My name is Tom Read (John Thomas Read.) I've been studying Aikido since 1969, trained in Shingu (1974-75) have been dojo-cho and Chief Instructor at Northcoast Aikido in Arcata, CA since 1977, and have been working to create a unique staff art form since 1985 that I call Aikibojitsu
. Aikibojitsu is defined and explained in depth in the book Aikido Aikibojitsu and the Structure of Natural Law
which I published in December, 2010.
The reason that I am writing is that, although I tried to stay out of it, I feel I need to address the actions of Tenyu Hamaki, a one-time student of mine who is making a number of false claims.
Tenyu Hamaki was allowed into the Aikibojitsu Instructor's program about 2 years ago even though he was a 'beginner', due to a personal request by his brother. Due to that personal request I allowed Tenyu into the program and worked with him personally for over a year. As a result Tenyu's staff work is really not bad. But contrary to what he is saying here, over 99 percent of what he does is straight Aikibojitsu.
Aikibojitsu is a very distinct style of staff work, its physical techniques the natural expression of a comprehensive theoretical foundation revolving around non-resistant power (given in the book.) Those who have trained with me over the years know how distinct it is, and will easily recognize it in Tenyu's 'Aikibodo.' His 'new' style is not at all new, nor is it his.
In addition to the distinct and unique nature of Aikibojitsu's physical techniques, his use of terms like 'asymptote', or 'exponential' show that he is just copying my conceptual work. For example, I use the hyperbolic spiral's dual asymptotic form to explain how to generate and control high energies in Aikibojitsu staff strikes. Asymptotes are something central to Aikibojitsu's theoretical foundation. Tenyu's casual use of the term 'asymptote' at strike termination (elsewhere in this thread) shows the degree to which he has become confused about just where his knowledge actually came from.
Tenyu is angry at me, calling our differences 'personal.' In actuality he is angry because I expelled him from Northcoast Aikido after his behavior became so egregious that I couldn't allow him to participate in the school. He had alienated all of the teachers (in spite of what he claims elsewhere in this thread) to the point where all
were asking me to deal with him. The precipitating event leading to his expulsion was Tenyu deciding to berate a parent in front of their child while acting as assistant kids' class instructor.
During the expulsion process (one of 3 that I've had to do in the entire 34 year history of Northcoast Aikido), I told Tenyu that he was not to try to pass himself off as an Aikibojitsu teacher, something that he'd already been working toward behind the scenes even before being asked to leave (some of my students have collected examples of this off the web.)
In order to try to get around this, Tenyu made two main changes. He changed the name 'Aikibojitsu' to 'Aikibodo', and changed the 'tag line' from Aikibojitsu's 'The Art of the Staff', to 'The Way of the Staff.'
One way I name Katas is to call them something concrete. For example, there has been a unique and very difficult Kata in Aikibojitsu since 1991 called The Granite Kata. The first notice I had of Tenyu's actions with regard to 'his creation of a new staff art form' came when a student of mine said that Tenyu had posted his new art form on YouTube, with his 'Granite Kata' video! (he has since renamed his kata 'The Umi Kata', but we have screen shots of 'The Granite Kata' label.)
Tenyu was allowed into the Instructor development program in Aikibojitsu with open arms, and was freely taught based upon a very clear agreement that he not teach Aikibojitsu without permission (without an Instructor's Certificate.) He has broken that agreement, and I am writing to ensure that people know what he is really doing.
My book is focused around an in-depth explanation of the nature of energy in non-resistant systems in general, and in the martial interaction in particular, both theoretically and practically (technically.) The book takes a detailed look at Aikido technique based upon unique and important conceptual insights, and also provides a sound theoretical foundation for Aikibojitsu as an art form. The book is aimed at more advanced practitioners, but the material is important to anyone who is serious about martial arts.
For more information about my work, go to www.aikibojitsu.com
You may contact me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
. There is also a list of certified Aikibojitsu Instructors at the site with email contact information whom you may contact to verify what I have said regarding Aikibojitsu.
(For those who are curious about the book, visit the excerpts page www.aikibojitsu.com/BookExcerpts