Re: It Had to Be Felt #24: Chiba Kazuo: "There We Were, Two Handsome Young Men"
My encounters on the tatami with K Chiba Shihan occurred quite some time after those recounted by Mr Ellis.
When I trained at the Chiswick Dojo, I was a beginner and I do not recollect being thrown by him. And I think I would have remembered--when I returned to the UK from the USA, I regularly trained at the Tempukan Dojo and occasionally took ukemi. I still remember one occasion. I think it was a regular kokyuu-nage (the ura version) from a morote-dori hold. I grabbed hold, determined to give him the best attack of which I was capable at the time (I was now a yudansha). He spun me round and went very low, then I was projected. I kept going and going, so much so that I laughed. In response to which, Chiba Shihan permitted himself a smile.
On my Facebook page there are a couple of photographs taken at the Earls Court dojo of Chiba Shihan doing koshi-nage with myself as uke. Like Kanai Shihan, he had an impeccable sense of timing. Rather later, in the early 1980s--before he moved to San Deigo, I was at his house in Japan and I was invited to train. I wore a set of his spare keikogi and we practiced slow and controlled irimi-nage. Since there were just the two of us, Chiba Shihan took ukemi also, but only when I could do the waza successfully to his satisfaction. Any opening was ruthlessly exploited with kaeshi-waza, usually koshi-nage, of an intensity that made the house shake. I still remember the training session after all these years. It was an hour of one-to-one training with a master and was a very precious experience.