Re: George Leonard Sensei Passes Away
George Leonard was one of the real pioneers. When I started Aikido his writings were really the only things written about Aikido from an American perspective. His ability to express things in words gave a vividness to things that made them seem larger than life and very inspirational.
As I started to teach and write I found myself wishing that someday someone would go up to Leonard Sensei and tell him how much they loved what he wrote on-line... having had countless occasions in which I had to explain that no, I hadn't actually written any books, that was George Leonard!. I doubt it ever happened, George Leonard was a teacher of a different stature entirely. It would be hard to over estimate how much he effected our Aikido community and impossible to assess how much he helped Aikido in the US to grow the way it did.
George Leonard's passing is a milestone. His confidence that one man's efforts could bring about positive change stand as a model for the rest of us. He touched a lot of hearts along the way.