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During the first Aiki Expo held in Las Vegas in 2002, a fascinating interview among Kyoichi Inoue of Yoshinkan Aikido, Katsuyuki Kondo of Daito-ryu aikijujutsu, and Kenji Ushiro of Shindo-ryu Karate took place. Aikido Journal editor Stanley Pranin also participated:
I found the Americans and others gathered here very easy to work with, and many I thought were very skilled martial artists, too. Also, in Japan there are always vertical or hierarchical relationships, but people here in the U.S. don’t seem to worry so much about that sort of thing. Also unlike Japan, people here necessarily have strong concerns about their personal safety, and consequently they’re very serious about their budo studies. I think that’s probably one thing that contributes to the surprisingly high level of skill I’ve seen here. I was also very impressed to see so many truly skillful demonstrations by the various instructors gathered here at the Expo.
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