When one chooses to study a Way, tao in Chinese or do in Japanese, one has to choose the master with great attention. In the same way, I choose carefully with whom I will climb a mountain. It is important to decide on which experience one will nourish one’s acts and thoughts, who will be the mountain guide, who will be the Aikido master.
One has to be certain that the knowledge of the path is reliable, that the guide knows the way through the thicket, among the chaos of rocks, the exact location of the ford.
One has also to make sure that characters may go on together well, that the pace of each will smooth together, that the abilities will respond to one another, building into a strong team.
One has to choose very carefully as one sets onto a long journey among tremendous trials.
I have met several masters. I always thought they were choosing me. I did not know I was choosing them too. In my feeling, I just stayed with whom seemed to answer my thirst of knowledge. It was also the other way round. I understand it today.
Water too has a thirst for the thirsty.
I went to Noro Masamichi sensei‘s dojo because I felt I was close to the source of Aikido, that he had drank its clear water which he might pass on to me. It is like when I approach the summit and I find, just below the summer snow, water springing from the cold ground. That was how studying with Noro Masamichi sensei was like.
Ringenkai Aikido comes down from this lineage, as a stream flows down from its spring.