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Old 05-25-2011, 08:30 AM   #20
Diana Frese
Dojo: Aikikai of S.W. Conn. (formerly)
Location: Stamford Connecticut
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 386
Re: Unbalance - Feet of Clay

Hi Niall and "comment-ators' I'm still reading around and checking the links on this fascinating topic. I can't restrain myself any longer from remarking that, for fun, we once tried sumo at NY Aikikai, Yamada Sensei's dojo. He was, of course, formidable in seated kokyu ho (then called kokyu dosa) most of us couldn't budge him, except if he allowed us, to show us if we had the right balance and were extending correctly....

So for about a week or so, I think it was, we tried some sumo under his direction, and it wasn't just to be funny, although we laughed a lot. We were even given sumo names. Sensei was Yamadayama, his friend Maruyama Shuji Sensei, was Maruyamayama, I was Daianayama, and of course there are other suffixes from nature that people got for their "sumo names"...

We even had the name chant, "Nishi wa ...." "Higashi wa"
(on the west, and , on the east) similar to the boxing designation "in this corner..."

We tried to do the leg stretch in the air and the heavy stamp afterwards ... and the funny thing is the smaller, lighter dojo members did okay! There was a lot we learned about balance, and focus, etc....

It was a good experience, it was valuable. It's too bad the sport has gotten the downside of fame and fortune. In our dojo, many years ago, a brief intro to sumo was "all good"...

Hope this story from decades ago gives you all a smile...
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