21st November 2011
I have just returned from attending a seminar in Saint Petersburg hosted by the Genbukan Dojo (www.genbukan-aikido.ru) which was under the direction of Inoue Koichi Hanshi (10th Dan, www.shinwakan.jp), Takashima Saburo Sensei with myself as guest instructor.
Thank you Igor Rogov Sensei for organizing this great seminar.
I would like to thank the members of the Misogikan who supported this seminar and to reiterate the words of Inoue Hanshi spoken both on and off tatami.
“David you can be proud of your students who show the highest level of Dojo Etiquette, Zanshin and understanding of Aikido protocol, where ever I go I can immediately see which students are from the Misogikan “.
As always it was great to see Inoue Hanshi again and also of course having the privilege to be able to teach one session, a daunting challenge when the great master sits on the edge of the tatami watching however this in itself was rewarding to me because I learnt something about myself and my Aikido in that after the session Inoue Hanshi said to me “David that was good and now I see the your Aikido has changed it has become simple and true before your techniques were very flashy“. What he was saying to me I believe is that when we are trying to learn or teach Aikido we focus too much on technique and try to learn too many techniques without focus on the Kihon within technique. We learn many moves but often don’t really follow the underlying principle or Aiki of the move and we continue the practice mistakes and bad habits which are difficult to correct particularly if we already hold rank in Aikido and are conceited enough to believe we know everything.
Where ever Inoue Hanshi goes in the world he is shown the highest of respect as is befitting his position in the Aikido world 10th Dan Hanshi (Grand Master) and people who know him and his way of teaching learn very much even from just listening to him. In the first session at Saint Petersburg for one hour the class was sitting in seiza which of course is difficult and many people found this uncomfortable, some with good training were able to sit correctly throughout this hour with ease. What people do not realize is that apart from Sensei talking about Aikido its many nuances, hints and tips on how to train correctly he is also assessing (testing) the students to see who understands Seiza, Zanshin and proper protocol etc., he learns from this the standard of the students and what he should teach. I also know from his comments to me that he was very surprised and upset to see several people laughing , talking and even joking when he was teaching or talking. I also had observed this and was very sad, this has never happened before when Master Inoue is teaching or talking.
However apart from this it was good to meet old students again and the party in the Chinese restaurant was great.