On 6/24, 25 I participated in AIKIDO Seminar organized by Fukushima Prefecture Aikido Federation and being conducted at Sukagawa Dojo by Seishiro Endo 8Dan AIKIKAI Shihan who studied directly under Aikido founder Morihei Ueshiba O-Sensei. Kaname Ariga 6Dan AIKIKAI Shihan was assisting him, as usual.
I was deeply touched by opening speech of Endo Sensei.
In the two-day Seminar Endo Sensei demonstrated and explained in detail his particular AIKIDO style of not using power, which he has been forming and polishing during 60 years of full dedication in AIKIDO. He taught us principles how to connect to a partner and how to move freely. I watched Sensei’s movements with eyes wide-open, trying not to blink. He told us “Please, try to do aiki”.
Aikidoists from different prefectures practiced with each other, changing partners. Although Endo Sensei’s techniques may look as simple and are based on natural body movements, they are not easy to perform for inexperienced practitioners. Endo Sensei and Ariga Sensei carefully watched the process moving among the participants, correcting mistakes and showing the best way to execute a technique. Everyone sweated a lot doing their best!
I was very lucky to experience Endo-Sensei’s nage (throw). His touch is light like a feather, yet he controls and throws you easily and effortlessly, as if he is just softly playing with a ball repeating “You see, I`m not doing anything”. But you cannot resist him at all, and you haven’t the slightest idea where that power comes from.
A warm humor from Endo Sensei during the workshop gave the event a friendly atmosphere. Endo Sensei treated the participants like a wise caring father and Ariga Sensei was like a kind supportive brother for everyone.
When my Aikido partner and I slowed down during the practice, I remember with gratitude Ariga Sensei saying with an open smile: “Genki wo dashite!” (Cheer up!)
I was very inspired by closing speech of Endo Sensei. He encouraged us to live consciously, to re-learn how to feel and understand ourselves and then our partners better, to be investigative and to always continue self-development on the way of becoming better akidokas and better human beings.
I greatly enjoyed the two days of Seminar and felt refreshed and energized after a 2-hour training each day.
A heartfelt thank you very much to Endo Sensei, Ariga Sensei, to the organizers of the event and to all the participants for this invaluable unforgettable experience!!
A special thank you very much to Kobiyama Sensei for making this my trip possible!!