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Old 02-06-2012, 06:29 PM   #1
David Orange
Dojo: Aozora Dojo
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The Principle of Sutemi

Quote:
Hugh Beyer wrote: View Post
David: Thanks much for the link, I enjoyed the videos--but they raise a question I wanted to ask earlier: why are you so in love with sutemi waza? In some recent post you said it should be some large part of your training -- 50% or something like that -- a lot anyway. Why? I regard sutemi waza as essentially a Hail Mary pass--good to have in your back pocket for when you're desperate, but surely not something you really want to use? What's up with that?
Hugh, I opened a new thread on this because the other one had already headed in a direction I didn't really want to go with it.

The thing is, I'm not really "in love" with sutemi waza, but I do consider them very important. And I don't say that sutemi should be any particular percentage of training, but under Minoru Mochizuki, it was a huge part. And as for "using" sutemi waza, I think there's a place for it, as I will explain below.

But the reason I am so interested in sutemi waza is that Minoru Mochizuki considered it an important part of budo and an expression of pure Japanese culture.

Now, if you think about Mochizuki Sensei, he was a protege of Jigoro Kano, who sent him to train with Morihei Ueshiba specifically for the purpose of bringing Ueshiba's budo back to the Kodokan and teaching it to keep judo from devolving into a wrestling style with little connection to its bujutsu roots. Mochizuki was about 24 years old at that time, but he had already been uchi deshi to Kyuzo Mifune in judo and had trained extensively with Toku Sampo, Mifune's contemporary in time and, apparently in ability as well. And it seems to have been during this period that Mochizuki trained with the last headmaster of gyokushin ryu jujutsu. I am impressed that Kano admired not only the young man's fighting spirit and dedication to technical training, but also his intellectual ability to receive very important concepts and develop them. He understood Kano's desire to retain the bujutsu roots of judo and, thus, the Japanese culture. So he trained in judo, kendo and jujutsu with mental vigor as well as physical. Around the time Kano sent Mochizuki to train with Ueshiba, he also enrolled him with senior instructors from the katori shinto ryu, where he learned classical sword and kobudo. And Kano also had him train in karate with Gichin Funakoshi. He was uchi deshi to Morihei Ueshiba for several months or a year in 1930 or 1931; he got seriously ill and almost died. He returned to Shizuoka and Morihei Ueshiba presented him a teaching scroll in daito ryu in 1932. He spent the 1930s training in judo, aikido, kenjutsu, jujutsu, kobudo, karate and other arts.

In the 1940s, with this kind of background, he served as deputy governor over some good chunk of Mongolia. So he was not a light-weight thinker.

After the war, in the 1950s, he introduced aikido to France (the first person to teach aikido outside Japan) and he received the French Medal of Culture for his activities there.

In the 1960s, the Japanese Prime Minister (I think it was) presented him some kind of recognition for his work negotiating with the university students who occupied Tokyo University. So he showed elite intellectual and cultural abilities at high levels outside martial arts per se. He considered himself a "social educator" and said that all budoka must play that role. Budo can only have meaning when it is applied in society.

So when he created his system of sutemi waza in his Shizuoka style of yoseikan budo, we have to look at his motivations and consider it very meaningful that, with the teachers and experiences he had, he devoted over thirty years mainly to creation of this broad set of sutemi waza. This goes back to the 1950s, actually, when he was teaching aikido, judo, karate and sword in France and he accepted challenges from every kind of fighter they had in Europe in those days. He was particularly impressed by the professional wrestlers' use of sutemi waza (called suplex throws, I believe, in the wrestling vernacular). Observing these techniques, he realized that they exemplified Kano's principle of "maximum efficient use of effort (or energy)." A well done sutemi, in fact, uses almost no effort except letting one's weight drop to the ground. He had trained extensively with Mifune, of course, and Mifune was an advanced master of judo sutemi waza:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pUIOII3PWUc

And as he considered sutemi waza in France in the 1950s, he had a sudden, terrible realization that he had had the opportunity to advance in gyokushin ryu jujutsu directly under the 34th or 38th Headmaster--some long tradition--but he had skipped out on it. He was used to competition judo and, being about 20 years old at that time, he had found the kata-only training insufferably boring. He started the training with some other friends but they found it too boring right away and Minoru was the only one of them who really stuck with it for very long. He got about nidan from the headmaster of gyokushin ryu but then told him he had to stop. The old man said, "After this level, the system contains many sutemi waza." But Mochizuki didn't continue and never saw any of the sutemi waza of gyokushin ryu. So in France, decades later, he was overcome by remorse that he had let a precious and unique part of Japanese budo and Japanese culture disappear: after his teacher's death, there were no inheritors of the system. And as the last person to gain rank in the system, he felt that it was his duty to "recreate' the higher level techniques of gyokushin ryu and teach "yoseikan gyokushin ryu" in honor of his old teacher and in an effort to preserve this piece of Japanese historical culture.

I'm not sure exactly when he began that effort, but the roots were definitely in his experiences in France, in the 1950s. I know that he really began focusing on sutemi waza by the early 1970s and he employed Washizu, Tezuka and Kenmotsu in developing his methods. He would think of something and then call those guys out to try it out. And watching them, he would modify his ideas and, over some months or years, he would define each technique. So the techniques Mochizuki Sensei taught were more or less his own creation, though he once told me that he had never actually created a new technique. He said that every time he thought he had done so, his research showed that it had been documented elsewhere long ago. Anyway, they were not the original sutemi waza of the gyokushin ryu, but every technique he created was tested over several decades and Washizu, Kenmotsu and Tezuka were at the dojo, night after night, testing these things on the very experienced international martial artists who came to visit and train.

So, to sum up, Minoru Mochizuki was renowned among martial artists as a frightening and highly capable man. He fought anyone who challenged him in France. He had trained with Mifune, Toku, Kano and many other greats of judo as well as Morihei Ueshiba, Gichin Funakoshi and a number of masters of katori shinto ryu. He was cited by the prime ministers of France and Japan and he spent his full life developing the most profound budo he could present to the world. And he left his mark on the budo world in sutemi waza, more than anything else. With all his technical, cultural, intellectual and historical knowledge and ability, he made sutemi waza his signature technique and, as such, his ultimate statement to the world.

So my challenge is to penetrate the meaning of that statement and to try to understand why he felt it was so important. As I've said before, he once pointed out the dictionary definition of "sutemi" as "to run the risk of one's life." In that sense, it's rather similar to kamikaze. It's to act with full commitment without a thought of one's own life. Of course, that comes in a bit of an idealized conception--some hopeless situation in which one sacrifices himself for the benefit of the group. Maybe he drags down the undefeatable fighter so that his compatriots can rush out and finish him off. But it means full commitment.

So I will open this thread with that statement and add a little more in the next post.

Thanks for reading and thinking about this.

David

"That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
Lao Tzu

"Eternity forever!"

www.davidorangejr.com
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Old 02-06-2012, 07:17 PM   #2
David Orange
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Re: The Principle of Sutemi

Quote:
David Orange wrote: View Post
...I will open this thread with that statement and add a little more in the next post.
As to the usefulness of sutemi waza, I have some examples and I want to put out some reasoning as well.

As to the danger of using sutemi with multiple attackers, I saw in an old thread on aikiweb a post by Graham Wild of the Perth yoseikan group (in 2001). He pointed out that aikidoka train in pins, which would be dangerous if not impossible to apply in a multiple attacker situation. So sutemi waza is not less realistic or useful than that. If anything, knowing that one cannot stop and control an attacker, it points up the vital necessity of ending the encounter with a single move. And sutemi waza is quite good for that. Plus, the way we trained, we learned to roll up on top of the opponent or simply to roll up to standing after sutemi. So while it would definitely be dangerous to go to the ground with multiple attackers, there are technical ways to "run the risk".

Next, Mochizuki Sensei told a story of actually using sutemi waza in wartime.

After Japan surrendered, he remained in Mongolia for some time (or in China) as a communist hunter. He never did take a liking to communists. But supposedly, Mao had a price on Mochizuki's head. Anyway, one day, he was eating at a restaurant and the waiter who brought his food was different than the guy who had taken his order. And under the tray, he had a pistol. He told Mochizuki to get up and go with him, but Mochizuki said he wanted to eat his meal first. The guy pushed the pistol against his body and Mochizuki rolled out of his chair, grabbing the pistol barrel, and pulled the guy over and dropped him. He then shot him with the pistol. Someone outside began firing into the restaurant and Mochizuki returned fire. He finally got out of there and escaped on horseback. So sutemi waza actually worked in an armed encounter during wartime.

In another story, he told of a Frenchman who was already very competent in judo when Mochizuki arrived in France. The guy wouldn't train with him, but criticized him to other French judoka and one day appeared at Mochizuki's apartment and demanded that they fight. Mochizuki pointed out that they were on a concrete (or stone) sidewalk, but the guy insisted on fighting right there. So Mochizuki accepted and the fellow began attacking with judo. Mochizuki said the guy had good timing, good rhythm, good movement and good technique. But Mochizuki caught him with uchi mata gaeshi (inner thigh reap), threw him up into the air and came off his own feet as the uke went over his head. So the uke hit the sidewalk flat on his back and immediately after, Mochizuki landed on his stomach. So that was a kind of sutemi waza from a standard judo throw. And it hurts like the devil when nage does an aerial ukemi and lands on your stomach. He almost killed the guy. But he picked him up on his shoulders and carried him up three flights of stairs and nursed him back to health (he had training as a bone-setter and massage therapist). No one heard from the French guy for awhile and the word got around that Mochizuki had killed him, but he finally recovered and became a devoted student of Mochizuki's. So there is a sutemi waza (more or less) in a self defense situation.

And from my own experience, a couple of years ago, I found myself on the edge of applying sutemi waza on a sidewalk in a self-defense situation.

My neighbor had a lawn guy who used my yard as a turn-around when he cut the neighbor's grass and I often came home to find a big, ugly gap in my lawn. So I put a political campaign sign at the property line and figured that would get the message across. But it didn't. I once more came home and found my sign had been taken down and tossed across the yard. And the guy had come into my yard and gapped it up for his convenience in cutting the neighbor's grass. This time, he was out front of the neighbor's house in his truck. Since the neighbor was also out there, I went over and said, "Excuse me, but whoever you've had cutting your grass has been coming over into my yard and making this big, ugly gap." And the guy in the truck said, "I cut that grass. I'm the one you want to talk to." And then he started lecturing me on how I should come to him respectfully and be nice to him, though I had not even spoken to him at that point. And the next thing I knew, he was out of his truck and coming at me. I sort of ignored him and kept talking to my neighbor. I said I put the political sign at the property line to mark it, but this guy took my sign down and threw it to the other side of the yard and cut past it. I showed the guy the property line and he started cursing. And then I saw where he had ridden his lawnmower up on the sidewalk and cut another weird swath in my grass 15 or 20 feet from the property line. I said, "And what's that?" He said, "I did not do that!" which was ridiculous, but he was getting really angry. My four-year-old son came up to me and I was afraid this guy would do something crazy and my kid would get hurt (I'd also been to the eye doctor that day and my eyes were dilated, so it was a touchy situation). I told my son, "Go back in the house!" and he did. And then this guy, who was maybe 5'10" or so and maybe 220 (I'm 5'11", then about 190) got right up in my face and I stood toe-to-toe and eye-to-eye with him.

Now, you could say this was a violation of aikido principle to let him get that close (not to mention the way it all had played up to there...but it shows that things in the real world happen suddenly), and that was how it had evolved. If I'd started moving around or put up my hands, witnesses could have construed it as some kind of fighting move and say that I started "taking a stance" with him. But I just stood on my property in shizentai and held my ground and he got in my face. Still, I felt pretty comfortable with my options. I also realized that I could not give this guy two chances to hurt me. I could tell that, if he went for it, it was going to be a tornado of fists and head butts from inches away, and I just made up my mind that if he tried to roll over me, I would let him. And he would have landed head-first on the concrete.

We stood there eye-to-eye for several seconds before he backed away and apologized. And I made conciliatory remarks to him and he left. But just for a moment, I thought it was going to go in an unfortunate direction, with a serious risk to my life and, potentially, to my family. I never made aggressive remarks to him. I was talking to my neighbor and he jumped in. The whole thing was over in 30 or 45 seconds. Out of nowhere, coming home, at my own house, in my own yard, after a visit to the eye doctor.

At that time, sutemi waza would have really been what they call it: "superior" technique. I rather doubt that any arm-twisting kind of technique would have been effective because he had powerful arms and would have been difficult to control. But to take him straight across with his own rush...it would have let him put all that power right into the sidewalk with his head. I'm just glad he finally realized what a weak position he was in, all the way around. And I hope I never find myself in a thing like that again.

But in a position like that, I have full confidence that sutemi waza would have been the safest and most effective thing I could have done...though possibly fatal for the attacker.

Let's all be careful out there. Huh?

David

"That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
Lao Tzu

"Eternity forever!"

www.davidorangejr.com
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Old 02-07-2012, 05:35 AM   #3
ewolput
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Re: The Principle of Sutemi

Hi David,
I was exposed to Mochizuki's sutemi waza early 70-ties by a man called Cleriot from France, he was a Yoseikan exponent, in the same period I have trained extensively with Jacques Normand who stayed end sixties early seventies in Shizuoka dojo. Those people gave me the impression, sutemi waza was (is) a very important item in their training.
In a book written by Hiroo Mochizuki, printed in 1971, sutemi waza is well documented. The uke's for Hiroo are Coquet, Normand and Pons.

Eddy
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Old 02-07-2012, 11:55 AM   #4
hughrbeyer
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Re: The Principle of Sutemi

Good stories, and thanks for the history. We have a teacher at the dojo who loooves sutemi waza... maybe I'll have to have another look at it.
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Old 02-07-2012, 05:02 PM   #5
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: The Principle of Sutemi

Thanks David.

About this,

Quote:
In another story, he told of a Frenchman who was already very competent in judo when Mochizuki arrived in France. The guy wouldn't train with him, but criticized him to other French judoka and one day appeared at Mochizuki's apartment and demanded that they fight. Mochizuki pointed out that they were on a concrete (or stone) sidewalk, but the guy insisted on fighting right there. So Mochizuki accepted and the fellow began attacking with judo. Mochizuki said the guy had good timing, good rhythm, good movement and good technique. But Mochizuki caught him with uchi mata gaeshi (inner thigh reap), threw him up into the air and came off his own feet as the uke went over his head. So the uke hit the sidewalk flat on his back and immediately after, Mochizuki landed on his stomach.
A pair of things:

By your description I think you mean uchi mata makikomi for uchi mata gaeshi is a counter to uchi mata.

Was Alcheik the frenchman in this story?

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Old 02-07-2012, 05:11 PM   #6
David Orange
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Re: The Principle of Sutemi

Quote:
Hugh Beyer wrote: View Post
Good stories, and thanks for the history. We have a teacher at the dojo who loooves sutemi waza... maybe I'll have to have another look at it.
Another thing about sutemi waza...well, two things...come from flying.

When I was young, I got my pilot's license. One of the first things my instructor told me was to do no stunts in the little Cesnas we were flying. They had little gyroscopic instruments and if you did loops and rolls, you could "tumble" the gyros and ruin the instrument which would cost hundreds or thousands of dollars to repair. Once the gyro had tumbled, the instrument wouldn't work and the gyro wouldn't go back to normal operation.

Some people talk about aikido as gyroscopic movement, but sutemi waza will "tumble" their gyro and it may take them awhile to get "untumbled," as it were. Doing sutemi waza vastly broadens one's range of "controlled" positions. If you can only be "gyroscopic" while on your feet, your gyro has only one plane of operation. But if you can maintain center through sutemi waza and get back to your feet without ever having lost your orientation, it's a good advantage.

Another idea from flying is the Lomcevak maneuver, which is not a commonly known aerobatic technique. It's similar to a snap roll, which is a horizontal corkscrew maneuver, but in lomcevak, you add a control movement at the beginning of the snap roll and the airplane tumbles end over end, and falls hundreds of feet. It looks impossible to perform intentionally and impossible to recover from, but you can do it intentionally, and you can recover from it. There are several ways to do it and, apparently, it works a bid differently for each kind of airplane. This clip shows several examples:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...&v=skfprThzUq4

By the way, lomcevak means "headache maker," which might also well apply to sutemi waza--at least for the attacker.

David

"That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
Lao Tzu

"Eternity forever!"

www.davidorangejr.com
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Old 02-07-2012, 05:16 PM   #7
David Orange
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Re: The Principle of Sutemi

Quote:
Demetrio Cereijo wrote: View Post
By your description I think you mean uchi mata makikomi for uchi mata gaeshi is a counter to uchi mata.
Sounds reasonable. Thanks.

Quote:
Demetrio Cereijo wrote: View Post
Was Alcheik the frenchman in this story?
I don't know. He never told me the guy's name. Or maybe I read that account. I think I read it. And it didn't include the guy's name.

Seems I heard that Alcheik was some kind of agent or something, and that he was killed in Algiers. Know anything about that?

Best to you.

David

"That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
Lao Tzu

"Eternity forever!"

www.davidorangejr.com
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Old 02-07-2012, 05:21 PM   #8
David Orange
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Re: The Principle of Sutemi

Quote:
Eddy Wolput wrote: View Post
Hi David,
I was exposed to Mochizuki's sutemi waza early 70-ties by a man called Cleriot from France, he was a Yoseikan exponent, in the same period I have trained extensively with Jacques Normand who stayed end sixties early seventies in Shizuoka dojo. Those people gave me the impression, sutemi waza was (is) a very important item in their training.
In a book written by Hiroo Mochizuki, printed in 1971, sutemi waza is well documented. The uke's for Hiroo are Coquet, Normand and Pons.

Eddy
Great! Thanks for those additions. So it seems that Mochizuki Sensei really began developing his own sutemi waza in the 1960s or even in the 1950s. I imagine he went to work on it even while in France, in the early 50s or shortly after returning to Japan. Of course, as I said, he had trained with Mifune, so he had probably been doing the judo sutemi for a long time, too.

Another person I could have mentioned in Mochizuki Sensei's development of sutemi waza was Akahori Sensei, who was one of the main judo instructors at the dojo. Very good at aikido, but I mostly thought of him as the judo teacher. He was shown in an early manual on sutemi waza that Sensei had printed.

Thanks.

David

"That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
Lao Tzu

"Eternity forever!"

www.davidorangejr.com
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Old 02-07-2012, 05:33 PM   #9
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: The Principle of Sutemi

Quote:
David Orange wrote: View Post
Seems I heard that Alcheik was some kind of agent or something, and that he was killed in Algiers. Know anything about that?

Best to you.

David
I know very little about Alcheik. There's no much about him in spanish or english and my french is poor. Cause his activities, people doesn't talk much about him today.

Google around OAS + barbouzes + Mouvement Pour la Communauté and you'll find why.

Regards.

Last edited by Demetrio Cereijo : 02-07-2012 at 05:40 PM.

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Old 02-07-2012, 05:44 PM   #10
David Orange
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Re: The Principle of Sutemi

Quote:
Demetrio Cereijo wrote: View Post
I know very little about Alcheik. There's no much about him in spanish or english and my french is poor. Cause his activities, people doesn't talk much about him today.

Google around OAS + barbouzes + Mouvement Pour la Communauté and you'll find why.

Regards.
Sounds interesting. Thanks.

"That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
Lao Tzu

"Eternity forever!"

www.davidorangejr.com
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Old 02-08-2012, 02:48 AM   #11
ewolput
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Re: The Principle of Sutemi

If someone likes to read
Ma methode d'aikido jiu jitsu par Minoru Mochizuki adaptation Jim Alcheik
(My Method of aikido jiu jitsu by Minoru Mochizuki adapted by Jim Alcheik) (1955)
please send me a PM
This small book is covering basic techniques.

Eddy

Eddy
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Old 02-08-2012, 06:04 AM   #12
David Orange
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Re: The Principle of Sutemi

Quote:
Eddy Wolput wrote: View Post
If someone likes to read
Ma methode d'aikido jiu jitsu par Minoru Mochizuki adaptation Jim Alcheik
(My Method of aikido jiu jitsu by Minoru Mochizuki adapted by Jim Alcheik) (1955)
please send me a PM
This small book is covering basic techniques.

Eddy

Eddy
Sounds interesting. Look for my PM!

Thanks.

David

"That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
Lao Tzu

"Eternity forever!"

www.davidorangejr.com
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Old 02-08-2012, 07:57 AM   #13
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: The Principle of Sutemi

Can be read online here

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Old 02-12-2012, 03:58 PM   #14
dps
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Re: The Principle of Sutemi

The OAS plays a prominent role in the book "The Day of The Jackal" by Frederick Forsyth.

dps
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Old 04-20-2012, 02:37 PM   #15
lezard39
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Re: The Principle of Sutemi

Hi David,

Thanks for sharing this story

Sorry for my bad English,

I don't think Jim Alcheik was the man of your story. I made a lot of research about the guy since 7-8 years and the story never appear even by close friend of him. But maybe it could be Mr. Levanier a French Judo pioneer and a close friend of Kancho, they were sharing the same philosophy about modern Judo…

About Jim Alcheik, like you know there's lot of false story in the Martial Art world and in this case I have to say its worst.

First step in Judo in 1948 in the Paris Dojo of Raymond Sasia a specialist of ground Judo, and well know to be one of the 4th bodyguard of President Charles De Gaulle. He also got some instruction by a Jujitsu specialist. He got his first Judo Dan in 1952 and around that time he met Minoru Mochizuki and Tokyo Hirano. In 1954-55 after his military service in Tunisia (close combat monitor)) he was invited by Mochizuki to be uchi deshi at the Yoseikan.

He stays 3 years In Shizuoka and with all the training at the Dojo he was able to wrote couple of books:
• " Le Judo" Preface by Minoru Mochizuki and Risei Kano
• "Judo au sol"
• "Ma méthode d'Aiki jujitsu" with Minoru Mochizuki
• "Karate" Preface by Yamaguchi (also one of the teacher of Sano)
• "Jiu-Jitsu"

He was a spectator at the first world Judo Championship in Tokyo and had the chance to see all the competition with Minoru Mochizuki and Mifune Sensei on his side…
Alcheik was also responsible for the sending of the first Karate teacher in Europe. Tetsuji Murakami (from the Yoseikan).

He came back in France December 57 with Mitsuhiro Kondo, Hiroo Mochizuki and Shoji Sugiyama from the Yoseikan to help him and he opened a big dojo in Paris, he founded a federation (FFATK), started a magazine "Defense pour tous", organized many clinics all around Europe, a couple were at the dojo of Anton Geesink (a good friend of him). Also he organized Martial Art Gala and the first Kendo championship in France.

In late 1961, he was approach by a minister of De Gaulle to combat the OAS (French people in Algeria who were against the independence of the colony). It was a civil war there in Alger and it's very difficult to know what is true. Some people saying he tortured prisoner, he put bomb etc. Some people think he was there only to print propaganda papers.

Finally, he was getting caught by a bad war… He died only a couple of weeks after he arrives in Alger. In January 62 a printer was delivered at his villa with a parcel bomb.

Good friends of him describe the guy as a very talented Budoka with a high capacity to synthesize, always there to help people also a man with a lot of charisma and good energy.

In 3 years he was able to build the root of practically all Aiki jitsu organization that you can find now in Europe.

Best to you
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Old 04-24-2012, 09:52 AM   #16
lezard39
Dojo: Académie Yoseikan de Montréal
Location: Montréal
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 20
Canada
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Re: The Principle of Sutemi

Jim Alcheik and Anton Geesink doing Aikido 18-11-1961 in Ultrech

http://www.flickr.com/photos/79419027@N02/
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