Re: Hiroshi Ikeda sensei in the UK - April 20-22, 2012
A big thanks to John Burn for organising this event, a great venue and a very worthwhile event for all who attended.
I found Ikeda Sensei to be a very good humoured and generous teacher, who can demonstrate the higher levels of aikido, that many of us are striving for. I also found his teaching to be consistent with what I have learnt from my own teacher of 20 years and from time spent with Dan (all slightly different, all very powerfull)
One thing that he emphasised consistently, was the importance of the mind (he used the term brain) in all encounters. The body must be connected, but it needs the mind to lead it. I really enjoyed the focus on using intent, directed to different parts of uke to effect them in different ways. I'm going to have some good fun playing with this when I get back to my reguar students. Again this practice was consistent with what I have been used to, but has given me more scope and a greater awareness of dealing with the 'fighting-time'.
It was good to practice with so many people, from so many different backgrounds, however, like Alex mentioned above, some seemed to be on a different page from the one Ikeda was teaching from. I encountered some purely brute strength attempts to make the techniques work, that led me to wonder whether we were practicing the same art.
Anyway, I would thoroughly recommend anyone who gets the opportunity, to spend some time with Ikeda Sensei, a real gentleman and an excellent aikidoka.