Takeshi Sairenji Sensei’s Visit to Two Cranes Aikido

Several days before Takeshi Sairenji Sensei arrived at our dojo, I received a call from his daughter Tomoko. She explained that her father was here from Japan visiting his new grand daughter and he would like to visit a dojo in Seattle. When he walked into the dojo that sunny, Saturday morning, he offered a warm greeting and asked if he could join class in session. Of course I was glad to welcome him to train, but at that moment I had no idea who he was or how deeply he would impact myself and my students. It took me only minutes of watching his fluid and precise movements to glean that this was an exceptionally experienced practitioner in the art of Aikido and all of us training that morning were in for a treat. 2people At the close of class Sairenji Sensei introduced himself and shared stories of his training with O Sensei and Saito Sensei. After offering a compelling explanation the mystical nature of ki, he stepped to the center of the mat and tossed numerous black belts across the room. We are grateful for Sairenji Sensei’s visit and look forward to have him teach the next time he sees his granddaughter. Gratitude to him and his family for his visit. Below is an article that Sairenji Sensei sent to me describing ‘Ki Power’. Please enjoy. * * * * * Visit to Kimberly Richardson Sensei's Two Cranes Dojo(Aug 22, 2015) Takeshi Sairenji Differences between physical power and Aikido "Ki" power I demonstrated how to overcome some of the difficulties that we may experience during Aikido practice. It is difficult to hold back an attack just with my hands, if he or she is stronger than me. Even if I could hold them back, they could escape my grasp or I could suffer a counter-attack by his other hand or legs. Muscular power is relative and we are often rendered powerless when our opponent is stronger. What should we do to solve this difficult problem? We have a power in Aikido called "Ki: 氣"and/or "Kokyu-ryoku:呼吸力". By gripping in a certain way, our opponent will not be able to move his hand(s) or his body, and will not be able to produce a counterattack. Our opponent's brain does not recognize where they are being gripped, and it becomes impossible to move the hand and body. I think this condition may be produced by brain control through this direct physical interaction. The power is also called Kokyu-ryoku; it is produced from our whole body but coming from the abdominal region or "Tanden:丹田". "Tanden" does not refer to a specific anatomical structure, but is our "center". Power does not depend on the usual physical (muscular) strength but that beyond muscular strength. The physically weak can beat a strong man using the skills of the Aikido. We will be able to understand the difference between physical strength and power of " Ki’" or/ and Kokyu-ryoku" through our practice of Aikido. Kimberly-sensei's Aikido movements (体術Taijyutsu:体捌Taisabaki) and her performances are really wonderful! Thank you very much for giving me the opportunity of Aikido practice at your dojo. * * * * * Summary of Takeshi Sairenji Sensei, 7th Dan and member of the Aikikai Foundation Sairenji Sensei was born in Japan in 1944. When he was admitted to Ibaraki University in 1962, he became a disciple of O Sensei Iwama Dojo, Ibaraki (photo# 1), and trained under Morihiro Saito Sensei, 9th Dan. In1964, Sairenji Sensei founded the Aikido group at Ibaraki University. He received 1st Dan and became the first captain of the group in 1966 (photo#2) . He moved to Tohoku University, Sendai, and practiced at a dojo of the Miyagi-ken Budokan and received 3rd Dan in 1969. He continued to train under Kohei Ogata Sensei, 8th Dan and received 6th Dan at the Kumamoto Dojo. In1980, he went abroad to the University of Massachusetts Medical School, in Worcester, MA, and started to teach the Aikido for beginners, school employees, students and local people in the school exercise room. He taught over 200 aikido students over the course of 12 years. In 1992, he returned to Japan and instructed Aikido club students at Tottori University Medical School, and in 2008 he received 7th Dan. In 2009 he moved to Okinawa and belonged to Okinawa Aiki-kai (Iwao Yamaguchi Sensei 7th Dan) and taught students at the University of the Ryukyus as a special instructor. Photos with O-sensei (Morihei Ueshiba, the founder of Aikido) 4men Photo #1: With O-sensei at Aiki Shrine, 1964. From the right: T. Sairenji (captain at Ibaraki University), O-sensei, Y. Miyakawa (captain at Tohoku University) and Y. Hiraoka (sub-captain at Tohoku University) group pic Photo #2: With O-sensei and his wife at his Dojo, 1965 From the right: 2nd O-sensei wife, O-sensei and T. Sairenji (Ibaraki University) and Aikido club members.
Kimberly Richardson