Monday, January 26, 2015

Jesse Glover's Advice

Jesse Glover was a first student of Bruce Lee in Seattle, and something of a renaissance man on the topic of martial arts.  He still teaches to this day in Chinatown.  Occasionally he would visit and observe the aikido classes at 306 S Main, with some of his students.  He was of course always welcomed, and some of his students joined us.

Jesse's brother Mike Lee taught in Seattle for a while, drew blood from students in demonstrations (good humor all around, just very tough people) and had the gentlest handshake I have ever encountered.

Jesse put out a book circa 1978, a self-published thing, and I saw a copy in a bodega run by a student of his.  I bought it and it was a fun read of a time and place, plus informative.

It is not safe to depend on the success of any one blow unless your punches and kicks are truly exceptional. When fighting a superior opponent, you should attack the instant that you figure that there is no way out of the situation. In Judo there is a technique that often works against superior opponents with moderate success, it is called surprise and it can work.
It grieves me that of the eight aikido basics once taught, two have been dropped for difficulty.  Too bad, since on the other side of the difficulty there is much enlightenment.

As to adapting, I can tell you the lineage of a student by how he performs the first basic, shomen uchi kokyu nage.  There is the way Yamada does it, or Kobayashi, or Saotome, or Imaizumi, or Maruyama... and they all trained under Tohei sensei.  Everyone develops their own style, and it grieves me if an advanced person has not adapted the style to their own weight, condition, shape etc.

Yes, absolutely teach the basics, but encourage people to develop their own style of the basic.  Yamada sensei probably does this best, with 1000 flowers blooming in his dojos as far as styles of the basics.

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