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Old 02-24-2009, 10:27 AM   #65
kironin's Avatar
Dojo: Houston Ki Aikido
Location: Houston,TX
Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 1,035
Re: Underqualified Sensei

John Riggs wrote: View Post
In an interview I read with Tohei some time back, he states the only thing he learned from O'Sensei was to relax. Is that what "he got"? I felt the comment was disparaging but perhaps I missed the point.
of course IMO, I think you did miss the point. I don't think the comment was disparaging but I can see that others might view it that way. Being relaxed under attack is not a small thing. In our training it goes to the heart of what we are doing. The whole ki thing really is different approaches on that mostly. Having the right feeling that enables you to powerfully connect and throw uke without a sense of being thrown requires a very sophisticated understanding of what Tohei Sensei means by "relaxation". It's a big deal to him. It's why my teachers still recount stories of finding themselves sailing across the mat when thrown by him. His dedication to understanding relaxation in this way led to his record that still stands at the Ichikukai dojo of over 60 3-day bell misogi. (something that leaves most totally exhausted after 30 minutes because of all the tension in their bodies).

Morihei Ueshiba Sensei and Tempu Nakamura Sensei are to Tohei Sensei what Sokaku Takeda Sensei and Onisaburo Deguchi are to Ueshiba Sensei. They had powerful impacts on the direction of his life and he owes a lot to them, but some could accuse him of obscuring the full extent in delivering his message just as some have accused O'sensei.

I think this is from that same interview,

When I returned from the war, I found that whereas Ueshiba Sensei could throw me very easily, other people’s techniques were completely ineffective. There was obviously some difference between the two applications of technique. Others said that it was simply that Ueshiba Sensei had “the strength and skill of a thousand men,” but I wondered if it were really true that there were some things that, despite both of us being human, Sensei could do and I could not do. Such questions began welling up in me. Again, I feel that only by frankly admitting that you do not know something can you eventually understand it.

Last edited by kironin : 02-24-2009 at 10:32 AM. Reason: typos

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