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Old 08-01-2012, 06:30 AM   #13
Alex Megann
Dojo: Southampton Aikikai
Location: Southampton
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 381
United Kingdom
Re: Jan Hermansson Videos

It can be saddening to see the greats of yesteryear ravaged by time and the long-term consequences of some of the crazy things we do (overdo?) in our youth.

The late lamented Ken Cottier couldn't sit in seize because of arthritis resulting from an old knee injury, and found it uncomfortable to move between sitting and standing, but when you practised with him you always had the feeling that this was someone who could kill you faster than you could blink (but, luckily for you, chose not to).

I enjoyed watching the (also late) Kiyoyuki Terada teaching in the UK a few years ago. At eighty years of age, when he entered the dojo with two walking sticks and then did a standing rei, one might assume that this was a harmless old man: serious mistake! His vigour and speed on the mat were astonishing and quite frightening.

I suspect that Jan Hermannson has absolutely nothing to prove these days, and can't imagine that he would be at all bothered by the criticisms of the demonstration. I have never met him, but I would be surprised if he would be easily overpowered even now if someone chose to attack him seriously. I have to admit that I was disappointed too when I first watched the film clip, particularly by the rather slow and bulky attackers. All the same, I would agree that in this case he is simply having a good time, despite his physical limitations and discomfort, and that it would be unwise to judge his prowess from this clip.


Last edited by Alex Megann : 08-01-2012 at 06:45 AM.
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