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Thread: How many Aikidoka here have studied under Hikitsuchi Sensei?

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    Default How many Aikidoka here have studied under Hikitsuchi Sensei?

    I didn't want to hijack any of the other threads that mention Hikitsuchi Sensei, so I started a new one. I only got to study under Hikitsuchi for a year (08/89 thru 08/90) and wish I'd stayed longer. Any one else here study at the Kumano Juku Dojo? Anyone know who is heading up the school now that Sensei has passed on? I would assume Anno Sensei, but we all know where assumptions get us.
    Joe Cheavens

    Time flies like the wind.
    Fruit flies like bananas.

    Mushi mo atsui hodo
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    Default Kumano Juku Dojo

    Mr. Cheavens,

    I'm a fellow Shingu alum, and in fact was there just after you (91-93). That was my intro to aikido, but I didn't stay with it for long after my return to the States (I studied Okinawan karate before, and went back to it after for a variety of reasons), so I'm a bit out of the loop, although I still keep in touch with some friends of that era. As far as I know, Anno Sensei did take over, but I'm not too clear on this. I've read one U.S. aikido practitioner's post on another site that there was some political infighting after H. sensei's death, and that conditions and skill there went down hill...but from what I've been told otherwise, this view is tinged with more than just a bit of hyperbole (second and thirdhand gossip tends to get you to the same place that assumptions do). I'm sure, as with any dojo (especially one as storied as that one) this did occur to a degree, but I'm a big fan of Anno Sensei's, so I've got faith that things are doing well.
    (I'd love to hear from any current students over there, if any are reading).
    Just out of curiosity, did you know a guy named Scott Gray when you were there? A friend and I lost touch with him several years ago, and haven't been able to find him (even in this age of Google. Go figure), so any leads we can get...
    For a gaikokujin update: Clint George left in '92 to head up a dojo in Helena, Montana, and is still doing so. Jurg Steiner returned to Switzerland in the late nineties, and has a school there. Tim Detmer is, as far as I know, still in Shingu, and has probably now been there for over twenty years (he was always a really nice guy), so Clint's record has been surpassed. I don't know if you knew a guy from Cali named Ron Ayers, but he was a great support while I was there. There was also a woman named Sam (or Samantha) something-or-other, I can't remember. She was my predecessor on the JET Fiasco, er, JET "Program," and was from the North Bay area.
    Those are the folks I knew there who you might remember. As for the Shingu-ites, I'd be very interested to know of Noguchi-san, and Nishimoto-san (he might have been after your time, but I can't remember). The Shapiro girls are probably all growed up (actually, if you remember the youngest, Ai, she's now a folk-singer who has played some gigs in the States. That sort of blows my noggin'!).
    So, not too much solid information, but somewhat of an update. Hope it helps. Again, if anyone else can provide more info, it would be fun to hear about.

    Best,
    Murray McPherson

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    I too am a big fan of Anno-Sensei's and hope he's doing well. When Hikitsuchi-Sensei's health was off, either Anno-Sensei or Clint would teach the class. I'm sure the school will be in good hands with him.

    Thanks for the gaijin update. I've been in contact with Jurg and Clint in the last couple of years, and it was they who told me of Sensei's passing. When I left Shingu, Tim and his wife were planning on moving to Seatle, so I guess that never happened. Do they still live in that great old house between the train station and the river?

    I don't really know the other gaijin on your list, except for Smantha. She was my AET replacement. According to Jurg, she talked a lot of smack about me, which I can't really understand, since I only met her once. It must have been my winning personality.

    There were three other gaijin while I was studying there, as well. An Israeli, and Basque (Charlie) and an Australian. My mind is drawing a blank right now on their names. I'm sure if I go have some gyoza, karage and Sapporo ala the Rion, my memory may be jogged. Unfortunately, I don't know of any good robata in Austin.

    Did you also practice karate with the Aoyama-sensei in the Shingu-Koko Karate Club? I was pretty tight with Aoyama-sensei and Kamei-sensei.
    Joe Cheavens

    Time flies like the wind.
    Fruit flies like bananas.

    Mushi mo atsui hodo
    Mushiatsui

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    I visited Shingu on a very short trip about 10 years ago, a must-make stop on a month-long trip to see everything in Japan (ha!), since I had trained at North Bay Aikido when I began in Santa Cruz and had subsequently trained as I could with a number of Shingu students: seminars taught by Mary Heiny, a seminar or two where I worked with Clint George (who I originally met at North Bay when he was passing through in about 85), Lauren Herr, who trained at Bond Street Dojo when he was living in NY and also taught and trained at what was then the Columbia-Presbyterian Aikido Club.

    The night I trained at Shingu, although Hikitsuchi Sensei was there and we met, the first part of class was taught by one of his junior yudansha until Anno Sensei rolled in from Kumano following his children's class and proceeded to mop the mat with me quite thoroughly, thank you very much. Tim Dettmer was kind enough to put me up for an evening (THANKS TIM!), but circumstances dictated my return to Kyoto the next day.

    (Sidebar -- in Kyoto, I trained at Takahashi Sensei's tiny warehouse dojo. Takahashi Sensei was student of Tanaka Bansen and the differences between his technique and what I've experienced working with Iwama or Hombu or Shingu practitioners was as large as the apparent differences between those three lines. Any additional information that anyone could provide about Takahashi Sensei would be welcome!)

    Reports from the west coast are that Lauren has been sighted training at Aikido West recently and Linda Holliday continues as Chief Instructor of Aikido of Santa Cruz. Mary Heiny continues to teach seminars around the country, including classes at Bond Street Dojo and an evening here at NJIT last fall. Among those on the mat that night was Meik Skoss, another Shingu alumnus, although Meik's primary training interests, as is well known, are the koryu arts of Shindo Muso Ryu Jo, Yagyu Ryu Heiho, and Toda-ha Buko Ryu Naginatajutsu.

    A couple of years back, Ai Shapiro also trained for a stretch at Bond Street Dojo, prior to its 2005 move to a midtown location in Manhattan.

    We always welcome visiting aikidoka to train with us here at NJIT in Newark, and hope that if any wandering Shingu alumni find themselves in the neighborhood on a Tuesday or Thursday night, they'll do us the favor of a visit.

    Hope this helps,

    FL

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    Mr. Cheavens,

    No, I never met Aoyama Sensei. I balanced most of my time between learning Iai from Nambu Hiromitsu Sensei at the Hayatama jinja, and aikido at Kumano Juku. Coming from a karate background, I wanted to try something different while in Japan... As an aside, I didn't intend to study aikido at all; one of my vice principals asked me if I wanted to meet a kindly old aikido teacher one afternoon. Sure, says I. Next thing I know, I'm whisked off to Hikitsuchi Sensei's house for tea, and am in the dojo that night. Not exactly what I'd planned, but I figured I'd go with it. I really wish I'd taken advantage of some of the judo opportunities in the area, but overall I'm very satisfied with my experiences there.
    The Australian guy you met was probably Steve Laukes. It probably was if the Australian in question was about 6'3", surfed a lot, and had long, (often) highlighted hair. Steve was an interesting guy, and a bit of a bruiser.
    As regards your JET successor, I'll pm you.

    Mr. Little,

    Thanks for the update on the big guns. I didn't really go into detail with what I knew about any of them, because, beyond Mary Heiny, none of them ever entered into our (very limited) orbit in Shingu. They were just names on a nafuda kake who had come before (again, we relatively transient newbies operated from very limited perspective and experience). I learned more about most of them after I'd returned to the States, before I left the world of aikido. I remember we got a lot of "tourists" in any given month, and it could get overwhelming as to who was who (I can only wonder what the real long timers thought of us, breezing in and out after only a couple of years!). And it was also an often illuminating introduction to the varying factions and styles of aikido (Shingu, in my opinion, tended to see itself as the last bastion of "true" aikido, so, as with differing dojo in any style of budo, there was a good amount of parochialism in the air. Mea culpa). Mostly gentle gaijn souls from Honbu, every other one sporting a ponytail for some reason (didn't they know that the Stevie Segal wave was over?)
    Our concerns and anxieties as new gaijin generally focused themselves on what kind of mood "Henry" (the English codeword for Hikitsuchi S. at the time) was in when he walked through the door at keiko, trying to get a handle on the language, and how long we might have to sit in seiza during the monthly matsuri (the average was about forty or forty-five minutes when he got to preachin' the gospel. Now *that* could be seishin tanren...). I wouldn't say that the physical exertion at Kumano Juku was terribly strenuous, but there was always a palpable psychological tension there that was taxing in its own way. It was definitely Budo as representative of the Japanese socialization process, that's for certain.

    Best,
    Murray McPherson

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    Mr. McPherson,

    Yeah, it think Steve was the guy. Although he didn't surf when I was there. That must have been a relatively new thing for him, as were the hair highlights. If he had studied under Segal in Osaka before coming down to Shingu, then its definately the same guy.

    As for Aoyama-sensei, he was one of the English teachers at the high school that I worked with. He let me train with the Karate Club twice a week.

    Only 45 minutes in saiza? Clint did say that he was cutting those shorter, though, as he got older. Clint said they used to last three hours or more when he first got there. I had to sit through a few that were over two, but most were between one and one and a half, depending on how much energy Sensei had for lecturing. Of course, sitting in saiza on tatami mets was always a lot easier than on the wood floors outside his office waiting to bow out after class.
    Joe Cheavens

    Time flies like the wind.
    Fruit flies like bananas.

    Mushi mo atsui hodo
    Mushiatsui

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    Quote Originally Posted by TEA
    If he had studied under Segal in Osaka before coming down to Shingu, then its definately the same guy.
    Yup, that's him. Always a source of very amusing stories.

    Yes, I remember hearing that things got a little less demanding in terms of the matsuri, but it was enough for me at the time (I was a serious runner at the time, and was out of commission for a while due to a sprain I picked up after one of my first matsuri...getting up was always the killer).

    Where did Aoyama Sensei teach? I spent most of my time shuttling between Midorigaoka and Jonan, but also spent some time at Koyo and...okay, I can't remember the tiny mountain school that I really enjoyed. Of course it follows that was the one I was assigned to the least.
    Murray McPherson

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    Were you teaching high school or junior high? Aoyama-sensei taught at Shingu Koko, which is right at the base of the mountains on the north side of town right under the cliffs of Kamikura Jinja. Speaking of Kamikura Jinja, did you participate in the Oto Hi Matsuri? I've got a great picture somewhere of Steve, Charlie, Clint and I all dressed up for the festival standing outside the Kumano Juku Dojo just before heading off to start the tour through town to the Hayatama and that other jinja near Tim's house.

    As for standing up after the monthly matsuri, I feel your pain. Just thinking about it makes my legs go numb.
    Joe Cheavens

    Time flies like the wind.
    Fruit flies like bananas.

    Mushi mo atsui hodo
    Mushiatsui

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    Default I know some of these people!

    Wow. I stumbled across this page while searching for Tim Detmer's e-mail. It is incredible that a whole bunch of names I recognized popped up. (I lived in Shingu until 1990) I met Ai-chan a couple of years ago, and she seems to be doing fine; she was painting and working at a bakery in Shingu. My mom took Aikido from the sensei mentioned, I think. I'll ask her about it. I remember exactly where Jurg used to live (I go back to visit my dad every other year or so, so I guess remembering isn't as hard). Anyways, I just thought it was really cool that there's a blog about this!
    Toodles!
    Aya Furutani

    P.S. Tim still teaches English in Shingu and he even runs his own center for english classes. It's really impressive; the building is new, so it looks really nice.
    Last edited by Aya; 10th May 2006 at 18:55.

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    Furatani-san:

    Welcome to E-Budo.
    Joe Cheavens

    Time flies like the wind.
    Fruit flies like bananas.

    Mushi mo atsui hodo
    Mushiatsui

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    Default Mr. Charlie (basque) Trained With You In Shingu With Hikitsuchi

    Quote Originally Posted by TEA View Post
    I too am a big fan of Anno-Sensei's and hope he's doing well. When Hikitsuchi-Sensei's health was off, either Anno-Sensei or Clint would teach the class. I'm sure the school will be in good hands with him.

    Thanks for the gaijin update. I've been in contact with Jurg and Clint in the last couple of years, and it was they who told me of Sensei's passing. When I left Shingu, Tim and his wife were planning on moving to Seatle, so I guess that never happened. Do they still live in that great old house between the train station and the river?

    I don't really know the other gaijin on your list, except for Smantha. She was my AET replacement. According to Jurg, she talked a lot of smack about me, which I can't really understand, since I only met her once. It must have been my winning personality.

    There were three other gaijin while I was studying there, as well. An Israeli, and Basque (Charlie) and an Australian. My mind is drawing a blank right now on their names. I'm sure if I go have some gyoza, karage and Sapporo ala the Rion, my memory may be jogged. Unfortunately, I don't know of any good robata in Austin.

    Did you also practice karate with the Aoyama-sensei in the Shingu-Koko Karate Club? I was pretty tight with Aoyama-sensei and Kamei-sensei.

    Hello Mr. Joe Cheavens;

    My name is Fernando. I come from Spain, and I´m an aikidoka. My sensei was Mr. Charlie Diez (Basque) who trained with you in Shingu. He was in Shingu from 1983 to 1990.

    He told me that he met you, the Israeli and the Australian (Mr. Clan) and that he made for you a very good typical Spanish paella of Rice at House of the Israelid.

    Do you remember Mr Charlie?
    Do you have photos with him in Shingu?

    You can see our web of aikido in
    http: / / WWW.aikibudo.com in which you can see Charlie Sensei in photos and videos, and me. I'm to the front of the dojo, since Charlie is gone to live in Vietnam.

    You can write to: [email protected]

    If you have photos in Shingu, you can send me at:
    [email protected]

    Thanks.
    Last edited by P Goldsbury; 9th April 2010 at 11:44. Reason: Formatting; Removal of capitals.

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    Quote Originally Posted by aikidobudo View Post
    You can see our web of aikido in
    http: / / WWW.aikibudo.com in which you can see Charlie Sensei in photos and videos, and me.
    Just to correct my Spanish friend, Charlie Sensei's website is www.aikidobudo.com . Fernando's link will lead you to Allain Floquet's site
    Alejandro Villanueva.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Flintstone View Post
    Just to correct my Spanish friend, Charlie Sensei's website is www.aikidobudo.com . Fernando's link will lead you to Allain Floquet's site
    Hello Alejandro,

    Perhaps the four-year gap between posts has allowed rust to creep into the joints, so to speak.


    Best wishes,

    PAG
    Peter Goldsbury
    Hiroshima, Japan

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    Quote Originally Posted by P Goldsbury View Post
    Hello Alejandro,

    Perhaps the four-year gap between posts has allowed rust to creep into the joints, so to speak.


    Best wishes,

    PAG
    Wops! Didn't notice about the dates, Maestro. It keeps amazing me how you moderators manage to pay attention to those little details, while I never ever check the post dates... and oh do I try!

    Best regards,
    Alex.
    Alejandro Villanueva.


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