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Old 02-19-2007, 06:35 PM   #101
Ellis Amdur
Location: Seattle
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 815
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Re: Dobson and Arikawa Sensei

Terry told me that it was part of the movie. It was a posed shot, he was simply holding a book looking studious, unable to read a word of what was on the page.

Best

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Old 02-19-2007, 10:36 PM   #102
saltlakeaiki
 
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Dojo: Salt Lake Aikikai
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 76
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"I've always liked to fight"

Forgive me for somewhat selfishly wanting to post my own, sorta,
eulogy to Arikawa Sensei, along with a bit of catharsis

During the 90s I was a member of a Hombu satellite dojo,
a "company club", and Arikawa Sensei was our chief instructor.
I arrived as an 1-kyu, already with a lot of my own, very much
American-influenced ideas about what aikido is supposed to be
(most of which I still hold to this day). Arikawa Sensei
seemed to be the antithesis of all that. What's more, his
classes were rather unpleasant, not, interestingly enough,
because of his brutal technique, but because he would make us sit
in seiza for interminable periods and listen while he mumbled on about
something, and when he would finally let us get up and practice,
it would last about one minute (or less!) and bang, we'd be back
down listening for another 10 minutes. I'm a bit surprised to
hear from Goldsbury Sensei that his teaching style in Hiroshima
was apparently the polar opposite, all throw and no talk.

And in spite of the fact that our dojo was an enclosed area in
a fairly small room, Sensei's mumbling was so soft that even
my Japanese sempai would often have trouble understanding him
(as has been reported by others).

At our place, it was usual that only a particular daisempai
was the one who took Sensei's ukemi. If he had to work late
or wasn't able to attend for some reason, there would be a
certain amount of frantic finger-pointing in an attempt
to determine who would take ukemi ) (it was never me).
And yet even so, Sensei generally did not treat us the way
he did the ukes at Hombu.

Sensei only came to teach once a month, and I'm now a bit
ashamed to admit that after I got the idea of what he was
about, I started avoiding his classes. In fact, I rarely
attended his classes for many years, after the first year
or so at that dojo. I was a young guy who thought he knew
better, and anyway I wanted to train, not just listen (my
Japanese even then was pretty good but not good enough to
get very much out of Sensei's talks, esp. with the mumbling)

Sensei even once agreed to break his rule of "no seminars"
and gave us a weekend seminar up in the mountains. I went
along because it seemed like it might be fun, but after the
first class turned out to be "same old same old", I started
"cutting" and spent most of the time taking walks with my
wife. I'm really not proud of it, and at this point (more
than 10 years later) it's hard to clearly remember what
I was thinking.

The question came up in this thread about Arikawa Sensei's
desire or lack thereof to create a legacy. From my experience
it certainly seems that he had no concern for that at all.
It is clear if you look at my (former) dojo. No one there
practices like him. They all respected him and followed his
directions - no one resented him as far as I know - but no one
actually emulates his style either. In fact, the aforementioned
ukemi-taking daisempai, who has been with the club for
decades, is one of the softest, gentlest stylists I've ever
seen - far softer even than me )

After Arikawa Sensei died (by which point I was back in the
US), I started hearing people (as in this thread) saying all
kinds of nice things about him. It makes me wish I hadn't
been quite so headstrong, and had tried to get more out of
the opportunities I had to learn from him, even though there
were no doubt very many places where I would have disagreed
strongly with his teachings. One thing I believe I recall
correctly was that he insisted that atemi was an integral
part of pretty much every technique, and although now I
would accept it in more cases than I did then, I still
don't buy it as a kind of universal. Still... you've gotta
respect a guy who had trained hard for so many years, been
through so much, and pursued his vision of the aikido ideal
so sincerely, even though you might not share the vision.
And when you've gained a little maturity, as I have, and
realize that these guys who learned directly from the Founder
are a resource that's being lost forever as they die off,
you regret not having paid more attention

Speaking of resources, as many of you may know, Arikawa
Sensei was known for having an enormous collection of
documents, photos and other memorabilia related to aikido.
His job as the editor of the Aikikai's newspaper no doubt
put him in a good position to get his hands on that sort of
thing. I heard from my daisempai that the only family that
Sensei had when he died was a brother, who had no interest in
the collection at all. Last I heard (shortly after his death)
the brother was prepared to chuck all of it out in processing
Sensei's estate, and Hombu wasn't necessarily going to put up
a fight for it. I haven't heard how it turned out.

Interesting anecdote: once at the April 29 festivities at
Iwama, several of us were sitting with Sensei on the grass
eating lunch and talking, and Sensei made the comment
(although I can't recall the context) "I've always liked to fight."
(俺は喧嘩が好きだ or something very similar to that)

I feel sorta honored to have been able to be the one to
create his article on Wikipedia (at least the English one).
It's still a very short stub, though, and I'd like to
encourage anyone here with good information to contribute
to do so. And I feel more honored than I used to that his
name is listed as examiner in my yuudansha passport next
to my shodan and nidan. No matter how I felt about him
personally, though, I have always enjoyed the looks of
sudden apprehension that I would sometimes get from people
(not knowing me well) who would happen to open the passport
and see his name there

Dave

If it wasn't for the goat, you couldn't get in here for propaganda!
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Old 02-20-2007, 02:35 AM   #103
Peter Goldsbury
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Dojo: Hiroshima Kokusai Dojo
Location: Hiroshima, Japan
Join Date: Jul 2001
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Re: "I've always liked to fight"

Quote:
David Iannucci wrote: View Post
Forgive me for somewhat selfishly wanting to post my own, sorta,
eulogy to Arikawa Sensei, along with a bit of catharsis

During the 90s I was a member of a Hombu satellite dojo,
a "company club", and Arikawa Sensei was our chief instructor.
I arrived as an 1-kyu, already with a lot of my own, very much
American-influenced ideas about what aikido is supposed to be
(most of which I still hold to this day). Arikawa Sensei
seemed to be the antithesis of all that. What's more, his
classes were rather unpleasant, not, interestingly enough,
because of his brutal technique, but because he would make us sit
in seiza for interminable periods and listen while he mumbled on about
something, and when he would finally let us get up and practice,
it would last about one minute (or less!) and bang, we'd be back
down listening for another 10 minutes. I'm a bit surprised to
hear from Goldsbury Sensei that his teaching style in Hiroshima
was apparently the polar opposite, all throw and no talk.

Dave
Hello David,

He was like that when he first started coming to Hiroshima, but the explanations gradually began to appear and to become longer as the years passed.

P A Goldsbury
_______________________
Hiroshima, Japan
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Old 08-30-2007, 09:43 AM   #104
Allen Beebe
Location: Portland, OR
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 530
United_States
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Re: Photo of Arikawa Sadateru on Aikido Journal

Quote:
Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
If it is the same technique (and I am used to the pinning with the leg version, but it depends on what you do it from), I first saw it used by Rinjiro Shirata here in Japan, who talked about such techniques being "prewar". Everything that Dan states, including the difficulty of pulling it off with a non-cooperative uke, rings true from my own experience. However, I know that Arikawa Sensei was a good friend of Katsuyuki Kondo and used to watch his training, but he (Arikawa) once stated to me that he had not actually trained in DR.

I am sure the provenance is DR, but I also believe that much of what would nowadays be more strictly DR was practised in aikido dojos and it was only with the emphasis on kihon techniques, with the ambiguity implied by this term, that this other stuff was lost. Well, it is not completely lost, since it is still practised in some aikido dojos.
I just noticed this thread and post, so I'm a little late.

Yes, indeed, Shirata sensei both demonstrated and taught this kind of pin. There is a whole variety of them actually. In my experience the difficulty isn't so much in applying the pin on an uncooperative opponent (Does one call a cooperative partner an opponent?). Rather, it is getting to the point where one can effectively apply the pin that is the "Art" proper. Kind of like tachi dori, it is surviving and gaining control over the initial threshold interval that is the hard part, what comes afterwards is relatively easy. Get through that and one can choose to dispatch in time, dispatch upon consolidation, or bind (pin, tie). With a cooperative "opponent" this gets all turned around on its head and one is left entraining themselves with human macramé. Or, I'm guessing in the cases of accomplished "masters," one might amuse themselves with the "macramé' aspect when the opening interval becomes old hat . . . I wouldn't know.

Dan's comment about sealing the breath is interesting. I don't know that I can replicate this with this type of pin. I've never really paid attention to that. When it was applied to me the experience was so all consuming that I don't think I gave it much thought and rather went for the "all consuming" aspect when trying to replicate the pin myself. It is interesting to think about what discreet elements combine to constitute that affective experience. Hmmm . . .

Specifically with this pin, not necessarily with others BTW, I've always thought about it in terms of skeletal (tendons and ligaments in so far as then apply to the skeleton) mechanics. I never really considered applying Kokyu Ryoku in any specific way as I would in say an Ikkyo pin (which I consider a transitional pin BTW.)

This is interesting to me. But I gotta go. Maybe one of you will see this and pick the thread back up.

Allen

~ Allen Beebe
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Old 03-12-2010, 04:02 AM   #105
chris wright
 
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Dojo: White Rose Aikikai
Location: South Yorkshire
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 30
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Re: Dobson and Arikawa Sensei

[quote=Peter A Goldsbury;167741]Hello Ellis,

Everything went well, but Arikawa Sensei, like Yamaguchi Sensei before him, never used students as ukes. On his first visit he brought his own uke, a man named Niall. (I think this is the person you mean, Charles.)

Hi Sensei Goldsbury, Niall would have been - Niall Matthes, he trained for many years in Japan, and was a close friend of my Sensei Billy McAuley (Aikikai 3rd Dan).
Niall took shodan to Yondan under Aso Sensei and his 5th Dan under Arikawa Sensei.
I beleive Niall is back in Europe, unfortunately he no longer teaches traditional Aikido.
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