Studying to the bone and the marrow

DSCF0985Old beech tree in April. Photography by Nguyen Thanh Thiên © 2017

It has been 1 year since I created Ringenkai Aikido. As I said before, this was not my prime intention. I have to study, this is my urge. Still, this kept me with a feeling of an unfulfilled duty. I was sensing a slow, unavoidable, sure coming loss. The teaching of my master as I had witnessed it was fading away, in the eyes of my student, in those of the public and day by day in my own eyes. I have worked on these lessons tirelessly yet each tide was nibbling some sand, some stones, some chunk of black earth. I had sensed the direction my master was working at, his eyes set upon his master’s achievement, Ueshiba Morihei sensei’s Aikido. So I had to pull out of darkness this teaching, this path, this way of doing Aikido. I understood this direction had to be given a name so it would live in the dojo, in the class I give, in the lesson my students study. I  found a name to guide me: it would be Ringenkai Aikido, Aikido of the school of the eye of the wheel.

Since then, I have bound together the 30 years I spent studying Noro sensei’s art. I have also dug deep into his lessons. I have found surprising aspects that I had been walking by not noticing such treasures. Now I am in the time of sharing. In the next years, starting now, I will unroll the entire technical curriculum of Noro sensei as they are understood in my school. I will also share the insights it has brought to my mind and body. The inner and outer aspects of the art stand within these manners, one of the meaning of do or tao in Chinese.

At the beginning of my teaching period, I started on the project of teaching the whole curriculum I had received. It took me 15 years to go through. All that was given to me I share it with my students. I expect it will take me the next 10 years to go through a second round. To those who wish to share such moments with my students and me, you are most welcome to join us and unfold these lessons, from start to end.

For me, this means acknowledging a debt one owes one’s masters. Noro Masamichi sensei once said of Tohei Koichi sensei: “He is a genius among geniuses.” I feel that I have in turn to acknowledge the genius of Noro sensei and I will do it by unfolding his lessons.


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