Hiroshi Tada Sensei speaks about telepathy training
Hiroshi Tada cutting bamboo at a Tempukai summer training camp, 1959
One of Hiroshi Tada's teachers, Tempu Nakamura, was famous for his bamboo cutting training. The bamboo was suspended from hollows cut into two strips of paper, which in turn hung from two upturned knives held by two assistants. The bamboo would be split without ripping the suspending top and bottom holes in the strips of paper. Koichi Tohei also continued this training method, as explained by his son Shinichi Tohei.
This is part 3 of the English translation of an interview in Japanese with Hiroshi Tada. You may want to read part 1 first to learn about Tada Sensei's samurai ancestry and his encounters with Shotokan Karate Founder Gichin Funakoshi, and part 2 to learn about how Hiroshi Tada met Shin-Shin Toitsu-Do Founder Tempu Nakamura.
You may also be interested in "The Day I Entered Ueshiba Dojo", in which Hiroshi Tada recounts his first encounter with Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba O-Sensei.
Hiroshi Tada Sensei meets Tempu Nakamura
The Shinbuden martial arts hall in Shinkyou, Manchukuo - 1942
This is part 2 of the English translation of an interview in Japanese with Hiroshi Tada. You may want to read part 1 first to learn about Tada Sensei's samurai ancestry and his encounters with Shotokan Karate Founder Gichin Funakoshi.
In this section Tada begins to explore his relationship with Tempu Nakamura, who was also a great influence on Shin-Shin Toitsu Aikido Founder Koichi Tohei.
Tatsuro Uchida interviews Hiroshi Tada Sensei
Hiroshi Tada Sensei in his twenties
These three Budo "tips" came from Hiroshi Tada in a lecture that he gave in Italy in 2002:
1) An Aikidoka should be able to consistently cut down an opponent with the first blow. This it the true Budo aspect of Aikido. It is precisely because we are confident that we will always able to do this. This confidence gives us two things, our strength and the ability to choose a less deadly outcome, both of which we should have as a prerequisite to our training.
2) When you look at your opponent, he becomes the center of your Aikido, causing you to stop. When you practice, observe where your eyes tend to look. You should be the center of your movement, so when you move, you should see all around you. The question is how far can you see around you? half a meter? 1 meter? 3 meters? 5 meters? As far as your eyes can see, that is the sphere of your control. Once someone enters the sphere of your control, he is drawn to you as the center of that sphere. When O-Sensei would hold a session, one would notice that it was hard to see where he was looking, as if his eyesight was looking outside of the dojo.
3) A sword blade is useless if it is not moving. Once a blade starts moving, it should never stop moving or slow down too much. If an opponent can count the fingers on your hand (1,2,3,4,5) then it means you're moving too slow. In the same way, once your tegatana starts moving, you should move in such a way that your opponent will never be able to count your fingers.
When I first met Hiroshi Tada at the Aikikai Hombu Dojo in 1982 he was quite a bit older than in the picture above, but his appearance was startlingly similar, and his gaze just as piercing as his tips for success above would suggest.
What was Jigoro Kano thinking, anyway?
Yoshimitsu Yamada in Kauai Hawaii, 1966
The other day I was reading an interview with Yoshimitsu Yamada on the Aikido Sansuikai website. This passage happened to catch my attention:
Well, the ranking system in aikido is another headache. I personally disagree with this system. A teaching certificate is okay, a black belt is okay. But after that, no numbers, no shodan, no nidan, etc. People know who is good and who is bad. The dan ranking system creates a competitive mind, because people judge others – "oh, he is sixth dan, but he is not good, this guy is much better…"
Yamada has made similar statements before, I know, but it's always interesting when the person responsible for handing out rank to a large number of people in several countries states publicly that he is himself opposed to the ranking system.