Kobayashi Hirokazu

Kobayashi Hirokazu

Last weekend, I went to an Aikido Seminar conducted by senior students of the late Kobayashi Hirokazu (1929-1998). It was touching to experience how much all of us who once practised with Kobayashi Sensei, in spite of our too obvious differences, carry him and his Aikido in our heart and body, share a love for the old man we simply refer to as “Sensei”.

I remember his teaching as generous, his technique efficient yet beautiful to watch, and personally he behaved just like an elder friend to us. There was no organisation to join, no examination to pass and no discussion about ranks and positions. Just practice, practice, practice, his friendly guidance and a good deal of joyful private communication outside class. What he left behind are the many of us, who most of all wish to understand and continue his way of doing Aikido.

Next year I will find a place to teach Kobayashi Sensei’s Aikido again, as I did more than a decade ago. The past 13 years I could not take responsibility for regular classes, since I was completing studies with my former Zen teacher. Now it’s the time, and I am much looking forward towards merging Aikido, Zazen and Hitsuzendo within one school …

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