dinsdag 28 januari 2014

Teachings of Tamura sensei

Tamura sensei as Uke

Around 1980 I went to an Aikido seminar with Tamura sensei as the teacher. I was much impressed by what he did. But at first I did not really comprehend what Tamura sensei was teaching.  Or rather, I did not understand what he expected me to practice.  He would show a technique three, four times, but  the technique would look different every time.  So which one should you practice ? 
By taking classes from Yamada sensei in the following seasons I started to see what Tamura  sensei was really teaching.  Yamada sensei would teach techniques that had a particular sequence,  a particular rythm,  a specific form.  In practicing the techniques Aite had to learn to respond in a specific way to fit the technique.  In other words, Aite had to learn ukemi to complete the form of the technique.  This is the way that most Aikikai Aikido schools nowadays teach Aikido.  In fact, the form of the basic techniques seem  even more fixed then they ever were.  This was however never the case with Tamura sensei; his technique was a response on what Aite offered him.  And Aite changed the amount of force, speed of the intent of the attack every time he attacked. That is why Tamura sensei’s techniques  looked different every time !
While training in a fixed form can be a good teaching-tool to a certain extend, if that is all that there is to it than Aikido has become a restricted version of Budo as O Sensei originally meant it to be.  An endless repetition of kihon waza (basic forms or techniques) will not lead to an understanding of the path of Aiki – for that one has to discover within oneselves the way to intuit the intention of the opponent.  Or as the founder of Aikido would say understand how to resonate with the other.

In this text Tamura sensei explains some of his thoughts on Aikido:

Aikido is an individual journey.
I avoid trying to sell it .
It is sufficient to just do it and to sense it.  If you do not sense it you will not understand.
If you think too much you separate your spirit and body.
Aikido brings together, gathers.
We teach what we learned in Japan, but there is more than one way to understand what you have learned.
In Japan , teachers do not explain anything if you have not understood by watching. One cannot understand through what is being said.
In life, if you want something you seek.
I want you to appreciate the practice. But nobody can make you enjoy the process. You have to choose yourself to gain from it. You must first change your heart.
Everything in life needs a center. You must place a center somewhere.
In our body , the Seika Tanden , just below our belly is our center.
A Center is strong. It is immobile. With a strong center the rest can move freely.
I practice Aikido because it keeps me healthy , an old man must stay healthy .
If you found Aikido , I would like you to continue . But it is not up to me. It is up to you.
Ultimately , it is your Aikido. What I am doing or thinking does not matter.

L'aïkido est un voyage individuel .
J'évite d'essayer de le vendre.
Il suffit de faire et le sentir , si vous n'avez pas le sentir vous ne pouvez pas comprendre
Si vous pensez que trop vous séparez votre esprit et votre corps
Aikido les rassemble
Nous enseignons ce que nous avons appris au Japon , mais il ya plus d'une façon d'apprendre ce que vous savez
Au Japon , les enseignants don t expliquer disent-ils, si vous ne comprenez pas en regardant . Vous ne comprendrez pas être dit.
Dans la vie , si vous voulez quelque chose que vous rechercher.
Je veux que vous apprécierez la pratique Mais personne ne peut vous faire profiter du processus . Vous devez choisir d'en profiter. Vous devez d'abord changer votre cœur .
Tout dans la vie a besoin d'un centre . Vous devez placer un centre quelque part.
Dans notre corps , theseika tanden , juste en dessous de notre ventre , est notre centre .
Un centre est forte . Il est immobile . Avec un centre fort le reste peut se déplacer librement
Je Pratique Aïkido parce qu'il me tient en bonne santé, un vieil homme doit rester en bonne santé .
Si vous avez trouvé l'Aïkido , je voudrais que vous continuiez . Mais ce n'est pas à moi . Itsup à vous.
En fin de compte , c'est votre Aïkido . Qu'est-ce que je fais ou réflexion n'a pas d'importance .

8ème Dan Shihan

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