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Old 10-22-2005, 12:37 AM   #3
Peter Goldsbury
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Dojo: Hiroshima Kokusai Dojo
Location: Hiroshima, Japan
Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 2,219
Re: Article: An Aikido Journey: Part 3 by Peter Goldsbury

Hello Szczepan. Here are some answers to your questions, as far as I can remember.

Szczepan Janczuk wrote:
Hi Peter,
Interesting story. If I may ask question, how many ppl practiced in daily basic in those early days in NEAikikai?
Well. this was before the dojo moved to its present location in Somerville. I would say that there were about 40-50 members on average at each practice. Of course, numbers varied with the time of day. There were fewer at the morning classes, when Kanai Sensei did not teach. Usually Fred Newcombe or Fred Wagstaff taught these morning classes and Paul Keelan taught on Saturday afternons.

Szczepan Janczuk wrote:
Did sensei practice iaido?

Szczepan Janczuk wrote:
There were formal iaido classes?
Yes. These usually followed the main classes or were held at different times.

Szczepan Janczuk wrote:
Has Chiba sensei been practicing Buddhism in England?
I was not aware of this at the time. Actually, I got to know Chiba Sensei much better after I returned to the UK in 1975. He certainly did practise Zen at that time.

Szczepan Janczuk wrote:
Have Chiba sensei and Kanai sensei been in contact/meet at that time?
I would doubt it. Both were absorbed in building up their organizations and did not travel very much. Kanai Sensei did not often leave Boston, though he did travel with Kisshomaru Doshu to Hawaii in 1974 for the meeting with K Tohei Sensei.

Szczepan Janczuk wrote:
How about common ideas that were developed by both shihans in their physical training?
Well, at the time they seemed very similar to me in their own approach to aikido. Training was a very intense experience, for which one was expected to give 100%, though this was more obviously expected with Chiba Sensei. However, Kanai Sensei expected this with his own core group of students, but I think he had a more realistic view of the dynamics of a large general dojo. There were no kenshusei in the Boston dojo.

Szczepan Janczuk wrote:
Of course, more details about your practice with Kanai sensei are very welcome
Well, as I suggested in the column, they both seemed to have different ways of doing basic waza. The way Kanai Sensei did kote gaeshi, for example, with a short irimi-tenkan movement as he did the throw, was a trademark. I never saw Chiba S do it this way. Kanai Sensei also seemed much happier to work his way round the entire class and take uke from everybody. It was always very good to try the techniques on the shihan and it was so good when they actually worked! Chiba Sensei preferred to throw people around rather than be thrown, but perhaps this was because of his back injury. Actually, the techniques illustrated in Kisshomaru Doshu's Aikido (1975) were really practised in the Boston Dojo. This is why the book was such a good souvenir.

Anyway, please feel free to ask me further, if I have not answered to your satisfaction.

Best regards,

P A Goldsbury
Hiroshima, Japan
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