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-   -   Response to: It Had to be Felt #4: Arikawa Sadateru: "Please, put your hand Down!" (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=20903)

niall 02-20-2012 09:43 AM

Re: It Had to be Felt #4: Arikawa Sadateru: "Please, put your hand Down!"
 
[Editor's note: This message was first posted in response to Ellis Amdur's It Had to be Felt #4: Arikawa Sadateru: "Please, put your hand Down!" column.]

Ellis I understand that this series is just your subjective reminiscences. It was many years ago and you were certainly inexperienced in aikido and apparently you gave it up soon afterwards. But this article about Arikawa Sensei is misguided. I feel a responsibility to his memory to add some truth. By the way I saw your post linked below this thread. I thought it was a nice tribute to Arikawa Sensei. You should have used it verbatim for this article.

I will just stick to facts. I knew Arikawa Sensei and trained with him for twenty years. I was almost exclusively his uke at the hombu dojo for the last 13 years of his life. So I was at almost every single class he taught at the hombu dojo during that time. I never saw him deliberately injure anyone. Ever. His control was superb - the most precise I have ever seen or felt. So perhaps you meant danger when you said violence.

I'm going to disagree with you about actual ukemi also. I never ever moved in the direction I expected the technique to go. He hated that. He also disliked tobu ukemi - I assume that's what you mean by breakfalls - when it wasn't necessary. I probably never used tobu ukemi for shiho nage and only rarely for kote gaeshi. His technique was so fast and powerful that you usually didn't have time to take a big ukemi.

Also you are quite wrong about Arikawa Sensei and zanshin. Again I'm going to have to assume that you were too inexperienced to recognize it. He never - ever - left any opening that was not deliberate before or during or after a technique. Sometimes I attacked him from behind or while he was speaking because I thought I saw a chance. But he had always left the opening on purpose.

It is true that some people were frightened of him. I remember one day getting back to Tokyo from a trip one Wednesday and arriving at the hombu with only moments to spare before the 5.30 training. When I didn't get there at the usual time one of the uchi deshi thought he was going to have to take the ukemi. When he saw me his face lit up and he hugged me with relief. He's a 7 dan shihan now. I don't think he was scared of violence. I think he was scared of not being able to take the ukemi and of Arikawa Sensei getting angry. Arikawa Sensei's standards were very high. He expected you to be able to handle the ukemi or not to waste his time. If a deshi had bruises from forearm smashes he would learn how to block forearm smashes fast. And if Arikawa Sensei could bury his fist in your throat as you said in that earlier post there is something wrong with your ukemi.

As a person he was kind and thoughtful. He was very knowledgeable about all martial arts and I sometimes met him at kobudo and other budo demonstrations. Like at Meiji Shrine.

Regards,

Niall

niall 02-23-2012 09:44 PM

Re: It Had to be Felt #4: Arikawa Sadateru: "Please, put your hand Down!"
 
I already replied to this column once. As I said in my comment I knew Arikawa Sensei and trained with him for twenty years. I was almost exclusively his uke at the hombu dojo for the last 13 years of his life. So I thought my experience was certainly relevant to a column with this title.

But Ellis Amdur apparently asked for my comment to be removed. Not because it is incorrect or untrue. I stand by everything I wrote. It is because I mentioned something about inexperience.

So here is my reply again with the comments about inexperience deleted. You can read the original complete reply together with some additional points on my blog here.

Make your own judgement about the column. Make your own judgement about my response too. And make your own judgement about whether removing the response was appropriate. It doesn't seem much like aikido to me.

Niall

Quote:

Ellis I understand that this series is just your subjective reminiscences. By the way I saw your post linked below this thread. I thought it was a nice tribute to Arikawa Sensei. You should have used it verbatim for this article.

I will just stick to facts. I knew Arikawa Sensei and trained with him for twenty years. I was almost exclusively his uke at the hombu dojo for the last 13 years of his life. So I was at almost every single class he taught at the hombu dojo during that time. I never saw him deliberately injure anyone. Ever. His control was superb - the most precise I have ever seen or felt. So perhaps you meant danger when you said violence.

I'm going to disagree with you about actual ukemi also. I never ever moved in the direction I expected the technique to go. He hated that. He also disliked tobu ukemi - I assume that's what you mean by breakfalls - when it wasn't necessary. I probably never used tobu ukemi for shiho nage and only rarely for kote gaeshi. His technique was so fast and powerful that you usually didn't have time to take a big ukemi.

Also you are quite wrong about Arikawa Sensei and zanshin. He never - ever - left any opening that was not deliberate before or during or after a technique. Sometimes I attacked him from behind or while he was speaking because I thought I saw a chance. But he had always left the opening on purpose.

It is true that some people were frightened of him. I remember one day getting back to Tokyo from a trip one Wednesday and arriving at the hombu with only moments to spare before the 5.30 training. When I didn't get there at the usual time one of the uchi deshi thought he was going to have to take the ukemi. When he saw me his face lit up and he hugged me with relief. He's a 7 dan shihan now. I don't think he was scared of violence. I think he was scared of not being able to take the ukemi and of Arikawa Sensei getting angry. Arikawa Sensei's standards were very high. He expected you to be able to handle the ukemi or not to waste his time. If a deshi had bruises from forearm smashes he would learn how to block forearm smashes fast. And if Arikawa Sensei could bury his fist in your throat as you said in that earlier post there is something wrong with your ukemi.

As a person he was kind and thoughtful. He was very knowledgeable about all martial arts and I sometimes met him at kobudo and other budo demonstrations. Like at Meiji Shrine.

Regards,

Niall

gates 02-23-2012 10:47 PM

Re: Response to: It Had to be Felt #4: Arikawa Sadateru: "Please, put your hand Down!
 
Hi Niall,
It would seem to me that 'experienced' and 'inexperience' are relative terms !!

It is also interesting that these differing opinions remind us that 'experience' itself is driven as much by our perceptions as it is by anything else.

Please excuse my digression but it reminds me of the Zen koan:

Two monks were watching a flag flapping in the wind. One said to the other, “The flag is moving.”
The other replied, “The wind is moving.”
Huineng overheard this. He said, “Not the flag, not the wind; mind is moving.”

Regards,
Keith

Todd Lambert 02-23-2012 11:57 PM

Re: It Had to be Felt #4: Arikawa Sadateru: "Please, put your hand Down!"
 
Quote:

Niall Matthews wrote: (Post 303683)
I already replied to this column once. As I said in my comment I knew Arikawa Sensei and trained with him for twenty years. I was almost exclusively his uke at the hombu dojo for the last 13 years of his life. So I thought my experience was certainly relevant to a column with this title.

But Ellis Amdur apparently asked for my comment to be removed. Not because it is incorrect or untrue. I stand by everything I wrote. It is because I mentioned something about inexperience.

As I recall, Mr. Amdur set some ground-rules (with the support of forum administration) in his introductory post regarding his IHTBF series. In his subsequent posts, he briefly laid out those ground-rules again, and linked to the original post with those rules clearly stated. He also explained what action(s) he would take if posters were unable or unwilling to follow those rules.

You chose to ignore his requests, and he took the action he clearly stated he would. That you would deprive all of us of the wealth of his experience by your own heedless action is a real shame. :(

graham christian 02-24-2012 05:12 AM

Re: It Had to be Felt #4: Arikawa Sadateru: "Please, put your hand Down!"
 
Quote:

Todd Lambert wrote: (Post 303688)
As I recall, Mr. Amdur set some ground-rules (with the support of forum administration) in his introductory post regarding his IHTBF series. In his subsequent posts, he briefly laid out those ground-rules again, and linked to the original post with those rules clearly stated. He also explained what action(s) he would take if posters were unable or unwilling to follow those rules.

You chose to ignore his requests, and he took the action he clearly stated he would. That you would deprive all of us of the wealth of his experience by your own heedless action is a real shame. :(

would you mind telling us which rules were broken?

Regards.G.

Michael Douglas 02-24-2012 05:26 AM

Re: Response to: It Had to be Felt #4: Arikawa Sadateru: "Please, put your hand Down!
 
Niall, I thoroughly enjoyed Ellis' article and your reply.
I am shocked that it was removed, since for the last couple of days I've been refreshing that tab in my browser in the hope of seeing a swift counter reply by Ellis and in the faint hope of a third student with perhaps yet another perspective to post.

Ellis' article brings up a HUGE and downplayed aspect of Aikido practice and I want to read more about it!
So please, you two, keep discussing ...

phitruong 02-24-2012 05:34 AM

Re: It Had to be Felt #4: Arikawa Sadateru: "Please, put your hand Down!"
 
Quote:

Graham Christian wrote: (Post 303691)
would you mind telling us which rules were broken?

Regards.G.

Rule #3 and #4.

Niall comments on Ellis experience when he would have just post his and leave Ellis stuffs alone so readers can view each person view point. essential of rule #3: don't compare your experience with his or others, just post your direct experience

and rule #4, if you have disagreement, make another thread and post it there, which is this thread.

and most important, read the original post on "It Had to be Felt", the section on folks went into a fit about their teachers and so on.

aikido is about paying attention, yes? so pay attention to details.

graham christian 02-24-2012 06:46 AM

Re: It Had to be Felt #4: Arikawa Sadateru: "Please, put your hand Down!"
 
Quote:

Phi Truong wrote: (Post 303693)
Rule #3 and #4.

Niall comments on Ellis experience when he would have just post his and leave Ellis stuffs alone so readers can view each person view point. essential of rule #3: don't compare your experience with his or others, just post your direct experience

and rule #4, if you have disagreement, make another thread and post it there, which is this thread.

and most important, read the original post on "It Had to be Felt", the section on folks went into a fit about their teachers and so on.

aikido is about paying attention, yes? so pay attention to details.

Attention to detail: You not giving jokes, there's a detail.

But more to the point you say rule 3 says don't compare with his or others. Think you have added a detail there actually. It says comparing with other posts and toing and froing with them. Rule 4 is to do with rule 3, thus other posts and posters.

Now contrary to you thinking I'm merely nit picking I am saying that I see no breaking of rules there and any such belief is itself nit picking and bending rules to get rid of.

Niall could just as easily have given his view without mention of Ellis and the view would be just as different to, just as comparitive, very contrasting, and totally out of agreement.

Now that would break rule 4 wouldn't it and 3 yet it would be just as asked for, direct experience.

So my friend the rules may have good intention but as I see it not very well thought through. If you take them literally then they mean don't say anything which contradicts what he says.

Anyway, it's all good stuffs.

Regards.G.

phitruong 02-24-2012 07:07 AM

Re: It Had to be Felt #4: Arikawa Sadateru: "Please, put your hand Down!"
 
Quote:

Graham Christian wrote: (Post 303698)
Now contrary to you thinking I'm merely nit picking I am saying that I see no breaking of rules there and any such belief is itself nit picking and bending rules to get rid of.

Niall could just as easily have given his view without mention of Ellis and the view would be just as different to, just as comparitive, very contrasting, and totally out of agreement.
Regards.G.

sorry, but no cigar. Niall can post his experience, just his, that could be completely opposite that of Ellis and others, but as long as his stated that his experience and not reference other folks experiences, then he won't break the rule. but as soon as he does then he is.

and rule #4 said, if you want to disagree DIRECTLY with another person, as in compare and contrast DIRECTLY, then do it elsewhere. IHTBF threads are not discussion thread. it's about put down your experience, one time, and done. not talking back, no discussion, nothing else, nada, zero, go away.

phitruong 02-24-2012 07:17 AM

Re: Response to: It Had to be Felt #4: Arikawa Sadateru: "Please, put your hand Down!
 
here is a trimmed post of Niall that i think would fit in the IHTBF

"I knew Arikawa Sensei and trained with him for twenty years. I was almost exclusively his uke at the hombu dojo for the last 13 years of his life. So I was at almost every single class he taught at the hombu dojo during that time. I never saw him deliberately injure anyone. Ever. His control was superb - the most precise I have ever seen or felt.

I never ever moved in the direction I expected the technique to go. He hated that. He also disliked tobu ukemi - when it wasn't necessary. I probably never used tobu ukemi for shiho nage and only rarely for kote gaeshi. His technique was so fast and powerful that you usually didn't have time to take a big ukemi.

He never - ever - left any opening that was not deliberate before or during or after a technique. Sometimes I attacked him from behind or while he was speaking because I thought I saw a chance. But he had always left the opening on purpose.

It is true that some people were frightened of him. I remember one day getting back to Tokyo from a trip one Wednesday and arriving at the hombu with only moments to spare before the 5.30 training. When I didn't get there at the usual time one of the uchi deshi thought he was going to have to take the ukemi. When he saw me his face lit up and he hugged me with relief. He's a 7 dan shihan now. I don't think he was scared of violence. I think he was scared of not being able to take the ukemi and of Arikawa Sensei getting angry. Arikawa Sensei's standards were very high. He expected you to be able to handle the ukemi or not to waste his time. If a deshi had bruises from forearm smashes he would learn how to block forearm smashes fast.

As a person he was kind and thoughtful. He was very knowledgeable about all martial arts and I sometimes met him at kobudo and other budo demonstrations. Like at Meiji Shrine. "

graham christian 02-24-2012 08:21 AM

Re: Response to: It Had to be Felt #4: Arikawa Sadateru: "Please, put your hand Down!
 
Bad rules are bad rules. That's why it takes thought. Crazy ones are crazy ones.

Here's an example for you.

Before making such rules apply similar to yourself. Try writing about your experience without reference to the charachter of the person concerned.

If I were to train with your teacher for five minutes and then write about him, calling it my experience, yet proceed to go on about his charachter and what he probably thought etc. then I would expect others who knew him better to correct me if wrong.

Charachter. Writing as if you can sum the person up. Fair enough if you are willing to be corrected.

You see without charachter reference I would have to say purely what happened to me and thus not justify it by saying so and so was this or that. No justification, nada.

Unless you write for a tabloid newspaper or some such.

Bad rules are bad rules based on fear. Shame more don't understand Takemuso, virtues, that's where the true rules exist. It's not a matter of you mustn't say this or that it's a matter of how.

Niall addressed the point with virtue, respect and without insult. Most people hearing a misplaced charachter summation of someone close to them would do well to learn from such a response.

Tkemuso, a major part of Aikido and indeed the main aspect of martial arts which is to learn self discipline and respect for others. Behaviour.

That doesn't equal to me not speaking up directly no matter what the 'made up' rules are when you find something too far from the truth as you know it.

What's the point of writing something if you don't want comments? You can only demand 'respectful' comments but no more. Unless you just want readership figures in which case it's back to tabloid journalism.

That's it, said my piece. Now where's my cigar?

Regards.G.

phitruong 02-24-2012 08:53 AM

Re: Response to: It Had to be Felt #4: Arikawa Sadateru: "Please, put your hand Down!
 
Quote:

Graham Christian wrote: (Post 303708)
Bad rules are bad rules. That's why it takes thought. Crazy ones are crazy ones.

Here's an example for you.

Before making such rules apply similar to yourself. Try writing about your experience without reference to the charachter of the person concerned.

If I were to train with your teacher for five minutes and then write about him, calling it my experience, yet proceed to go on about his charachter and what he probably thought etc. then I would expect others who knew him better to correct me if wrong.

Regards.G.

once again, you are missing the points. so far i can see, the only rules that are right are yours, only yours.

Ellis didn't say about not making comment. he said to do it in YOUR OWN THREAD, away from his. if you notice, lots of us not making any comment DIRECTLY ON HIS THREAD.

the other point, is you can post character references based on your direct experience of the person in the subject, as long as, you don't reference the OTHER POSTERS. so go back and compare my stripped down version of Niall post. you will note that the post makes no reference to Ellis stuffs, but still retained what Niall experience, even in opposite that of Ellis.

you can do that to my teacher, even if you only cross hand with him for 10 seconds, as long as you stated that your experience is 10 seconds. i would have no objection whatsoever. and i would post my experience without any reference to your post or to you personally. and folks can read and make their own judgement on both of our experiences and view points.

bottom line, Ellis's Thread follows Ellis rules, bad or good, that are his rules. if you don't like it, you have the freedom to post your own thread and put up your own rules.

akiy 02-24-2012 10:39 AM

Re: Response to: It Had to be Felt #4: Arikawa Sadateru: "Please, put your hand Down!
 
Hi folks,

To clarify a few things that may be unclear here…

Before Ellis posted his now series of columns, I spoke to him on the phone at length about them. I had my concerns that people may have differing opinions and experiences from what he wrote, but I came to the conclusion that this series is something that I wish to support.

I feel that the four criteria that he lists at the bottom of each of his columns in this series (and explained at length in his introductory column) are quite clear and that they set up a very interesting experiment -- in a nutshell, to have the posts in his threads be based only on one's personal experience and opinion rather than in response to someone else's writings. Of course, posts responding to one of the posts in the series are welcome, only simply in a different thread (so as to keep the viewpoints in the series to be one and only one's own).

I split off the first post in this very thread as it did not meet these criteria. It was clearly written in response to Ellis's experience and meant to address them. Likewise with the second post as well.

As another point of clarification, however, I wish to state that Ellis never once asked for the first comment in this thread to be moved/removed due to his having taken offense with his "inexperience." Rather, the criteria as I refer to above were what prompted the moving of the first comment.

Please note that this is not to diminish anyone's personal experience with any teacher. To be clear -- Niall, I understand and appreciate that you have had a different experience with Arikawa sensei than that of Ellis; after all, Ellis's experience with him was during the 70's and yours some time later. The moving of your thoughts to this different thread is not meant to be any sort of disrespect regarding your experience. My request to you would be to please (please!) post your experiences with Arikawa sensei -- especially if your experiences differ -- without reference to Ellis nor argument with Ellis's own experience, so that your experience may stand alone rather than being dependent on what has already been written.

No matter what the circumstance, we will have differing experiences. I trust that the reader will be able to take that into consideration in reading these responses. I appreciate everyone's understanding and support for this experiment.

Best regards,

-- Jun

graham christian 02-24-2012 11:20 AM

Re: Response to: It Had to be Felt #4: Arikawa Sadateru: "Please, put your hand Down!
 
Quote:

Phi Truong wrote: (Post 303715)
once again, you are missing the points. so far i can see, the only rules that are right are yours, only yours.

Ellis didn't say about not making comment. he said to do it in YOUR OWN THREAD, away from his. if you notice, lots of us not making any comment DIRECTLY ON HIS THREAD.

the other point, is you can post character references based on your direct experience of the person in the subject, as long as, you don't reference the OTHER POSTERS. so go back and compare my stripped down version of Niall post. you will note that the post makes no reference to Ellis stuffs, but still retained what Niall experience, even in opposite that of Ellis.

you can do that to my teacher, even if you only cross hand with him for 10 seconds, as long as you stated that your experience is 10 seconds. i would have no objection whatsoever. and i would post my experience without any reference to your post or to you personally. and folks can read and make their own judgement on both of our experiences and view points.

bottom line, Ellis's Thread follows Ellis rules, bad or good, that are his rules. if you don't like it, you have the freedom to post your own thread and put up your own rules.

No, not missing your points at all. Merely pointing out the reality, not my rules.

To think that if I insulted the charachter of your teacher by intent or accident or without meaning to that you would merely give an alternative view without reference to me is heartwarming actually. Generally you do follow this rule (of yours) and thus are one of the few with enough discipline to do so. (apart from some of your jokes)

It is actually a rule of this forum. Some here don't have that discipline methinks.

So I agree with the rule but then there's the reality. Insult charachter and expect someone close to give you a piece of their mind. Simples.

Regards.G.

Michael Douglas 02-24-2012 12:04 PM

Re: Response to: It Had to be Felt #4: Arikawa Sadateru: "Please, put your hand Down!
 
I'll second that! ;
Quote:

Jun Akiyama wrote: (Post 303729)
My request to you would be to please (please!) post your experiences with Arikawa sensei -- especially if your experiences differ -- without reference to Ellis nor argument with Ellis's own experience, so that your experience may stand alone rather than being dependent on what has already been written.

I think it's a stonking great idea for a column and the rules should actually increase the column's value.

Repost!

Basia Halliop 02-24-2012 03:06 PM

Re: Response to: It Had to be Felt #4: Arikawa Sadateru: "Please, put your hand Down!
 
This whole thread is a discussion debating the merits of different people's points of view, so clearly no one is being stopped from doing so. Just here rather than underneath that column. Sounds simple enough to me.

It's different to try to, e.g., make a collection of personal essays and personal accounts, vs. host a debate or discussion. It's just a different thing. Both have their place and can be great at different times. It's great for both to exist.

SteveTrinkle 02-24-2012 03:25 PM

Re: Response to: It Had to be Felt #4: Arikawa Sadateru: "Please, put your hand Down!
 
The column and its ground rules are a great idea. Nice. It's merely a matter of 1) reading, 2) comprehending, and 3) committing oneself to follow those ground rules. Really simple I'd think.

robin_jet_alt 02-24-2012 03:32 PM

Re: Response to: It Had to be Felt #4: Arikawa Sadateru: "Please, put your hand Down!
 
Quote:

Stephen Trinkle wrote: (Post 303751)
The column and its ground rules are a great idea. Nice. It's merely a matter of 1) reading, 2) comprehending, and 3) committing oneself to follow those ground rules. Really simple I'd think.

I agree. I really like the idea, and the rules. Having said that, I am also interested in Niall's opinion. If anyone else has experiences to share, please do so.

hughrbeyer 02-24-2012 07:42 PM

Re: Response to: It Had to be Felt #4: Arikawa Sadateru: "Please, put your hand Down!
 
I was really happy to see a different perspective on Arikawa Sensei from another student. People are complex and multifaceted; no one person's perspective will tell the whole story. I agree that Niall broke the rules but I hope they are interpreted fairly narrowly. I do think that different people's testimony will be stronger and more interesting if they are written to stand alone, rather than as an explicit response to what other people write.

So I hope others aren't discouraged from posting by this.

TheAikidoka 02-24-2012 07:43 PM

Re: Response to: It Had to be Felt #4: Arikawa Sadateru: "Please, put your hand Down!
 
AAAGGHHHH, THERE ARE NO RULES!!!!!!!!

Does anybody get this?

One frustrated Aikidoka, more bloody rules, ( by those who should no better), tut tut. ( closest I will ever getting to being rude or swearing no offence intended).

In Budo

Andy B

Diana Frese 02-25-2012 09:35 AM

Re: Response to: It Had to be Felt #4: Arikawa Sadateru: "Please, put your hand Down!
 
Hi Robin,

Thanks for your request! Last night my husband was using the computer, but I got a chance to log on briefly and saw Niall had a blog entry on Arikawa Sensei, I didn't get a chance to check the forum threads. I followed the link he had to an earlier blog entry of his, from before I joined Aiki Web. I've never been sure whether to post on old blog entries, but saw Francis Takahashi sensei had posted there, so I posted my reminiscences of Wednesday afternoon classes with Arikawa Sensei in the mid-seventies after his.... So if you go to Niall's recent blog, and click on the link to the earlier blog entry..

I, too, hope others will post their memories of Arikawa Sensei in this thread, or at Niall's blog. Arikawa Sensei has been at summer camp and seminars here in the US and I think Rick Stickles of New Jersey trained with him in Japan, and I remember one of Lorraine DiAnne's seminars here in Stamford CT where she taught one of his techniques. She smiled when she announced it, she may have even said that in recognition of me if she knew I had taken his classes in Japan, and also some in the US. I hadn't trained in years but always made it a point to try to watch her seminars..

SteveTrinkle 02-25-2012 09:58 AM

Re: Response to: It Had to be Felt #4: Arikawa Sadateru: "Please, put your hand Down!
 
Quote:

Andrew Bedford wrote: (Post 303770)
AAAGGHHHH, THERE ARE NO RULES!!!!!!!!

Andy B

That's a rule!

dps 02-25-2012 02:28 PM

Re: Response to: It Had to be Felt #4: Arikawa Sadateru: "Please, put your hand Down!
 
Quote:

Michael Douglas wrote: (Post 303738)
I'll second that! ;

I think it's a stonking great idea for a column and the rules should actually increase the column's value.

Repost!

Yes, I agree, a stonking great idea and I think Niall's reply was stonking good too. It is fortunate for us that we have these two boffins to raise the bar of the bog standard thread. Well that"s all for now I have to go spend a penny.

Cheers then,

(Disclaimer: I hope I did not offend anyone with my first attempt at British slang. If I did I am sorry but you can blame Google and Mrs.Slocum. :) )

P.S.
Serioulsy great postings by Niall and Ellis.

dps

Janet Rosen 02-25-2012 03:55 PM

Re: Response to: It Had to be Felt #4: Arikawa Sadateru: "Please, put your hand Down!
 
And I also love the latest addition to the original thread on denture clacking atemi :-)

Alex Megann 02-26-2012 09:52 AM

Re: Response to: It Had to be Felt #4: Arikawa Sadateru: "Please, put your hand Down!
 
Since I've never been on the mat with Arikawa Sensei, I have no plans to post in Ellis's original thread, but there is a fascinating YouTube video of Arikawa teaching in France in the early 1990s.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ddA7scPgtqM

I find it interesting that he does several things that would get candidates for higher kyu grades failed in most organisations. His lack of outward zanshin, in the sense that this is normally taught in the Aikikai, is very noticeable to me after reading Ellis's article (although he does seem to be specifically teaching zanshin at 1:50). He hardly ever uses his spare hand, which dangles at his side for most of the time. It also surprised me that he often (see around 1:32, for instance, and just after the 3 minute mark) doesn't obviously unbalance his uke at the start of the technique, nor consistently keep control of uke's balance.

What is obvious, though, is the sheer crashing power of his irimi (see at around 2:07).

A scary guy, though I am disappointed not to have experienced his aikido. While I was at Hombu Dojo in 2003 I went in with trepidation to a class he was scheduled to teach, but I heard that he was already in hospital (for what turned out to be the last time).

Alex


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