Dec
18

Best of the blogs: “A riddle and a mission”, by Ellis Amdur (December 2005)

In the recent republishing of Shimizu Kenji’s interview, he stated: When I was actively practicing there he often came and went. When he showed up everyone immediately sat down. At first, I thought that people were being courteous toward him. However, it wasn’t only that. It was also that the practices we were doing were different from what O-Sensei expected us to do. Once he lost his temper at us. No one realized that he had come and he shouted: “What you people are doing is not aikido.” His shout was so powerful it felt like the earth was trembling. He was then in his seventies but his voice nearly pierced our ear drums. Everybody just became quiet and looked gloomy.

Although contrary to the aikido spirit, it is at this time that I want to smack the interviewer upside the head (I love you, Stanley, but this was one of those moments!!!!!!). The next question that Shimizu sensei STILL needs to be asked is, “What did you mean by that? What were you guys not doing – what were the other shihan teaching you that was different? What did the old man want you to be doing? No, sensei don’t give us generalities about spirit and love and harmony. Details! Remember sensei, we are Americans. Our president has decided that we are allowed to use whatever means necessary to get the answers we need!”

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