Re: It Had to Be Felt #43: Kanetsuka Minoru: "Following in the Footsteps"
Kanetsuka Sensei was the first Japanese Teacher I ever trained with. I was a beginner with a couple of weeks only at the Oxford Uni & City Club. It was announced the important Japanese teacher was going to come on the weekend, and everybody was welcome. So I went. I did not even have a training suit yet.
I don't remember much of the course, I was probably still trying to tell my right leg from my left, but I do remember he called me out in front of everybody and demonstrated shihonage. He held me suspended before finishing the technique (if he even did), and I clearly recall I could neither stand nor fall. He had my "balance" in an eerie way. I was hooked that very moment.
When I returned a couple of years later I was less impressed. I did not like the way he dumped his ukes, and I did not like the way he went on about aikido and the superiority of Japanese engineering at a time when the Japanese economy was at an all time low.
Years later again, I now think he has something of what we discuss as "internal strength", that I did not understand at the time.
So opinions change, quite meaningless in a way, but I clearly recall that first shihonage. The first in my collection of "important aikido snapshots".