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Old 02-13-2007, 09:11 AM   #10
Location: Bangkok
Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 803
Re: Aikikai Pioneers in Europe

A few years ago, Yokota Sensei from Hombu was visiting our dojo with his Uke, and it coincided with the visit to Bangkok of Noro Sensei (personal reasons). Since I happened to be a very close friend of one of Noro's students, we both lobbyied with our teacher to invite him to visit us in the same day. Yokota S. was very impressed and treated Noro S. with utmost respect. He was very keen to show Noro Sensei the best of his techniques during the training (Noro was just watching from the public seats). He started slamming his Uke very strongly on the mats, and Noro was shaking his head all the time in disapproval and after the training he was commenting to his student and myself (in french) how "savage" the demo was. Later on, on a trip to Paris, I visited his Dojo, which is actually closed to outsiders so it was a great privilege that he allowed me to practice that session. What we did was extremely strange to me, and looked more like Tango (which is how Noro Sensei described it actually). There were no Ukemi, but extreme coordination between partners. It was definitely not "martial" aikido, but quite fascinating nevertheless, especially when Noro S. was demonstrating, the absolute essence of "aiki".

Bryan Bateman wrote:
When I attended the Doshu seminar in Paris a couple of years ago, Noro sensei was present on the mat alongside Doshu and Tamura sensei. The impression I got was that they were all amicable, even allowing for Noro sensei's "eccentric" behaviour when he kept interrupting Doshu teaching by walking in front of him to move people back to create a bigger space.
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