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Old 03-04-2003, 12:51 PM   #26
JimAde
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Unhappy Don't hold your breath for black belt channel

Quote:
Kelly Allen wrote:
After I posted I found this at http://www.martialway.com/. I hope my cable provider offers it.
I saw this on the web a while ago and got all excited about it, too. But look at the date on the article: Thursday October 10. I haven't heard anything about it since, and a Google search for "black belt channel" (with the quotes) turned up no results.

I think this idea is dead.
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Old 03-04-2003, 01:36 PM   #27
Bronson
 
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Quote:
I think this idea is dead.
Maybe not.
Quote:
Blackbelt TV, scheduled to launch in March 2003, will also broadcast a variety of organized fights, including International Judo Federation tournaments, USA World karate championships, World Boxing Federation fights and Muay Thai kickboxing bouts.
It isn't scheduled to begin until this month. Maybe it'll happen yet.

Bronson

"A pacifist is not really a pacifist if he is unable to make a choice between violence and non-violence. A true pacifist is able to kill or maim in the blink of an eye, but at the moment of impending destruction of the enemy he chooses non-violence."
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Old 03-04-2003, 01:58 PM   #28
JimAde
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I hope you're right, Bronson. I just figured if it was going to launch soon there'd be some kind of hype on the Web. And if Google can't find it, it's not out there

Remember: No matter where you go...There you are.
-Buckaroo Banzai
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Old 03-04-2003, 02:11 PM   #29
Jonathan
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I saw the "Top Ten Martial Arts" show a couple of weeks ago on TLC and was nonplussed by most of it -- including the Aikido segment. I do believe that Furuya (sp?)sensei is very skilled at Aikido (I know that, at least for a time, he trained under Kisshomaru Ueshiba sensei), but I must say that my friends who saw him on TLC were more impressed by his great girth than by his aikido. They all commented that it was difficult to take aikido seriously when it is represented by someone, billed as a "master", whose training was not sufficient to prevent such obesity. On my part, I know nothing of Furuya sensei's training so could not counter these comments. An unfortunate, but not unexpected, reaction to Furuya sensei, I think.

Last edited by Jonathan : 03-04-2003 at 02:14 PM.

"Iron sharpens iron; so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend."
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Old 03-04-2003, 02:13 PM   #30
timcraig
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http://www.blackbelttv.com/
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Old 03-05-2003, 01:40 AM   #31
jducusin
 
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Quote:
Jonathan Hay (Jonathan) wrote:
They all commented that it was difficult to take aikido seriously when it is represented by someone, billed as a "master", whose training was not sufficient to prevent such obesity. On my part, I know nothing of Furuya sensei's training so could not counter these comments. An unfortunate, but not unexpected, reaction to Furuya sensei, I think.
Hi Jon,

I believe I've got a counter for you. Weight control research over the past two decades or so has shown that regardless of diet or level of physical fitness, a person will generally stay within the same weight range throughout their life due to genetic factors. Which explains why many people, despite keeping up a healthy and active lifestyle, remain "overweight". If you're interested in learning more about it, look up "Set-Point Theory". It's a widely-accepted explanation of the process that the body goes through to maintain it's genetically-predetermined weight range, and you'll undoubtably find more info using those keywords.

I also agree that the reaction to Furuya sensei was probably not unexpected, which makes it a pretty sad reflection on the superficiality of our society. It's a shame that a person's skill would not be taken seriously merely because of their physical appearance. Hehehe...from what I recall of that book you lent me, Terry Dobson wasn't exactly that fit-looking a guy either!

Jamie

Open Sky Aikikai - http://www.winnipegaikido.com
"Life is growth. If we stop growing, technically and spiritually, we are as good as dead." - Morihei Ueshiba
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Old 03-05-2003, 05:04 AM   #32
Kelly Allen
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To me it only proves that any body type can excel at Aikido.
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Old 03-05-2003, 08:14 AM   #33
JimAde
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Thumbs down

Quote:
Tim Craig (timcraig) wrote:
WooHoo! I was wrong! I'm not usually this happy about being wrong...

Now I just have to call my cable company and deal with their ever-helpful customer support

Remember: No matter where you go...There you are.
-Buckaroo Banzai
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Old 03-05-2003, 08:42 AM   #34
SmilingNage
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Hey! No hero bashing, Terry Dobson writings are a personal favorite of mine LoL.

He was sick towards the end. But he was in shape enough to be scouted as a Ny Giant lineman as well as a bouncer in his younger years

Dont make me, make you, grab my wrist.
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Old 03-05-2003, 08:49 AM   #35
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Quote:
William Oakes (SmilingNage) wrote:
Hey! No hero bashing, Terry Dobson writings are a personal favorite of mine LoL.

He was sick towards the end. But he was in shape enough to be scouted as a Ny Giant lineman as well as a bouncer in his younger years
Hey William,

Hehehe...no bashing intended---I quite admire Terry Dobson; he led an interesting life, and had great stories to tell. I just couldn't think of anyone else off the top of my head who was both high ranking and had a large physique. I figured he was a pretty good example of how you shouldn't judge a book by it's cover!
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Old 03-05-2003, 09:08 AM   #36
Dave Dean
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Furuya sensei's physique was actually encouraging to me -- it was good to see that Aikido isn't reserved for 18 year olds with perfect build.
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Old 03-05-2003, 09:45 AM   #37
jducusin
 
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Quote:
Dave Dean wrote:
Furuya sensei's physique was actually encouraging to me -- it was good to see that Aikido isn't reserved for 18 year olds with perfect build.
Glad you mentioned it, Dave. I know a lot of folks who would definitely be inspired by and above all, less intimidated by the martial arts, seeing someone of their physique achieve what these men have.
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Old 09-07-2003, 08:47 AM   #38
Kensho Furuya
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Thank you for all of your comments. First of all I really dread doing these interviews for these cable programs but I would like to point out the they come to us because we are one of the most recommendated dojos in the area by other martial arts which recognize us and think very highly of us and always refer them to us. We do not solicite these shows. And I am quite sure, as you clearly state, there are many, many more qualified Aikidoists than me to do this work. I think I am not well-known or popular in the Aikido community today because I generally stay very much to myself in my dojo - quite a long time ago, I decided to divorce myself from all of the politics and intrigues which unfortunately plague Aikido and for this reason stay very quiet and very much to myself. Also, my own students in the dojo are as about as much as I can handle. This is all I have to say about this. I do have a great deal of contact with other martial arts and martial arts teachers and thru my humble efforts have given them the understanding that Aikido is an extremely effective martial arts. I have also worked as a member of the Los Angeles Police Department Civilian Martial Arts Advisory Council and thru them have had contact with the top martial artists in the country and we have discussed and shared special seminars with other martial arts demonstrating and teaching Aikido and clearly showing the effectiveness of Aikido. This may be why they seem to pick my tiny dojo and we are often recommended. (When I see discussions in the website questioning the effectiveness of Aikido - and I always quite puzzled and wonder what kind of training they have undergone.) Getting back to the point, I reluctantly consent to do these programs because I always believe that Aikido should have more press and more exposure to the general public- it is a worthy art. These shows always tend to emphasize the so-called spectacular and popular arts and never fail to feature such arts as ninjutsu and Shao Lin Kung fu and many eclectic, modern martial arts today. Aikido is always sadly missing. I only do these for this reason and receive no compensation whatever, I might add. I should like to let you know that I have received hundreds of emails and letters from the general public all over the country and the world who have watched these shows and immediately looked up and joined their local Aikido school. This is what makes me very happy and the only reason I might continue to do them.

These cable units come in the dojo with their cameras and lights and take all day. We have to be so careful they do not dirty or damage the mats and lay carpets and boards everywhere. It is a lot of trouble for my students. I sit there in the hot lights for hours being interviewed and one must always be very careful what one says. They always manage, without fail, to edit out anything important you might say and leave in anything stupid that inadvertently slipped out of your mouth. The interviewer generally has no concept of martial arts or Aikido and usually has the same popular notions and misconceptions of martial arts as the general public. At the same time you are being interviewed, you are also trying to educate the interviewer about what martial arts and Aikido really is. Once you are interviewed for hours, they only use a few seconds or minutes of the entire taping, you have no control of whatever is put into the show once the interview is finished. You never see the show until it is aired. They always add in their own views and interpretations and I am always, always disappointed how easily they get all of the facts mixed up. I apologize very deeply that they made some mis-statements about Aikido. I try so very hard to prevent this. . . . Everything is up to them and as much as they say they want to produce a serious and accurate show, ultimately, it boils down to what sells and what is flashy and spectacular and what they think the audience wants to see.

Age, old injuries, weak knees from too much suwari waza in my younger days, a bad back from a terrible auto accident, too much time trying to make a go of the dojo and keeping the rent paid and my own inner inclination to be lazy all contribute to my being out of shape and have no excuse for this. I am very sorry this offends you. And I apologize that my physical appearance offends you. Being born Japanese and in this country several years after the WWII, I am used to having my appearance offend people who didn't like the Japanese or as I was referred to, "Jap." My mother also suffered a great deal of discrimination as well. She wanted to raise me so I would be more easily able to assimilate into this culture but somehow I only become more interested in my roots and heritage. I have always hoped that in this day and age, we have moved away from such notions as judging people by their personal appearance. It was the death sentence to even appear to be Jewish during the war in Europe and the Blacks have suffered so much throughout our history here. Japanese before and after the war have also suffered very silently. Although much progress has been made and I thought there was more understanding in regards to this, I am dismayed to find it here in the Aikiweb and among fellow Aikidoists today. I guess we, as human beings, still need much more work here. I suppose this is human nature that we must always put down the other person. I have not met many of you here in this website and because I stopped travelling and doing seminars about 20 years ago, I suppose I am not a familiar face in the Aikido community. But although I haven't met you, Mr. Miranda, I pray for you and your lovely wife for the very best that Life has to offer and you have my compassion and understanding and my friendship - always in Aikido.

To address another question, I started my Kendo traning at 8 yrs old. And soon after started Iaido training under my teacher, Yoshinobu Takiguchi. I have continued Iaido training under many various teachers who have been few and hard to find. I first met 2nd Doshu in 1962 and trained at Hombu Dojo in 1969. I slept in the Instructors Room and took every class each day and attended specials for some of the younger instructors, all 5th Dan and above. I have studied under many teachers but the late 2nd Doshu, the late Kisaburo Ohsawa Sensei, the late Seigo Yamaguchi Sensei, Sadateru Arikawa Sensei and Mitsunari Kanai Sensei are my great inspirations and influences in Aikido and in my life. I was ordained as a Zen monk in 1988 and spoke at the United Nations regarding Aikido in 1989. I am the author of a video series on Aikido and a book. Three more books are in the works and I was author of long running column in a martial arts magazine in which I tried to promote Aikido and its understanding. I do have legitimate certificates of rank in Aikido and Iaido and actually quite a few other martial arts. I hope this answers your questions and comments. I will still continue to promote Aikido as best as I can with my less than adequate talents and if I continute to offend you, please ignore me. I would be very, very grateful for that. Btw, I showed a very gentle, flowing Aikido in that particular segment because I wanted to emphasize a contrast to other martial arts which emphasize more flashy kicking and yelling and punching as you well know and always see. Generally, my dojo is known as a more hardcore dojo where the training is much more strict than usual for today. After 45 years in Aikido, I can do Aikido at many different levels and in many different styles with emphasis on many different aspects of the art in a very broad scope. I fear your views on Aikido might be a little too narrow-minded. One common point in my training however is that all attacks are real and made with intent to make contact. Finally, in these cable segments, no Aikido was rehearsed or planned, everything was taped in one shot (take) spontaneously. Finally, my intent was to introduce Aikido to the general public and encourage those who have never seen Aikido before, not to practicing Aikidoists and Aikido experts - you people do not need someone like me. I am afraid my second crime outside of my physical appearance may have been to be too simplistic and superficial in my explanations. Thank you for bearing with me and having patience with me. May God bless you and O'Sensei's Great Spirit always protect and guide you. In Gassho, Rev. Kensho Furuya
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Old 09-07-2003, 10:25 AM   #39
jducusin
 
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Thank-you!

Rev. Furuya Sensei,

Thank-you for taking time out of your busy schedule to address questions here on Aikiweb!

Please know that your contributions to the art of Aikido are greatly valued by many people, and I hope that you will come to disregard those who are so ignorant as to judge you by your appearance. As you can see by some of the comments in this thread, there are many aikidoka who are inspired by your example and truly appreciate all your efforts.

Many regards,

Jamie D. Gaden
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Old 09-07-2003, 11:11 AM   #40
Steven
 
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I wrote to Furuya Sensei privately and expressed my sincere apologizes if my statements were offensive to him. My statements were targeted at the program and I stand by them. The PROGRAM was terrible and mis-portrayed Aikido.

My comments have nothing to do with Furuya Sensei his school or race and everything to do with Discovery Channels terrible job at portraying what Aikido is really all about.

Obviously from Furuya Sensei's statements, he too feels a bit portrayed by DSC final product and my assessement of him personally was off base. I accept that hence my apology. Sorry I'm not so perfect like those who come here and post and call people ignorant. Guess I'm not the only one with first impression problems.

Hopefully when I'm in L.A. in a couple of three months, I'll be able to express my thoughts personally to Furuya Sensei.

...Peace...

Last edited by Steven : 09-07-2003 at 11:19 AM.
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Old 09-07-2003, 11:58 AM   #41
jducusin
 
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Misunderstanding

Quote:
Steven Miranda (Steven) wrote:
Sorry I'm not so perfect like those who come here and post and call people ignorant. Guess I'm not the only one with first impression problems.
Steven,

To clarify --- I was referring to the latter part of the thread and those who were judging Furuya Sensei by his physical appearance, not (as you must have assumed) his "television appearance" (that you expressed disatisfaction with earlier in the thread).

My comments were meant directly in response to Furuya Sensei's apologies for his physical appearance. I do not believe that anyone should have to apologize for how they look; rather, I believe in the ideal that we need to accept others for who they are. What I meant was that people who choose to judge someone by their physical appearance alone are ignorant in that they willingly overlook a person's true value as a human being with skills, knowledge and experience that they can learn from.

I understand why you're feeling rather sensitive, Steven, and perhaps a little like you're "under fire", which is why you misinterpreted what I said so very easily. I'm sorry you took offense to something that sincerely had nothing to do with you at all.

Take care,

Jamie
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Old 09-07-2003, 02:00 PM   #42
Kensho Furuya
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Whenever these shows air on cable, I am always impressed with the fact that there are still so many people out there who have never heard of Aikido or who have heard of the Aikido name but have never seen Aikido and many who have wanted to practice Aikido but don't know where to go to find a dojo or teacher. I think as Aikidoists, we assume that everyone by now has heard of Aikido and generally knows what it is about. This is, by far, not the case. Because I am in downtown Los Angeles, I don't get many students as a result of these cable show airings but I know there are many who look up dojos in their own neighborhoods or come to this website and others searching for information. If these shows have the tiniest redeeming value of introducing Aikido to the general public or encouraging new, aspiring students to begin practice, I am happy.

I should also like to add that I have refused four shows just because they were so badly organized and not well thought out and I got into trouble with the film crews when they came to the dojo, but after hearing what they wanted to do, I just sent them back home. Most of these shows are done by independent companies who then sell their shows to the cable stations like Discover, A&E and History, etc. . . so they are only committed to anything they think they can sell to the stations. They are almost never done out of the pure love of martial arts or Aikido on their part, for them it is only a business. I don't know how many hands the tapings must pass through before the completed show is finished and ready for airing but they never seem to come out the way you may have intended your own segment to be. Many times, what you say may appear to be completely reversed from what you intended to say. Anyways, everyone should know, I am sure, that much of what you see in the mass media must be taken with a grain of salt. I really try my best but it is not easy and when I say something to them, they immediately talk about time, money and deadlines.

At the very least, however, I have never received any negative feedback from the general public about Aikido and I must say that, in almost all cases, when our Aikido segment is put in with other martial arts, our Aikido always comes out on top and with the most positive and most favorable impression. For this, I am very grateful. Again I say that I do wish I could be in more control over what they finally air about Aikido and correct any mistakes but, at least, it is a rare opportunity to give out the name of Aikido to the public and this has done some good. If, in the future, you may find that something that I have done is not up to your standards, please know that I am, at least, trying my best. I should add at this point, that, despite the results, I have worked with many many nice people who do these cable shows and they, too, always leave our dojo with a most favorable impression of Aikido so I am very grateful to them to give us a chance to mention Aikido on tv. Without this friendship and mutual understanding, it is very easy for them to ignore Aikido completely.

Finally, there is so much more interesting and thoughtful subjects to discuss about Aikido and I would hope that we can direct more focus to topics of techniques, idealogy, the philosophy of Aikido, its history, traditions and O'Sensei's teachings and the art of other respected teachers, and on and on. . . . . It is unfortunate that we must spend valuable on something like this. I always hope that more qualified people than myself can bring Aikido to the public and increase their awareness and interest in such a wonderful art as ours.

There is an old Chinese saying, "Even if you write one word, write it as if one thousand people will see and read it."

I hope this discussion and other such discussions will end here on a note of friendship and mutual understanding and, by all means, in the spirit of true Aikido. Thank you very much,
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Old 09-07-2003, 03:03 PM   #43
Kensho Furuya
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Btw, by some coincidence, this just arrived on my email:

Date: Sun Sep 7, 2003 12:36:06 PM US/Pacific

To: aclafuruya@earthlink.net

Subject: About training classes

hi, this is Cem A... from Turkey.

last year i saw your dojo and your classes on

discovery channel. i'm interested in your aikido

classes .do you have classes for foreigners? i mean is

there period for the students like me which wants to

come from abroad ? or do you have any schedule ... regards.

I get this kind of email all of the time. Many times, they are too far away to train in my school, but I always hope they will find some nice dojo where they can begin their Aikido practice. I will try to help them in their search. Thank you again,
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Old 09-07-2003, 06:56 PM   #44
PeterR
 
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Quote:
Kensho Furuya wrote:
I get this kind of email all of the time. Many times, they are too far away to train in my school, but I always hope they will find some nice dojo where they can begin their Aikido practice. I will try to help them in their search. Thank you again,
Unfortunately these e-mails are very common and the desire to learn AIkido is not sincere. I have recieved more of those e-mails in the past three months than I have students.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 09-07-2003, 08:58 PM   #45
Lan Powers
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I actually enjoyed seeing aikido presented for the public to view..

So little out there for us who live on the fringe....(west TX)

I have no doubt that the media has presented the least applicable, and most out-of-context of all material they have gathered from a full day of grueling filming.

Another case of good material, poorly presented.

My respect for Furuya Sensei grows with each kind, and humble post.

Regards

Lan

Play nice, practice hard, but remember, this is a MARTIAL art!
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Old 09-08-2003, 03:15 PM   #46
John Boswell
 
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Furuya Sensei,

I was pleased to read your responses to this thread. You cleared up a lot of questions that many of us here had.

Despite my understanding of film making and such, it completely slipped my mind that they would edit a show in such a way as to make it more fantastic and work around proper comments and leave in the "not so important" things. I will confess, though my post on page one of this thread did not judge you on your size, in my mind I did make such an evaluation and I apologize. I have no room to talk being too big myself. And with bad knees to boot, should have known better.

Thank you for your comments above. Post here anytime and continue to use your best judgement in how you run your dojo. Like you and others have said, many people were reached via the show, and were introduced and since started in Aikido. And that's always a good thing.

Domo aregato gaeshimasu

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Old 09-08-2003, 03:37 PM   #47
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Say this show several times. Was grateful that Aikido was included. Thought Furuya Sensei did an excellent job. A friend of mine was on the mat with him.

Having been around the media I know how intrusive and uncontrolable they are. Nothing is perfect.

My personal compliments and appreciation to anyone trying to get more exposure to our art and attempting to spread Aikido.

Let television go and get back to training.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 09-08-2003, 03:48 PM   #48
jxa127
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Furuya sensei,

My degree in college was in communications, and I learned a bit about journalism and TV/Radio production. I quite agree that the TV show producers ought to have better research, and that the editing process can make anything incomprehensible. (I very seriously doubt the ability of any TV show to produce reliable documentary material any more. As a result, I've not had cable TV for almost seven years.)

Anyway, thanks for sharing your perspective on the whole process.

For what it's worth, my first introduction to aikido was through a role-playing (D&D) magazine with an article about martial arts a character could use. The description for aikido was pretty facinating and it stuck in my head. This was when I was in middle school. A few years later, the G.I. Joe comic book series had a character who knew aikido. Again, it pricked my interest. Finally, when I was in high school, I enjoyed some of Segal's early movies and was again enthralled by aikido.

Compared to those strange sources of inspriation, a TV show with an actual, highly experienced instructor showing good technique sounds like it would be exceptionally cool for those who (like me) are predisposed to finding out more about aikido.

I'll have to see if I can get my parents to tape it if it comes on again.

Regards,

-Drew

----
-Drew Ames
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Old 09-08-2003, 03:52 PM   #49
Kent Enfield
 
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Quote:
I wrote:
Where is Furuya sensei's iaido rank from?
Quote:
Kensho Furuya wrote:
To address another question, I started my Kendo traning at 8 yrs old. And soon after started Iaido training under my teacher, Yoshinobu Takiguchi. I have continued Iaido training under many various teachers who have been few and hard to find. . . . I do have legitimate certificates of rank in Aikido and Iaido and actually quite a few other martial arts. I hope this answers your questions and comments.
Since I'm the one who asked about the source of your iaido ranks, I'll respond.

I don't mean any offense, but this doesn't actually answer the question. Is your iaido rank from the All Japan Kendo Federation, the All Japan Iaido Federation, or somewhere else? If "somewhere else," where specifically?

Kentokuseisei
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Old 09-08-2003, 10:04 PM   #50
Kensho Furuya
Dojo: Aikido Center of Los Angeles
Location: Los Angeles
Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 341
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Btw, someone also asked about my rank in Aikido - this is, of course, from Aikikai Hombu Dojo, received from 2nd Doshu Kisshomaru Ueshiba Sensei. Sorry, I forgot how many years ago that was. . . . . Thank you.
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