Historical photo: “Kisaburo Osawa, 9th dan — Aikido’s éminence grise,” by Stanley Pranin

On one occasion in the 1980s, I had a difficult problem to solve involving my research that was tied to some of the publishing activities of the Hombu Dojo. The person requesting historical documents from me was a top European martial artist and a higher-up in the police system of his country. I could not ignore his request, but neither could I comply with it for reasons I don’t wish to go into now. The long and short of it is that I requested and was granted a meeting with Osawa Sensei to discuss my problem and decide how to proceed. It was the only time I was ever to have a conversation of any consequence with Osawa Sensei. His handling of the situation was utterly amazing and highly comical at the same time…

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