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Old 01-08-2017, 02:49 PM   #1
gareth84
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Ai symbol Last direct students of O Sensei?

Hello everyone,

Just a quick question. Does anyone know who the remaining direct students of O Sensei are?

I know of Peter Shapiro Sensei and Henry Kong Sensei.

I would love to know how many other people there are and if they are still doing seminars.

Thanks,

Gareth
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Old 01-08-2017, 02:50 PM   #2
gareth84
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Re: Last direct students of O Sensei?

Apologies I meant Henry Kono Sensei. Bloody predictive spell check thingy...sorry
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Old 01-08-2017, 04:10 PM   #3
Guillaume Erard
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Re: Last direct students of O Sensei?

Henry Kono passed away last year.

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Old 01-08-2017, 07:18 PM   #4
robin_jet_alt
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Re: Last direct students of O Sensei?

I can add Hiroshi Tada, Seishiro Endo, and Koretoshi Maruyama. I know the latter 2 are still doing seminars. Not sure about Tada sensei.
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Old 01-08-2017, 09:32 PM   #5
Matt Fisher
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Re: Last direct students of O Sensei?

Quote:
Gareth Hughes wrote: View Post
Hello everyone,

Just a quick question. Does anyone know who the remaining direct students of O Sensei are?
The direct students that I believe are still alive include:
Hiroshi Isoyama Sensei
Yasuo Kobayashi Sensei
Yoshimitsu Yamada Sensei
Seijuro Masuda Sensei
Morito Suganuma Sensei
Mitsugi Saotome Sensei
Kenji Shimizu Sensei
Shizuo Imaizumi Sensei

How many of them are still teaching seminars (and traveling to do so) is much harder for me to say. Saotome Sensei, who I have been connected to for all of my aikido practice, teaches a few seminars around the US each year but has significantly cut back because of age. He also doesn't travel abroad anymore.

Matt

Last edited by akiy : 01-10-2017 at 12:05 PM. Reason: Fixed quote tag
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Old 01-09-2017, 12:58 AM   #6
Carl Thompson
 
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Re: Last direct students of O Sensei?

There is the delicate question of what qualifies someone as a direct student of Osensei; how many training sessions they had, how regularly and so on. So for example, there are quite a few instructors around who had some training with Osensei, but their main teacher was someone else. And then don't get me started on who was the last uchi deshi of the founder.

In his dictated book 'Takemusu Aiki,' Osensei says "Aikido was born in Iwama." There are differing slants on the history, but as far as I can tell, his main residence from the early 1940s until his death (so about 25 years, during which time the term 'aikido' came into use) was Iwama. He visited elsewhere frequently, but I suspect that even in Iwama, his teaching over the last ten years was often delegated to others.

Anyway, from that time in Iwama, I know the following teachers are still active:

Hiroshi Isoyama, 8th dan. (Mentioned earlier in the thread. He had about 20 years with Osensei but he once said "But I was only able to practice with the founder, not only taking ukemi, but being able to do techniques on him, until about ten years after I started." He is still teaching in Iwama, but infrequently these days.)

Yoshifumi Watahiki, 7th dan (I think maybe a little less than 20 years. He still teaches regularly in Iwama and old Kasama)

Shigemi Inagaki, 8th dan. (About ten years. Still teaching in Iwama and conducting international seminars)

Hideo Hirosawa, 7th dan. (He told me 12 years and is a 'Last uchi deshi' claimant. He teaches in Omitama, a town near to Iwama).

Ryuji Sawa, 7th dan. (Actually Inagaki Sensei's younger brother, who would have started a couple of years later. He teaches in Miura)

Hiroki Nemoto, 7th dan (one year with Osensei. Teaching at his own dojo in Iwama and also Tsukuba)

Toshihiro Isoyama, 6th dan. (Nephew of Isoyama Hiroshi. I estimate about 5 years with Osensei. Teaching in Iwama.)

Kenji Hirasawa, 5th dan. (about 5-10. Teaching in Iwama.)

Hidehiro Akimoto 5th dan (about 10 years - this guy is a living time capsule. He got to 3rd dan under Osensei, then didn't train until just under ten years ago. Now teaching in Iwama.)

Toshiaki Kawakami 5th dan (about 10 years. Teaching in Iwama).

There are many more who got their main training from Osensei who are not teachers. For example, Isoyama Sensei has students who trained with him under Osensei. Before anyone calls me an Iwama-snob, I would point out that I feel anyone who had any time (as main teacher or guest teacher) is valuable.

Regards

Carl
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Old 01-09-2017, 01:01 AM   #7
jamesf
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Re: Last direct students of O Sensei?

Add to the list:
Robert Nadeau (California Aikido Association)
Roy Suenaka (Wadokai Aikido)
Shuji Maruyama (Kokikai Aikido)
Gaku Homma (Aikido Nippon Kan / A.H.A.N.)
Robert Frager
Walther von Krenner (Kalispell Aikido; Kalispell, MT, USA)
Yutaka Kurita (Mexican Aikido Association / Kurita Juku Aiki)
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Old 01-09-2017, 02:28 AM   #8
Carsten Möllering
 
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Re: Last direct students of O Sensei?

Yamashima Takeshi sensei
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Old 01-09-2017, 03:06 AM   #9
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: Last direct students of O Sensei?

This is to echo Carl Thompson's post. I remember a certain shihan (who had better remain nameless) whose classes I used to attend, stating that he was an uchi-deshi of O Sensei. Of course, I believed him, but later, when I moved to Japan and talked to many others who had practised "directly" under Morihei Ueshiba, I found that his statement needed some qualification. Especially since Doshu Kisshomaru Ueshiba stated to me quite definitely that there were no postwar uchi-deshi of Morihei Ueshiba and that he himself did not have any uchi-deshi at all.

Of course, uchi-deshi can be quite narrowly defined, but it was used to make a clear distinction between some students and others, all of whom could legitimately claim to be "direct" students of Morihei Ueshiba. Presumably the accepted Japanese word for 'direct student' is deshi 弟子 and if you work back from 1969, when Morihei Ueshiba died, I suspect that there are many still alive in Japan.

Last edited by Peter Goldsbury : 01-09-2017 at 03:10 AM.

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Old 01-09-2017, 05:22 AM   #10
rugwithlegs
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Re: Last direct students of O Sensei?

http://www.aikidosangenkai.org/blog/...yamada-part-1/

One example of a living uchi-deshi of O Sensei. Yamada has been very honest about his interactions in several interviews. I submit his value as a teacher and a practitioner is greater than these memories.

Stanley Pranin did publish a list of deshi, but he admits the list was not complete and arbitrary.
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Old 01-09-2017, 07:56 AM   #11
MRoh
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Re: Last direct students of O Sensei?

Katsuaki Asai.

He studied in Hombu Dojo from1955 to 1965. He is teaching seminars mainly in Germany, but also in Poland, Hungary, Switzerland, Italy and France.

In this years O Sensei was teaching regularly in Tokio, but they never knew when he would come or leave.
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Old 01-09-2017, 07:59 AM   #12
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: Last direct students of O Sensei?

Quote:
Gareth Hughes wrote: View Post
Hello everyone,

Just a quick question. Does anyone know who the remaining direct students of O Sensei are?

I know of Peter Shapiro Sensei
There is an interview with Mr. Shapiro in a spanish magazine where he says he never physically trained with O Sensei.
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Old 01-09-2017, 10:06 AM   #13
Scott Harrington
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Re: Last direct students of O Sensei?

Sought out Takahasi Mariye sensei in Southern California and trained with her just a month (had to move back east). Personally trained with and well liked by O'sensei, she was a true pleasure to learn from. Very taciturn, a little stern (in a good way), talented and I wished I could have continued to train under and learned more from her. Hope another one of the direct students of Aikido founder Ueshiba continues a long life and continues teaching.

Interview with her by Stanley Pranin. http://blog.aikidojournal.com/2010/1...tanley-pranin/
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Old 01-09-2017, 10:34 AM   #14
Dan Rubin
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Re: Last direct students of O Sensei?

Quote:
Carl Thompson wrote: View Post
Hiroshi Isoyama, 8th dan. (Mentioned earlier in the thread. He had about 20 years with Osensei but he once said "But I was only able to practice with the founder, not only taking ukemi, but being able to do techniques on him, until about ten years after I started." He is still teaching in Iwama, but infrequently these days.)
Carl

Do you have a citation for that quote? My understanding is that it was very rare for O Sensei to take ukemi.

Dan
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Old 01-09-2017, 12:08 PM   #15
Ethan Weisgard
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Re: Last direct students of O Sensei?

Quote:
Dan Rubin wrote: View Post
Carl

Do you have a citation for that quote? My understanding is that it was very rare for O Sensei to take ukemi.

Dan
Isoyama Sensei has often told of his training under O Sensei. In the Iwama dojo O Sensei would evidently also let the students do the techniques on him at times. Isoyama Sensei said that of course it was basically impossible to do anything on O Sensei, but he would at one point let the technique go in!
I have the same feeling when attempting to do a technique on either Isoyama Sensei or Inagaki Sensei!
Note: not that these two gentlemen jump in to train with you during regular classes, but sometimes when they are teaching, they want to demonstrate a point, and change roles - with you trying to perform the role of nage on them.
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Old 01-09-2017, 04:38 PM   #16
rugwithlegs
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Re: Last direct students of O Sensei?

Slightly off topic here, but here's O Sensei letting a young student throw him. One single YouTube clip doesn't make this a common occurrence, but no one in the clip is acting shocked or stopping class or acting like they are in the presence of something rare. Past beginning techniques, when you get into kaeshiwaza and the like, the lines between uke and nage do blur.

https://youtu.be/gN0uA5qF_8s
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Old 01-10-2017, 01:31 AM   #17
zivk
 
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Re: Last direct students of O Sensei?

Quote:
Robin Boyd wrote: View Post
I can add Hiroshi Tada, Seishiro Endo, and Koretoshi Maruyama. I know the latter 2 are still doing seminars. Not sure about Tada sensei.
Hiroshi Tada sensei is definately giving seminars, although he is well over 85. He regularly conducts seminars in Italy and Switzerland, and recently has added France as well.
You may check out the following links for details on his seminars during 2017:
http://www.aikikai.it/images/stories..._2016_2017.pdf
http://www.aikikai.ch/de/agenda/
http://aikido-tadashihan-paris.com/c...er-des-stages/

The last time I've participated in Tada sensei's seminar was in 2015. He is in amazingly good shape. Watching his precise and smooth movement in his age may help understand how O-sensei moved in such manner, when he was in this age. Tada sensei constantly encourages the audience to listen and watch carefully as he is eager to pass on the teachings of his teachers O-sensei and Tempu Nakamura sensei.
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Old 01-10-2017, 01:40 AM   #18
zivk
 
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Re: Last direct students of O Sensei?

Quote:
John Hillson wrote: View Post
Slightly off topic here, but here's O Sensei letting a young student throw him.
If I'm not wrong, this is not some regular young student, it is his grandson and current doshu, Moriteru Ueshiba sensei.
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Old 01-10-2017, 03:18 AM   #19
Carl Thompson
 
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Re: Last direct students of O Sensei?

Quote:
Dan Rubin wrote: View Post
Carl

Do you have a citation for that quote? My understanding is that it was very rare for O Sensei to take ukemi.

Dan
Hello Dan,

He said that in an interview for a Russian group. They translated their questions into English, I translated into Japanese, then Isoyama Sensei responded in Japanese, which I translated back into English and that got translated into Russian. There is a video of it out there somewhere, but I'm afraid I don't have the link.

This is part of the transcript I gave them so that they could make subtitles:

Quote:
<Carl> How long did you practice with Osensei for?

<Isoyama Shihan> It was 1949 when I entered this dojo and Osensei passed away in 1969, so it was about twenty years. But I was only able to practice with the founder (not only taking ukemi but being able to do techniques on him) until about ten years after I started. In those days when I first began, there weren't so many students so everyone who came to practice would always receive Osensei's techniques once each, on both left and right sides. Particularly with regards to techniques there was little explanation but when a technique was done on another person we looked with wide eyes so as to really see how Osensei would make the technique, how he would use power and so forth.
Regards

Carl

PS:

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Old 01-10-2017, 07:34 AM   #20
Dan Rubin
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Re: Last direct students of O Sensei?

Thanks, Carl and Ethan.

Dan
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Old 01-10-2017, 08:31 AM   #21
Ethan Weisgard
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Re: Last direct students of O Sensei?

Ziv: sorry, but I don't think that is Sandai Doshu Moriteru that O-Sensei is receiving an attempted ;-) ikkyo from.
The gentleman on the photo is much older than Moriteru would have been at that time. It's not Nidai Doshu Kisshomaru, either. I believe it is an unknown participant in the class O-Sensei was teaching.

O-Sensei was probably doing what many Sensei do when they want to make a point: they reverse roles, and by being uke they can show you some of the more subtle (internal) points better.
Lucky man who got to try to do a technique on The Founder :-)

In aiki,
Ethan
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Old 01-10-2017, 08:32 AM   #22
Ethan Weisgard
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Re: Last direct students of O Sensei?

Quote:
Dan Rubin wrote: View Post
Thanks, Carl and Ethan.

Dan
You're welcome, Dan.

In aiki,
Ethan
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Old 01-10-2017, 08:49 AM   #23
rugwithlegs
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Re: Last direct students of O Sensei?

Quote:
Ziv Klausner wrote: View Post
If I'm not wrong, this is not some regular young student, it is his grandson and current doshu, Moriteru Ueshiba sensei.
I guess that is one name we all left out so far, the current Doshu did know his grandfather.

Stories are O Sensei trained up until the end. He died around 47 years ago. That is not that long ago, like Prof Goldsbury said.

There are people like Stanley Pranin who only made it to Japan weeks after O Sensei died, but he has made an in depth study of O Sensei's life and Aikido. There is Okimura Sensei in Delaware who met O Sensei as a young man petitioning to train, but he does not call himself a deshi of O Sensei and says the vast majority of his training was under Kisshomaru Doshu. And then there are people like Bruce Kumar Frantzis who did train with O Sensei and then quit training in Aikido.
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Old 01-10-2017, 09:51 AM   #24
Carsten Möllering
 
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Re: Last direct students of O Sensei?

Jan Hermansson shihan
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