The great masters: Akira Tohei Sensei (Part 2)

What his students say about him:

“We, his students, will remember Sensei first for his generosity. Sensei was so very generous with his time, knowledge and teaching. Few of us can appreciate the generosity involved in Sensei leaving his home country to be with us in the United States for the last 27 years, and sometimes we took it for granted.

Not only did Sensei come to the United States, but he also accepted an immense time commitment by visiting regularly each Midwest dojo, regardless of the number of members practicing. For many years this took Sensei away from home and family more than 35 weekends each year.

Yet Sensei never complained. Quite the contrary, Sensei took his commitment to disseminating Aikido very seriously and recognized that there was no substitute for personal time spent at each dojo and with each dojo member.

Though today many consider time and money synonymous, there was never a question of whether Sensei would be paid for his visits, for as we students came to realize, there could never be enough money to compensate for his experience and teachings.

Accordingly, we each gave to Sensei from our heart and took inspiration from him to rededicate ourselves to the practice of Aikido. By example, Sensei showed us that money paled in importance to true Aikido feeling.

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