Recommended reading: “Interview with Shigemi Yonekawa (1)” by Stanley Pranin

The article below has been selected from the extensive archives of the Online Aikido Journal. We believe that an informed readership with knowledge of the history, techniques and philosophy of aikido is essential to the growth of the art and its adherence to the principles espoused by Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba.

I had previously studied Judo, but since this art appeared almost completely different from Judo, I mistakenly thought it would be a lot of fun. However, it turned out that I bit off more than I could chew. Before taking the seminar, I had some experience taking ukemi (breakfalls) in Judo. So at the seminar, I helped out and Sensei handled me with great ease. As a result, I became very interested and thought that this was something I’d really like to study. So when I asked what would be the best thing to do, I was told that the fastest way to learn would be to become an uchideshi (live-in disciple). Then I requested Mr. Akazawa’s help and he asked Sensei’s permission, and so I entered as an uchideshi.

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