The autumn leaves are falling like rain. Although my neighbors are all barbarians and you, you are a thousand miles away, there are always two cups at my table.

T’ang Dynasty poem

Ten thousand flowers in spring, the moon in autumn, a cool breeze in summer, snow in winter. If your mind isn't clouded by unnecessary things, this is the best season of your life.

~ Wu-men ~


Saturday, April 07, 2018

Three Masters of Japanese Martial Arts

In 1978, I was 20. I was studying Yoshinkai Aikido under Kushida Sensei.

I was marginally employed, attended all 9 classes that Kushida Sensei taught each week at the old Dexter and Davidson Dojo, as well as all four classes taught at the Wyandotte Dojo.

In 1978, Hidetaka Nishiyama, the master of Shotokan Karate visited the US. At the time, there was a very strong Shotokan community in the Detroit area and a large tournament was held to honor his visit.

Kushida and Nishiyama were good friends. Kushida took part in a demonstration at the karate tournament and Nishiyama in turn visited our dojo where the two of them regaled us with stories of when they were and up and coming martial arts students training under Gozo Shioda and Gichin Funakoshi respectively.

Below is a video of some of the demonstrations given at the tournament. The first section is Shojiro Sugiyama, the ranking Shotokan master in the Midwest, Takashi Kushida, my teacher and a master of Yoshinkan Aikido and Hidetaka Nishiyama.

The video is a little grainy and somewhat sped up due to the technology.

Notice that Kushida's ukes are taking ukemi on a wooden gym floor; no mats.

Also, the young boy taking ukemi is Akira Kushida, Kushida Sensei's son. He was about 10 at that time, making him about 50 now.

Kushida Sensei passed away in 2012 and Akira Sensei is now the head of the Aikido Yoshokai Association of North America, which was founded by his father.

This is how I remember Kushida Sensei.


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