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Old 05-20-2008, 08:23 PM   #2
Dan Richards
Dojo: Latham Eclectic
Location: NY
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 452
Re: Aikido and Karate

Interview with Shoji Nishio (1984)

My teacher was Konishi Sensei of Jinen-ryu who had practiced Karate longer than anyone else at that time. I was practicing Karate with Konishi Sensei but I also felt the limitation of Karate. I thought there must be something else.

At that time, a former Karate sensei of the Butokukai named [Toyosaku] Sodeyama who was running Konishi Sensei's dojo and also teaching there came up to me and said: "I met someone who is like a ‘phantom'. I couldn't strike him even once." I was amazed that there was someone that even Sodeyama Sensei couldn't strike. It was O-Sensei. Sodeyama Sensei came back to Japan after the war. Since he did not have anywhere to go he came to Konishi Sensei. Then he was told to come to Hombu. Sodeyama Sensei laughed to himself thinking that this Aikido was being performed by such an old man. O-Sensei felt that the Karate sensei was making light of him and said: "You are thinking that you can strike me, aren't you?" Sodeyama answered: "Yes." O-Sensei then responded: "I see. I see. Strike me. I'll just walk around. If you can, strike me." Then he started to walk around he dojo. Sodeyama Sensei felt vexed as though he was being made a fool of. If they were confronting each other face to face it would have been all right, but O-Sensei turned his back and started walking around inviting him to strike. (Laughter) Sodeyama Sensei thought to himself: "What the hell kind of old man is this!", and suddenly got up and tried to strike O-Sensei. But O-Sensei turned around and said: "What's the matter?" Sodeyama Sensei froze in the act of striking with his hand poised in mid-air. In the twinkling of an eye, there was a distance between them. Saying, "Damn it!" to himself he tried to strike him again. Then O-Sensei repeated, "What's the matter?" (Laughter) He couldn't strike him at all. Then Sodeyama Sensei realized he had encountered a great sensei. He had to give full credit to O-Sensei saying, "I give up!" It was Sodeyama Sensei who told Mr. Nakajima and me to go to see O-Sensei and so we went. It was around 1951. Anyway, I went to see Aikido and immediately joined the dojo. I was told to go and see but I never went back. (Laughter)
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