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Old 02-11-2009, 08:47 AM   #2
Toby Bazarnick
Dojo: Shobu Aikido of Boston
Location: Lecce, Italy
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 34
Re: Interview of William Gleason Sensei

Interview with William Gleason Sensei by Pasquale Robustini & Marco Marini

Click here to view the full text of the interview!

After the interesting seminar William Gleason Sensei, VI dan Aikikai, has given in Rome on December 13-14, 2008, he kindly accepted to have a chat with us during a Japanese lunch in the Italian capital.
 This inteview was taken from notes and memories of that and preceding conversations, and after a subsequent mail exchange with Sensei to fill up remaining doubts and questions.
 The interview was conducted by Marco Marini (MM) and Pasquale Robustini (PR).

MM: What is Aiki actually?

WG: Aiki is the unified state of Heaven, Man, and Earth. It is the vertical or spiritual unification of an individual and his or her environment. This state is absolute and therefore has no opposite or back side. When it is brought into motion it becomes ki-ai or yamabiko, the mountain echo, as O-sensei called it. This means that, maintaining your vertical unity, your ki goes out to your partner and again returns to yourself.

MM: What is Aikido today?

WG: Unfortunately, aikido today has lost its origin, or in other words, it has lost aiki. Koichi Tohei tried to remedy this situation by creating the ki-society but, unfortunately that approach was unsuccessful. It seems that, in his own depth of understanding, he did not grasp the difficulty of others understanding as well.

MM: Given today's martial arts panorama, how can we motivate students to approach Aikido?

WG: Once again, I believe that the answer here is to reinstate aiki back into aikido. Aikido was once a formidable martial art, yet today it receives little respect as a self-defense art, from serious martial artists of other disciplines.?

PR: about aikido's efficiency. Many are concerned about the effectiveness of aikido in a street combat. I usually think aikido is efficent in other aspects, like for example, making people better, learn how to use our body correctly. It is a "do", not a "jutsu". What do you think?

WG: If aikido is truly a "Do" then it must necessarily contain the "jutsu" as well. The "Do" is a spiritual discipline which has the "jutsu" as its foundation. If this foundation is lacking then it is neither a "Do" or a "jutsu" and has little value for either self-defense or spiritual development.

PR-MM: What's the difference between Aikido and Aikijutsu?

WG: Aiki jutsu today seems to be in the same boat as aikido. Its essence has been hidden to the extent that it can no longer even be found. It is not ultimately profitable to pass down the real article because then people don't continue to pay you money forever.

Click here to view the full text of the interview!

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