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Old 10-28-2004, 12:42 AM   #1
John Matsushima
 
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Who is your favorite aikidoka?

Who is your favorite aikidoka and why? Who has impressed you the most? Why do you think this person is great? Is it because of their skill, their style, or contributions they have made to the art?
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Old 10-28-2004, 02:50 AM   #2
Chuck.Gordon
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Re: Who is your favorite aikidoka?

Fave aikidoka? Jim Baker. No question. Or maybe Jun Akiyama. Or Frank Gordon. And Andy Wilby. Definitely one of those four. Maybe all four.

No, the 'shihan' don't impress me much; anybody doing anything for 30+ years better get good at it. I did enjoy Ikeda Hiroshi's attitude and gentle humor, however. He impressed me greatly when he was in another teacher's class, and he carefully tried to do things the way the teacher was asking, and called for assistance when he had trouble getting it. That's impressive.

Who in aikido, other than the four folks I mentioned above, impressed me the most? The late George Simcox. Huge heart, fully human, weird, funny and damn good on the mat for a man who'd been fighting prostate cancer for years. He wasn't technically flawless, wasn't incredibly powerful, wasn't magical. He was just Good. And he was human. He laughed, cried and struggled -- just like you and me.

Pedestals? We don't need no steenkin' pedestals.

Chuck

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Old 10-28-2004, 02:53 AM   #3
PeterR
 
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Re: Who is your favorite aikidoka?

Quote:
Chuck Gordon wrote:
No, the 'shihan' don't impress me much; anybody doing anything for 30+ years better get good at it.
So much for my choice - damm you for being sensible.
Quote:
Who in aikido, other than the four folks I mentioned above, impressed me the most? The late George Simcox.
I remember George - he was talking about coming to visit me in Quebec City when he got sick for the last time. Really wished he had managed it.

Last edited by PeterR : 10-28-2004 at 02:56 AM.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 10-28-2004, 05:01 AM   #4
Olaf
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Re: Who is your favorite aikidoka?

Talking of Andy Wilby (sometimes referred to as the man who has a center like a rock) -- he will be co-teaching the annual New Years Seminar again at Shoshin Aikido Dojo Rodgau/Germany on 30/31 December 2004. If you can make it.. you will be more than welcome to join us!
Olaf Schubert
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Old 10-28-2004, 05:33 AM   #5
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Re: Who is your favorite aikidoka?

PeterR: I still sometimes half-expect him to call or drop me an e-mail. He was a wonderful man at his best, a rascal at his worst. Made no bones about it either. Had a great laugh. He and his Norma were very kind to me during a very trying time. Both were among the gentlest folks I've ever had privilege to know. I exchanged e-mail with him scant weeks before he fell seriously ill, and regret not having gotten to DC to see him before he died. I could not agree with all he said or did, but I had immense respect for him and will always miss him.

Olaf: Andy's marvelous. I love the man like a brother. Andy's one of the few aikidoka I really enjoy training with. Had hoped to see him this weekend, in fact, but our schedules aren't cooperating, dammit. Maybe soon, though. Thanks for the invite. Rodgau is near Frankfurt, yes? We normally spend the Silvestre holiday with friends in Regensburg, but if that doesn't pan out, we may take you up on the offer.

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Old 10-28-2004, 06:01 AM   #6
eva
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Re: Who is your favorite aikidoka?

Difficult question...
There are a few people who do quality aikido who I personally like and respect.
But my number one is definitely Pierre Chassang. Why? He is my fave aikidoka not only because of his aikido and the way he teaches but also because of his attitude towards what he does and knows and towards other people.
He is one of the few people who wouldn't let you treat them like a god-like figure just because they've been doing this stuff much longer than other people, or know much nore, but who would insist that we are equal in what we are looking for.

Eva
PS: Olaf: I hope that I can make it to your New Years Seminar again after I had to miss the last one. I must agree with the LOEP that Andy is marvelous.
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Old 10-28-2004, 06:15 AM   #7
Dazzler
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Re: Who is your favorite aikidoka?

Quote:
Eva Fenrich wrote:
Difficult question...
There are a few people who do quality aikido who I personally like and respect.
But my number one is definitely Pierre Chassang. Why? He is my fave aikidoka not only because of his aikido and the way he teaches but also because of his attitude towards what he does and knows and towards other people.
He is one of the few people who wouldn't let you treat them like a god-like figure just because they've been doing this stuff much longer than other people, or know much nore, but who would insist that we are equal in what we are looking for.

Eva
PS: Olaf: I hope that I can make it to your New Years Seminar again after I had to miss the last one. I must agree with the LOEP that Andy is marvelous.
Oh Eva...I thought it was me!
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Old 10-28-2004, 06:27 AM   #8
Chuck.Gordon
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Re: Who is your favorite aikidoka?

Heya Eva! We'll wave as we buzz past Stuttgart tomorrow (en route to the Alsace for our anniversary weekend). We were thinking of heading to Stuttgart for a long weekend later in November, but I vaguely remember you saying you'd be in the UK, yes? Maybe a Xmas markt date again, eh?

Chuck

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Old 10-28-2004, 02:32 PM   #9
jester
 
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Re: Who is your favorite aikidoka?

My favorites are the ones I learned the most from, and the ones I'm closest to.

They would have to be Karl Geis, Nelson Andujar and Weewow Dumlao.

Karl's teachings are so far advanced that I don't think anyone can come close. His Judo and Aikido background gives him an insight very few people have. He is a very knowledgeable, generous and selfless man.

Nelson's focus and attitude is a tremendous thing to experience. He's been very gracious with his teaching, and really cares about students learning to defend themselves.
There is nothing gratuitous or fancy about this man. (except his Latin dancing!) He's also like family.

Weewow is like a sister to me. She is a great instructor and person, and she really takes the time to make sure you understand what she is talking about. She brings a joy to her training, and it is shown in all of her students. I always look forward to her visits!!!
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Old 10-28-2004, 04:58 PM   #10
Shashin Singh
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Re: Who is your favorite aikidoka?

I think a lot of people still get that feeling he will call or send an email. I was one of his students for many years in VA and we spent many hours after class, driving to seminars up and down the East coast and even Canada, talking about Aikido. Or rather enjoying a never ending discussion about life and Aikido.

We went to dinner a few times after Norma passed away. One time, when I was picking him and his son (who had come for a visit) up, he said I needed to read an email he had printed out. He said it was from a guy named Chuck who had had some health changes and that it had started to change his Aikido. I think that was you, but I could be mistaken.

The email was a vibrant and alive discussion about something in particular had been ongoing over quite a few it appeared to me. He was quite excited about the email in his normal fashion when he would see people understanding what he was communicating. I think that pleased him the most, seeing people 'realize' what he was saying. Now, as a beginning teacher, I can appreciate the value of that.

Reading your rememberance of him, that evening was recalled in my mind, especially as this weekend is the 30th anniversary of the VKS.

Thank you for your kind words about him, and prompting the recall of that night.

Quote:
Chuck Gordon wrote:
PeterR: I still sometimes half-expect him to call or drop me an e-mail. He was a wonderful man at his best, a rascal at his worst. Made no bones about it either. Had a great laugh. He and his Norma were very kind to me during a very trying time. Both were among the gentlest folks I've ever had privilege to know. I exchanged e-mail with him scant weeks before he fell seriously ill, and regret not having gotten to DC to see him before he died. I could not agree with all he said or did, but I had immense respect for him and will always miss him.

Olaf: Andy's marvelous. I love the man like a brother. Andy's one of the few aikidoka I really enjoy training with. Had hoped to see him this weekend, in fact, but our schedules aren't cooperating, dammit. Maybe soon, though. Thanks for the invite. Rodgau is near Frankfurt, yes? We normally spend the Silvestre holiday with friends in Regensburg, but if that doesn't pan out, we may take you up on the offer.
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Old 10-28-2004, 05:09 PM   #11
Janet Rosen
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Re: Who is your favorite aikidoka?

Yeah, I miss emails with George too.
I guess my favorite aikidoka is whichever partner is connecting with me meaningfully on any given day so that we are learning with each other.

Janet Rosen
http://www.zanshinart.com
"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
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Old 10-28-2004, 06:45 PM   #12
Creature_of_the_id
 
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Re: Who is your favorite aikidoka?

is there anybody here who doesnt know Andy Wilby??
I was looking through the photos the other day and he keeps popping up all over the place


(Hi Andy)

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Old 10-28-2004, 09:28 PM   #13
Jill N
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Re: Who is your favorite aikidoka?

Hi all:
My favorite aikidoka? I think it has to be Bill Bickford Sensei. He is an inspiration, and a very caring guy. Really cares about all his students. I miss his teaching since his stroke a few years ago. I really miss George too. Simcox Sensei was one of the most creative aikidoka I have ever met. I love playing with his ki stuff, and what a practical and jolly guy.

e ya later
Jill
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Old 10-28-2004, 10:20 PM   #14
Michael Neal
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Re: Who is your favorite aikidoka?

me
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Old 10-28-2004, 11:44 PM   #15
Yokaze
 
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Re: Who is your favorite aikidoka?

Answer's easy for me. Dennis Tatoian. He is my sensei's sensei, and often comes by to oversee testing and what not. He's my favorite because he's one of the only ones I know, and he's a great guy. I rarely see anyone so cheerful all the time and he makes the most difficult to understand concepts so easy for me to adapt to.

"The only true victory is victory over oneself."

Rob Cunningham
3rd Kyu

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Old 10-29-2004, 04:27 AM   #16
Mark Balogh
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Re: Who is your favorite aikidoka?

From what I have seen on video (and bare in mind I'm Aikikai as well), it's got to be Koichi Tohei. Followed closely by Kisaburo Osawa, Tada Sensei, and Tamura Sensei. Unfortunately, so far I have only been able to train with the later. Tada Sensei is next on my list!!!
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Old 10-29-2004, 04:58 AM   #17
eva
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Talking Re: Who is your favorite aikidoka?

Quote:
Daren Sims wrote:
Oh Eva...I thought it was me!
That was my first thought Daz

Quote:
Chuck Gordon wrote:
Heya Eva! We'll wave as we buzz past Stuttgart tomorrow (en route to the Alsace for our anniversary weekend). We were thinking of heading to Stuttgart for a long weekend later in November, but I vaguely remember you saying you'd be in the UK, yes? Maybe a Xmas markt date again, eh?
Happy anniversary Chuck & MLE. Have a wonderful weekend in the Alsace.
Behave yourselves

Xmas markt is a good idea...
No plans fixed for end of November yet ... will see what happens.
"Life is what happens while we are busy making other plans"

Eva
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Old 10-29-2004, 05:20 AM   #18
Dazzler
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Re: Who is your favorite aikidoka?

Like Eva I think Pierre Chassang is fantastic - for his long term devotion to our federation and his lifetime plan that he has implemented to develop our aikido , for his clarity of teaching and for his insistence that we must focus on the base of aikido and not get sidetracked by sexy technique!

I am very proud of my instructor Michael Narey, he founded our Federation when he was around 40 and has been like a rock ever since. He can be a pain but his singlemindedness and can do attitude are amazing...even though its sometimes those closest to him that actually end up doing!.

I admire John Dinsdale of Barrow-in-Furness for his technical excellence and for his firm northern mentoring of my soft southern behaviour. And also for his ability to consume his own body weight in guinness.

I admire Richie Elliot of Templegate dojo for being my friend. It cannot be easy.
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Old 10-29-2004, 08:00 AM   #19
Martin Ruedas
 
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Re: Who is your favorite aikidoka?

the Ueshiba's
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Old 10-29-2004, 11:02 AM   #20
Fausto
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Re: Who is your favorite aikidoka?

From what I have seen on video it would be Hirokazu Kobayashi Sensei (he looks powerfull, elegant and precise) and Hiroshi Isoyama I like his explosive Aikido.

And from the ones I have had the pleasure to meet I must say Giampiero Savegnago Sensei...... even if he has no left leg he is amazing he is as fast as a lightning, powerfull, elegant, precise and he is so funny he is great!.
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Old 10-29-2004, 11:20 AM   #21
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Re: Who is your favorite aikidoka?

For me, it`s Nakao Shingo Sensei. I`ve met and trained with many high level Sensei who have all been good, but none have been as warm and generous to me personally as Nakao Sensei, although Nojima Masao Sensei is a close second.

rgds

Bryan

A difficult problem is easily solved by asking yourself the question, "Just how would the Lone Ranger handle this?"
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Old 10-29-2004, 12:22 PM   #22
MitchMZ
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Re: Who is your favorite aikidoka?

Without a doubt, Tissier Sensei. I really like his style a lot and one of my instructors has told me a ton of cool stories about training with him. I would really like to train with him someday! His applications of irimi nage are really cool to watch.
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Old 10-29-2004, 07:53 PM   #23
MaryKaye
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Re: Who is your favorite aikidoka?

I'm going to take the question a different way--I've gotten to train with some truly great sensei, but the person who deserves the most thanks for my practice of aikido is a fellow student, Fred Bonde, who successfully took his shodan test a couple of weeks ago.

He's the person who kept trying to figure out why I couldn't forward roll, after five long months of repeating the beginner's class and continuing to fall over sideways every time. He finally discovered how to get me to do it--literally in the ten minutes between the first and second class of the evening--and he was just as excited as I was. (And he got a lot of admiration from the people who had come to the first class and watched me fail to roll, and then came to the second and discovered I could do it!)

He was also the one who threw me into a full-speed roll for the first time, and that was the moment that truly hooked me on aikido.

And he didn't tell me until a year later that everyone in the dojo had been convinced I was going to quit. "That older woman beginner...Isn't it sad, she just can't learn to roll....Why do you think she's still here?" He didn't give up. If he had, maybe I would have, and I wouldn't be here now.

The other great thing Fred did for me is break me of using my age as an excuse. When I started, I thought 39 was awfully old; one day I said so to Fred, and he pointed out mildly that he was 60. (He started training at 51 and got his shodan at 61.) So, my joints aren't very flexible, and I spend a lot of time panting while the younger people train, but that didn't stop him, did it? So I shut up about my age, and that did my training a world of good. I want to look like that when I'm 60!

I'm unlikely ever to be a great sensei, but if I can help out another student half as much as Fred helped me I'll be content.

Mary Kaye
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Old 10-31-2004, 02:01 PM   #24
Dan Gould
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Re: Who is your favorite aikidoka?

God, I feel like such a newbie :-$ I only know of Steven Seagal :-s
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Old 11-01-2004, 01:00 AM   #25
Bronson
 
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Re: Who is your favorite aikidoka?

An eleven year old girl in my class. Her face shines with joy during aikido training.

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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