Dojo: Hiroshima Kokusai Dojo
Location: Hiroshima, Japan
Join Date: Jul 2001
Re: Video of Seichiro Endo Shihan
There were similar 'issues' concerning Yamaguchi Sensei's aikido, when he was alive. Actually, from what I remember of the locker-room gossip in the Hombu, there were the Believers and the Atheists, with some bewildered Agnostics in the middle, who were wondering what all the fuss was about. The 'Believers' centred around Tissier, Endo and Yasuno, though he was rather younger at the time.
I think Szczepan and David are largely right (with David, I would agree that the circle in the first waza is not what happens in real life, but, on the other hand, the waza is irimi nage, and I have been on the end of Chiba Sensei's version of this waza often enough to know that the circling is not really uke's choice).
If you look at clips of Isoyama Shihan doing the same waza, his ukes are equally isolated from real life, though they all do splendid kiai and ukemi. They come into attack with their arms held high, like the wings of Zero fighters, and Isoyama Sensei goes right in under the chin, with no taisabaki. Of course, it's nonsense, really, totally divorced fom real life, but you just try being on the end of one of these waza.
For what it's worth, when I came to Japan, Chiba Sensei gave me some advice on how to deal with training in the Hombu. Of course, he could not tell me not to train with any of the instructors on the roster, but he did recommend that I train especially with certain Hombu shihan. These shihans were Yamaguchi, Arikawa, Tada (and, of course, people from outside Tokyo like Shirata and Saito, whenever they were in the Hombu). I did.
In the Hombu, I remember a class taught by Endo Sensei that focussed on the taisabaki of kaiten nage in the ura from. My personal opinion is that the ura forms of certain kihon waza are very difficult, 1-kyou and 3-kyou being examples. Kaiten-nage is an anomaly, in my opinion, because it is not really a kihon waza and was not included in the repertoire given in Budo, for example. Well, Endo Sensi was teaching the class in the Hombu, a few years ago, and did not like the way I was practising the waza. So I had to take ukemi, often, and was given very detailed advice on how to perform the ura version of the waza. I have not forgotten this advice.
Of course, my attacks were specified beforehand, since it was a normal class and not a demonstration. I have stated elswehere that I do not really believe in aikido demonstrations, since they seem to achieve no useful purpose.
Finally, I also trained often with Masatake Fujita Shihan. This shihan is constantly underrated by the aikido chattering classes because he openly disavows the accepted theory that weapons training is essential to aikido. His aikido is always 'basic', but is much more subtle than is commonly realized. Stephane S., if you get a chance to take ukemi fron this shihan, do so. Give him all the subtleties of attack that you are capable of and see how he responds.
Best wishes to all,
Last edited by Peter Goldsbury : 09-23-2006 at 05:31 AM.