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Old 07-03-2002, 12:44 PM   #8
Leslie Parks
Dojo: Tenshinkan Dojo
Location: Chicago
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 41
Speaking as a direct student of Toyoda Sensei whose relationship with him was excellent (and remains excellent with his organization and family), I agree,Paul, that your organization is rightfully conducting a memorial separate from Toyoda Sensei's family and his organization. The individuals of your organization chose to walk away from AAA of their own volition. As I said in an earlier post, you are free to train as you wish.

That being said, your organization does not have the right to use the kamon or family crest as your organization has done (on the flyer for the memorial training, using it as a click through button for "traditional aikido training" as two examples). Convention, good manners, and legal trademark dictate that use and authorization of use of the Toyoda kamon is restricted to the Toyoda family and their organization, AAA. This does not include some self-proclaimed "successor" such as your leader. When
holding memorial training for O Sensei, did you ever see Toyoda Sensei using the Ueshiba mon???

The family crest, which goes back to ancient Japan, had been used by Toyoda Sensei in relation to AAA (the dream and life work of Toyoda Sensei, not just some organization he led) for many years as a means of identifying the organization (a common practice)personally with himself and his family which includes his wife and his two sons. Use of the mon by non-affiliated organizations without express permission opens the possibility for confusion and legal recourse as the Toyoda kamon continues to be identified with AAA, as that organization is continuing as a legitimate Aikido organization, led by the Toyoda family with the express support and assistance of the AAA instructors and Aikikai leadership including the Doshu.

The communications I have received from AAA have been very clear about your dojo's leader and his permanent loss of connection with AAA and the Toyoda family. AAA has also been very clear about his PERMANENT loss of rank (he WAS yondan, NOT a godan) and also loss of certification with Aikikai Hombu Dojo at the decision of the Doshu, Moriteru Ueshiba. It is your leader's decision to continue to advertise himself at a rank never earned,using the personal symbols of Toyoda Sensei and his family against their express wishes. Given the facts that you yourself hadn't been active in Aikido for several years when Sensei died; you decided to insult an instructor on your way out of the dojo; the other uchideshi had been dismissed for inappropriate conduct by Toyoda Sensei(Toyoda Sensei was NEVER taking him back, as he told me personally); and the other senior instructor was on a "leave of absence" in order to make Sensei "understand just what his level of involvement would be" in AAA (as Sensei said to me, "He's done."), I shouldn't be too surprised that you all seem to have forgotten all that you were supposed to have learned about history, protocol, humility and respect, not to mention Aikido. So, best of luck and knock yourselves out on Thursday!
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