Podcast 25: Multiple Sensei on Inoue Kyoichi Hanshi edited excerpt
Apr 30, 2017
Darren Friend Sensei on Inoue Kyoichi Hanshi
DFS: Inoue Sensei is a touchstone to the past, a living treasure, if you like, of Yoshinkan Aikido. He was one of the very first students of Gozo Shioda, nd the whole system that is Yoshinkan Aikido that we know - the kihon dosa, the kihon waza - all of the systemised approach to training, we could pretty much pinpoint to Inoue Sensei’s influence as the Yoshinkan school developed in the 1950s and 1960s. The first time you feel his technique, you’ll just be amazed that it can be what it is. It’s very much the ‘Yoda experience’, and that’s because of all of the years of training that he has put in.
Joe Thambu Sensei on Inoue Kyoichi Hanshi
JTS: He is a wealth of knowledge in the Yoshinkan world and in the Aikido world. I’m coming up to my 46th year of Aikido and I still find that I’m learning every time I see the man, every time I talk to him, I find out things that… sometimes they don’t change what I do but I understand better what I do. And I think he’s showing me by his example and by his stories of the past, he’s helping me understand where I want to go. If someone like Inoue Sensei can inspire people, motivate people to do Aikido or to become a better person, then it was worth bringing him down [to Melbourne].
When Inoue Sensei comes down not only is he testing my students, he’s testing me as well. So I’m putting myself up for test, I’m putting my teaching up for test. I think Inoue Sensei has high expectations when he comes down here. But I think we can live up to it.
Mark Hadiarja Sensei on preparing for his 5th dan grading with Inoue Kancho
MHS: Truly, it’s an honour to be able to be graded by him. Mentally and physically, you gotta be prepared. Physically of course, but more mentally that when “hajime” [Is called], then, it’s on. And you just have to prepare that mentally all the time. Every time I train I always visualise myself as that’s the D-Day of the grading. And every time I step on the mats, I always visualise that. If you prepare yourself to the maximum, I think you’ll be OK on D-Day. It’s just about managing your nervousness. So every time I step on the mats, I give my hundred percent.
Enrica Cheung Sensei on preparing for her 5th dan grading with Inoue Kancho
ECS: It’s a lot of pressure to do really well. He’s the person who developed the kihon dosa, he knows Yoshinkan Aikido inside and out, and he can see everything that you’re doing right and everything else that you’re doing wrong. So, I feel like I’ve got a lot to live up to. I want to show him what I’ve learnt from my teacher and show him the best Aikido that I can do. I’d like to represent what is the essence of Aikido and Sensei Joe’s essence, and then show that in my grading. Mentally, just trying to go through my head sometimes some of the more tricky things that I’ve been working on, trying to visualise it or feel what it might feel like if I were to do it properly.
Fulori Smith Sensei on preparing for her 4th dan grading with Inoue Kancho
FSS: It’s an amazing honour to be able to test under such a legend and one of the only 10th dans around, and the only 10th dan who’s practising Yoshinkan style Aikido. It’s a great privilege but it’s also a lot of pressure, not only for myself but because my teacher is recommending me to test and putting me up as one of his students, one of his instructors, I’m representing him and what he’s producing as well. I started preparing quite a long time ago, probably nine months ago, not physically preparing but starting to think about what I wanted to show. So really making sure I knew what I wanted to work on, where I wanted to be, and starting to get myself there. I had to do a lot of mental work as well in preparing, especially because for a test like this you don’t really have your teacher pushing you, you have to push yourself.
Bart Lea Sensei on preparing for his 4th dan grading with Inoue Kancho
BLS: It’s like a once in a lifetime chance. Considering he’s the only 10th dan for Yoshinkan in the world, there’s nothing more to say, really, that’s the epitome. I’ve gotta train mentally when I’m away and train physically when I’m here, and try and put the pieces together in a different way. One of my favourite things is to go through the syllabus and mentally go through technique after technique, and question myself as in ‘why do I do this?’, ‘why is it like that?’, so I’ve got a better understanding of all the actual techniques in my mind, as well as physically doing them. Particularly trying to visualise the particular little details that differentiate some of the versions of a technique to another version. I keep going down my priority list and trying to make sure I haven’t left anything off that list. I think often it’s the confidence that is a big part of doing a good test. You have to feel like you’ve done enough so that you can feel confident when you do it, and not be doubting yourself.