Wednesday, August 22 Training

Gozo Shioda Sensei (1915-1994).

This is the first full night class in a while, which I always appreciate. There’s something about night classes where you’re coming back from work or wherever you were during the day and you arrive to see people wishing to improve themselves in a holistic way that is much bigger than just getting a better job, lifestyle, persona, or whatever.

In yesterday’s case, it turned out that all of the adults of the dojo were in attendance. A rare occurrence because everyone have different schedules. Anyway, I felt that this day was an exciting one since everyone was there at one point or another. A rundown of what went down.

– There was a Gozo Shioda (塩田 剛三) talk that my Sensei brought up. Shioda Sensei for those of you who don’t know, was the creator of Yoshinkan Aikido. Dubbed the “hard-style” Aikido, Shioda Sensei was one of the pre-war (World War 2) students of Morihei Ueshiba O’Sensei whose training is characterized as “hard”. I’ve forgotten the occasion as to why he was brought up, but JWS mentioned a story between O’Sensei and Shioda Sensei; the story was that after WW2 Shioda Sensei even though he had already created Yoshinkan still came to O’Sensei for occasion one-on-one trainings. Of these training Shioda Sensei came with an interesting observation according to JWS: O’Sensei chose to be soft in his martial art. The reason being according to Shioda Sensei is because O’Sensei could really break people – physically and mentally. He just chose not to apply that to his martial art. My Sensei continues this train of thought by asking us (the class) to reexamine what “hard style” and “soft style” really means.

I will probably touch up on this sooner or later, whenever I have time. But this was a very interesting topic to touch upon.

Uked for a bit. JWS is really, really heading in the “Here and now” direction these past few weeks. Yesterday I heard the ol’ saying “there is no past, there is no future, there is only the here and now”. Spent a good first 1/4 of the class focusing on that aspect. I think he was emphasizing that you shouldn’t go by the memory of the technique , but rather just allowing the “here and now” to determine the flow and timing of the technique.

JWS also touched up on the “floating bridge of heaven” once more. It seems like all of these is all connected somehow, but at this stage I am but a young grasshopper trying to avoid the birds trying to feed on me! What I do lean towards now is the explanation that the difference between “hard style” and “soft style” could just be something else? It sounds like there is no such thing as “hard” and “soft”.

I guess I will have to find out myself. Till next time!

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