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Nocquet (1914-1999) was the first foreign uchi-deshi to Morihei Ueshiba. Prior to starting aikido, he studied Greco-Roman wrestling then jujutsu (with Moshe Feldenkrais) and judo with Mikonosuke Kawaishi in Paris. He first started aikido in France under Minoru Mochizuki in 1949 then left to study under Morihei Ueshiba in 1955 at 40 years of age. He left Japan in 1957 and received his 8th dan in 1985.
A full biography of Nocquet written by Guilllaume Erard can be found by clicking here.
One of my regrets is starting Aikido too late, so I never had a chance to train with Master Nocquet. I am lucky to have one of his senior students as my Sensei and I have trained with several others, including a couple who were uke's on the video. I love watching him move and he always appears to be happy and smiling on the tatami.
Although some of the techniques look soft, I am assured they are not. The movement for the Kote-gaeshi's are beautiful, but I wince at the pain the uke's would have felt.
I don't think I can move on my feet as fast as M. Datgny moves in suwari waza.
I look forward to next Tuesday's lesson where we will be trying some of the tanto techniques demostrated here.
Typical display of how he was teaching, like playing around in a friendly way. Better not to be underestimated. One of those who fell into the IHTBF category. He might have looked like a dancing teddy-bear and like he was playing around but in reality he was very very efficient. If he was in the mood he would show you how his every movement actually was atemi. Like quite a few of those early after war guys, he was working hard but often seemingly playing lightly. As I said, IHTBF.