Read Chris Li’s Aikido Sangenkai blog entry, Finding Aiki – and Aikido – in Hawaii.
Chris’ blog is a great read. He is a professional translator and has trained in Japanese martial arts since 1981. He has actively been researching internal power and aiki which has lead him to retranslate many works within the context of these concepts. Some of these translations are published on his blog.
You might recognize some of the names mentioned in the article and the reference material. Yup, that’s our Bernie Lau, founder of Icho Ryu. Seattle School of Aikido is home to Icho Ryu hombu dojo, lead by Chief Instructor Neil Yamamoto.
Bernie trained with Koichi Tohei and became the first haole to train in aikido in Hawaii. His shodan and nidan certificates were awarded in Japan and signed by Morihei Ueshiba, the founder of aikido. Bernie played a significant part in Stanley Pranin’s research which conclusively showed that Daito-ryu Aiki-jujutsu was the parent art of Aikido, a fact long downplayed by the Aikikai. Bernie’s budo is ever changing and developing, sometimes by practical necessity, other times shaped by life events.
Meyer Goo was one of Bernie’s training partners and has had a pretty storied martial arts career himself. I’m told by friends that even at age 90, he’s a force to be reckoned with. His comments about Dan Harden are thought provoking and provocative. Some of us have met Dan and his power and aiki are undeniable.
Goo Sensei talking to Dan – “Thank you, I never thought that I would feel Ueshiba Sensei’s power again. What you are doing is very important.”