Sensei Gilbert James
I sought out Sensei James several years ago. Both he and my head instructor started out in the same Yoshinkan class on Chicago's Southside. My sensei moved around, eventually ending up in the Ki Society, whereas Sensei James stayed in Yoshinkan.
I had certain reservations before visiting his dojo. I assumed the pre-WWII style of Yoshinkan would lend itself to more ju-jitsu type techniques. But what I found were aiki techniques being practiced. The one thing that impressed me most, was the sheer beauty of movement in Yoshinkan.
Sensei James was a perfect gentleman. After a short discussion, I discovered that the first Yoshinkan instructor left Chicago. For years, the Yoshinkan group would train among themselves, using books and films as training aids. In order to test for rank, Sensei James and others, would film their test and send it to Japan for evaluation. I can't imagine what kind of dedication it would take to practice in those conditions.
Sensei Gilbert James was one of the first people to practice Aikido in the Chicago area. His dedication to training is an example to us all.
I would like to offer my condolences to Sensei James' family, friends, loved ones and students.
Last edited by tedehara : 02-28-2002 at 04:52 AM.