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No Hakama nights and Sensei Mick

February 8, 2016

I’ve just found out that an Instructor I briefly trained with during my time with the White Rose Aikikai, passed away in October 2015, out of respect I’ve posted here a ‘chapter’ of my ‘still in work book’ detailing stories and encounters of my 30 years in Martial arts.

This chapter is titled ‘No Hakama nights and Sensei Mick, and I dedicate it to his family, friends and former fellow students.

 

Writing here about my Aikido wouldn’t be complete, without mentioning my Friday evenings at Halifax with Sensei Mick Hajdysk 5th Dan.

During my early years with White Rose, I had heard of the Friday club, it had the reputation of being the toughest club in the association, both Ian Tyler and Dean Sheldrake trained there, as well as the Sunday club.

“you have to open a vein, before they’ll let you in” Sensei Sheldrake once jokingly told us.

So after about 3 and half years, and about 2 kyu level, I wanted to toughen myself up, and decided to start training Fridays.

Due to the location and time, I would usually go straight from work (or sometimes call into a supermarket café for a tea and sticky bun) being single at the time, I didn’t have any issue’s of being out of the house all day, and returning late on a Friday night.

The training there was good, intense but good, all good in good nature, there was no meanness or ill intent.

Sensei Mick, is a bit of a character, working on the building sites, he sometimes may have seemed to have a bit of a ‘rough edge’ (a rough diamond) but he was a good, natural teacher.

Sensei Mick was a real ‘salt of the earth’ kind of person, really down to earth with no pretentiousness, or expectations of sycophantic hero-worship about him.

He always seemed to have a way of explaining techniques to suit the student he was addressing (like Sensei Danford and Sensei Riley).

I trained there, before what was to become my 1st Kyu grade (although I didn’t know it at the time) up to my Shodan (1st Dan) examination.

It was Sensei Mick, who moments before stepping onto the mat to take my Shodan Examination, pulled me to the side to give me a pep talk, I’ll never forget that kind gesture.

A few of things that stick out from those Friday nights, sometimes Sensei would declare ‘no hakama nights’ especially when it was warm weather, and yudansha wouldn’t ‘have’ to wear their hakama, there were times when Sensei Mick just couldn’t get on with this part of the uniform, I remember one night, after a couple of attempts to tie it up, threw it back in his bag, and gave it up as a bad job.

Another couple thing that I found interesting, was Sensei used to often teach ‘sitting’ techniques from a chair, whereas traditionally they are taught from kneeling position, he would bring a chair onto the mats (he suffered with his knees) he remarked that in the west we sit on chairs, so lets practice from chairs, which when you think about it, makes sense, he also would work on eri dori and kata dori (collar and shoulder hold) with tori pinned against the wall, so the technique would have to be done, in a lateral direction or be able to move off from the wall.

Sensei Mick big character, big heart who loved his Aikido.

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