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Old 11-22-2005, 08:12 AM   #6
Steve Mullen
Dojo: White Rose (Sunderland)
Location: Washington
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 270
Re: A couple of short Chiba Sensei stories...

I had the immense pleasure to train on a course taught be Shihan Cottier for White Rose, and he told us a story about Chiba as a prelude to a technique. (i think it was Chiba, many appologies if it wasn't) i can't remember it word for word but the general gist is this

Chiba was on a ship sailing to America in the early 50-60's this was a monumental journey back then (taking many many weeks) and after a few weeks with no training chiba was like a caged lion and was given a very wide birth by everyone on board. one night he was on deck between two big transport crates practicing tai-sabaki and tenkan etc when someone approached him saying he was a knife fighter and wondered if chiba would like to train with him.

They agreed to meet at the same place the next night and practice together, the knifeman lunged at chiba at one point of the training, chiba tried to make ikkyo from this but found the knifeman drew his hand back as soon as the thrust was completed making it impossible to do in the normal way.

Chiba asked if they could train again and the knifeman agreed. Chiba spent all is time up to then thinking about how to get round the knifemans quick recoil. so the next night comes and the two meet again, again the kinfeman lunges, but this time Chiba lays the outside of his hand against the inside of the striking hand and allows his hand to be drawn back too. At the point where the knifeman had stopped drawing his arm back Chiba kept extending his arm through the knifeman's and nigh on broke his arm with a udi-girami.

I thought this was a brilliant story as is shows how one of the best aikidoka developed his technique.

"No matter your pretence, you are what you are and nothing more." - Kenshiro Abbe Shihan
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