When was the last time you laughed the most during Aikido Waza, before, during and after ?
Truthfully, two of the best teachers I ever met both kept me laughing the whole time they ware tearing me apart. Alex Marshall, a police instructor in Birmingham, Alabama was a master of judo and general jujutsu, but he was a phenomenon with his finger-locks. He could grab you before you could blink and he'd send electricity throughout your whole body. And yet, you'd be laughing and he would be laughing and you'd be begging him to let you go but as soon as he did, you'd ask him to show you another one. That remains some of the best laughs I ever had under any circumstances.
The other guy who kept me laughing was Kyoichi Murai, the top teacher at the yoseikan hombu, under Mochizuki Sensei. Murai was 71 (as was Alex Marshall) when I met him, under five feet tall and a master of sword and aikido. In his ability to throw anyone effortlessly at will, he was really just like Mifune, who was Mochizuki's teacher. Murai's eyes were like a hawk's and he was just as fast in movement, yet light and soft. He felt like a feather, but I couldn't move him in any way and I would just fall right into some technique of his. And he would laugh. He was very modest and self-effacing and he could make you feel that he could absolutely eliminate almost anyone at any moment, but you just felt a kindness and joy in living that radiated from him, and you just knew he didn't have any interest in hurting anyone. But boy, could he if he should need to.
He sort of resembled Stan Laurel, of the old Laurel and Hardy comedy team and he had some of Laurel's mannerisms, sort of bashful. And like Alex Marshall, he was always laughing and he made his partners laugh, too. It was just such a joyous feeling to be thrown by him. He had also trained directly with Ueshiba, who used to come to visit Mochizuki in Murai's early years.
But that's for the real laughs in aikido. If it's tall tales you're interested in, you might like to know that I am actually related to a Baron by name of Muchausen and I will be back.