Re: It Had to Be Felt #43: Kanetsuka Minoru: "Following in the Footsteps"
As you know I have been involved in British Aikido for years.My own journey started in Glasgow, with the Renown aikido Society,I then joined the Aikikai of G.Britain under the direction of Chhiba Sensei.
i first met K.S. in Stirling. soon afterwards I and Ian McClarence wentt down on numerous occasions and stayed with K.S. and Susan Kanetsuka in London.we had some good times.Mr K then was always interesting regarding his aikido.He also spent time in my house where he made himself at home, feet up and watching T.V.He especially liked Tom &Jerry.
When Chiba Sensei announced his intention to return to Japan , he assigned K.S as his successor.I was at the event where T.KC.made this announcement and urged the then senior students to assist and take care of the organisation and support Mr K. Mrr Kanetsuka with tears in his eyes vowed he would do his utmost to continue the work of T.K.C and asked the seniors to help him.
Now let me say that Mr K. does express the abliities that you mention.His Makko Ho exercises are superb.He constantly tried to absorb waza from well known instructors.eg Saito, Sekiya , yamaguchi Sensei etc.He was almost like a chameleon , one minute he trained in a manner of Sekiya Sensei, then trained at courses like somebody else.I know of few people who do such research into Aikido and allied subjects.You may well remember the Karate session with Tatsuo Suziki Sensei for example?The macrobiotics is another area.
Any way , while this may well have been ok for some, I found in common with others that I could not in all honesty remain in the B.A.F. It was more than just the direction of the training , I believe that difficulties arose within the group.Perhaps this is the nature of any group?
These events [the split from the B.A.F ]are now decades behind me.I endured much emotional pain during this period. Had these events not taken place I think the history of U.K aikido would have been very different.
I cannot comment on Mr K and his methods now.I do know in the 60/70 s he was a powerful aikidoka. His Yoshinkan background gave me some hard times.I have only seen him once in Cardiff.He appears to be much softer.I am also pleased that he survived the cancer.
I can only say that my experiences with Mr K were a curious mixture , moments of joyfulness, moments of deep despair.I do however consider mr K in many ways a remarkable man.
All in all, I take this opportunity to wish him and his family well and continued good health.