One day, in the dojo, Noro Masamichi sensei said: “Excuse me.”
It was a turning point, I immediately recognise the importance of the moment. A master does not say to his students “Excuse me”.
He went on: “You are my students but now I have to care for my son.” In his mind, transmission of a traditional martial art is through the family. He often talked about his vision of transmission. So when he came to pass away, it was clear in my mind that his son Takeharu would become the next headmaster of Kinomichi.
I used to answer when questioned about the future of Kinomichi that I foresaw that Takeharu would continue learning with Asai sensei after the passing of his father. It was obvious to me that Asai sensei always kept in his heart the teaching of Noro Masamichi sensei.
The generosity of Noro sensei was such that many learned from him, students as well masters. Today I write about his successor on my Ringenkai Aikido website because there is room for many understandings and teachings within the art of Noro sensei. And the one teaching in his heart was that “transmission is within family” and that “all my students are family.” If it may not be reality, it was indeed his wish. Within the family of students, I build with my students the Ringenkai, the School of the Eye of the Wheel. Within this family, I recognise the wish of the father and Noro Takeharu sensei as his successor. I am also glad that Asai sensei shares my understanding because I know for sure that Asai sensei would never betray his master and friend, Noro Masamichi sensei.
“We are brothers under the same sky” is a Chinese proverb. Aiki has its root in this saying.
I once wondered how some great cultures came to recoil inside their borders, becoming the shadow of their long past glory. I understood that they lacked strength in the belief of their own strength. Going down that path, they fell into becoming afraid of sharing what they had left, thus becoming even weaker. I feel that there is great strength in the teaching of the Otomo, the Serving Disciple, the one Ueshiba Morihei sensei choose among other masters as great as Tamura sensei or Kobayashi sensei. Such great strength should not be kept for one alone.
Please learn more about Noro Takeharu sensei who endorses the transmission of Kinomichi, supported by Asai sensei. His energy is different from mine, yet we share the same master.
One master, one inspiration to many.