SENSEI ELLIOTT FREEMAN SEMINAR
North East Ohio welcomes Sensei Elliott Freeman
and his powerful Tenshin Aikido Randori
By Vladimir Soroka
Article about Sensei Elliott Freeman
It has been my privilege to have personally trained at Three Rivers Aikido in St. Louis, MO under Sensei Elliot Freeman. I would like to thank him for allowing me to follow in the Tenshin Aikido tradition and to open up the Cleveland Tenshin Aikido Dojo, directly affiliated with the THREE RIVERS AIKIDO in St. Louis. Sensei Freeman is our link to Master Steven Seagal and Hombu Dojo.
I am very pleased to share the experience that we had at our dojo (Three Streams Tenshin Aikido @ the YBD Martial Arts Center ), located in Twinsburg, Ohio on the weekend of February 23rd. We had the wonderful privilege of hosting a very powerful Seminar focusing on multiple attack scenarios from Sensei Elliot Freeman. Sensei Freeman lives in St. Louis and runs Three Rivers Aikido which is one out of only three dojos in the world that train under and are directly affiliated with Hombu Dojo through Master Instructor Steven Seagal. Friday night, the first night of the Seminar, was a very informative evening where Sensei Freeman made everyone feel very comfortable with his humor as he outlined the principles of Randori. His views of how to create an honest attack, along with his various deflection techniques and unique multiple attack strategies were shared in this class that was designed only for black belts and instructors. There were over six different organizations from Aikido, Aiki-Jujutsu, Ju-Jitsu, as well as various Japanese and Chinese striking arts that were represented by only instructors that were black belts. In this Friday night opening of our weekend seminar, everyone was so excited that the session continued an hour longer than it was originally scheduled. Four hours flew by like 15 minutes.
The buzz around the dojo for the week before the seminar was filled with a little bit of anxiety that even persisted up until the time Sensei Freeman started teaching. Immediately, everybody’s fear of doing Shihan Steven Seagal’s multiple attack randori training were put aside as Sensei Freeman explained that all techniques will be practiced with one hundred percent power, however, until we understand the principles and techniques fully the speed of the attack will be greatly reduced to study the problems of the various situations that Sensei Freeman walked us through. By the end of the seminar, we all agreed that our insights into randori and abilities were improved more than we could’ve imagined.
Saturday's morning and afternoon sessions were spent teaching similar skills as Friday night with all of the instructors now assisting in the teaching of these new skills. This helped the instructors to remember and practice what they learned the previous night. I have attended many Aikido and related seminars where an instructor would go over the same basic skills with new and insightful twists, however this seminar was very different. It seemed to build on concepts that are rarely talked about, almost like breaking down the techniques that excited us all when we first started seeing Shihan Steven Seagal's amazing techniques in his early films.
We finished Saturday and Sunday morning sessions with multiple attack scenarios and reviewed a few techniques that were integral to Sensei Freeman's Randori concept. Even a severe ice storm, that we experienced over the weekend, did not affect the number of attendees and enthusiasm of the students, that kept showing up throughout the seminar. The Seminar was a tremendous success. At the end of the seminar, the instructors of the Three Streams Tenshin Aikido asked if we could put together another training on the weekend of June 30th, 2007. As we say here at Tenshin Dojo, Cleveland, "Practice Makes Permanent" and we will be practicing and looking forward to hosting my Tenshin Aikido Instructor, Sensei Elliot Freeman again in the near future.
The official announcement of our upcoming June 30th, 2007 Building Bridges Seminar will be coming soon on many of our Tenshin websites (www.threeriversaikido.com). It will be open to all styles and organizations to promote harmony in the Aiki community...
Three Streams Tenshin Aikido
(Affiliate of Three Rivers Aikido Tenshin Dojo)