Summary Aikidó 1/99

Doshu Kisshomaru UESHIBA died on January 4, 1999 at the age of 77 years
A brief memorial of the IAF President heading the World Headquarters (Hombu Dojo) in Tokyo since 1942, successfully developing the heritage of his father, the Aikido founder, there.

Ivan Fojtík: "DO (TAO)" - THE NATURAL WAY
This article is a philosophical reflection that compares the body conception in the West and in the East. A traditional approach that defines a man as a body and a mind with the key centres in the heart and the head survives in Europe. Under a man in the East we understand one psychophysical entity with its center (the bal-anced point) in the stomach - hara. It is desirable to try to approach the limits of one's potential and to destroy the boundary between the physical and spiritual being in the martial arts. "Do" means the way, the journey towards the improvement of oneself by the means of practising the chosen discipline. It is the effort to learn how to live, how to improve oneself, how to help the other men. "Do" covers not only the martial arts, but also the arts and crafts. One may start his way towards the real discernment at any moment. Not everybody how-ever reaches the end of the way.

M. Kodym interviewed his tacitum friend, a Swiss theatre-player, musician and the 3rd aikido Dan holder. The reminiscence of their first meeting introduces the interview. M. Jaccoud came to Prague with the theatre group Les Montreurs d'Images in the spring 1989, and by chance the first man who met here was MK. Thanks to their scarce spiritual affinity MK was invited to appear as guest in Marco's Genevése theatre group. The MK's stay in the Switzerland mediated Swiss and European experience and contacts to the Czech aikido. The interview with Marco, recurring several times per year to the Czech Republic since 1989, concerns mainly aikido, the way of living and the life generally.

The author is the 2nd iaido Dan holder. When his first visit to Japan in 1997 connected with the participation in the international iaido course in Kyoto was interrupted by a disease, he returned in 1998 with a plan to travel and learn of Japan above all. He shares his experience with the hot summer in Japan in this article. His jour-ney started in Tokyo, where he was for two days practising iaido in the Shinbukan Ishido Dojo. The impres-sions of the Japanese countryside follow. The whole stay culminated at the traditional festival in Kamakura and a visit by Mr. Toru Giga's family. Mr. Giga assisted to the first Czech kendo dojo origin. The author expresses his thanks to all Japanese families that kindly and friendly accepted him.

Darja Kawasumi: A CUP OF TEA AS A WORK OF ART - part II
The promised second part of the author's dissertation „Relation between the western Christian culture and the Japanese tea ceremony" elaborated in 1998. In today's extract the phase of the tea ceremony when the thin tea usucha is served and the guests are leaving is in great details introduced to the readers. Offering of usucha tea is often presented as the tea ceremony nowadays, but in fact it is only its impoverished reduced version. The main source of the author's tea ceremony experience is mentioned in the end: it was Mr. Azuma Gyokushu's Fugen sado school, where she has passed tens of various tea ceremonies at different day times and seasons. She emphasises the dependence of the tea ceremony spiritual value on the sincerity and art of its participants, especially of the host and the main guest.

Mrs. Kawasumi's impressions of the November one week visit of the calligraphy master, Mr. Ogawa Izan, and his 5 pupils form the "Beginners Association", which is the humble name of his calligraphy school, to Prague. Mr. Ogawa instructed pupils of two Prague schools in calligraphy, he reported on the philosophical context of the calligraphy to the Iaido followers and explained his own calligraphy conception during the opening of the calligraphy exhibition in the Miyabi restaurant. He always placed accent on the emotion in-vested by a real calligraphy master into the creating activity. Only the line enclosing the complete potential of the brush and of the writer is a living line that may be shared.

A brief survey of the terms denoting different levels of teachers' and pupils' hierarchy in various budo disci-plines. In greater detail the author deals with the title "Sensei" = the one, who lived earlier, the master accom-panying prepared pupils on their ways. Several ideas on the meaning and need of such a guide follow. The Shihan's role in Aikikai is discussed then. Shihan is a teacher with an exemplary nature, high skilled, who serves the other men for an example worthy to be followed after. He is at least the 6th Dan holder and has been practising Aikido for 30 years as a minimum. He is entitled to confer the 1st - 4th Dan grades. Yet there is probably no European holder of the 7th or higher Dan. It is important to differentiate the Shihan title from their function of Technical Directors within the national Aikikai organisations. M. Ikeda Shihan works as the CAA Technical Director, CAF co-operates with F. Noel Shihan and besides these we may meet two Japanese 8th Dan Shihans, N. Tamura and S. Nishio in the Czech Republic.

Periodical section:
Author's observations and glosses this time on: