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Cheryl Matrasko
James Loeser
Matthew O'Connor


Cheryl Matrasko
James Loeser
Matthew O'Connor



Part 2

by Frank Burlingham

F.B. You mentioned about broken up marriages due to Aikido. You’ve brought up children, a very successful marriage, you’ve put a hell of a lot of work into Aikido, away at weekends, summer schools and all the rest you do. A lot of time spent, how have you made your marriage work? Your wife is obviously very special and supports you greatly. Sensei Smith’s does, it works. For a lot of people who have a partner that’s not involved in Aikido, it’s a great strain, what advice would you give, what’s the magic? How do you cope with that?

S.F. That’s a difficult one, I suppose it realise a great deal on your partner really. I’ve seen people crumble because they wanted so much to carry on. I remember one particular lad from Aberdeen, I’ll never forget it, that lad broke his heart. If he didn’t give up Aikido, his wife said she was going to leave him. I can see him now teeing me about it, he was in tears, he had me in tears actually. I just didn’t know what to say, I did say to him you cannot allow your marriage to go, with a young family. If this is the option you’ve got it’s your decision, but he never came back, I’ve often thought about him. Aikido to my wife is something I do, even if I flag a bit she’d say, "Well that’s not very enthusiastic, is it?" (laughing) That’s what she’d say. So I think to myself, "Well, there you are."

F.B. It’s a healthy hobby, a way of life for you obviously, to put it in context. Have you ever used Aikido to defend yourself?

S.F. That’s a dodgy one. No, perhaps once, not many.

F.B. Was that in the early days?

S.F. Yes, when we were a bit more heavy handed. The good thing about our beginning, we were pretty toughened up, you know. You can imagine the partner kept you going. I thought, "I don’t care. I’ve got a little bit of this and I’m still going to do it." If we had to do 100 press ups, we’d do 100 press ups. As far as Aikido in this particular place, we did use [it] to learn to move, Tai Sabaki, Irimi¾ that was the thing we did understand in the early days. When this occasion arose, it was very handy because I just moved out of the way. They rather hurt themselves, they didn’t hurt me. They fell on the concrete, they looked a bit ragged and worn. There was only two of them and they where a little drunk.

F.B. D o you have any regrets in respect to Aikido. Do you regret the situation you just described. Anything with your Aikido career that you regret?

S.F. Not really, I don’t regret. When Mr. Williams decided to leave The Hut, I was left in a cleft stick. I had quite a good job, if I’d left I could never have got it back, if I had gone. Even then The Hut was in a precarious position . If I had jumped in and taken over full time, I may have suffered, my family may have suffered, but it is a regret that I didn’t have the positive enough thinking to jump. We had a good situation there. There were two schools, one secondary modern and one grammar [school] coming to The Hut once a week, and an instructor going to the school once a week. The money received was just like any other teacher. Unfortunately, there was nobody there that I could turn that over to, one of the sad things I had to go see the head master and let it go. A shocker, really.

F.B. That’s a shame, really.

S.F. If I had had a trade, maybe I would have made the decision.

(Continued - next page)

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Michio Hikitsuchi 10th Dan 1978
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© 1978 C. Matrasko

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