Re: Legacy and the Founder
Thank you for posting, and by all means, call me Francis. It is after all my name, and the one that I respond to most of the time. Your side trip down memory lane is much appreciated and welcome.
You list quite an eclectic row of primary instructors on your brief bio, and I can't help wondering which one stands out as being the most influential and important to you. No need to answer as it is privileged information. Just curious.
You reveal that your history of doing Aikido correctly was beset by physical challenges. Kanai Sensei could very well have been the poster child of magnificent Aikido despite the awesome challenges he had to contend with during the time I knew him. No doubt, he used them to fuel his burning desire for daily improvement of his art and craft.
Since this post revolves around the legacy of the Founder as it relates to his direct students, it is indeed appropriate to include Kanai Sensei, who intimates called "Hambei", to this discussion of how his direct students fared after leaving the Founder in Japan. It is my wish that more stories will be shared by those with similar experiences of training with these direct disciples of the Founder of Aikido.
In his own quiet, yet dynamic and almost nihilistic manner, Kanai Sensei did his utmost to internalize his lessons from O Sensei, and attempted to fulfill his "Giri" and "On" to the Founder, and correctly transmit the essence of his teachings to the rest of us. It is my belief that I did actually catch glimpses of what the Founder was like through the often agonized demonstrations by and rare conversations with Kanai Sensei. I treasure those moments dearly.
Thank you for sharing your memories, and this opportunity to remind us of the gift of Kanai Sensei's living tribute to the Founder.