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Interview with
ROBERT BRYNER, 6th Dan

Bob-Bryner1.jpg (11486 bytes) Robert Bryner, 6th Dan
Robert Bryner, 6th Dan is the instructor of the The Dojo (Shotakekan Aikido Dojo), in West Los Angeles.

He instructs Aikido and RyuTe (formerly known as
Ryukyu Kempo - which he also holds 6th Dan in), every day of the week. When he is not instructing, he is taking in other martial arts instruction, as his wife Chikako Higa Bryner does. He is a martial arts workaholic / perfectionist, and I mean this both as a compliment and honest observation. He is always training.

To describe Bob, he actually does it best. In an e-mail to me he describes himself:

Hello, It is hard right now to do the interview. Time is sparse with working five days a week and teaching and training 7 days a week.

Like every Saturday, I start at 7:30 - 9:00am black belts Ryu Te, 9:00 - 10:30am Aikido, 10:30-12:00pm.
Ryu Te, 12:00 - 1:00pm Kobudo Ryu Te weapons, and 1:00 - 3:00pm Kali, stick and knife.

I go to my wife’s shop at 3:00pm and watch her at the shop train with a Wing Chun instructor, Chi Sao until 4:00pm. I am working on Nishio Sensei's video from the last seminar and helping set up his seminar, June 5. My teacher for Ryu Te is coming Mar. 5.

I teach a Ryu Te seminar in San Jose on March 13th, and have a 24 hr. training in Aikido on Saturday and Sunday February 20th, from 1:30pm until 1:30pm Feb. 21st.

The morning of the 20th is testing for Aikido and Ryu Te. I train two lunch times each week, with a Kali instructor. So my bio is hard to do at this time.

I am looking at starting Jodo. My life is nothing compared to other people. People who have gone to Japan for extended periods of time and met and trained with masters for extended periods of time are totally different from me. I know what I am and what I am not. So writing something about a self trained man is not so inspiring to other people. It might be if I was good, but I am not and I know that. We call a professional that because he is different. Why do I have a dojo? Because my body is so broken up that I can not train like I used to do. If I have a dojo I can control the training. If I could just train I would not have a dojo, I am the professional student. A long time ago Shuji Mauryama Sensei told me that I have to learn to be the teacher --- not only the student, I cannot. I have touched different people and have put those in my memory, along with my experiences, and come up with how I instruct. One time I was at Saotome Sensei's dojo teaching, and Stan Pranin watched my class. He asked who I trained with because he could not see anyone he knew in my movement. I have turned out excellent students.

I am happy with what I have done. The only thing I regret is dislocating my knee when I was 16, in Judo. This injury has limited my movement, seriously. I have never had an operation to fix it. Had I not done what has past I would not have met my friends, wife and teachers. I wouldn't change it.

Kokoro, Keiko, Kokoro, Keiko, Kokoro, Keiko

A Compassionate Heart and Compassionate Practice, A Sincere Heart with Sincere Practice and an Austere Heart with Austere Training.

I met Bob Bryner nearly 30 years ago, while I was a student of Isao Takahashi, at the Illinois Aikido Club. I remember him being serious, somewhat shy, but excellent to workout with. What I admired the most about him, was that he gave 100 percent of himself, when he trained - no matter what. He trains arduously through the pain of his previous injuries of a seriously bad knee and several joints. And --- he is a diabetic.

We used to call him the "samurai", because of his serious dedication to training, and practical Aikido techniques.

Another thing I admire about Bob: Back in the late 60's, I was young girl in my preteens. When I was first allowed go to the adult classes, I found it difficult at times to get someone to work out seriously with me, unless one of the Yudanshakai grabbed one of the adult students and told him to work with me. Bob was always willing to practice with me, no matter what. He never shunned me because of my Aikido experience, age or sex, but rather --- he treated me as an equal in workout and as an Aikidoist. He was a nidan then, if I am not mistaken. I recall our practices being invigorating, practical, and enjoyable. When I worked out with him, sometimes we would practice a little more roughly for practicality - and we always understood and respected each other. I remember this with gratitude and fondness.

Thank you, Bob.

A review of Robert Bryner's first video: Supplemental Training Methods for Aikido, Volume 1, is available. it is an excellent video to enhance and augment the training of the serious Aikidoist.

Shotakekan Aikido Dojo
(The Dojo)
11554 Santa Monica Blvd.
W. Los Angeles, California
90025

Permission to display the various graphics, pictures, and film clips given to Aikido World Journal by Robert D. Bryner for this review only.


Literary materials, film clips, and pictures are copyrighted by their respected authors and owners. Permission in writing must be made for any duplication, display, or reprint.

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AIKIDO PHOTOS


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Michio Hikitsuchi 10th Dan 1978
(C. Matrasko as uke)
1978 C. Matrasko

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1/4/2002