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As most who know me, the size and heavy body I carry is not the best for a demonstration. In the evenings we would get together and ask him questions, one asked what was O-Sensei like to him and I loved his answer, “He was like a Grandfather to me, I suppose like most grandfathers.” A splendid answer, I thought, as Aikido could not come into such a young child’s relationship. Moriteru Ueshiba stood before us and I remember, as if it was today, saying to others, “O-Sensei’s Aikido will be safe in his hands.” Even with all the opinions I offer on what works and does not, the Aikido of the Hombu dojo is a very sound workable art and all the Hombu dojo students I have trained with have all been likable and had good attitudes, which must be a main factor in any good dojo and organisation. We sometimes criticise others’ styles but in the end we all train and enjoy the art; there is no place for xenophobia or rivalry in whose style is best. If we can all follow such a man as the Doshu we will never go far wrong in how we should go into the world with our art. Whilst none of us will ever be O-Sensei, the Doshu’s Aikido and understanding of running such a huge worldwide organisation has and will need everyone’s help, and with this unity then, who knows, he could well be that person.

Training with the best To list the great Masters that I have trained with would seem pointless other than to polish my ego, so unless the name is important to convey a meaningful message to yourselves I will not name them and instead keep the list happily tucked away in my mind and remember those times when I think back later in life. In my early days with Sensei, travelling around the world, I would get the unique chance to physically train on the mat and meet with students who were directly trained by O-Sensei, some for a short time, months or a few years. Looking back I wish I had taken more time enjoying such an honour. Some are, like me, now too old to train constantly and some sadly have since passed away, but they all had something to give that you could take away to better your own Aikido. As the student in seiza, it always seems strange to look up at the teacher, they seem bigger, taller than off the mat plus they take on an air that fills the room and the thought in one’s head is that you would need a tank to beat them. Then, on a seminar, before you know who they are you might find you are training with them, just a normal Aikidoka. In my case I met and trained with a few top names without realising it; they looked different in street clothes. Many times in the changing room someone would ask me what it was like training with some named teacher, it was only then that I realised who I’d trained with. They always seemed to move on too quickly, they were trying to give; not like me, being greedy and wanting to continue the pairing.

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Takemusu Aikido: A Martial Artist's Journey of Discovery in Aikido  

A selection of pages from "Takemusu Aikido: A Martial Artist's Journey of Discovery in Aikido" by Tony Sargeant

Takemusu Aikido: A Martial Artist's Journey of Discovery in Aikido  

A selection of pages from "Takemusu Aikido: A Martial Artist's Journey of Discovery in Aikido" by Tony Sargeant

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