Friday, December 15, 2006

jiyu waza

A while back I did an entry on “The Avengers and Me” which included a link to a video of the show’s 1967 opening. As most of you know, the show has had a great influence on me. It was my original inspiration for starting martial arts. So the theme song by Laurie Johnson has always been a favorite of mine as well. The tune always conjures up images of Diana Rigg and Patrick Macnee. I’ve always wanted to do a video to that song, but, given the nature of the show, that would require a partner and a woman.

So who could I get to provide the Diana Rigg energy for the video, which, of course, would be about aikido? Finally, I realized that I knew someone. Then it was just about getting up the nerve to ask her. That person, of course, is Linda Holiday.

I think that I met her in 1970. I was in Robert Frager’s first aikido group at UC Santa Cruz in 1969 and she began the following year. We were training partners at the Shingu dojo in 1973. I actually turned over the UC Santa Cruz aikido club to her in 1977 when I went back for my third training in Japan. And she has turned that into a dynamic and highly successful dojo, Aikido of Santa Cruz. Our friendship has bridged many different stages in both our lives. In fall of 2001 we visited Anno sensei in Shingu together.

So I shot some new footage of myself to compliment some shots I had of her when she guest taught at my dojo. I had the show’s song already downloaded on my hard drive. Then it came the fun part, which is to put everything together in a mix and to see if you indeed have something.

Jiyu Waza means free or flowing technique. So that is what we did. The show had a certain jaunty and very stylish flow which went back and forth between the male and female leads. Though it was not my intent to do a certain thing with this video, I think we captured some of that anyway. Enjoy!



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