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I know I've promised to continue some topics, but, hey, they require quite a bit of thought.... so in the meantime, reading around in the free membership section of Aikido Journal (thanks, Stan, for those of us who have to squirrel away some moolah to afford 29 dollars or so a year, we can begin reading a bunch of great stuff)
Anyway, I was glancing through an article about women instructors and suddenly another of my famous memories some of you seem to like a lot (thanks for the validations so far...) returned to my conscious mind.
This wasn't in the YMCA where we trained, fortunately, and it wasn't a physical confrontation, fortunately, at least I don't think it would have even approached that, but a confrontation none the less...
Yep I was really proud of our little group, we had some really good students and fortunately the stuff I was able to pass on to them seemed to hold their interest .... Anyway, to relax and unwind after trying to exit in time for the Y staff to go home .... (we were fortunate to be able to have two hours at the end of the day and had to close class at ten and be out by ten thirty, if you wanted a shower you really had to hurry, and we had to fold up the mats and put them to one side ....)
Well enough background. As the title suggests, we used to go to the Brass Rail, an Italian restaurant just up the hill to the west of the Y. I had my dad's car, and the students thought I didn't drink at all but that was because I had to drive m
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
I don't know if any of us knew Harry-san's original name, he was registered at New York Aikikai as Harry Yorku. As he was an older gentleman, we called him Harry-san. He could be fierce at times, on the mat, especially with yonkyo or his specialty which seemed to be sankyo and nikyo at the same time. I never knew how he did that. But he was a complete gentleman. He would take a group of us out to dinner just because he felt like it and refuse to let anyone pay their own way. He said he made enough money in the craft of upholstery and could afford to treat groups of us to dinner. (It turned out later it wasn't just people, but that's later in this story )
By the way, a legend about him which I'm sure is true, I heard it from very sincere dojo friends who would not lie, but I wasn't there that day. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar had been practicing Aikido on the West Coast and when he visited New York he visited New York Aikikai. At the time he was known as Lou (I'm not sure of the spelling) Alcindor. Imagine Kareem as tall as he is, practicing with Harry-san, who was not tall .... especially shiho nage if indeed that's the technique I heard about.
Harry-san had been a star in his own right, in the theatre. He knew Pearl Buck, he acted in plays she wrote. He also remembered June Havoc, and other stars of many years ago. When we met him he told us that university presidents used to send limos for him to do upholstery work for their furniture and he enjoyed his trade