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Old 02-08-2007, 07:57 AM   #50
Ellis Amdur
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Location: Seattle
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 895
Re: Dobson and Arikawa Sensei

Peter - A number of thoughts come to mind.
1. Arikawa sensei's uke - Niall - I wonder if he a) is still in Japan b) might not have some valuable things to say/write about Arikawa sensei.
2. The story you told about Arikawa calling you to restore "wa" - in a very personal/after the fact way, as if he realized that he had, previously, not addressed you as you truly were - that's the kind of unexpected kindness that stuck me.
3.I should save my comments about the experience of being a deshi for another time, it being rather off topic, but I remember once, thinking to myself that I'd come to Japan hoping to find an Osensei, and I found a Takeda Sokaku (I'm referring to the quality of the relationship, not anything to do with waza). It was terribly, pervasively intense, for many years, unleavened by a community of ani-deshi and kohai, meaning there were no politics but also, no respite.
4. Terry was very different from Deguchi in that he was neither inflated nor pathologically narcissistic. I used to say to him that he had "one foot in heaven and one foot in high school." He went through terrible times, in a way, as a deshi, and part of this was due to his brother deshi, but part was due to him. I believe that Mssr. Noquet had a very happy two years as a deshi. Terry was inordinately passionate - in the old sense of the term in which passion is both pain and ecstasy. He demanded of others among his fellows the same passion and loyalty to a vision of aikido as a way of transforming the universe, excoriating them for their failings or disinterest in this mission, even as he sold out himself and the mission due to his own failings.

Last edited by Ellis Amdur : 02-08-2007 at 08:10 AM.

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