Impressions from the seminar with Mori Tomohiro Shihan, (2011)
On December, 2011, Mori Tomohiro Shihan from the Aikido Hombu Dojo, Japan, conducted a wonderful seminar in Thessalonica, Greece, invited by the Hellenic Aikikai Aikido and George Koliopoulos Sensei 6. Dan Aikikai.
I believe that receiving a teaching coming directly from the Aikido World Headquarters is very important and it’s a great honor for a Sensei, his students and his organization to have this opportunity every year. There is a message carried by the Hombu Shihans around the world. A message sent from Doshu Moriteru, his father The Late Doshu Kisshomaru (1921-1999) and The Founder Morihei (1883-1969). And when you get this message directly from someone who is a member of the source then you are getting, in a way, closer to the source, to the Founder and Doshu.
This opinion, which is my view, has been confirmed once more from the impressions of my friends who attended the seminar with Mori Shihan and I repeat them here. Mori Shihan is a very nice person, a gentleman and possesses one of the most excellent levels of knowledge concerning the martial art of Aikido. This is what one of my friends told me. And I am adding that this man is- and this is obvious- a very active member of Aikido’s tradition and development, leaded by Doshu. Training under Mori Shihan makes you feel that you come in contact with Aikido’s past, present and future in real time. Yes, Iwama is the birthplace of Aikido indeed, but Hombu is the place where Aikido grew up, matured and became what is today, even for those Shihans who left and created their own organizations. Their starting point basically was also the Hombu.
In this seminar Mori Shihan was once again in a very good mood and taught in a very joyful, vigorous and harmonious way. He shared his knowledge with his movements, his techniques and his advices. The attendees were sincere and really tried to learn what Shihan was teaching. Here I will add my experience that is confirmed by the reports once more. Mori Shihan creates an atmosphere around him. I cannot give a definitive name to this atmosphere yet. It’s a very innocent feeling where nobody whishes to demonstrate any technical or “political” power. You feel that only you, your partner and pure Aikido exist on the world. Plus, as one of my friends noticed, even in a big hall with many attendees training, you can’t miss Mori Tomohiro. His presence is very discreet, but also distinct. Perhaps one of the reasons that you are getting this feeling is that Mori Shihan practices with everybody during the seminar, no matter the number of the attendees. He practices with too much energy, all the time during the classes, with everybody.
It’s my belief- and I am in many ways an eyewitness- that there are many misunderstandings and misinterpretations circling the world Aikido community, concerning Hombu. My friends, who participated in this seminar, confirmed my opinion that Doshu and Shihans work hard at Hombu. What I mean by this? I mean that they work hard not only in order to keep and disseminate the original technical and spiritual axis of Aikido, which gives unity into, by nature, a multifaceted Budo plus the same moment they are protecting the art from becoming something that the Founder never meant his creation to be, but also they keep this budo within the context of modern society, which always changes, especially nowadays.
In his seminar, Mori Shihan explained and demonstrated- among others- some very simple things and he opened new dimensions for reflection and training. My friends felt once more that Aikido is a magic martial art, since each simple detail of this Budo has a deeper meaning, if the practitioner is serious and ready enough to understand it.
It’s true that if you have a great Shihan, coming directly from the source of Aikido, you have an excellent benefit. You come directly in touch with the past the present and the future of the art, expressed by the Founder, the Late Kisshomaru Doshu, the present Doshu and the Future Doshu. This is the reason why I find the connection with Hombu and the name of Ueshiba essential and it’s always a great honor to have Mori Shihan in Greece.
[Source: The photograph of the article is a kind offer by Mr. Makis Potiris]
Events December 2013