Everything that I can ever need in my martial arts training, I get it from Harry sensei. Technically, in my biased opinion, he has no equal in Singapore, the way he moves his uke at ease, and how he relates his Aikido to life. Not a lot of sensei, holding on to a 6th dan title will readily admits to his flaws and mistakes.
Anyway, at this age, he is still evolving and learning, just when you thought that you have seen it all, he pulled something else out and surprises you, that is his depth. No matter what you throw at him, he is somehow able to deal with.
He constantly tells us not to be aggressive, and of late, he is starting to tell us to relate Aikido to life. Well he has been saying that all along, and perhaps, my own bias blinded me to his message.
His Aikido movement is breaking down slowly, and of late, becoming more natural, as you don’t really see a stance, and he keeps empahsising on natural movement, and nothing exaggerated. (Although he does at times, tells us to overcompensate for some movements.) How he showed us Shihonage is a simple friendly wave of the hand at a friend far away. His movement is becoming freer and freer, and no matter how tight we hold onto him, we simply cannot hold him.
He is able to connect to us just like that, he could adjust his centre by a nano-fraction and you’ll do his bidding. He is powerful without being manipulative. He is not making you go where he wants you to go, he does not manipulate you to do his bidding, he is able to allow himself to become a medium for the both of us to do a bidding which is far superior than that of mine and his. In short he is able to appeal to our higher cause which is universal, which he has been able to tap into.
And when he connects with us, his hands feels supremely heavy, if he wants you down on your knees, you will, not because he forces you to, but because you’ll realise that on your knees is the most economical posture. you don’t feel a sense of belittlement at all, as you’ll come to that natural decision that it is better to be on the knees, because his hands are so damned heavy to hold standing.
As much as i am curious about other martial arts, i’m never quite drawn away because Harry sensei is constantly able to learn and make adjustments, the ol’ man has still a good many tricks under his sleeves!