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Old 10-30-2000, 08:49 AM   #2
jxa127
Dojo: Itten Dojo -- Mechanicsburg, PA
Location: Harrisburg, PA
Join Date: Jul 2000
Posts: 420
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Trown by and 8th Dan

Damien,

One of the things that I enjoyed most about the AAA Summer Camp I attended this past August was getting thrown by very high ranking folks.

For background, I've only been studying Aikido for a little over a year, and my sensei is a nidan. The camp I mentioned was my first one.

I was thrown a couple of times by Yasuo Kobayashi Shihan (8th dan). Kobayashi Shihan is a small man in his 60s who almost always has a smile on his face and who exemplifies the attitude of training joyfully. He threw me a couple of times from an irimi nage that started from a double arm lock. The most notable thing about that experience was that I felt that he was just out of reach the entire time he was leading me around -- that is until I fell. :-) In fact, the first time he did it, he moved so fast that I momentarily froze and wondered where the heck he was.

Perhaps the coolest thing about Kobayshi Shihan was that he took a lot of ukemi. Having an 8th dan take ukemi for you means that you cannot make any mistakes or the guy just won't move. It was very instructional.

I also spent a lot of time at that camp working with Mr. Steve Rehrauer, whom I believe is a 5th dan. Steve sensei was exceptionally helpful and very encouraging. He struck me as a very centered individual, and that centeredness was manifest in both his technique and in the interactions I had with him. In retrospect, I feel it was important for me to see that there's more to having a higher rank/more experience than just better technique.

-Drew

P.S. Isn't it funny that we talk about the privilege and wonderful experiences of being thrown? :-)
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