have had that feeling.
I don't remember taking ukemi, but one time he came over and sort of slapped my wrist "katai" (stiff) he said. So I loosened up my wrist. He was making a kind of sour expression and what he said sounded like "you can find stuff like that at the vegetable market" in one or two words. Limp lettuce or bok choy, no doubt. I'm pretty sure I understood what he meant anyway.
Well, there's a fundamental paradox of Aikido which you probably already know. How do you strike a balance between hard and soft.
But back to Osawa Sensei, senior. Very mysterious and simple appearing technique.
As many have mentioned, when you teach you get a chance to work on your homework. So years later Osawa Sensei came to a winter seminar hosted by NY Aikikai at a nearby high school auditorium and practice area. I had taken the train from Connecticut or maybe stayed over at my brother's apt. or Cassandra's that she kept for a while after she moved (one of my sempais mentioned in an earlier blog post) anyway it was early in the morning if I remember correctly. I was at the far end of the mat from the door and pretty far away from Osawa Sensei demonstrating the technique. I don't remember ever consciously trying to do any of his techniques while back home in Connecticut, but something seems to have finally sunk in.
I almost was able to sort of do the technique. I'm sure you all know what a great feeling that is.