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Old 11-25-2005, 08:36 PM   #10
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 23
Re: Should the leg be straight in the Breakf


I went to Toyoda's first seminar in Atlanta, even though I belonged to a different organization at that time . I hadn't heard of Toyoda Shihan before but I had visited Ginny and Scott's dojo when I had first looked for a place to study. Even though I ended up at a different school, I had been impressed with Ginny and Scott and had seen them a couple of times since. They both taught at the Aikido Center of Atlanta before their own dojo grew and went to at least one USAF Winter Camp. So I thought I would go and support their seminar. The teaching was different from what I was used to from a shihan - Toyoda talked more while demonstrating than the other shihans that I had seen did. Some times he would tell stories, sometimes he would get philosophical and give a brief Zen-like discussion (I didn't find out until later that he was a Zen master). The techniques were done somewhat differently from what I was used to, also. I managed to get along without comment until I was practicing a throw that required a breakfall. I had learned to breakfall with my legs crossed: bottom leg bent and under the top leg. Toyoda Shihan taught a different style, with the bottom leg extended. He came over to where I was practicing and stopped me and my partner.

"Your bottom leg should be straight," he told me. I nodded. Hai, sensei.

"You know why?" he asked. No, sensei. "Otherwise, you smash your balls."

He turned to my partner. "How many children you have?" he asked.

"One," he answered. Like me, he was trying to decide whether to grin or not. Shihan's face was perfectly serious.

"That's not enough children. Fall with leg straight," he snapped. Hai, sensei.

Shihan turned back to me. "How many children you have?" he asked.

"Four," I answered.

Shihan's eyes widened in apparent surprise. "Four?" he asked. He pretended to reel back in amazement. "That's enough children. You fall anyway you want to." Then he laughed suddenly and moved away.


Last edited by AlexisB : 11-25-2005 at 08:37 PM. Reason: credit for quote
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