I thank you for sharing those memories. I have looked at the Ellis dojos websites and I have a few questions:
To be honest I don't remember Noro Sensei doing too much Jo kata.
- You have a tree for all those who have been involved with British Aikido. I would like to know what you recieved from each master.
I wrote the article " The Budo Masters " to tell of my experiences with all of the early Budo Masters that I had the privilege to meet and study with.
- As you pointed out, how did you manage to combine the gifts of each without ruining the unity of the teaching?
In the beginning we had Kenshiro Abbe Sensei ~ a few visits from Tadashi Abe Sensei, but mainly Masahilo Nakazono Sensei and Noro Sensei, each of these teachers were different in style and attitude, Abbe - Abe - Nakazono were older, where as Noro Sensei at 25 was around the age of some of us early students.
Having different teachers and styles meant we had to adapt, I find today that many students rigidly follow a pattern or style are are not prepared to adapt.
- I see you have number forms as there is in Noro sensei's art today (not quite the same order but quite close). Who set that way of doing?
In the early days we did not have a `recognised` system of teaching, though we did follow a pattern. It was Noro Sensei who introduced the ``forms `` which we still use to this day.
- Noro sensei 's approach for beginners starts now quite slow and then moves to faster techniques without one being more important than the other. How was it in those days? Was everything fast or was there a mix of slow and fast?
I cannot speak of Noro Sensei's teaching today, In the early days he was a very understanding teacher, he would take time to explain which we had not experienced before. He had a great sense of humour which we had never before found in a Japanese teacher.
His technique was fast and powerful but above all else he was so graceful....
- What did the Judo background give you that was not stressed in the work of those who had only Aikido background?
There is so much Aikido that I see today where uke is running around on the end of someones arm preparing for `take off ` ,,,,,The early teachers and students who had studied Judo liked to have their opponent close and under control..The techniques were more condensed.
- As with Noro sensei's Jo kata, did you feel the necessity of kata and what do you think of a teaching without kata?
We do a Jo Kata that is what we remember from the teachings of Kenshiro Abbe Sensei, we are happy with that and meets our needs. We don't have any Aikido kata's.
I hope these questions are not too many!!!
Philippe I have answered your questions within your post in Italic's.
Thank you for your kind comment, appreciated.
Not too many questions
lol.....I am pleased now that I wrote the article " The Budo Masters " otherwise that would take some time to answer.