Lots of names appearing in this thread related to me so I'll give my 2 Won.
Hello Alex - I still do both those standing exercises you mention that I remember Kanetsuka doing way back when. Here in Korea various other arts (some Chinese, some Korean) use them too. I also like to do the arms-in-a-circle
one while holding a jo
- once static, once pressing it, once pulling it apart.
For the person who asked about vids - I have seen Kanetsuka's teaching videos - they are quite useful but nothing compared to seeing the man himself.
I was also fortunate to meet Shioda in person so - the following is copied and pasted from a private message I sent to Mike Sigman:
I was fortunate to learn Yoshinkan for about 18 months from one of Shioda Gozo's top students in Japan. I also saw a few other sensei and they were pretty much identical to mine. Identical in that the Yoshinkan syllabus was enforced to the letter in minute detail. Everyone did everything the same way - any deviation was simply, wrong. And then came Shioda. I saw him do three demos while there and he came to our club to give a demo and do gradings twice. He did not do Yoshinkan! He was a free spirit and was the only person who did nothing related to the syllabus whatsoever. His style was like Kanetsuka in the UK except harder and meaner - he had a bit a of a mean streak and loved to inflict pain. Another interesting thing was - none of his students could do what he could do. Not surprising really, since he never taught it - all his students taught the robotic basics method.
Shioda was good, but one thing that turned me off was his demos. The first one was great, the second and third were exactly the same! Even the Jyuu waza (free practice) - same techniques in the same damned order. That was pretty bad form if you ask me. Especially if you call it Jyuu-waza.
I also saw Shioda wave his bokken about in demos. He was very fast and precise. I never saw anyone else do weapons work in Yoshinkan while there.
Here, I am just guessing: Kanetsuka, I think, is related to Shiseikan (I trained there one year), who used to be related to Yoshinkan. Kanetsuka probably had a lot of robotic Yoshinkan style training and then found his freedom
when he went to the UK. Also, Kanetsuka's style changed for the better AFTER he got over his cancer - he had less strength I guess. He also has the same piercing glint in his eye that I saw in Shioda.
Terry Ezra was Kanetsuka's #1 student - but has now chosen to go his own way - and is the only person I have come across who did things to me that I could not understand. The guy is amazing. Again, vids do not do him justice. Experience it for yourself.
- To me, ki
is that magical energy that I don't really believe in. Aiki
, however, is the feeling of merging/blending/flowing (or not, if you so choose) with your partner - the feeling can be nothing / soft / sticky plastic / firm / immovable / penetrating - yet always changing. That's how I rationalise it to myself. The problem is, we all have different definitions and end up talking cross purposes.