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Old 04-21-2009, 01:58 PM   #39
Carsten Möllering
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Dojo: Hildesheimer Aikido Verein
Location: Hildesheim
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 932
Re: Seishiro Endo Shihan - Montreal April 7 - 9 2009

Alex Megann wrote: View Post
... so he may have changed his teaching style, but in my experience Endo Sensei's classes are very clearly taught and structured, ...
His teaching style hasn't changed. But I think it is very difficult, to get the point, if not being used to his approach to Aikido.
As I said before: After my first seminar with him I was unsure what to expect from him.

when I saw him at Hombu Dojo in 1993 he was certainly teaching "standard" aikido techniques. His first DVD (Kihon no Kata) contains nothing but "normal" aikido techniques.
Well I think his Aikido is standard up to this day. That is the reason why I asked what style of Aikido Szczepzuk practices. Because Endos techniques are typical Aikikai and have - compared to the shihan responsible for Germany - a much more martial charakter.

As I understand it, he teaches things in in his classes which he feels can only be transmitted in person, while he encourages us to study his videos to learn how to execute techniques. I would think that Endo Sensei has a similar intention when he conducts overseas seminrs.
That's exactly the point.
When I attend a class of Endo I don't expect do be taught ikkyo. I expect to be taught doing ikkyo better. And simply that is what is happening.

Szczepan Janczuk wrote: View Post
I see you are one of ‘believers'.
Grin, I'm a Lutheran Christian (a professional), so as far as Endo doesn't start to claim to be Jesus Christ, "believer" isn't the right word.

Well I began to test his approach to aikido because he is sempai of Christian Tissier and - together with him - shihan of our German Aikido Federation. And my own teacher trains with him. So I went to a seminar and tried out.

First I felt kind of you did, but some things caught my intention:

First: I saw a sandan-examination. I experienced how demanding Endo was. Especially about kata, about kihon waza. It had to precise and clear. That is something I love: Clear and approved kihon, no playing around or fantasy forms.
Good old Aikikai Aikido. (

Second: There where a lot of exercises I did not understand (but do now) but three or four worked astonishingly well. And I got an Idea what to get out of it because it were answers to questions I had asked myself for a while:
Creating contact to the attacker by myself. Not depending on him. Controlling him and moving him in a very effective way and without depending on him. Not relying on uke in a broader sense.
(Tissier taught similar things just one month later. Maybe I just heard the answers because I was “ripe”.)
No more “If uke looses the contact …” or “If uke does this or that …”

Third: Although he moved his uke in a way I hadn’t seen before, the things Endo taught worked on a non-esoteric way. What he taught was just technique, physical. I noticed, his uke weren’t doing him “favours” (knew some of them) and I couldn’t explain how he could throw them so hard the way he did.
I had examined and trained Aikido for some 13 years but couldn’t explain, why it worked.
But I understood: It’s not magic, it can be learned by me (I am not an Aikido talent but have to learn everything the long way), it could be practiced and – that’s important to me: It could be taught by me to my students.
No miracle, just physical.

One of those, who during seminars, sit around and admire Endo sensei beautiful technique and how well he applies very sophisticated principles?
Well, last year I attended a yudansha seminar an was very very glad, when there was the opportunity to sit and listen to whatever. I’m just nidan, only 14 years of Aikido then.
I was a junior in that seminar. And I the first day I thought I wouldn’t survive.

I don’t want to admire Endo’s technique, but I want to practice, and to be taught by my seniors and by Sensei himself. What do I get out of it if he can apply whatever but I can’t?
I want to experience whether those “sophisticated principals” work, how they work, how they improve ikkyo or irimi nage (yesterday evening).

See, me, I'm not sitting during seminars. I'm not learning from books, DVD or from talks. I'm using all this time for purely physical practice.
Well I’m using only the time I can afford for physical practice. My family, my parish allow only three times a week and the weekends. (I’ve got a colleague and can manage attending seminars.) When I wasn’t married and father and had no own parish I practiced six times a week. … Good old times …
So I’m glad to have DVDs, books (which show me that our Aikido is just common Aikikai) or talks.
And: Hey, we are here, talking.

You can't teach beginners very sophisticated elements. Even if these elements are ‘the essence' of aikido.
Yes: I think Endo Seminars don’t have much benefit for beginners if they aren’t prepared, explained and evaluated (?) by their teacher.

There were many other instructors, not only Yamaguchi and Endo sensei that were trying to teach only ‘essence' to beginners
Well Endo doesn’t teach only the “essence”. He teaches definite kihon waza. And he demands it for grading.

… , Nakazono sensei, …
He was the first teacher of Tissier. And your criticism is exactly the same, Tissier voices.

In all cases, those who didn't have very solid basic training, were not able to apply even roughly a single one of those sophisticated details with someone who was not very familiar with their style.
You remember: The emphasis on “very solid basic training” was one thing that caught me …

Those, who practice only ‘essence' didn't understand at all martial principles i.e. correct distance, because nobody ever hit them strongly …
Yes. It is the way of Endo, which helped me on regarding that point.

best regards (what do you write in english for: bye, await your answer?),


Last edited by Carsten Möllering : 04-21-2009 at 02:03 PM.
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