How I met my Aikido Mentor
The first years of practicing Aikido Technique was a most wonderful and exciting learning experience. We practiced regularly and intensely.
We were only several Kyu level members in the hands of some of Australia's most experienced and powerful Black belts and Sensei. At second Kyu level and after 8years of repetitious training I had a good grounding in the Basic Aiki-Kai Grading syllabus and I developed along with a powerful technique, a physique to match. Later, Sensei departed Australia.
Some time later I was invited to a seminar with a senior sensei from the Kamakura region of Yokohama who was also a long time student of Yamaguchi Seigo Shihan. That day was a turning point in my Aikido practice. My understanding took on a different curve.
The training method during the seminar introduced me to a realm of Ukemi most suitable to my personality. The training was the most intensely exhausting, yet most liberating and joyous Aikido practice I had experienced before.
After the seminar Sensei approached me with the usual questions, how I felt and how I liked the seminar. After I complimented the practice, he said that I had quite a muscular looking body for a small man and must have practiced martial arts very hard. I then thanked him, feeling pretty good about my self for being noticed by him. Then he said, if I continued training with him, he would take away all my big muscles.
After 28 years of training with him, he did take away those muscles I was so aware and proud of. Never the less, he instilled in me a line of Aikido I find so uplifting, liberating and free, that what ever I do, think and say, seems to fit in well with my daily interactions and practice. Although I never met the man personally, I hold the line from Yamaguchi shihan Dojo so very dear to my heart.
I hope all Aikido members feel as greatful as I feel.