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Building Bridges

by Anja Münchschwander

From O-Sensei M. Ueshiba, the founder of Aikido and teacher of Shimizu Sensei, we know that Aikido means principally building bridges between human beings. Our seminars with Shimizu Sensei over the past years have become more and more popular. The simple outward appearance and the silent interior which Shimizu Sensei demonstrates are always admired. Apart oi his impressive movements, his words give us a good idea of his Aikido philosophy.

In 1999, when Shimizu Sensei showed his Aikido for the first time in east Berlin, he compared the importance of the principles widi that of die very stable basis without which a house (or a bridge) may collapse.

If this basis becomes stronger inside the body through continuous practise, it will create a good relationship between body and mind. Every Aikidoka knows this.

My visit to Japan, to take trai­ning courses in the Tendokan was under the attentive eye of Shimizu Sensei and always will be in the future something special for me.

There, in the middle of the Japanese Aikidoka everyone including Shimizu Sensei was very friendly and easy with us, the gaijin. There was a good feeling, like being at home in the middle of that turbulent Tokyo city. All the nice and friendly contacts among the Aikidoka and their support of each other, helps us to build up bridges together in Europe and even to Japan. Hopefully Shimizu Sensei can teach us his va­luable experience for a very long time. And in this case, the way can never be too long.