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Old 04-23-2012, 04:30 PM   #3
Chris Li
Chris Li's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido Sangenkai
Location: Honolulu, Hawaii
Join Date: Dec 2000
Posts: 3,300
Re: It Had to be Felt #4: Arikawa Sadateru: "Please, put your hand Down!"

The first time I went to Hombu, in the early eighties, I was pretty much a raw beginner, and too chicken to go to Arikawa's classes, which had kind of a scary reputation.

When I went back later in the eighties I ended up going to quite a few classes. He impressed me because he'd throw anybody if he thought that they were training seriously - many (most?) of the senior folks had an entourage that they spent most of their time with. Arikawa would walk around throwing everybody - in a class with 70 people he'd come around and hit me up for almost every technique.

He always threw me extremely hard with very small movements. It didn't seem to matter how I attacked - he just didn't seem to care very much.

The one thing that I really regret is that it was so hard to understand his speech - an old throat injury made his Japanese hard even for the native speakers. Most of the time if he was any distance away it just turned into noise for me.



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