Aikido Kobayashi Dojo

Aikido, My Way.

Part 5 Ueshiba Sensei and Mifune Sensei

One of my pleasantest memories from this period is of having a meal with O-Sensei and Judo’ Kyuzo Mifune Sensei. It was about 1958 or 59 at the house of Saburo Sugiyama, who was the president of Sugiyama Contruction, had a judo dojo, and was also a regent of the Aikikai. He invited both of these famous men, and both agreed to come. Through the discernment of both of these men, a strict yet calm atmosphere prevailed for those of us who had chosen our paths; we were all extremely appreciative and took turns serving them sake.

I don’t remember much about the discussion except that Mifune Sensei expressed the Judo philosophy “If pushed, pull'if pulled, push.” But O-Sensei commented after that, “If pulled, turn," summing up in a phrase containing a flash of brilliant insight, it seemed.

When I went to the Kodokan, I watched Mifune Sensei’s practice many times. He was a man of very short stature, but I observed him use the so-called “air throw” to throw people. It didn’ require strength; rather, timing was the essence, I felt. The conversation between Morihei Ueshiba Sensei and Kyuzo Mifune Sensei was historical and priceless; it is truly regrettable that there are no photographs remaining.

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