Attended the Honbu Dojo opening ceremony called "Kagami-biraki" -literally "opening the mirror" on Sunday at Yoshinkan Hinbu Dojo in Ochiai. There were many famous teachers there including Chida-sensei, Chino-sensei, and of course Inoue-kancho.
It was a short demo, about 1 hour, and narrated by Chida-sensei. There were about 6 separate demonstrations, and a lecture by Inoue-kancho.
Notably, Chino-sensei's movement. Thompson-sensei described him like a "pocket battleship". He shows incredible energy on the mats, and he is the most dynamic I have seen. There is very strong intent in his movements, and he has no hesitation at all. He just goes full speed full time. And yet he always seems to have total control. Amazing. His Aikido has it all. Grace, Power, Energy, and Willpower. Maybe I can be like that in about a thousand years. After watching him, I continue to think of how important it is to be dynamic in my life. It is my goal that my martial arts training make me "more alive", more dynamic than otherwise, and better able to be a vital part of the world - specifically the lives of the people I share it with. This seems in keeping with Yamada-kaicho's opening address which was that Yoshinkan training aims to "give young people strength and help them contribute to society". Chino-sensei is a great example of that.
Chida-sensei was dynamic as well, just as on the DVD of him I have. He is effortless, and very focused. I wish I could have seen him do shomen-uchi shomen iriminage, to see the "spin" that Micahel-sensei talks about. Maybe next time.
Inoue-kancho's presentation hit the other point I want to mention here - Timing. He showed lots of examples of how the timing made the difference in the effectiveness of the technique. In essence, the timing was the technique. It is not just "right action", but "right action at the right moment". This is the AI of aikido; which is finding the harmony of motion between yourself and uke, and manifesting "right action" within that harmony. That's the Magic.
Since then, I have been thinking constantly about these things. Maybe this year will have the same breakthrough for me that I saw in Chris last year. The moment when the light bulb turns on, and you can bring together all the things which you have learned. When it starts to be a natural extension of who you are. After that, we must train hard to have that in every moment.
See you on the mats. Osu!