Part 3: Private Classes With Chiba Sensei

Shortly after my arrival at Hombu Dojo, having earned the trust of the small group of foreigners who attended Chiba Sensei’s class on Friday evenings, I learned that some of them had formed a working group to practice privately with him. This group included several Americans: Paul Sylvain, Lorraine Sylvain-DiAnne, Meik Scoss, Bruce Bookman and … Continue reading Part 3: Private Classes With Chiba Sensei

Part III – My First Year in England – Vol.4: The End of the First Year

The End of the First Year I went to see the man in charge of Sunderland Physical Education (SPE) whom I had met once before through Mr. Logan. Although he was no longer active, I had been told that he was an Aikidoist who had led an SPE-sponsored group of practitioners that was loosely associated … Continue reading Part III – My First Year in England – Vol.4: The End of the First Year

PART III – My First Year in England, Volume 3: Nothing is Working

Nothing is working ... As the days crawled by, I became increasingly more agitated and angry with my situation: There had been no change, no news from Mr. Logan regarding the progress of a dojo for me and no contact from any Aikido schools or other dojos in the country. I felt I was being … Continue reading PART III – My First Year in England, Volume 3: Nothing is Working

First class at Hombu after my arrival in Tokyo.

Leaving for Japan Summer 1977 In 1976, Chiba Sensei had been recalled to Japan from England by Hombu, which needed his linguistic capabilities as they sought to solve the problem of Aikido’s unruly development around the world. Back in Tokyo, he started to train in Iaido under the guidance of Mitsuzuka Takeshi at the police … Continue reading First class at Hombu after my arrival in Tokyo.

PART III – My First Year in England, Volume 2: A Hopeless Political Mess

A Hopeless Political Mess In late June 1966, about two months after my arrival in England, a long-awaited meeting between Mr. Logan and myself took place with the help of a Mr. Kimura, a Japanese interpreter and corporate man for Common Brothers Inc. – the company for which Mr. Logan was executive officer. It was … Continue reading PART III – My First Year in England, Volume 2: A Hopeless Political Mess

PART III – My First Year in England, Volume 1: At the Logans

My arrival at Heathrow Airport in London on May 5, 1966, signaled the end of my six-week journey. However, the troubles associated with that journey were not over yet, as I quickly encountered problems concerning my immigration status. After my luggage had been thoroughly turned inside-out, I was removed to a separate room to be … Continue reading PART III – My First Year in England, Volume 1: At the Logans

Fall 1970: A Discovery

I spent several months in Africa before returning to France. I was at the time a draft dodger, but was betrayed and welcomed into the Army with open arms by the infamous General Marcel Bigeard and his paratroopers. The disciplinary unit of this regiment, which numbered roughly twelve “non obedient” members, was given the “privilege” … Continue reading Fall 1970: A Discovery

PART II – En Route to England, Volume 3: Troubles before Arrival

As the island of Singapore came into view off the starboard deck of the Al-Sabbiyah, the climate of the Indian Ocean became unbearably hot and humid. The most comfortable spot I could find outside of my cabin was on the bow of the ship, where the rain of moisture from the surge of the waves … Continue reading PART II – En Route to England, Volume 3: Troubles before Arrival

PART II – En Route to England, Volume 2: Training on Board the Al-Sabbiyah

The temperature rose rapidly with each passing day as the Al-Sabbiyah continued southward. Soon after we entered the South China Sea, the heat became so intense that the crew was compelled to turn on the air conditioning in the cabin. The view from the deck showed nothing but a vast, boundless ocean below a sky … Continue reading PART II – En Route to England, Volume 2: Training on Board the Al-Sabbiyah

PART II – En Route to England, Volume 1: Leaving Japan

I left the port of Sasebo, Nagasaki Prefecture, Japan, on March 28, 1966, on a six-week voyage across the sea to England. I was the sole passenger in the first-class cabin on board the Al-Sabbiyah (“Little Princess” in Arabic) – a 35,751-ton Kuwaiti oil tanker that was leased to a British company based in Newcastle, … Continue reading PART II – En Route to England, Volume 1: Leaving Japan