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Old 07-22-2011, 01:10 PM   #83
Diana Frese
Dojo: Aikikai of S.W. Conn. (formerly)
Location: Stamford Connecticut
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 386
Re: The Word "Aikido"

Thanks, Peter,

Yes, I knew them from the old days, Fred Newcomb from when NYAikikai hosted summer camp in the Catskills, I think it was.
Rodney Grantham from Georgia also attended, if I remember correctly. People were very friendly and genial and so when I was visiting my friend Ginny in Marblehead I also took a class in Andover, after checking by phone with Fred. He had mentioned the name of his company, Scudder Stevens and Clark but I was surprised on actually calling, it sounded like Scudder Stevens and Clack. Then I remembered the accent, even Ginny has a bit of The Accent. Clack spelled C-l-a-r-k....

I remember him telling me the mnemonic Scudder, like Rudder, but that wasn't the problem name as it turned out...

But, I digress...

What I admired the most about the Boston style was the hanmi, and the fact that Kanai Sensei had many tall students, although he himself.... wasn't. I remember being on the balcony at a party one summer camp. Those of us who were up there looked down at the dancers and to my shock Kanai Sensei was dancing out of hanmi.

Hanmi was very important to me, I felt that otherwise my feet would get totally tangled, being a tall person.

Seriously, Yamada Sensei always recommended visiting Cambridge, because Kanai Sensei was rather a shy type. He could be outspoken, though, when he felt a person needed advice, asked or unasked.... but that's a whole bunch of other stories. He didn't talk to me much, but what he did say, those things I never forgot.

I didn't know about Fred Wagstaff and the street efficaciousness.... I saw him train several times and like the others his Aikido form was excellent. Saturdays, before returning to Stamford at the excursion rate on the train, I always took Paul Keelan's class, and that was also very practical oriented. One thing I remember distinctly, he said the first second or so in a street situation is very important. It is the decisive thing. After you throw, you can hit the person or whatever.... I'm pretty sure that's about what he said to us.

I think Fred Wagstaff was a musician, cafe's or something, night club songs, maybe jazz. He played the piano if I remember correctly from an article I read a long time ago. I would have liked to have taken his classes too....

I talk on the phone with Ginny pretty often, and she said recently that Steve Carabino was from Swampscott, her original dojo. Bernie Mulligan, now sixth dan, I believe was very kind to me when Ginny was still training and she brought me along to class. I remember he invited me into the office for an aperitif liqueur after class before Ginny and I went home to her mother's house.

Oh well, I'm off on nostalgia planet it seems. Thanks again for asking if I remember. By the way, it was Francis' student Father Joe Miller who was visiting the Stamford area on business (Norwalk, actually) and practiced at our Y several times. He invited my assistant Lucy and myself along when he visited NEAikikai for an evening class. It was at the Central Square dojo, but by the time I went back and visited it was in Porter Square and they were practicing on the ground floor while the dojo was being built upstairs. Our hair turned gray by the time class was over from the tiny particles of sheet rock dust that found their way down....
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