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Old 06-03-2011, 08:32 AM   #1
king mob
Join Date: Jan 2010
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Kawahara Sensei's Passing..

Sadly, we have lost another of the North American Shihankai, and a lynchpin of aikido in Canada.. Below is an email from the Canadian Aikido Federation..

I will miss his grins as he physically showed the jujitsu origins of various aikido techniques..

"Dear CAF Members,

It is with the deepest regret and profound sorrow that I inform you of the death of Kawahara Shihan.

He passed away in Victoria on Thursday evening. During his last days he was kindly attended to by a number of his students who communicated to him the great respect and affection that so many of us felt.

More information will follow as it becomes available.

Sincerely,
George Hewson

CAF President"
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Old 06-03-2011, 08:39 AM   #2
Russ Q
Dojo: Shohei Juku Aikido Gibsons
Location: Gibsons BC
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Re: Kawahara Sensei's Passing..

Rest in peace....
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Old 06-03-2011, 08:51 AM   #3
AikiWeb System
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The Passing of Yukio Kawahara Shihan

Posted 2011-06-03 08:48:06 by Carlo Ang


Sadly, we have lost another of the North American Shihankai, and a lynchpin of aikido in Canada.. Below is an email from the Canadian Aikido Federation..

"Dear CAF Members,

It is with the deepest regret and profound sorrow that I inform you of the death of Kawahara Shihan.

He passed away in Victoria on Thursday evening. During his last days he was kindly attended to by a number of his students who communicated to him the great respect and affection that so many of us felt.

More information will follow as it becomes available.

Sincerely,
George Hewson

CAF President"


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Old 06-03-2011, 09:08 AM   #4
aikishihan
Dojo: aikido academy/alhambra,california
Location: Los Angeles, California
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Re: The Passing of Yukio Kawahara Shihan

Condolences to the family, friends and supporters of Yukio Kawahara Shihan, a true Aikido pioneer in North America. May he rest in peace.
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Old 06-03-2011, 09:42 AM   #5
Byron Foster
Dojo: Aikikai
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Re: The Passing of Yukio Kawahara Shihan

Kawahara Sensei was my first and favorite Sensei

His old school techniques were fantastic and he had an incredible way of effectively communicating the basics. His joint techniques were so solid; I have never felt anyone else's coming close.

He would also watch out for his students. I remember feeling under the weather and showing up for a weapons class. From across the gym he noticed that I was not myself and made me sit out the class. Half way thought just watching the class I felt dizzy, so he had called it right.

He passing leaves a huge hole in the Aikido community, and in my heart.

Domo Arigato Sensei.
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Old 06-03-2011, 11:49 AM   #6
niall
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Re: The Passing of Yukio Kawahara Shihan

After the sad farewells in the last year this is another bitter blow. Rest in peace.

we can make our minds so like still water, and so live for a moment with a clearer, perhaps even with a fiercer life
w b yeats


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Old 06-03-2011, 01:33 PM   #7
Jonathan
Dojo: North Winnipeg Aikikai
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Re: The Passing of Yukio Kawahara Shihan

Kawahara shihan was my main teacher for the entire 23 years I've been studying Aikido. I feel greatly blessed to have been one of his students. His Aikido was practical, vigorous, and powerful. I remember his ferocious nikyo with which he celebrated my gaining shodan rank. A short time after I received my shodan rank I was attending a seminar instructed by Kawahara Shihan. He called me out to take ukemi and proceeded to demonstrate nikyo on me with tremendous gusto. He took me right to the edge of what I thought was my absolute outer limit and then just a little bit farther. To my surprise, I didn't break. He seemed to know my limit better than I did! Eventually, he stopped, slapped me on the back and turned to those watching and said with a big grin, "Hey, new shodan!" I was rather stunned by the force of his technique and walked away in a bit of a daze, rubbing my wrists and making sure my hands were still properly attached. Kawahara Shihan must have been concerned about my state because he walked up to me a short time later and with a very intense look on his face he leaned toward me, looked me right in the eye, and said in his broken English, "Sometimes, we train this way!" He studied me for a moment during which time I responded, "Hai Sensei!" and then, giving a slight nod, he walked off. Kawahara Shihan was definitely old school. I loved that about him.

Rest in peace, Sensei. Domo arigato gozaimashita!

"Iron sharpens iron; so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend."
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Old 06-03-2011, 05:12 PM   #8
barron
Dojo: Calgary Aikikai
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Re: The Passing of Yukio Kawahara Shihan

Our condolences to the family, friends and students of Kawahara Shihan. Many of our members, although not members of the CAF, have attended Kawahara Shihan's seminars and gained greatly from his instruction. We hope that the spirit of aikido that he spread throughout Canada continues to prosper and grow.

Yours sincerely,

Andrew Barron
Chairman, Technical Committee
Calgary Aikikai

Andrew Barron
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Old 06-04-2011, 04:18 AM   #9
Stuart Ablett
Dojo: Aikikai Hombu
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Re: The Passing of Yukio Kawahara Shihan

I'm very sad to hear this news.

Kawahara Sensei was one of the reasons I came to Japan, where I met my lovely wife and have made a life for myself.

I remember when I first started out and sensei was telling time and time again to close my stance, it was too open, so then one time he just hauled off and kicked me "night in the ruts!" I NEVER stood with my stance wide open again...... NEVER!!

I've not seen Sensei in a few years, but I will miss him for sure.

Godspeed
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Old 06-04-2011, 04:03 PM   #10
king mob
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Re: The Passing of Yukio Kawahara Shihan

All these stories of Kawahara sensei from the years are really nice..

I've been thought and have practiced with a few of Kawahara sensei's original students from the Montreal days.. I always enjoy hearing stories of what happened back in the Montreal Kensankai days..

Please, let's keep reminiscing..
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Old 06-04-2011, 06:32 PM   #11
Jonathan
Dojo: North Winnipeg Aikikai
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Re: The Passing of Yukio Kawahara Shihan

Just one more reminiscence:

At a seminar hosting Kawahara Sensei a young man showed up who had just returned from Japan where, among other things, he had been practicing Aikido. He had so recently obtained his shodan rank that he didn't yet know how to tie on his hakama. It was all discombobulated and kept coming loose as he practiced. Of course, Sensei noticed the young man and, after being filled in on the scant details of his story, began to keep a close eye on him. At one point, Kawahara sensei got us to practice yonkyo sitting in front of our partner in seiza. It was a rapid-fire way of applying yonkyo. There was no shikko involved, just cutting your partner's extended hand down and into yonkyo. As it happened, I partnered up with the new shodan for this exercise. Now, I am a former powerlifter and at that time was still quite physically strong. I had thick arms and a powerful grip. My partner, however, was a wisp of guy. His delicate wrists were going to suffer badly if I went full bore with him, so I was doing a pretty gentle application of yonkyo to him. Suddenly, Kawahara Sensei appeared at my shoulder and said, "Hard! Hard!" Obediently, I began to apply yonkyo strongly. The poor guy yelped and dove to the mat. Back and forth he whipped as he extended first one arm and then another and I applied yonkyo to it. Sensei watched us for a few moments and then walked away. By that time my partner looked like he wanted to run out the door. As soon as Sensei was out of earshot, I apologized for the force of my yonkyo and eased up on the power level. The poor fellow looked pale and sick. He did his round and then, just as I finished the first gentle rep of mine, Kawahara Sensei reappeared and snapped at me, "Hard! Hard!" I felt like I was kicking a puppy but let 'er rip again anyway. To his credit, the young man sucked it up - though the terrible grimace on his face made it clear he was really not enjoying the experience. Sensei stood at my shoulder for several rounds of yonkyo before he ended the exercise and moved on to another technique.

I can only guess at Sensei's purpose on this occasion. It seemed that, more than anything, he wanted to test the mettle of this young, unknown shodan. And this is just the sort of thing that defines Kawahara Sensei in my mind. Rather than talking, Sensei used a difficult situation to reveal something of the martial resolve of this unknown fellow. On the mats, this seemed to me to be often Kawahara Sensei's chief concern.

I should say that Kawahara Sensei mellowed considerably as he aged. The last few times I saw him he was much readier to smile and laugh on the mats. One time, he saw me hunched over as I applied a shoulder pin and commented loudly that I had the shape of a banana! We both laughed and I straightened up.

He is, as far as I'm concerned, quite irreplaceable.

Last edited by Jonathan : 06-04-2011 at 06:35 PM.

"Iron sharpens iron; so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend."
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Old 06-06-2011, 08:11 AM   #12
king mob
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Re: The Passing of Yukio Kawahara Shihan

A Viewing for Kawahara Shihan is scheduled to occur at

First Memorial Funeral Services,
4725 Falaise Drive, Victoria, BC

Saturday, June 11, from 3:00 pm to 4:30 pm.
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Old 06-08-2011, 06:03 PM   #13
Walter Martindale
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Re: The Passing of Yukio Kawahara Shihan

A very sad passing. My last encounter with Kawahara shihan was in Victoria when I watched a grading session.

Will always remember our tour of Japan, demonstration at Osaka, training at Hiroshima police, the resort and Sumo tournament in Kanazawa, first practices at Hombu, dinner with Doshu...

He will be missed.

Walter
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