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Old 07-12-2020, 08:49 PM   #1
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It Had to Be Felt #71: Yamada Yoshimitsu

Posted 2020-07-12 20:48:44 by Jun Akiyama
News URL: http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=25797

Here is the latest It Had to Be Felt essay, this time on Yamada Yoshimitsu of the New York Aikikai. This essay was written by David Ross.

From the essay: "For those who have never trained under the direction of Yamada Sensei, he is noted for his big and expansive techniques. His emphasis is on the ability to develop kokyu - breath power and extension - but when you grab him it feels like grabbing nothing until he starts his movement. Then things change. He brings his uke into accord with his movement. Technically, this is often referred to as the power of attraction - inryoku. I have often heard him say: 'Aikido has two directions up and down - so Relax!'"

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Old 07-13-2020, 05:18 AM   #2
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: It Had to Be Felt #71: Yamada Yoshimitsu

I first got to know Yoshimitsu Yamada when I lived in Cambridge, Mass. I was at Harvard and would walk down to Mitsunari Kanai Sensei's dojo in Central Square to practice. Occasionally, Yamada S would appear as a guest instructor, but the aikido of the two instructors was quite different. Back in the UK, I trained in London and on one occasion, he was the visiting shihan at a spring seminar. At this seminar I took my shodan examination and Yamada Sensei's name appears in my first yudansha book (for some reason I have three). What was notable about the test was the content: the Hombu syllabus was entirely ignored and I now follow his example when I hold my own shodan examinations.

Now I live in Japan we correspond, usually by letter, but always by telephone when Yamada Sensei is in Tokyo. I took my shodan test in 1978 and we have had a student - teacher / mutual friend relationship ever since. Such relationships are one of the crucial features of aikido, especially as the years accumulate. I have had many aikido teachers, but Yoshimitsu Yamada stands out.

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