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Higaonna Sensei's Hands

Sensei Morio Higaonna (see IOGKF.com) was kind enough to visit my dojo and teach. I acted as his uke for some techniques.

Afterwards, some of my students commented that they were worried because it looked like Higaonna Sensei was killing me.

I replied that Higaonna Sensei had the softest touch. He could take my arm, for example, right to the point where it could be dislocated.

The only person I have met with such a soft but controlled touch was Sensei Sadao Yoshioka. Yoshioka Sensei taught Aikido in Hawaii.

One night, I took Higaonna Sensei back to his hotel in Waikiki. While I was speaking to him on the sidewalk in front of the hotel, two young men walked up and started to ask incoherent questions. I was concerned that they might be troublemakers.

Being the host, I positioned myself between Higaonna Sensei and the two men. In the back of my mind I was thinking, "do you two know who this is?" I also could not help feeling amused by how silly it was for me to be protecting Higaonna Sensei. But that is what a host must do. I still smile when I think of it.

By the way, the men walked away with no trouble. How lucky!


Charles C. Goodin