I’d like to take you back to the Los Angeles Aikikai in 1965, to the month of August, to be exact. There was an air of excitement because Koichi Tohei Sensei–then Chief Instructor of the Aikikai Hombu Dojo–was soon scheduled to arrive in town. The dojo was bustling with activity and a large number of students were preparing themselves for kyu and dan tests in front of this great master.
I was scheduled to take my shodan test along with a number of fellow students, not only from the LA dojo, but from all over the region including quite a few from out of state. There was a palpable feeling of anticipation since many, including myself, were seeing Tohei Sensei for the first time.