In January of this year Motomichi Anno Sensei, 8th dan, received the Japan Martial Arts Distinguished Service Award for Aikido, 2009
As many of you know, one of the major influences in my training has come from Motomichi Anno Sensei, a direct student of O'Sensei and the current Dojo-Cho of the Kumano Juku Dojo in Shingu, Japan. Anno Sensei is a beautiful man with whom I have had the distinguished pleasure of training extensively. I have enjoyed many car rides with Anno Sensei through the beautiful landscapes of my homeland, California. During these car rides Anno Sensei enjoyed making up nicknames for the students onboard. 'Mustache Man' was one of those nicknames (gratefully, not for me!) . Fireheart was the name he gave me. During one of those car rides, while looking at me in the rearview mirror, Anno Sensei said," Jenu Sensei, take a lot of ukemi! It will help build your confidence". My face grew red hot and I felt embarrassed that he could see so solidly what I tried so hard to disguise. I felt unclothed, exposed for the fraud I was. But more than that I felt grateful for being seen so honestly by a person so trustworthy. "It was a gift I hardly deserved", to borrow the words of the late Terry Dobson when describing his relationship with the founder. It would seem the founder had had something to say on this account as well. He said, "Train in the techniques of the past by dressing them in the garments of today." I've been working on my laundry list everyday in training since them. The stains are definitely working their way out. During ukemi I feel confidently folded and put away. Solid!.......
For the rest of this post and to read Anno Sensei's letter of gratitude please go to my blog at: http://www.confluenceaikido.blogspot.com
Thanks so much! And deep congratulations to Anno Sensei!