The great masters: Yoshimitsu Yamada Sensei (Part 5)

Find the first part here.

Find the second part here.

Find the third part here.

Find the fourth part here.

Such great involvement in the realization of a mission, he was sent with to the USA, began producing effects. When the situation of the NY dojo became stable, aikido more popular, and the individual dojo were operating effectively, came the time to establish an organization, in order to formalize and specify the cooperation at an administrative level. So in 1968 the United States Aikido Federation (USAF) was created. This was the result of cooperation between the teachers delegated by Hombu Dojo to the USA. It is the largest such organization in Northern America.

The visa problems ended in 1972. Sensei Yamada started using intensively his acquired freedom in travelling reaching out to the need of promoting aikido outside the United States. One of the first foreign trips was on Sensei Tamura’s invitation to France in 1973.

The eighties are a period of relative stabilization. Two decades after the establishment of dojo in USA, in 1984 there was a big summer camp, with aikido Doshu Kisshomaru Ueshiba. This proof of appreciation was an incentive towards more effortful work. Sensei travelled more and more, and in 1992 he invited to cooperation Seichi Sugano Sensei. His friend from the Hombu Dojo times joined New York Aikikai, giving the school a unique rank. The New York dojo is the only school in the world, in which two direct students of O-Sensei teach simultaneously.

Sensei Yamada reminisces that only after 20 years he began seeing the results of his work. The first 10 years he devoted to the New York school, and the next 10 years to the development of aikido in the Eastern Seaside. He claims that thanks to the difficulties and problems he encountered in his way, he became more mature. Being fifty years old he even started accepting the fact that people call him “Sensei”. Earlier he used to ask himself the question: “have I earned the right for people to call me that?”.

Yoshimitsu Yamada spent at Hombu Dojo about seven years. Since that time the set of the taught techniques has been subjected to significant changes, and aikido itself is a slightly different martial art that the one the first uchi-deshi of Morihei Ueshiba were taught. Despite this evolution, Sensei Yamada tries to pass on the things he had learned in that time. Orthodox in teaching, he teach the basic techniques, which he tries not to modify. He believes that solid foundations are necessary for proper development. He is an enthusiast of intensive training as the means for both physical and spiritual development. He does not oppose hard trainings, according to budo spirit, however he does not excuse brutality or stupidity on the mat. He still travels intensively, visiting almost all the continents in the world. He is the Chairman of American Aikido Federation and the South American Aikido Federation and also Aikikai of Australia. He is the author of several books and DVDs on aikido.

When asked about the things he is most proud of, Sensei Yamada list the following: his own dojo, the fact that he contributed to development of aikido in the world and that he helped many people in becoming great aikido teachers.

And dreams? Buy some land somewhere near New York and create a dojo like Iwama during its best years. Have several uchi-deshi and continue the trainings.

Source: Facebook/Aikido

Leave a Reply

History of Karate

Karate (空手) (/kəˈrɑːti/; Japanese pronunciation: [kaɾate] (About this soundlisten); Okinawan pronunciation: [kaɽati]) is a martial

Read More..