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Old 09-22-2011, 09:06 AM   #24
Alex Megann
Dojo: Southampton Aikikai
Location: Southampton
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 381
United Kingdom
Re: Who brought the Saito a.k.a. Iwama lineage to Europe?

Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
Hello Alex,

I will attempt to answer Raul's question in response to your post. You might know that the reason M Sekiya spent a year in the UK was to ease the transition in the BAF from K Chiba to M Kanetsuka as Technical Director. K Chiba remained as Technical Adviser and came to England frequently. (For this was when the political problems in Europe were beginning to hot up.) M Sekiya had retired as an engineer for Japan Airlines (JAL) and could travel very cheaply. He had trained with S Yamaguchi and K Chiba wanted him to teach S Yamaguchi's way of doing aikido. However, he did not want the kashima koryu to be taught at the same time and as part of aikido--but this is what happened. I suppose it was thought that there was little point in teaching kesa-giri alone, without the basic kata of which it was a part, so we practised these.

As far as I recall, practice at Ryushinkan on weekdays lasted for three hours, with a short break in the middle. The first part always began with kokyu ryoku training and suwari-waza ikkyo. The second part nearly always featured weapons, which invariably began with suburi training at the tyre makiwara in the dojo. I would sometimes teach the kokyu ryoku and suwari-waza classes, but MKS would usually appear and take over--and teach the weapons classes, which were usually aiki-ken and aiki-jo. M Sekiya taught the midday classes and sometimes taught weapons.

All in all, it worked very well, even when the weapons training was split into two separate systems and there was a more pronounced separation between Ryushinkan and Tempukan.

Best wishes,

Hi Peter,

I'm sure you have already mentioned it, but when were you training regularly at Ryushinkan? As I didn't really start practising regularly with KS until about 1981, your recollections are very interesting to me.

I was training two or three times a week at the University dojo, where KS taught perhaps one class each week after he moved to Oxford. In general weapons practice there was the exception rather than the rule. I also attended regular classes at KS's private dojo (first at the Oxford Ashram and then at Iffley Hall) where we did a lot of swordwork but little jo practice.

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