Wednesday, January 25, 2006


Last summer, 2005, was a busy and promising time for Centeraikido. We had just finished building our dojo, and were about to embark on a new adventure filled with promise and activity.

Then, out of the blue, we recieved an email message, from a person who identified himself as a well known martial artist from India. He was looking for himself and his group of India Aikido, a place to study aikido. He was willing to come to Israel, himself and 8 of his students, for a two week seminar to study aikido. He was looking for a dojo, and a teacher.

Well, I have been practicing aikido for 16 years, and am not the highest ranking sensei in Israel, but it seemed possible that someone, out of the country, would look for a middle ranged teacher. It could be, I said to myself, if he is in India, which is only 5 hours flight away, that Israel is a good choice.

Israel has some very dedicated aikidoka. There are several high ranking teachers and seminars from abroad. There is a good base developing here. It was about time that people came from other countries to practice here. India is an almost natural choice, and a middle ranking aikidoka, like myself, has something to offer to lower ranking students of aikido.

This was my reasoning. Besides, good things can happen in life, no?

There were letters which he sent. They usually began with: "most respected sensei" and "your highness" and the like, which really made me laugh, but they also fell within reason, since people who work in India said to me that this is normal - in Indian dialogue.

Anyway, from now on, in the dojo, I was to be known as "his highness", as a laughing matter.
This is all on a conscious level, maybe on another level, these words infiltrated a yearning to be an almighty and respected Sensei.

Anyway, this person had managed to show a probable possibility of conducting the "first ever international cultural exchange in aikido between Israel and India", as I call it. We set up a date, a schedule for the seminar, went to the Israel Interior Office, applied for a two week visas for all the group, and went to the airport to greet our fellow aikidokas.

The welcoming commitee (composed of "his highness" and 3 centeraikido students) arrived at 02:00 at the international airport. When the appointed time for landing arrived, every Indian on that plane was greeted with "hello, are you here for the aikido seminar?" Your guess is right, they never arrived.

We did try our best to find out what happened. After several attempts, we managed to get hold of his wife. In a tearful and cracked voice, she said that the whole group had a terrible accident (with a truck) on the way to the airport. They were in intensive care. Our hearts sank.

This is not probable, but it is possible in life - isn 't it? Bad things can happen in life, can't they?

We did the right thing. We sent then a gift of centeraikido T-shirts, with a get well card. This would be our last dialogue. The matter disappeared , as the sun sank over the dusty horizon.

Life continues. One day, the telephone rang. An investigator from the Israeli Immigration Police, demanded my immediate arrival, for questioning. Today.

As I sat across the inspector's desk, the inquiry began. "Do you know why you are here?" "No", I replied. "You must know", he charged. This went back and forth for quite a while - all my answers were brushed aside, as a fly on a hot summer day. I felt like a child who was accused of something he didn't do.

Finally, losing my patience, I demanded to know the charge. "Fraud and illegal importing of immigrants", "you have the right to remain silent, and if you do not cooperate in this questioning - it will be used against you in court", he said. I was held and questioned for the rest of the day. I would not be released until my story was confirmed. It was. Charges were dropped.

As the summer heat ended, the skies became cold and clear. Matters were becoming crystal clear, sharp and cruel. I was the victim of an aikido fraud. A one Mr. Anil Kaushik of New Delhi, had done this dirty deed.

So all you Aikido "masters" out there - watch out. It is better sometimes to feed on plain rice, than to attemp a feast!

"his highness",

Gadi Marcus.


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