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A guiding teacher

by Friedrich Vortmüller

In 1966 when I first started to practice Judo, I had a trainer who was active in several kinds of Budo.

Almost every weekend we took courses, and in 1967 I started concentrating on aikido which was rather unusual in Germany at that time.

Then in 1968 I met Gerd Wischnewski during a course and I thought, »That's it!« His technique was so uncompromising, tough, and convincing. At the same time his harmonious movement fascinated me. During many courses he also told us about his training in Japan at O-Sensei's. He passed his knowledge on for us naturally and without glorification.

When Wischnewski retreated from active Budo I felt a general lack of orientation among the aikidoka. Only when, in 1981, I got in touch with Tendoryu Aikido in DJB again and met Shimizu Sensei, was I back on the right track. Since then I have seen in him the master to whom all the characteristics which are important to me in Aikido apply - in the techniques, in the philosophy, and in the personality of a guiding teacher. In his Dojo in Tokyo and during many courses with Shimizu Sensei I felt clearness, naturalness, frankness, determination, and the utmost authenticity.

Although I am not being an official and regular trainer anymore, it is for me a natural duty to pass on the knowledge that I received-from Shimizu Sensei and to practice in his spirit.

At the moment I am pleased that one of my former young schoolgirls, who is now teaching at Waseda University, has begun to practice Aikido again in Tokyo - naturally at Shimizu Sensei's Tendokan.