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Creating Individuality

Kawaraban No. 39


by Kenji Shimizu

In July this year, one year after my operation, I went to Germany to teach. I was also able to conduct many conversations with my buddies, who had been worried because of my knee operation. The people from Tendōryu Aikidō are particularly close to me, therefore I knew that I was not to worry, even if I would come empty-handed. 20 years ago I went to Germany for the first time, and since then the exchange has been intensified, which is a great pleasure. I was also pleased to hear that my movements have improved considerably compared to the time before the operation.

This time again I had to take my hat off to the enthusiasm of the participating students. There were national students from Germany of course, students from distant America, Mexico, Slovenia and other non Western European countries. At the same time I swore to myself to restore quickly and completely the functionality of my knees to health again.

The seminar was divided into a first and a second week, and the participants differed respectively. Starting into the second week my legs felt a little strange as to be expected. The reason for this was the lacking phase of rest after the operation resulting in overexertion of the muscles and in protection of the left knee, which was suppose to be operated next. But it was not that bad. And as there were an anesthesiologist and a female surgeon among the participants I could teach reassured.

This time after the seminars have ended, I especially felt, that people here do have a strong individualism and abide by themselves. Someone who is not afraid of suffering is someone who is able to fight rigorously. That shows in the classes. In addition to the one-time decision to participate in a training, which comes along with hardship and pain, you can notice the perseverance to gain satisfaction by training. These are the effects of 20 years. Japanese camouflage their low staying power with words when talking about ‘Japanese Mind’ or ‘Bushidō Mind’. They are bluffing. During the lessons, when facing the students I emphasize, that they should adopt unification of body and mind by practicing the techniques, because I myself want to be a Japanese, who will not forget the pride and the loneliness of the Samurai mind.

© translated by Birgit Lauenstein and Peter Nawrot 09/2003