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Old 08-02-2012, 12:29 PM   #27
Ellis Amdur
Location: Seattle
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 802
A brief note on Hannah's post

Actually, the "charter" is not so strict as Hannah supposes here:
The charter for the colums says they are supposed to deal with taking ukemi for teachers. Surely Hermansson has done quite a bit of teaching, but he never was known as one of the major teachers over here. He never even had his own dojo... always residing in dojos run by people junior to him, and never having a big crowd fo followers.
For example, when I write about taking ukemi for Ueshiba Moriteru, he and I were fellow students. I've implicitly defined ukemi in the widest sense - a relationship in which one "receives" the "body" of the other. As I discuss in HIPS, at what should be part of all aikido, uke becomes nage, and nage becomes uke. Therefore, reciprocal practice falls within the rubric.

Furthermore, status alone does not define whom I wish to discuss - nor whom I request others to discuss. For example, were it not for a recent interest outside Japan, few would know about Hiroshi Kato. I will sometimes ask people to discuss individuals about whom few are aware - yet they illustrate something worth discussing, in their lives, their aikido or both. Jan was such a significant figure in the Aikikai - Endo sensei would not, I'm sure, have publicly referred to anyone who enrolled in the dojo before him as "sempai," although that would surely be true.

Finally, back to the reciprocal practice question. The best hour of aikido practice I ever saw in my life was in 1977. I was injured, if I recall, and was watching from the side during Doshu's class. Chiba sensei was practicing with a French then 4th dan - it might have been Franck Noel, but I'm not sure. One hour of continuous joyful very rigorous motion. They practiced equally. With all the images of Chiba sensei that one may have in one's head - or experiences one might have had (I'll be posting in the Chiba IHTBF column later), this image is probably absent. The practice was clean, extremely high level, and without ego. I sat there in envy. Were I to have had such an opportunity, that experience too would be part of my writing on Chiba sensei.

Hence posts such as Carsten's, which describe "de-ai" - a meeting on the mat - are very welcome, as long as they fit the other criteria in the column.

Finally, there are other videos of Jan - here's ONE - I suggest a small YouTube search to flesh out your viewpoint a little more, if you are so inclined.

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