Recollections of Ikeda Shihan’s Seminar at Aikido Shimboku Dojo
December 4-6, 2009
Contributed by Anoop Chengara, Aikido Shimboku Dojo
Photos by Mrs. Weyand
Aikido Shimboku Dojo, in Lake in the Hills, IL, was privileged to host a seminar by Ikeda Hiroshi Shihan from Dec 4 through 6, 2009. The seminar drew many people from various Aikido organizations to each session and turned out to be a memorable one for participants of all ranks and abilities.
In his demonstrations, Ikeda Sensei stressed the difference between movement and technique, emphasizing the need to connect with one’s partner before any sort of effective technique can happen. He demonstrated these concepts several ways – using a physical wave to unbalance uke, then using internal movement to accomplish the same goal, and finally showing the graduated effect of putting forth energy in such a way that uke simply can’t move.
Ikeda Sensei made a point to use many uke who were not familiar with his style so that we could see the effectiveness of his technique in real situations. He used children to demonstrate techniques on adults to prove that physical power is not important for success. He let us experience firsthand what he had to offer by circulating around the room and partnering with us, alternating serious instruction with funny examples and impersonations, keeping us alternately engrossed and in splits.
Another aspect that will remain with us was Ikeda Shihan’s accessibility and demeanor. He was very approachable off the mat and put us at ease in his company. He made it a point to invite questions and was open and direct with his answers. On a personal note, I had the privilege of helping make his visit to the dojo comfortable. He made this a joyous experience with his ready smile, graciousness and approachability. I will remember his kindness with gratitude and admiration.
ASD Instructor Michelle Tate said “We feel extremely fortunate to have had Ikeda Shihan come to our dojo and share with us as generously as he did. Ikeda Sensei mentioned the “opening of doors” throughout this weekend of training, and I definitely felt that happen. By opening up more, the potential for growth (both on and off the mats) is infinite”.