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Heidrun Henschel from Tübingen, DE, 4.Dan Tendoryu Aikido, 1984

Posted 7/3/2019

Tendoryu Aikido Live and learn (Lifelong learning)

At the beginning of my Aikido career, I participated in a large sport-festival, which took place in Stuttgart. My group rehearsed a choreography and later demonstrated it with momentum, vigor, and enthusiasm in front of the many spectators. In the moments directly to follow, as we received such a powerful applause,

I knew that Aikido would accompany me for the rest of my life, as long as I shall live.

At that time, I had the impulse to write a letter to Sensei Shimizu to thank him for bringing his Tendo-ryu Aikido to us and for allowing me to be lucky enough to study under him. Unfortunately, I never did write that letter, but I’m grateful that I can make up for that with this contribution today.

Three women of Aikido, who also practiced under Sensei Shimizu, happened to be some of my first trainers. I owe very much to these women of Aikido, as well. My first teacher was Eva. Eva equipped me with the necessary attitude and helped me to firmly establish myself within Aikido. My second teacher was Steffi, who at that time was as old as I am today. Steffi was an inspiring example that the performance and enjoyment of Aikido does not necessarily have to decline with age, but can actually get better! And where else can that be found in our normal lives? My third teacher was Birgit. I participated in two training courses with Birgit as my teacher and I am deeply sorry that she has since stopped teaching. These days, I consider it a great gift when she is available as a training partner, or even simply to help with corrections in performance.

After all, as Loriot loosely stated, “a life without Aikido is possible, but meaningless.” Thus, I am grateful to Sensei Shimizu and Waka-Sensei Kenta for continuously and tirelessly teaching, though perhaps not always technically teaching the performance of Aikido, but rather particularly how to understand Tendo-ryu Aikido as a meaningful pursuit in life, which continues to teach us every day.


Heidrun Henschel from Tübingen, 4.Dan Tendoryu Aikido, 1984