We all wonder, how good is our sensei?
Especially in an art like Aikido where there are no medals to prove, no champion to brag about.
Sometimes when we practice with our Sensei, we invariably fell for the ‘charity’fall mode. Our senseis has faults too as they are not perfect.
So what does it mean when i ask how good is your sensei. and how good is my sensei, then?
You see, Aikido, is not really in its purest form a fighting art, sure there are aspects of it that is suitable for fighting, but like what Harry sensei says, if you have to fight, you’ve already lost.
So Aikido in its broadest sense, is a way of life, a kind of direction for living. and the sensei who is able to teach that in its broadest sense, is by far the most accomplished.
I had a sense of this experience during my trip to Hong Kong to attend Hong Kong Aikido Association’s 40th Anniversary. There was a hosts of Shihans giving lessons, including Harry sensei, who gave a class on Friday.
Then there was Yamada sensei, who took the last class for Saturday. He was showing us a kokyu nage technique and the roll of his palms seems strikingly familiar. The eureka! strucked. Harry sensei has taught me that before!
Then Yamada sensei showed a ushiro ryotetori technique, and again! it was something that Harry sensei has showed us sometime back.
Harry senei has taught me ‘world-proof’ Aikido.
In his curriculum, he taught me a wide and far ranging style of Aikido. Wide and far in a sense of the universality of the approach. Sure he has is own interpretations as to how this should be done, and how his bias will cloud him and his judgement. Which is why he trained so hard, and so long, to make sure that what he learned is rigorously polished and refined. He never stop asking himself if this was the absolute best way to move? And test his technique again, and again and again. He is improving on his perfection by aligning his practice and life with the already perfect and universal wisdom of life.
So how can i not be happy and smile the way i do when i am training with him? I liken my emotions as pure happiness, when i am training with him. You’d be happy too if you can find universal happiness, world proof happiness.