While watching Asai Sensei and his amazing demonstration of waza in my last note, I was reminded of another master whose movements I admired many decades ago. No, he wasn’t another karate sensei – he was a long-time instructor in a certain flavor of Aikido. Previously, I’ve shared links to video of Aikido Founder Ueshiba and one of his top disciples, Tohei Sensei. They taught what could be called more classical Aikido, which was what I trained in as a teenager. However, we young students were aware of another Aikido system with a reputation for being a faster, more dynamic version of the art that included atemi (striking technique). The creator and chief instructor were one of the Founder’s earliest and highest-ranking disciples, Gozo Shioda.
His movements (spinning, ducking low, side-stepping) during the randori (multiple-attacker drills) were quick, spontaneous, and often initiated with a strike to the opponent’s neck or temple. Some of you may note a similarity to Asai Sensei’s movements. There was a sense of realism in Shioda Sensei’s form of Aikido. He was also an alumnus of Takushoku University where so many of the JKA pioneers matriculated. At the very least, you might enjoy the rousing soundtrack that they use during the randori 🙂.