“When he walked onto the mat he carried an undeniable authority which had nothing to do with rank or position”
This is Part 1 of the first publicly available video featuring famous Aikikai Hombu Dojo instructor, Seigo Yamaguchi. The video was taken at a large seminar in Paris, France hosted by Christian Tissier in 1987. Yamaguchi Sensei, 8th dan, was one of the most important of the first generation of aikido instructors of the postwar era. He taught at the Aikikai Hombu Dojo in Tokyo for several decades until his passing in 1996. Having now become nearly a legend, Yamaguchi Sensei influenced several generations of practitioners within the Aikikai system during his career including many of today’s senior instructors of the Headquarters school.
Yamaguchi Sensei’s aikido had a unique flavor that was appealing to thousands of aikidoka who came into contact with him during his long teaching career. His style was characterized by a powerful, spontaneous technique adapted freely to rapidly changing circumstances. His movements ranging from soft to explosive must be seen to be appreciated. The present video represents a rare look at Yamaguchi Sensei in his prime during a seminar held in Paris, France in 1987. Now aikido practitioners everywhere will have an opportunity to experience his instruction and superlative technique for the first time ever!
This invaluable program is available with complete subtitles in English for greater accessibility to an international audience.
Yamaguchi Sensei was, in the eyes of most of the second-generation shihan, a genius of Budo. He was an artist but also a man of deep philosophy and conviction. He followed no strict religious beliefs, yet was quite a student of Lao Tsu and the philosophy of yin and yang. His love for the sword, along with his worldview and philosophy seemed to be what formed his unique understanding and precise technique. Watching his aikido you could clearly see the precision and beauty of sword. He never gave much emphasis to repetition but rather said one should be in the moment and focus on each singular movement as if it was the only thing in existence.
In the dojo Yamaguchi Sensei always looked like a giant. His ki seemed to extend everywhere. When he walked onto the mat he carried an undeniable authority which had nothing to do with rank or position. His authority came from his own self-knowledge and lack of presumption. — William Gleason, from My Experience with Seigo Yamaguchi Sensei
File size: 499 mb
Frame size: 720 x 480