Re: The Way is Walked
Your article reminded me of a day many years ago at New York Aikikai. A small group of us, I think it was one o'clock class were seated at the far end of the mat by the windows and Yamada Sensei, whom you know, was demonstrating a technique. Then we got up and did the technique. But as for myself, "not exactly" (a phrase popular in American general conversations several years ago to signify the concept of no, without just saying no to what the other person had said)
But Yamada Sensei didn't mince words like the phrase that became popular decades later. He looked at me and asked "Didn't you watch?" I can see why it bothered him. At the time I don't think I had the nerve to explain, "But I was watching your feet!"
This is not to say I was really smart in those days, I'm only telling you this because when he did the technique it was so powerful it seemed evident that it was important to watch the feet, as in a comment often made at a magic show, "How does he do that?" Maybe we thought we understood the hand movements, maybe I thought I had succeeded in memorizing the hand techniques, though I knew we should pay attention to the fine points when Sensei was demonstrating, but for some reason that day it occurred to me, since we were a small class and almost at his feet that I should pay attention to what those feet were doing.
Thanks Stefan, for giving a fuller explanation of that flash of inspiration. Too bad I was too embarrassed to mention it to Sensei later, He probably would have understood because I often had awkward moments learning the techniques and probably needed to watch the feet that day.