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Old 03-04-2004, 10:01 PM   #14
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 241
Re: Young Members

Hi George!,

Thank you for your sincere reply! I am honored for your time as you sound like a respectable sensei.

I should explain more of the circumstances as I did not want to spend too much time with it but due to some replies, I find it necessary to try and shed more light. So, I will write this for you and John.

The kid is about 130-140 lbs. I am nearly 280 lbs from my days as a bodybuilder. I have worked with the kid for a year or so and never had a problem. As I watched the kid progress, I raised the bar a notch acording to his skill level but in general, I let him fall out of techniques like and baby rolling in leaves.

On the technique in question, the figure 8 kokyunage, there is only one way uke can fall, basically. The full technique was ryokatatori kokyunage in which I raise my hand in a shomenuchi ikkyo undo fashion to the outside to break the hold before proceeding to the technique. I did this about 3 times as the kid was desparately trying to hang and not go with it. I normally deliver the technique with him in 2 steps broken down. Due to his determination, I felt it was time to step it up yet another notch and perform it in one fluid motion. Naturally I built more intensity through centripetal force which a good kokyunage does. Everything went fine on my part but the boy did not break his fall. Perhaps he was shocked, perhaps he just made a critical error? I cannot ponder this. I have had the breath knocked out of me several times but I guess people too that for granted?

Anyways, for the nearly 4 years I trained there, we did so on mats donated by the memphis club, very thin and wore out. when you roll, the padding breaks away and flots in the air like feathers. Concrete flooring is directly underneath the mat. When I roll, because I am so heavy, I feel the concrete. I have place concerned about saftey in that regard but to no avail. Sensei always thought a love donation would come and did not feel that it is his place to provide adequate facilities. We trained in a church gym. If everything was not free, we did not have it. I paid $45 a month and drove a 2 hr. round trip 2-3 times per week for this. Manytimes the gym would be in use and I drove the trip for nothing. I felt that a courtesy call was appropriate.

Anyways, I am now involved with an uchi-deshi of Toyoda-shihan. He is one of only two named to pass on his teachings. This is how I know what Toyoda-shihan thought of that particular club. And again, it was obvious at seminars becuase he would verbally attack certain issues. Toyoda-shihan took interest in me though as he would frequently call me out to demonstrate certain techniques because he like them. I was very honored as I was only a 6th kyu the first time I trained with him! After the seminar he pulled me aside and expressed how in a year or so he would like me in the uchi-deshi program. Unfortunately, due to his untimely passing, I would never get to carry out that dream.

Back to the kid, if I was truely trying to slam him, the fact that I can bench 405 for 7 reps, military press 315 for 8 reps,... there would be no contest if that was the case. I learned very early that I had to turn the strength off becuase that is not what aikido is about. I had self control and knew the difference betweem brut strngth and technique. Due to my stability and mass, my technique is very powerful even when I am trying to go easy sometimes. This has always been a battle for me to be aware of this though.

All said and done, I appologized to the kid 1000 times it seemed liek and he said he was fine. The boys father donated lights above our practice area so I guess the sensei felt obligated to scold me verbally and publically. I have never had much opf a problem there until this. I was his senior student for about 4 yrs. and he does not take my sincerity when explaining that there wa no intent behind it.

Actually, the one who is know head of his own organization that I am under knows of the situation and said the sensei was just looking for a reason to boot me because in the eyes of the other students, my technique was progressing faster than his ego could adapt.

When I trainied under Yasuo Kobayashi-shihan, I came back with a wealth of knowledge. I trained 8 hrs a day and at night I took plennty of nothes. I offered to demonstrated a few for the class and he said it would upstage his authority (ego) if I were to rpesent awesome techniques that we never seen. I said fine, I will show you in private and you can teach them. No one will know they came from me, I just want to practice these and add them to our repotoire! After a month, He asked to see a couple after class. I threw him and another student. The students could not believe it. His ego was so bruised that he stood up and had the audasity to say that it was not aikido!! I was shocked that a newly 2nd dan would mouth that about a shihan with around 300 dojos in japan!

Also, he did not follow proper protocal in class methodolgy and organization due to his religous beliefs. He also conducted prayers in during class time. I am a Christian but this drove a few good potentials away. It would be appropriate to ask those interested to join in a corner after class. Also the name of the club canveyed a religion and not aikido training. Toyoda-shihan did not like this eaither. How do I know? I heard this from him directly!

So, this is lengthy and somewhat detailed althought there is mroe but this is good for now. I do this not to vent because I was over it the day I left. I just thought someone out there could relate and offer opions. Myabe this will help some people that are confused whether to tolerate this behavior or not. The answer is NO! Move on!

Doomo arigatoo,

Brad Medling
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