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Old 09-03-2013, 12:28 PM   #1
akiy
 
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YouTube: Nobuyoshi Tamura in Linz, Austria, 2001

Hi folks,

Here's an aikido video clip of Nobuyoshi Tamura (8th dan, Aikikai) teaching in Linz, Austria in 2001.



Tamura, born in 1933, entered Aikikai Hombu Dojo in 1953 as an uchideshi to Morihei Ueshiba and was sent to Marseille, France, in 1964.

What are your thoughts on this video?

-- Jun

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Old 09-04-2013, 03:14 PM   #2
oisin bourke
 
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Re: YouTube: Nobuyoshi Tamura in Linz, Austria, 2001

I think Tamura Sensei's irimi is amazing. His timing and sensitivity is excellent. He cuts straight up uke's center line and uses elbow power (as opposed to shoulder power) to destabilise Uke. I find it interesting that he has virtually discarded tenkan. Sunadomari sensei did the same thing when he got older. Tamura looks very different from his demos of the eighties. Did he train in something else that changed his aikido, or did he just develop naturally? Perhaps he trained in some sort of sword based art?

As a criticism, I don't like his method of repeatedly blocking students without explanation when showing them something. I think it just makes students frustrated and doesn't help them understand the principles Tamura is demonstrating. However, in such large groups, perhaps he doesn't have much time to go into much detail?
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Old 09-04-2013, 03:55 PM   #3
Alex Megann
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Re: YouTube: Nobuyoshi Tamura in Linz, Austria, 2001

Quote:
Oisin Bourke wrote: View Post
Did he train in something else that changed his aikido, or did he just develop naturally? Perhaps he trained in some sort of sword based art?
I believe Tamura Sensei studied for a while with Tetsuzan Kuroda in his latter years, which might well have changed his movement:

It Had to Be Felt #31: Tamura Nobuyoshi: The Sharp Blade, by Leo Tamaki

Tamura Sensei is someone I still regret never having seen in person and felt. I'm always impressed how direct and well-timed his movements are, and how different he looks from most other shihan. At the same time, there is something intangible about the way he moves that definitely reminds me of O-Sensei.

Alex

Last edited by Alex Megann : 09-04-2013 at 04:02 PM.
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Old 09-04-2013, 05:29 PM   #4
miso
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Re: YouTube: Nobuyoshi Tamura in Linz, Austria, 2001

I have a Tamura link on my desktop, I must have watched it a hundred times, anyway.



Don't know if that embeds, it's 3 minutes on shiho-nage.

Last edited by miso : 09-04-2013 at 05:31 PM. Reason: managed to edit it into a link
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Old 09-05-2013, 09:51 PM   #5
JW
 
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Re: YouTube: Nobuyoshi Tamura in Linz, Austria, 2001

Tamura Sensei is one of my all-time favorites.
Quote:
Oisin Bourke wrote: View Post
Did he train in something else that changed his aikido, or did he just develop naturally? Perhaps he trained in some sort of sword based art?
I've thought about that too. What made me think about it was that the skill he shows in his partner weapons stuff (jo as well as bokken) is amazing. I think there is something to this question, and I wonder if the Kuroda connection is only part of the answer as to where that skill came from.

The other thing that is unusual about him is the emphasis on qigong that he had. He discussed it in interviews, and spent a lot of time on it in some of the videos of seminars he taught (like having the class do the Eight Brocades). Clearly he believed (I think he is right on) that picking up such types of trainings is congruent with O-sensei's teachings-- but that does not answer the question of in particular what trainings he looked into, and who/what were his sources of education in them.

Regarding the other thing, where he stops students and shows a correction. I know from a Western point of view this is pretty bad teaching. But, I think it is a step up from how he was taught-- that's another way to look at it. He is actually making very clear demonstrations in my opinion. Mostly, when people don't "move from their center" he naturally stops their efforts. He does yield several times in the videos I've seen, when people do better, indicating that he isn't simply being a jerk.
My favorite thing he does is that sometimes he shows something wrong, and uke doesn't move. Then, he does it right. So I think he is being a pretty nice teacher actually. (I'll have to find an example)
But ultimately, I agree that he is leaving it up to the student to fill in the very big blank of "what is the difference between what he is doing and 'regular' movement?"

Last edited by JW : 09-05-2013 at 10:01 PM.
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Old 09-06-2013, 09:56 AM   #6
oisin bourke
 
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Re: YouTube: Nobuyoshi Tamura in Linz, Austria, 2001

Quote:
Jonathan Wong wrote: View Post
Tamura Sensei is one of my all-time favorites.

I've thought about that too. What made me think about it was that the skill he shows in his partner weapons stuff (jo as well as bokken) is amazing. I think there is something to this question, and I wonder if the Kuroda connection is only part of the answer as to where that skill came from.

The other thing that is unusual about him is the emphasis on qigong that he had. He discussed it in interviews, and spent a lot of time on it in some of the videos of seminars he taught (like having the class do the Eight Brocades). Clearly he believed (I think he is right on) that picking up such types of trainings is congruent with O-sensei's teachings-- but that does not answer the question of in particular what trainings he looked into, and who/what were his sources of education in them.

Regarding the other thing, where he stops students and shows a correction. I know from a Western point of view this is pretty bad teaching. But, I think it is a step up from how he was taught-- that's another way to look at it. He is actually making very clear demonstrations in my opinion. Mostly, when people don't "move from their center" he naturally stops their efforts. He does yield several times in the videos I've seen, when people do better, indicating that he isn't simply being a jerk.
My favorite thing he does is that sometimes he shows something wrong, and uke doesn't move. Then, he does it right. So I think he is being a pretty nice teacher actually. (I'll have to find an example)
But ultimately, I agree that he is leaving it up to the student to fill in the very big blank of "what is the difference between what he is doing and 'regular' movement?"
I don't have a problem with non-verbal teaching, in fact I think that's necessary. What Tamura seems to do is, (as you pointed out) block students when they do technique wrong, then execute the technique correctly, but he doesn't guide the students through the correct technique. He gives them a feel, and then off you go.

But this is my personal opinion on the method.

I remember him talking about Qi Gong. He talked about "looking inside one's body" which I thought was a fascinating idea. Does anyone know where and from whom he learned Qi Gong?

In any event, he uses his body in a fascinating way. Well worth attention by aiki practicioners IMO

Quote:
Alex Megann wrote: View Post
I believe Tamura Sensei studied for a while with Tetsuzan Kuroda in his latter years, which might well have changed his movement:

It Had to Be Felt #31: Tamura Nobuyoshi: The Sharp Blade, by Leo Tamaki
Thanks for that. I thought Tamura's suwari techniques in the video were a bit evocative of Kuroda's movements. Whether that's coincidence or not, I couldn't say.
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Old 09-06-2013, 10:18 AM   #7
Chris Li
 
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Re: YouTube: Nobuyoshi Tamura in Linz, Austria, 2001

Quote:
Oisin Bourke wrote: View Post
I remember him talking about Qi Gong. He talked about "looking inside one's body" which I thought was a fascinating idea. Does anyone know where and from whom he learned Qi Gong?
He mentions it very briefly in this interview.

Best,

Chris

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Old 09-06-2013, 07:06 PM   #8
sakumeikan
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Re: YouTube: Nobuyoshi Tamura in Linz, Austria, 2001

Dear All,
I knew Tamura Sensei and I always marvelled at his abilities .His waza was very sharp, his timing incredible.Like so many others I found despite his height and weight I could hardly budge him.At times he was immovable.Never quite grasped how he managed to keep his balance , posture when much bigger guys muscled him.As a person he was very good humoured, always good to be around.Sad loss to the Aikido fraternity.
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Old 09-07-2013, 07:55 AM   #9
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Re: YouTube: Nobuyoshi Tamura in Linz, Austria, 2001

Quote:
Christopher Li wrote: View Post
He mentions it very briefly in this interview.

Best,

Chris
I think I accidentally just skimmed this first time around. Thanks for linking to it again.

Carl
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Old 09-11-2013, 09:01 AM   #10
Bernd Lehnen
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Re: YouTube: Nobuyoshi Tamura in Linz, Austria, 2001

Quote:
Oisin Bourke wrote: View Post
I think Tamura Sensei's irimi is amazing. His timing and sensitivity is excellent. He cuts straight up uke's center line and uses elbow power (as opposed to shoulder power) to destabilise Uke. I find it interesting that he has virtually discarded tenkan. Sunadomari sensei did the same thing when he got older.
Well,
he might have abandoned tenkan because he had experienced this as a real weakness of modern aikido.
Tenkan creates wonderful aesthetic. Irimi, omote and ura have stood the test of time. A warrior probably would rarely ever have done tenkan in a real encounter.
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Old 09-11-2013, 12:03 PM   #11
JO
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Re: YouTube: Nobuyoshi Tamura in Linz, Austria, 2001

The two seminars I did with Tamura sensei were highlights in my aikido training. Best aikido I ever saw in person. Too bad that since I was only one of several hundred on the mat, these seminars were more sources of inspiration than of learning. There is something to seeing what is possible though. A lot of people give up on certain aspects of aikido training because they feel it must be fake. Tamura was one of those that could show you it isn't.

Jonathan Olson
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