Moderator: Iimura sensei also started after the war, didn't he?
Kobayashi: I think that's right. Wasn't it around Showa year 24 or 25 (1949 or 1950)? The earliest one was Arikawa sensei, after that maybe Yamaguchi sensei and Tada sensei. After that was our generation, with Tada sempai, who's in France, and the other uchi-deshi who have scattered around the world.
Moderator: Around what year was that?
Kobayashi: Those who started from around Showa year 29 (1954) to Showa year 35 (1965) are now acting around the world as the backbone of the Aikikai.
Moderator: I have heard that prior to that time students were not allowed to enroll, was it about thirty years ago that this became permitted?
Kobayashi: That's right. At that time things were centered around Doshu (Ni-Dai Kisshomaru sensei), Morihei O-Sensei was in Iwama and was mostly absent. Doshu was still working, and I think that Tohei sensei (Koichi Tohei / 藤平光一) had gone to Hawaii."
Moderator: Who was leading the practices?
Kobayashi: Practice was only in the morning and the evening. The morning training began at 6:30 and the evening training began around 5:00 or 6:00. Sometimes when I went Tada sensei would be teaching. Then Doshu would return around 6 or 6:30 and teach, or if he wasn't there then Tada sensei or other seniors would instruct."
Moderators: Who are your contemporaries from that time?
Kobayashi: Of those still remaining, there are Yamaguchi sensei and Tada sensei who started before me, and Tamura sempai in France. Then there is Asai sensei in Germany. After that there's me, Mitsugi Saotome in America, and then about two years later Yamada in America, Chiba, Kanai, all uchi-deshi. Sugano was there too, he would commute to the Dojo."
Moderator: Was the training method then different than it is now?
Kobayashi: It was exactly the same, the same, but joint techniques, techniques that twisted and strengthened the joints, were the most common. To my recollection, techniques like Kokyu-nage were only done after we started giving demonstrations.
Since it would be just unbearable to watch everyone do Ikkyo or Nikyo (in a demonstration) they created techniques that could be done with a single movement. So, if you did those techniques in front of Ueshiba O-Sensei you would be scolded. He'd say things like - it's just impossible to throw anybody that way.
Moderator: Did O-Sensei use those kinds of techniques?
Kobayashi: He would do techniques that were similar to Irimi-nage, but we were just imitating those things for the demonstrations. So if we did those things during training we would be scolded.
Moderator: Did you practice those things when you were training on your own?
Kobayashi: Yes, that's right. When sensei came out it would be the end of the demonstration, so we were doing those things when he wasn't there."
Moderator: How often did the Founder O-Sensei come to Tokyo at that time.
Kobayashi: I can't really say. He'd appear if he got the urge, there were also times when he didn't train, and towards the end he'd pop-in suddenly now and then. He'd come out to practice, do what he wanted, and then just talk the rest of the time away, I can't really say how much he was there."