Re: It Had to Be Felt #34: Suganuma Morito: The Calligrapher
Suganuma Shihan came to our dojo for our fall seminar in Sep 2011. I remember distinctly that he would come over to every person and show them the technique to understand how it feels. I specifically remember two instances of working with him.
The first being Katatori Ikkyo omote hantai. When he did it to me me it occurred to me that his body felt different. When he had me as uke I could feel his whole body was transmitted through contact on his hands. I felt how connected his whole body felt and could not resist him at all. It really didnt feel like he was muscling into me either. Upon his turn being uke, even though I "had" him in ikkyo it felt as if he was still in complete control and could reverse me at anytime. I am sure his 2 hours of Yoga every morning has helped him acquire this body as well as Aikido.
The second was (I think this is what its called) suwari waza ryotetori yonkyo. I was having trouble with technique with my partner and Suganuma Shihan come by to show us. He grabbed me by both my wrists and applied yonkyo. The shock ran up my arms and locked my elbows, I made my best "Popeye" face in agony and fell over backwards. I am one of the people who yonkyo is difficult to apply and Suganuma shihan nailed me as soon as he grabbed me.
The power Suganuma Shihan was able to generate was quite amazing especially since I out weighed him by at least 100lbs. When he applied the techniques you had to comply there was no alternative. There definitely no "Tanking" , "Aiki bunny" or "Ki balls" stuff here. It reminded me of a wave washing over you you cant fight the power of the wave, you can only go where the wave wants you to go.
Suganuma shihan taught basics the whole weekend and emphasized how important learning basics is integral to Aikido. I hope to have some other great experiences with Suganuma Shihan this fall at our fall seminar in 2013.